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Hot Toddy

      I’ve been fighting the achy flu for a week now.  No gut problems.  Just hurt like hell.  My lovely bride, the Dragon Lady, was looking for remedies online.  She asked me tonight, have you ever had a “hot toddy”.  I laughed and asked if it involved whiskey, honey, cinnamon and lemon juice?  She cocked her head at me and said, “Yes.”  I answered, “I was just thinking about mixing one.”  

      She then said, “I guess this was a Sam Barton kind of deal?”  Honey, you are correct.

Sam Barton was my step-grandpa, but he might as well have been a grandpa.  I was the oldest grandkid on that side of the family.  Sam went by the name of “Pa” to all the grandkids.  He was a lawyer in Ellis County.  He also had several brothers that were lawyers.  His shingle & business cards had the slogan: “Defend the innocent, Prosecute the guilty and Protect the Widows and Orphans.”  

       Sometime, when I was about Duke’s age, I had a cough-due-to-cold.  I just happened to be at Granny and Pa’s house.  Pa asked if I needed a Hot Toddy.  I wasn’t sure, but he told me that it would get rid of that cough and sore throat.  “I’ll mix you one”, he said.  Well, he mixed two.  I asked him if I needed both.  He said, “No.  One is for me.”  I said, “Pa, you sick also?”  He replied, “No and I don’t want to get sick, so I better have a hot toddy.”

    It’s hard to argue with a Hot Toddy.  Cinnamon, honey and lemon juice mixed with a stiff whiskey.  There is a lot of science that backs a mixture like this.  Honey makes EVERYTHING better.  Lemon juice adds vitamin C and cinnamon has a lot of medicinal properties.  And whiskey, well, it just makes a really good carrying agent that opens the sinuses, ups the heart rate and warms the soul.  A hot toddy also works extremely well for a drench to jumpstart a goat kid if it is a little chilled or is having a sluggish start.  But, you better mix two.  One for the goat and one for the goat producer.  And you can’t go too heavy on the honey.  

      Another Sam Barton story.  About 1984, at Christmas time, somebody got Pa a glazed piece of cow shit that had been made into a pen holder.  There was a card on the “pen holder”.  He laughed when he read the card.  But then, he wouldn’t let any of the grandkids read it.  As the evening progessed, and after all of the other kids had scattered with their new presents, I asked him if I could see the card on the cow turd.  He let me read it.  It said, “If you can’t dazzle them with diamonds, baffle them with bullshit.”  

        Years later, this became my teaching mantra and I still kind of use this in my daily life.  For some reason, I always tend to be short on diamonds.