Friday, December 12, 2008

I hate Christmas (& other ramblings)

I hate Christmas. There. I said it. I feel better already. No, I'm not Scrooge or the Grinch. I hate what we, the adults of the world, have let Christmas become--a massive, commercial, money-grabbing spend-fest of Crapapalooza where the only pertinent question is, "Whadja get me?" It stinks. And God help us, it seems to get worse every year.

I hate the fact that we have lost sight of what this season is supposed to be about. We've turned what should be the most joyous time of the year into a selfish, self-centered, greed-a-thon. I hate that millions of people are going to spend this day alone, hungry and in despair. I hate that untold numbers of children world-wide are going to wake up, tear open millions of gifts, eat themselves into a stupor and never once think about the reason for the celebration. I hate that their stupid parents never think to explain it to them. I hate the fact that so many have so much while so many more have nothing. Please don't think that makes me one of those "redistribute the wealth" guys. Far from it. The only things that need redistributing are personal responsibility, hard work and love for your family. There definitely aren't enough of those to go around.

The stereotype is 100% true. Being of Scotch-Irish descent, I have a melancholy streak a foot wide. I think this is a big factor contributing to our reputations as drinkers and hellions. We let things get to us. I let things get to me. Of all the heartwarming, happy things that go on at Christmas, somehow I dwell on the sad, sorrowful stories that surface this time of year. But let me tell you this: I will not let it depress me or make me an unhappy person. Being happy is a choice. The only thing you have to do to be happy is want to. If you're sitting around waiting for someone else to make you happy, you're in for a long wait. I refuse to let anybody or any set of circumstances have that kind of power over me. I'm going to be happy if it kills me. And if I'm not, nobody is ever going to know it. What happens in the Hub stays in the Hub.

Let me tell you something else I hate. I hate these new-age bozos who tell their kids there is no Santa Claus. What idiots! There's nobody more real than old Saint Nick. Okay, okay, maybe the jolly fat guy with a white beard and the reindeer and elves may be a bit of a stretch, but you've got to realize that it's symbolism. The real Santa lives in all of us, or at least he used to (you murdering heathens know who you are). He's the guy inside you who picks out that special something that makes somebody very, very happy. He's the little voice who tells you to show up some place where you're unexpected, but very welcome when you get there. He's the feeling you get when you realize the best gift you got was the look on the faces of the people you love. He's the amazed exhilaration you feel when you finally get it. When you finally realize this season is not about you, but about what you can do for somebody else. And more importantly, what somebody has already done for you. Yeah, Santa Claus is real and I hope and pray he lives in the heart of mankind forever.

I love Christmas. I love the sights, the sounds, the smells and the traditions. I love the gathering of family and the feeling of belonging to something bigger than yourself. I love the anticipation and the looks on kids' faces. I love the fact that for a few days we are kinder, gentler, more considerate people than we normally are. I love the idea that for a few days we ask "How are you?" and maybe really mean it. I love people who say "Merry Christmas" instead of the politically correct "Happy Holidays." I love the brave souls who spit in the eye of liberal courts and the ACLU and proudly display their nativity scenes and open references to God in their Christmas celebrations. I love the fact that millions of people still remember the real reason for the season. A guy named Mark said it best a long time ago:
"Then the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.'"
Happy Birthday, Jesus.

The Old Gray Lion

This month's suggested reading: "Salvation on Sand Mountain" by Dennis Covington. The photographs and text will absolutely take your breath. Dennis Covington was assigned to cover a trial involving some snake handlers. He wound up joining in and handling himself. To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure all Dennis' dogs are tied to the same leash. But this is a great book. By the way, Dennis is a professor of creative writing at UAB.

This month's suggested movie: "Scrooged" starring Bill Murray. A Christmas classic.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The puzzle (& other ramblings)

I had a dream. No, this is not a re-make of Dr. King's famous speech. This was a dream I had many years ago in my youth. In the following passage of time, I've had that same dream (or a close variation) over and over again. I'm always sitting at a huge wooden table in what appears to be a very stately meeting room or perhaps a library hall. Everything is wooden, dimly lit, dark and massive. In front of me on the table is a beautifully ornate mahogany jigsaw puzzle. This is strange for me, because I hate all types of board games, especially those that require thinking. Like the old saying, "Sometimes I sit and think, but most times I just sit." Anyway, the game is always the same. I'm enjoying myself but occasionally one of the pieces will slide off the table and onto the floor. No problem, right? Wrong. The rug on the floor is some type of long silky shag the exact color of the puzzle pieces and I can't find a single one of them. They're gone and I can't get them back, no matter what I do. This is where I always wake up. Frustrated, upset, searching, and yeah, a little sad.

I can't begin to tell you how many hours I spent over the years trying to figure this out. It just made absolutely no sense. Then about two years ago, I woke up one morning and I understood it perfectly. No sudden revelation, no instant enlightenment--I think I just became old enough to understand what I was too young (or maybe too stupid) to comprehend before. It was right there in front of me all along. The puzzle was my life. The missing puzzle pieces were the people, experiences, places and points in time that were gone out of my life and weren't coming back. Simple. Kind of painful, but simple.

Just think about our Hubbertville puzzle for a few minutes. We've lost a lot of our pieces in the past few years. Puzzle pieces that were very different but all loved just the same. Long-time cherished friends (Jackie and Mary Ellen Turner), young friends who fell off the board way too soon (Jeremy Peoples), and friends who had no ties to the Hub, but adopted us and loved us like a native (George Wages). How do you replace pieces like this on your puzzle board? You don't. It simply can't be done. Yes, we can and will find and make new friends but they'll never replace the original missing pieces. But it's not a total lost cause. The Old Puzzlemaster has provided us a wonderful method of making those lost pieces live again. It's called a memory.

Memories are a wonderful thing. Without them we would probably all wind up crazy. I'm not talking about the one where Uncle Leander got a snoot-full and fell off the bleachers at the homecoming game back in '76. No, I'm talking about the ones that come to you at 3:30 in the morning when you can't sleep and everybody else in the house is snoozing. That's when the ghosts walk. My favorite author, Rick Bragg, says these memories are like little pieces of jagged glass left in your abdomen after a car wreck. After a few years, you adapt to them and rarely think about them. But every once in a while, you turn or move a particular way and it all comes flooding back. Those are the ones I'm talking about. They're the ones worth keeping with you. Make your missing pieces live again.

It's really important that you pass your memories on down the line, especially to your kids. I'm one of those people who believes that it's hard to know where you're going if you don't know where you've been. Tell them everything you remember. Tell it all. It's a part of who they are. Tell them about how great-great granddaddy Walter served 20 years in jail for stealing a horse. Tell them how all 3 of his sons were so mortified they became preachers. Tell them how the old homeplace burned to the ground but how Uncle Rafe and the boys and neighbors had it built back in a week. Tell them how their people struggled. Tell them how they survived and flourished. Tell them. Don't let your pieces be forgotten.

Sometimes missing pieces pop up in amazing ways. Some of my oldest memories surround my maternal grandmother Bishop. She was a wonderful woman on every level. I can remember her telling me about how her grandmother Aldridge would sit and cry for hours over a mysterious person named Richard. Apparently, Richard had marched off to the Civil War and was never heard from again. That's where I came in. When the genealogy craze first came onto the scene, I remembered the stories about "Richard" and dived in. Even after 115 years, it only took me a couple of months to unravel the mystery. I obtained a few forms and filled them out, then sent them off to the military records division of the national archives. Their reply left me absolutely stunned. Inside were copies of his enlistment papers, equipment receipts, regimental orders and an ominous copy of a document that contained the following: Richard Aldridge - age 17 - 43rd Alabama Volunteer Infantry - KIA in an engagement around Knoxville, Tennessee, Dec. 14, 1862. KIA means killed in action. Mystery solved. On one hand I was thrilled to find the missing pieces of such an old puzzle but I was more sad than anything else. I had found my great-great uncle and seemingly lost him all in the same day. And he was just a kid. His life was over before it ever really began. But at least he's back on the board.

I've got a theory about being dead. To me, you're not totally dead as long as at least one live person remembers that you once lived. That's how guys like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln live on in our consciousness many years after their passing. I believe the little guys, the common folks--they live on, too. Oh, before I forget, Happy 163rd birthday, Richard. Not bad for a 17 year old from rural Alabama. Rest easy, buddy. Somebody remembers. Somebody still cares.

The Old Gray Lion

ps - Move over, Oprah. Recommended reading: "All Over But the Shoutin'" by Rick Bragg. This is the only book I've ever read that will make you laugh, cry, and literally jump out of your seat and fist pump like the winning touchdown in the Iron Bowl. If you never read another book, read this one. As one Pulitzer Prize winning author's review stated, "this book does the impossible, it breathes." Read it. It may change your life.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The singing of crickets (& other ramblings)

This is a complete re-do. I had the 4th Hublog almost completed, on a totally different subject, when I realized what I was about to do. Like a lot of Americans, I almost let the anniversary of 9-11 slide right by, unremembered. How stupid. How self-absorbed. How sad. A chance click of my TV remote saved me.

The man talking was a reporter. He was among the first to begin to document the devastation at ground zero. He said the first thing that he noticed was this loud, incessant singing of what seemed to be thousands of crickets. In the middle of the Manhattan financial district. Finally, one of the rescue personnel told him what he was hearing. Every NYC firefighter and policeman carries a body locator. Apparently, movement keeps it from going off and after a set number of hours of no movement, the alarm goes off. What he was hearing was hundreds of death notices. Death notices for the people who went into those burning buildings to save others.

The lady being interviewed was crying quietly. She had been descending the stairs in the second tower, just moments after the first tower collapsed. On her way down, she said she met dozens of NYC firemen, policemen and port authority officers headed up. She said her original intent was to avoid eye contact with them, as the fact she was headed down to safety while they headed up made her uncomfortable. But like the person watching the proverbial trainwreck, she could not avoid locking gazes with everybody she passed. What she saw amazed her. The officers were grim-faced and concerned but moving rapidly up the stairs. She did not see a single face with fear written on it. Something else was showing itself in their eyes. Every single man and woman she looked at knew exactly where they were headed and exactly what it meant. Not one person slipped away, not one turned and ran. Who were these people who climbed so willingly to their own day of reckoning? Mad, mindless, indoctrinated robots? No. They were ordinary Americans put into extraordinary circumstances. People who had come to believe, to paraphrase General Douglas MacArthur, "the three greatest words in the English language are duty, honor, country."

A lot of people in this country think this is outdated, silly cornball--that patriotism is an idea whose time has passed. I'm not one of them. Boy, am I not one of them. This country, this nation needs to be loved, protected and preserved now more than at any time in our history. Oddly enough, I'm not really that worried about our many enemies. Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, fanatics with suitcase nukes--they don't scare me much. The thing I fear most The 'hate-America' crowd, the 'America-is-behind-everything-bad' clique, the Bill Mahers and the Michael Moores of the world; that's the folks I worry about. For every one house destroyed by fire or tornado, 10,000 decay from within. We have a lot of rot in our foundation.

I never cease to be amazed at the blind hatred aimed at America and her people. Ugly Americans. Arrogant America. Bully America. Kill everyone for a barrel of oil America. Well, you bums left out a few Americas. How about the fight the free world's battles for 200 years America? How about the feed the world America? Where's the saved the world from tyranny (repeatedly) America? How about the America funds and defends my country's very existence America? Where's the hundreds of thousands of young Americans died on my soil keeping me free America? Who do you think is walking freedom's perimeter? Here's a hint. It ain't the French. The Belgians are on vacation. All the Saudis are at a sand convention. Hey! It's us! Alone. A-M-E-R-I-C-A. Those ugly, arrogant, oil greedy bullies. Americans.

What do I expect from these people? Not much. A little respect would be nice. The benefit of the doubt once in a while would be appreciated. How about just the slightest hint of a little gratitude. Would that be too much to ask? Don't hold your breath.

Let's get one thing straight. These idiots don't owe me a thing--nothing. I never served in the U.S. Armed Forces. But there are Americans that they do owe. As long as a single member of our Greatest Generation is alive, kindly shut the hell up. The men and women who won World War II were heroes who fought and died in countries all over the world to save your sorry butts, and in return you spit on our flag and the people it represents. The Lord and Master of all things has a long, unbroken history of making both men and nations grateful for the gifts they have been given. If I were one of these ungrateful, memory-impaired nations, I'd be looking over my shoulder. Who knows? Maybe next time the crickets will be singing in the smoking ruins of your cities. Think about it.

The Old Gray Lion

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Heroes--real and imagined (& other ramblings)

Hero. Nice word. Somehow over the years, its meaning seems to have changed. According to today's media, 'most every professional athlete and actor (or actress) is some kind of hero. Spare me, please. Don't waste your admiration on people who have either never lived in the real world or once did, but now can't remember what it was like. Real heroes deal with real problems in the real world.

I've been really fortunate to be around some wonderful people I consider my heroes. I'm absolutely sure that each of the people I'm about to mention would laugh in your face if you called them a hero. That's how modest and unassuming they all are (or were). And it's one more reason why they made my list. You'll notice two things:
(1) They are all Hubbertville-ians. I guess this indicates I've led a sheltered life close to home. The older I get, the more I consider this to be an asset rather than a liability. There's no place like home, especially when home is the Hub.
(2) This list is all men. Please ladies, don't take offense. This was by design. There are plenty of female Hub heroes; so many in fact, that they will have their own separate tribute farther on down the line.

Let me tell you about my heroes:
  • Caldwell Hollingsworth. Mr. Hollingsworth WAS Hubbertville High School for decades. The term "great" is sadly overused these days, but I know of no other word that does him justice. He spent his entire life in dedicated service to the school, community and people of Hubbertville. This was a truly great man.

  • Thomas Dunavant. This man taught me a valuable lesson. You don't have to be a doctor, lawyer, diplomat, statesman or other so-called "high-profile" type to positively affect people's lives. Thomas was a custodian at a small country school but still managed to positively influence generations of young people. If you measured wealth in the currency of love and admiration of your fellow man, Thomas was one of the richest men I ever met.

  • Coach Hubbert Steven McCaleb. Coach McCaleb taught us (at least those of us smart enough to listen) that there is no slack in the truth and no "gray areas" when it comes to doing what's right. He is another member of that dedicated small group who spend their entire lives in service to the school, community and people of Hubbertville. In a world full of back-stabbing, mealy-mouthed weasels who say one thing to your face and something else to your back, Coach McCaleb is a welcome breath of fresh air. He will tell you exactly what he thinks. In fact, he may hunt you up and tell you. And that's a good thing. Thank you, Coach.

  • Coach Lamar Harris. Coach has been the face of Hubbertville Athletics for over 30 years. While other coaches use their success as a springboard to better paying jobs with less responsibility, Coach Harris has remained at the Hub. His athletes don't just learn about sports--they learn about hard work, personal responsibility, teamwork, loyalty, and mental and physical toughness. In just the last couple of weeks, I've received e-mails from former players talking about how much Coach Harris meant to them and how he helped them be successful in life. Coach is the most driven, well organized, best prepared man I've ever known. But the thing I admire most about him is his unwritten set of rules. We don't cheat. If we can't do it the right way we don't do it at all. We don't do shortcuts or easy fixes. Play hard but play clean. Be a loyal teammate. Make your school, your family and your friends proud. And last but not least, never quit. Life lessons for real lives.
Not all my heroes are "mature types" like myself. A couple of my heroes are young guys:
  • Jeremy Peoples. I'm not going to re-tell his story here; it's just too painful for us all. But he stepped up and did the right thing under what must have been unbelievably difficult circumstances. If anybody ever doubts what high school athletics can do for a kid, they need only to look at Jeremy. He went from an unsure, nervous kid to a smiling, confident young man in an amazingly short period of time. At the time of his death, he was quite possibly the most popular kid at Hub. Our world is a lesser place without him.

  • My friend Alex Chaffin. Has anybody ever loved all things Hubbertville more than Alex? I don't think so. I'm 100% sure nobody has ever wished they could play high school sports more than him. Alex is pretty much Mr. Hubbertville and believe me, he is a great ambassador. He has literally hundreds of friends and I'm proud to be one of them. While Alex has some challenges in his life, he also has some tremendous gifts. He is the absolute best judge of character I've ever seen. And he is never wrong. He can spot a jerk or a phony a mile away. And he has the kindest, gentlest, most loving heart you'll ever find. The world would be a much better place if we were all a little more like our friend Alex. Hero.

The Old Gray Lion

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The upcoming football season (& other ramblings)

It's baaaaaaack! Football season. We're fast approaching that special time of the year. Can you believe it's only about 6 weeks until we travel to Bear Creek for the jamboree? Please gear up to support the Lions with your attendance, your money and your continued hard work behind the scenes. All three are needed more now than I can ever remember.

We have a problem with our football program that many schools are having. Numbers. We've had really good teams with only one or two subs we could put on the field without sending somebody up into the stands to ask their parents if this month's life insurance premium had been paid. That's not the way things are supposed to be. Yes, we are a small 1A school, but every year there are kids wandering our halls who should be starting on our varsity football team. And it seems to be getting worse.

I've had a few people tell me it's not that big a deal. It's just football, right? Wrong. It's much more serious than that. Let's suppose that someday the deadbeats gain control and we don't have enough people to field a team. Have a look at what that means to people other than football players:
  • goodbye band, band booster club and band director. The band would be all dressed up with no place to go.
  • bye-bye majorettes.
  • adios flag girls.
  • how many cheerleaders do we have now? 20 or 25 counting the JV girls? Well, you can cut that down by about two-thirds. No need for them.
  • see ya, homecoming festivities. We've all seen "homecoming" at "basketball only" schools and it's pretty pale compared with ours, huh?
  • farewell Hub Boosters Club. Take away the 75% of the members you would lose if we dropped football, and there's no way it could survive.
And believe me, this is just a partial list of the things we would lose. After a couple of years the entire school would probably fold. When people start attending sporting events at other schools, it's just a matter of time until their loyalty, money and kids will follow.

Over the years I've talked to many, many guys who have either quit football or refused to come out for the team. Excuses? I've heard them all. Everything from "the dog ate my doctor's physical exam form" to the stone killer who went home, locked the doors, pulled the blinds and refused to answer his phone or his door. Probably the most common thing I've heard is the old reliable "I'm just not having any fun." Fun? Go join the circus, play Bozo at kiddie birthday parties, get a job at Chuck E. Cheese! Talk about missing the point! Guess what? They're right! There are things about playing high school football that are definitely not fun. Practicing in full pads up on Rocky Top in the 110 degree heat index in August, with us screaming at you and the gnats and mosquitos flipping a coin to see who gets to chew on whatever the fire ants left of you, is probably not one of life's most pleasurable experiences. It's hard to do. But the fact that it's so hard is what makes it so special. If it was easy, everybody would do it. And please, don't let them tell you it's not fun. I wouldn't take $10,000 right now for the experience of beating Ragland up there in the '99 playoffs. Ragland had scored in the 60's the week before and the Birmingham News said they were going to kill us. Apparently Cajun, John Arch, Bowles and Nick didn't subscribe to the Birmingham News. We hit them upside the head with a bag of hammers for four quarters and stopped them on 4th down inside our own 10 yard line with 12 seconds left. If that wasn't fun, there ain't a cow in Texas.

You play football for what it says about you as a person, both to yourself and those around you. It says you're a man, or on your way to becoming one. It says you can hack it--the contact, the hours of practice, the heat, the bugs, the bumps and bruises, and all the negative crap you hear from the deadbeat crowd. It says you have grit, guts, determination and the heart of a lion. That's why you play.

What can we (family, friends, alumni) do to help? Lots of things. First and foremost, encourage our guys to play. Tell them how much our school and football program mean to you. Secondly, make it easier for them to play. Help out with rides, chores, anything to help out. Thirdly, show up for them. Games, practice, booster club, whatever. It's easy to tell your kids "I love you, I care about you, I'm interested in what you do." It's tougher to drag your tired butt out of the recliner after a hard day at work to take them to practice. Talk is cheap. Last but not least, expect them to play. Many kids underachieve simply because nobody expects anything out of them.

Not everybody is cut out to play football and I hope all reasonable people can appreciate that fact. That being said, we have a lot of guys at our school who are cut out for it and just simply don't have the stones to put forth the effort. The big thing is to be involved in something. Don't be one of those people who major in doing nothing. And to you parents, just so you know...the more deeply involved your kids are in sports and school activities, the less likely they are to be out in the woods around a bonfire with some guys with homemade tattoos and self-inflicted body piercings, drinking beer and smoking ganja. Think about it.

The decision whether or not to play football is a private one. Nobody can make it for you. But know this: the results of your decision are going to be very, very public. And believe me, everybody is watching.

The Old Gray Lion

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A look back on a great 2008 softball season (& other ramblings)

I realize you're all kind of sad. Me, too. It's easy to be down when you realize it's over for another year. However, I think maybe we should be grateful instead. Grateful for the privilege of being around such a great bunch of kids. We didn't win the big blue trophy, but we won something much more valuable and lasting: the battle to produce good, decent, caring young women who will improve this world of ours, rather than infect it with more self-absorbed greed and dishonesty.

It's going to be particularly hard to say goodbye to this year's seniors. Jesi, Chasidy and Nicole are going to be hard to replace, both as players and as human beings. Have we ever had 3 better senior players? I don't know. But I'll tell you what I do know. We've never graduated 3 better kids. These 3 were always ready for anything. We could always depend on them no matter what the situation. No attitude, no disrespect, no loafing--just 100% total effort. That's a hard combination to beat. And trust me, nobody beat them very often. Good luck ladies, and Godspeed as you ride off to new adventures.

And now for the thanks. First, thank you to the 2008 Hub softball team. You gave us a great season. You won 30 games, finished ranked in the Top 10, swept the Area Regular Season (6-0), the Area Tournament (3-0) and both sub-state rounds (4-0), qualified for your second consecutive State Tournament, and won our first state tournament game since we moved to fast-pitch. Great job ladies. And please be advised: we expect no less next season. Thanks.

Secondly, thanks to the Hubbertville Maroon Nation. We have the best fans in the world. And I do mean world. Check out the origin of the hits on our athletic web site. Usually we have people from 10 or 12 states and several foreign countries checking on our teams. Talk about devoted fans! Did anybody notice we had more fans at the sub-state finals than the home team, even though we were 125 miles from home at 1 p.m. on a weekday? Wow! You're the best and I know you'll keep it up--it's the Hub way.

Thirdly, a belated thanks to a special group of young ladies that we all seem to have forgotten...a big thank you to the 2002 Lady Lions softball team. You were the first team to play fast-pitch and you did it with grace and determination. Lesser individuals would have pouted and whined but you all accepted the challenge. You not only had a winning season, but you barely missed the state tournament, losing two 1-run games in the sub-state finals. I have to admit that I didn't realize what an accomplishment this was at the time. But over the years I've gradually learned to appreciate what a spectacular season it really was. You laid a great foundation for every young lady who pulls on that maroon jersey from now on. I would name you all individually but I'd be afraid I'd leave somebody out. Next time you see one of these girls, give them a hug or a pat on the back and say thanks. They were and still are a big part of our success and legend. Thanks ladies. Better late than never, I guess.

Meagan McCollum, Jennifer Oden. Two ordinary names, two extraordinary people. And please, let's not forget the contribution of Nicki Hancock, one of the best leaders we've had in any sport. Thanks, Nicki. It would be hard to overstate the importance of what these ladies meant to our program. They were a large piece of the bridge from the old to the new era. They were the "old guys" on what we called the "kiddie korps." It's a big responsibility to be the oldest players on the team when you're just sophomores. These young ladies handled the load flawlessly. They were exactly what the younger kids needed: tough, determined leaders who never quit. And the great part was they led by example rather than words. That's leadership you can respect and learn from. Thanks, ladies.

My next to last thank you is kind of tricky. It may very well get me whooped. This guy avoids the limelight, or any kind of praise or acknowledgment, like the plague. But some things need to be said. Here goes...THANKS, COACH. You're the best. Period. End of story. Our success begins and ends with you. There aren't enough words in the English language to begin to thank you for all the things you've done for our school and our kids. Thank you.

The final thanks is the most important of all. A grateful thank you to the Big Man in the upstairs office who rides herd on this big old crazy world we live in. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of the Hub Maroon Nation. Hubbertville is not a perfect place. We have our faults and problems, but for the most part we work on them together as a family. There aren't many places like ours left. We're still more Mayberry than Orange County and that's a good thing. When you say your prayers tonight, please say one that we never change. We don't need to be more modern, more hip or whatever they're calling turning your back on what's good and decent these days. God help us stay the Hub. Can I get an AMEN?

The Old Gray Lion