July 24, 2014

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Coonridge Digest
Let’s hear it for the dreamer! PDF Print E-mail

By Freida Marie Crump
The Coonridge Digest
Greetings from the Ridge.
Let’s hear it for the boy who’s so busy looking for four-leaf clovers that he misses the ball that’s hit to him in right field. Let’s hear it for the girl who completely misses what her math teacher was saying about Euclidean geometry because she was too fascinated with the patterns her teacher’s prism earrings were making on the far wall. Three cheers for the little fella who can’t mow the yard straight because he’s so in awe of the cloud patterns forming over his head, and the little girl who can never remember to make her bed but she’s intrigued by the contours of the rumpled sheets and blankets, imagining them to be some green, futuristic cities.

 
Crash of cell phone network ignites panic, desperation PDF Print E-mail

By Freida Marie Crump
Coonridge Digest
Greetings from the Ridge.
We were thrown into crisis mode. I had never seen my friends in such a panic. No fire, earthquake or flood could have affected our region so drastically, and the effects of the catastrophe still linger today in frayed nerves and irregular heartbeats. Last week the AT&T cell phone network went down and the world of some folks came to a crashing halt.
Social media lit up immediately with cries of pain and anguish. With cell phones out of commission some folks had apparently lost the will to live. I had just read an article on the Chilean miners trapped underground in 2010 and the moans of hopelessness seemed eerily reminiscent.

 
Hiding head in the sand is not a pretty picture PDF Print E-mail

By Freida Marie Crump
Coonridge Digest
Greetings from the Ridge.
My cousin Bernice drives me crazy. She’s cancelled her subscription to the local newspaper because in her words, “There’s nothing in it,” she doesn’t listen to local news on the radio, she only goes online to play games and check her Facebook page, she watches news on a biased cable channel when Wheel of Fortune isn’t on, and she complains about how she never knows what’s going on. It’s the “Duh” syndrome.

 
Marching on the Fourth of July: then and now PDF Print E-mail

By Freida Marie Crump
The Coonridge Digest
Greetings from the Ridge.
There’s nothing that shouts the Fourth of July like a parade so Herb and I plan to plant our lawn chairs on the nearest shady curb this week to take in the great American spectacle.
I’m one of the surviving veterans of high school marching bands and can well remember the days of polishing my trumpet on the night before the big parade, hoping for maximum reflection power from the next day’s sun. And speaking on behalf of the marching musicians of the world, I’d like to say that marching in formation on the Fourth is every bit as an athletic event as playing in that afternoon’s baseball game. Times have changed and fabrics have improved but in those steamy days your band uniform was made of pure 100% wool. The temperature on the hot asphalt may be over the century mark and you’re standing there covered with a dark-colored uniform that has been worn, altered, snipped and amended by generations of marching trumpet players long gone.

 
Fact-finding mission leaves aliens bewildered PDF Print E-mail

By Freida Marie Crump
Coonridge Digest
Greetings from the Ridge.
I’ll admit that this doesn’t happen often, but last week an alien spacecraft landed in the middle of the Coonridge Memorial Park. The tavern wasn’t open yet so there was no traffic to speak of and since I’d gotten most of my housework done I shuffled over to see if I could be of assistance. I’ve sat on plenty of church committees so I was used to deciphering strange tongues. Here’s the translation of our meeting as best I can recall:

 
Clean up the Potomac River and present-day predators would be extinct PDF Print E-mail

By Frieda Mae Crump
Coonridge Digest
Greetings from the Ridge.
My knowledge of entomology is right up there with my grasp of brain surgery and ballet but I recently found myself in a conference at which our featured speaker was a well-known bug expert. Okay, I take that back. There are no well-known bug experts, but if the occupation ever gets scandalous or sexy then this guy will be featured on the front page of Time.
His topic for the day was a little rascal that has plagued various parts of the Midwest for the past three years, the Buffalo Gnat. In some places the buggy buggers are called Black Flies, Turkey Gnats or White Socks. The guy told us there are over 1,800 species of the irritating critters but gave no hint as to who counted them. Unfortunately only 11 species have gone extinct leaving the other 1,789 to crawl inside our ears while we’re mowing the yard. The male flies dine on nectar while the females crave the blood of mammals. In this case, mammal is spelled “Y-O-U.” If nothing else, it’s a setback for female equality.

 
Wandering Wanda and ‘Grandma’s Commandos’ PDF Print E-mail

By Freida Marie Crump
Coonridge Digest
Greetings from the Ridge.
Wanda McBride is somewhat of a nut. No, she’s delightfully loony. While other extroverts march to a different drummer, Wanda’s spent her life listening to an entirely different band. In short, she’s a bodacious delight, always doing the unexpected, bringing joy into the room each time she enters.
That’s why her vacation plans are never a surprise. Last summer she packed up her two small granddaughters and took off. Wanda uses no roadmap when she travels nor do her vacations have any particular destination. When I asked her where she was headed she simply pointed a heavily-ringed finger and said, “That-a way.”

 
Has life got you down? Go sit in a tree PDF Print E-mail

By Freida Marie Crump
Coonridge Digeset
Greetings from the Ridge.
Alfie Rodhaver climbed up into a tree yesterday and he says he has no intention of coming down. I looked out my window this morning and he’s still there. Alfie’s wife Lora said that yesterday morning he filled a thermos with coffee, put the newspaper under his arm and climbed up into the soft maple in front of their house. His last words, “I’ll come down when I decide to come down.”

 
It’s time to hang it up, Herbie PDF Print E-mail

By Freida Marie Crump
The Coonridge Digest
Greetings from the Ridge.
“Herb, we’re too old. We just can’t do it anymore.”
“Speak for yourself, Freida. I’ve still got it in me.”
“Whatever was in you has long since left, Herbie. It’s time to hang it up.”

 
Kindness the world over PDF Print E-mail

By Freida Marie Crump
The Coonridge Digest
Greetings from the Ridge.
If you don’t have indigestion when you wake up in the morning, one good dose of the world news will be enough to make your gut start to cramp. Missing jetliners, Russian land-grabbers, school shootings, meth labs, and global climate change are enough to ruin anyone’s morning toast and coffee. Last week I watched a wonderful actress perform in a play and when I went to congratulate her after the show she said, “It’s wonderful. For two hours a night I don’t have to worry about what’s happening the world.”

 
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