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Net Talk • From one young Taurus to others-The Secret For Eternal Youth
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From one young Taurus to others-The Secret For Eternal Youth

Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:44 pm
by gbarn
You could get just about anything you wanted at The Busy Bee Cafe in Sylacauga, Alabama. People would stop by to enjoy ham and eggs with grits (not optional), get a haircut, or have a tooth pulled. The home cooking was prepared and served up by my Great Grandma and the special non-food services were expertly performed by my Great Granddaddy.

Some would spend their mornings and afternoons round the checkerboard-cloth tables seeking advice about business and personal issues from Granddaddy, or just to catch a little of his homespun philosophy about life. A Bible was always within reach if needed to validate this great man's teachings. No question about the source of his goodness and inspiration.

It was not unusual for my grandmother to sit at the piano in the corner of The Busy Bee and pound out gospel tunes while patrons would sing along to songs like Precious Memories, Peace In The Valley, or clap and stomp their feet to the rhythm of I'll Fly Away, I Saw The Light, and Turn Your Radio On. The Busy Bee was rockin!

Granddaddy was a very large man with an inflated inner tube like girth similar to Winston Churchill or University of Kansas football coach Charlie Weiss. I remember asking my mother if Granddaddy had a baby inside his belly; some even felt this was where he stored his money since everyone knew he didn't trust the banks.

We made regular trips from our home in a little Georgia town to Sylacauga to visit with Granddaddy. Seems that we always made a special trip there just after school finished for the year for me to get my summer haircut. Granddaddy's haircuts for young boys were meant to last until school started back in the fall. I laid low for a few weeks after the annual haircut, which looked like a bowl had been placed over my head to guide his snipers to make the perfect cut. It looked like this because this was precisely how he cut hair. I had the look of a Beatle a decade before the Beatles.

Granddaddy, I came to understand in later life, was a cross between Samuel Clements and Andy Griffith: simple, direct, funny, and his musings as deep and beautiful as Tallulah Gorge that spans the border of Habersham and Rabun counties in North Georgia. Granddaddy took me there once; he loved to be with his Grandchillin.

Granddaddy left the '3 R's' to the teachers. He assumed that we'd be well schooled in the basic '2+2's', things we'd need to run a store, negotiate the price of a good plow mule, and so on. His teachings were things we didn't hear in school, mystical almost, he would become quiet as though entering a meditative trance then convey messages as a medium does when passed from the spiritual abyss. Sometimes things he said would scare me because I didn't understand what they meant. Fortunately, I listened carefully and stored them away, finally processing them as life's experiences allowed me new insight to understand them.

He chose a time that he felt was right to share with me something he knew would stay with me throughout life. I was about seven years old and his lesson that morning was about 'the secret of eternal youth'. I remember asking Granddaddy what eternal youth was. He said that eternal meant forever and he wanted to teach me his personal secret to remaining forever young. I said, "Granddaddy, I don't want to be young forever, I want to grow up and be a baseball player."
What Granddaddy shared with me that morning has helped to keep this 'maturing' man young. He came to embody every mentor I sought throughout life, and in fact, this is the archetype I still gravitate to even to this day.

He said, "Son, people around here think I'm a fortune teller, you know I see things from the future. For you, young man, as certain as Lou Gehrig is the best ball player ever, I see you going through many important changes in your life." I never asked what a fortune teller was, or anything about changes or anything else. He'd worked me into an entranced and scared state by now and he continued loading data bits and bytes into my young brain knowing one day I'd reach back and pull them to the surface and unravel and learn his lesson at critical times just as he intended I would do. His crystal thoughts served me throughout my life navigating turbulent waters and throughout my radio career as well.

He said, "The next phase you'll go through will happen in about 7 years. You plumb won't be able to sit still. You'll get to being all fidgety. Later, son, and as much as I know you love your mother and father you'll drift away from them for awhile. When you're about twenty-one you'll hit another phase and another about every seven years for the rest of your life. Do you see how it works son? These changes are natural and they shouldn't scare you. You must accept them, don't resist them, embrace them and learn to take advantage of change because it's a magic key which will open doors, behind which you'll find treasures that will keep you forever young."

"Shoot Granddaddy - tell me more" I offered excitedly. "Where will I find these magic keys and where are these doors, and what treasures will I find behind my doors."

Bingo! He knew he had me where he wanted me. I was engaged, excited, asking questions, demanding answers. In short, he knew these talks would be forever cemented in my mind. He carefully placed only positive honest pure thoughts in my brain. Nothing more than every other doting granddad does to their own adored grandchild.

"Young man," he said leaning back in his chair as if intending that I monopolize his entire visual field, "I want you to promise me you'll be on the lookout for these changes we've talked about, the changes that are certain to occur in your life." He continued, "and son every time you spot a change, I want you to reset your age back to 1 year-old because as an old phase ends a new and important phase is about to begin. You must look at it this way." "Son", he was finishing softly, "and if these changes come about every 7 years as I predict, you'll never be any older than that, see? You will forever be young! You will remain forever young in life, in love, and in business" "Happy Birthday, lad, today starts a new phase and you are now 1-year old, let's get your Grandma to bring us some cake and ice cream to celebrate!"

Granddaddy, you're silly, I thought. I'm not a baby, I'm 7 years old. But as time rolls on and the years begin to sit weary upon my shoulders I again embraced his philosophy of eternal youth with its magical doors behind which my next adventure lay.

I've never worried about a job, I seemed to always have a sixth sense about what was coming and what was possible for me, a little like seeing around corners I guess. I felt it afforded me the opportunity to grab change by the horns and tame it while many of my peers resisted change or sat stunned, confused when it arrived, akin to a deer in the headlights. Using my Granddaddy's calculations, I'm currently about 5-years old and immersed in my new business phase! I left Wall Street radio 5 years ago.

Every year about this time as early "real" birthday wishes come in from Facebook friends and others, I'm reminded of my chronological age and then become retrospective about all my life's experiences, family, friends, my wonderful time in radio, and the sentimental side of me races to the surface. I renew thanks to my God for every opportunity I've been given.

I'm thankful for guidance I've received from a young age which set in motion standards of practice I've never waived from. I'm thankful to live in America where I enjoy my many precious freedoms like choosing my leaders, mentors. I'm thankful to have served my country, to have served in the broadcasting industry which offered me endless improbable opportunities. I'm thankful for my daughter, my wife, my brother, aunts, uncles, and friends. I'm thankful to be surrounded by wise people who put aside their precious time to share their wisdom and curiosities with this 5 year old.

I sit on the balcony with my friend, a retired Professor of Architecture. His home contains about as many books as a well stocked library. I know he's read them all, many printed in Swedish, his mother tongue. Not long ago, while enjoying our wine on his balcony, an incredulousness overcame him, he then gave voice to this baffling, gathering thought. "My friend, I look down on the streets below, they're empty, barren when I turn from it in some distraction or other and when I redirect my thoughts to the passing parade downstairs the streets are now overrun with teeming youths. You know they all have wires in their ears, like earplugs, what do you make of that? This swarm vanishes as quickly as it gathers. By the time I've thought about it they've disappeared right before my eyes! How do they all show up and leave at the same time? What is this phenomenon?"

'Professor," I say, "it must be the youth pheromones which are messaging in a sense that is more easily channeled by young chillin....while they're chillin!"

My Taurus friends in the 1-7 year old demo get this. Happy Birthday chillins!