Friday, July 7, 2023

Fly The Flag


On Fourth of July, I put out my flag as I do on most holidays and holiday weekends. I noticed about 6 out of 10 houses on our street were flying the U.S. Flag. It was a nice sight to see all the flags fluttering in the breeze. We live in a great country despite it's many flaws and issues. I would think that flying our great flag would be one of those things that not too many people would disagree with. It is something that all Americans can be proud of and display it with no fights over politics, religion or the latest social media posts. 

I recently read a book about Daniel Boone and early American history. I was astounded at the violence that was present in that day. You had to constantly be on alert of being attacked by the local tribes on whose land you were treading on. The early settlers were as brutal as their enemies and I was amazed to read some of the brutal fighting and tactics used by all of those involved. We now live in a much more civilized and safe country. This country has suffered through many major issues and wars over the years to be were it is today. I am optimistic that this country will continue to be a great place to live for the remainder of my years and for future generations. 

Fly the flag with pride!

Sunday, July 2, 2023


I have always been one of those people who have a horrible time remembering names of people I meet. I really have to concentrate on retaining a name to make it stick. Often, as soon as a new person shakes my hand and tells me their name, it goes right in my brain and right out. Unless I focus on remembering the name, it takes me several times of hearing the name to remember it correctly.

Shortly after retirement we moved to a new location about 30 minutes away to be closer to our grown kids and closer to the things we enjoyed doing on a daily basis. With this move came the opportunity to meet new neighbors. Knowing that my name recollection was not very good, I employed a strategy that I had read about one time. The strategy is to concentrate on the name the person gives and associate it somehow with that person. I began to use nicknames that would help me remember. Now, unlike nicknames you give to close friends or family, I don't call these people by their nicknames that I have assigned them in my head. I just use that nickname to remember their name. I have found that this trick is extremely useful and try to use it when I meet a new person.

In sticking with this strategy, this is how it went with a few of my new neighbors. When I met the neighbor across the street and he introduced himself as Steve, I noticed he had an Oklahoma State University ballcap on. OSU is in Stillwater, OK. So Steve became Stillwater Steve. I have never forgotten his name. I met the neighbor behind me. His name is Doyle. The day I met him, his tiny little dog was at the fence barking. I nicknamed Doyle as Big Dog Doyle. I have never forgotten his name. Recently, I met the neighbor on the other end of the block, Gus. The day I met Gus he had on a big white bucket hat. You know, like the one Gilligan wore in Gilligan's Island. Care to guess what his nickname is?.........Gilligan Gus! I have never forgotten his name. A neighbor one street over became Larry Law because Larry had told me he was a retired Deputy. I have never forgotten his name.

As I get older, I think this strategy will serve me well as my name recollection probably will get worse. We are visiting new churches in our area and I will need to employ this strategy every time my wife and I meet someone new. When using this strategy, just make sure you don't blurt out any unflattering nickname to your new friends. The nicknames above wouldn't be offensive to anyone but you may have a nickname in your head that may not be that nice to say out loud. You wouldn't want to voice a name like Dirty Doug to a new friend because he was dirty from working in the yard when you first met him. It might help you remember his name but he probably wouldn't like it if you called him Dirty Doug the next time you saw him at the grocery store. 

There are nicknames we give our spouses, family and friends. These are usually terms of endearment and are meant to be used all the time. My grand daughters have several to include Pumpkin, Cutie Pututie and Princess. I've been called a few names in the past such as StudMuffin, Champ, Mr. Universe, etc. I'll be honest and tell you those nicknames were ones I gave myself. I probably don't want to know what nicknames others have for me in their heads!

Have you employed the above strategy when meeting new people? Do you have trouble remembering names like I do, or do you lock down the new names with no problems? Do you have any interesting nicknames for your neighbors or people you see out and about? Do you have any other strategies for remembering names of people you meet?

Mighty Mitch signing out.