Uppers and Downers

I could provide a long list of downers.  These damn animals called goats continue to provide a litany of downers.  But, I don’t want to be in that bad of mood and talk about these beasts.  So, the downer that I will discuss is a real deal.

I got inside after dark and turned on the tube.  WHAT?!   The Empire Strikes Back is on.  I mean, I’ve only seen it a couple hundred times.  But it is still awesome!  The downer…..happened when I went to get my real-life light saber (no, it doesn’t actually cut—Oh, how I wish—but it makes all the sounds when brandished like Vader uses his.  Yes, it is kind of bad ass.)  But, the batteries were dead and need recharged.  RUSM?!  The ending of the movie was just as I remembered it, but it would have been better with a fully operational light saber.  Some of us have real problems!

Now to the uppers!   I had to go pig shopping this weekend.  This should be a downer but I got to spend the day with a couple of friends driving to and from these sales.  The Greers and I made it to 2 pig sales and then picked up a couple of bucks near I35 and then took delivery of a pigger or two.  Big fun.  Then on Sunday, several crews were here to swap bucks.  Then I headed to another pig sale and then to practice with a group of FFA kids.  All uppers!

As I sat here depressed about my dead light saber, I checked the socially transmitted disease known as Facebook.  Sure enough, there was a nice smart ass student post about National FFA Convention and her award.  She had received the American FFA Degree.  Big upper!

Too often in my travels and discussions with people from across the country, I hear comments about I didn’t do such and such because my ag teacher or because my coach or because…whatever.  Homey don’t play that!  It is up to you.

I look back on my FFA career.  It was really good and I learned a lot.  I learned a lot from my Dad who was not an ag teacher.  But, I learned from others as well.  My main mentor was a retired ag teacher,  Mr. W. E. Bradley.  Then Mr. Hughes had a positive influence on me.  My senior year, I had a rookie ag teacher, Maxie Myers.  He tried to do right.  He became a successful teacher and then moved on to being a lawyer.  Makes sense.  All three of these guys still influence me even though I only see one of them on occasion.

As I look back, there were numerous state proficiency awards that I could have been successful in.  But, I didn’t know about them.  Was that the teachers fault?  No.  Myself nor my parents pushed or looked for any opportunities like that.  I didn’t get the American FFA Degree.  I knew about it but had my mind on other things.  We named that one Kela.  I had a herd of cows, several sows and numerous jobs.  It shouldn’t have been a problem to earn.  But, I didn’t know enough nor really care about it.  My fault…not the teachers.

My point, kids and parents should talk to their teachers and coaches and inquire about the possibilities that are out there.  Almost all teachers will help you but it really helps a teacher to know what it is that you want to do.

I have watched a crew of Georgia FFA members via Facebook.  I know the ag teacher, have met the parents and the kids.  I have witnessed this crew in action as they traveled to livestock judging camps,  hunted show animals and I have had the honor to bow my head in prayer with these kids, their families and ag teacher as these kids led the blessing before supper in an IHOP.  No, they did not end up as national champs, but this crew was in the hunt in the creed speaking contest, agriscience and livestock judging.  Dude, it was an upper watching and hoping for them.  I am proud just to know them.  And it is an upper knowing that their crew, and hundreds just like them are out there across this great land.

Let the media focus on them and their kind instead of the crap that our politics and professional athletes give us.  Now that would truly be an upper.

And at any time that you want to be a downer, call me and I will gladly give you a bunch of reasons that you can take to the bank that there is a lot of good around us.  And it is up to each and every one of us to find the good.  And if you don’t like that, I can tell which direction to shove it ……and that would be UP!

Stupid question time.   Which way is a duck?  Nope.  Ducks fly up.  I know.  Stupid.


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