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Opine Needles

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Old Things Are Best

Dad - Opine Needles
And so it came to pass in end of the fifth year of the reign of the man known as Obama. There remained much to debate as to what exactly had come to pass. Forsooth, the people were much disillusioned. So many had heralded his arrival as “that” arrival millions believed was imminent. Alas, the citizens were in disarray, for it had ensued that the savior had yet to pick the time for his return, and the man known as Obama was no longer confused with HIS only begotten son.

On matters more earthly, the elderly amongst the people used the time of year to give thanks for the things that matter; their families, their faith, and their good fortune. The frivolity of their youths were held in check by the reality of their latter day experiences; their senses of responsibility, morality, and decency had been honed through the fog of the twists and turns on their respective roads of life.

There was one who was mystified by all that made his present world turn. Lost seemed to be the things that really matter. He reflected on those things he could not control, and settled on seeking contentment on matters that had been or still were in his realm.

So as Christmas drew nigh, he thought of his departed father, who once wrote words for a magazine; words that are timeless, and special, and powerful. Those words were:

Old things are better than new things. They may not perform better, but they are nicer to own; they are friends. My Randall knife, while not my oldest, is a prized possession, not for any monetary value that it might have-but because we’ve done a lot of fun things together in the past 30 years.

My oldest knife was “requisitioned” from the arms chest of the Tacloban Shore Patrol during WWII. Six months ago, I gave it a new handle of leather rings. It, too, provides memories.

I have two pairs of old leather bird boots, which date back to when they cost $18.00 to $20.00; big money then. Believe it or not, I still have fond memories of my first pair which were bought before the war, and carried me into the fifties. They were prime examples of what a cobbler could do if he really cared about old and good boots. They were from L.L. Bean, as is one of my current pairs.

Old wool deer pants are better than new ones only because you can look at the various repairs and bring back memories.

Old deer hunting friends are better than new ones. They took the test of time and passed. Old deer hunters are better than young ones. They know more and their hearts and legs make them move more slowly.

Old rifles are better than new ones, and, in the area, I must personalize the statement, for I have only had my current “old” rifle for one season. It’s a custom-stocked .308 built on a Sako action. The bluing has worn off due to it having been in and out of countless scabbards.

It previously belonged to Warren Page marksman, hunter, and Field & Stream writer. I’d like to think that it was one of his favorites because of its worn condition. It weights under seven pounds, with sling and scope. I can’t tell you all the places it has been, or the stalks or excitement it has witnessed.

However, I can tell you that on my back it has gone to four different states and accounted for three whitetail bucks. In time it will earn a place alongside my Randall as a source of retrospective good memories.

Old hats are better than new hats and everybody knows that. I brought mine home from the Pacific. Its previous owner, an Australian, gave it to me after punching me in the nose. I had, in company with an MP, walked into a bar and immediately found myself on the floor-for no particular reason other than being an American with a Shore Patrol band on my arm.

My old Aussie hat bears the inscription “Denham & Horgrove Ltd. Atherstone, 1943″ on the band. The felt is about 1/4″ thick, and the brim keeps the rain off my glasses and the snow from going down my neck. Other than being practical and irreplaceable, it’s a best hat because it is old.

I have lot’s of good old things; old compasses, shirts, and two mended pairs of my father’s long red underwear. All these things give me warmth and comfort.

Someday you will get older and you, too, will be a best thing.

And he felt better just for reading the words again, and even better by taking the time to type them into his next blog. For he knew at that moment that no matter how absurd were the events in and of his world, no one could take away the words he had revisited, and more importantly, the hat he now wore.

Jim Pierce - Dad's Hat - Old Things Are Best - Opine Needles

Merry Christmas

THINK RIGHT. ACT RIGHT. VOTE RIGHT

  • Bertil Olsson

    Great story, Jim…love the hat!

    • Jim Pierce

      thanks Bertil…yes, there is history in that hat!

  • Douglas Holmes

    Thanks for sharing Jim. As it is said – old friends are the best friends – thank you old friend and may we remember those old friends that have gone to their final home this Christmas. In the bonds, DQH

    • Jim Pierce

      Yes indeed…thanks Doug