OPINION COLUMNS

Ice stories and milk processing

By Gerre Joiner | Published Saturday, December 14, 2013

Well, the coffee shop talk has been interesting lately.

We talked recently about tornados. Everybody has/had a story. I think I topped the bunch. I was the only person who had actually lost a house (and everything in it) because of a tornado. Discussions about the 1979 storm in Wichita Falls were vivid. Mine was the most vivid, I think.

Gerre Joiner

Gerre Joiner

We discussed snow and sleet. Many stories began with one person saying to the group, “Do you guys remember when…” Lots of guys had stories of high water, much snow, being iced-in, and recalling the pioneer spirit that prevailed during the hard times.

One of our guys (who shall remain anonymous) said, while reporting of the recent “iced-in” days, “I fell three times.” We talked long enough for us to discover that he had fallen three times in three days.

I said, “I don’t think I would have told that.”

He asked, “What do you mean?”

I said, “Most people would have stayed in the house after that first fall.”

We laughed. Then I asked, “Does your daughter know you fell three times in three days?”

He didn’t answer, but the look on his face said, “No, she doesn’t, and I’d appreciate it if you didn’t tell her.”

What he did say was, “I’ll tell her after I get to feeling better.”

One of our guys said he had caught up on his “mechanicking” during the days of being iced-in. The reader might not be aware of the phenomenon when one is iced-in and one places a rear end in a recliner.

We had a distinguished visitor recently. Bob Buckel, editorial director of our Wise County Messenger, came in for a spell. He didn’t have time to sit down but did have time to listen a while and tell a West Texas (Lamesa) weather story or two.

We discussed children (how to raise them and how to punish them when they were acting up). The overwhelming sentiment is that our guys are FOR both (raising children … not just letting them come up volunteer and punishing them … when they were acting up.)

Someone asked, “Can you get in trouble for punishing your child in a store?” We called around to people who know (Sheriff David Walker and Justice of the Peace Terri Johnson) and found out what we wanted to know. Common sense should prevail in the store.

Today, we really went to seed while talking about the difference in the processes of “homogenization” and “pasteurization.” Two questions for the reader:

  • Which of the two uses heat in the process?
  • Which of the two uses pressure in the process?

One of our local policemen, Michael Range, sent me a picture of the bear about which I wrote several weeks ago. Told me more info on the whole deal. He was told that the bear had escaped during a circus train wreck.

I’ll send you the pictures if you request them by emailing me at gerjoiner@gmail.com.

Gerre Joiner is a semi-retired church musician and has lived in Decatur since 1999.

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