That’s More Plastic Junk

by Evan Stair

This is not a story about toys, but it starts out that way. It was some twenty-five to thirty years ago and my brothers and I were very excited when the Sears, Wards, and JC Penny Christmas catalogs had arrived. We passed right by the curtains/ bras/ coats/ and hardware sections to reach our favorite part of the catalog: The toys!

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In Celebration of Amtrak

by Evan Stair

Amtrak is at a critical point in its history. Never before have the threats been so real to the sheer existence of this passenger carrier. Within the next four years Amtrak will be required to live up to the provision of its original charter. It will be required as any business to become self- sufficient or throw in the towel. Many believe that this true privatization will be a welcome relief to United States taxpayers. There is little doubt that Amtrak will change and more than likely shrink or completely pass the way of the steam engine outside of the Eastern seaboard commuter corridor. Many will lament the end of a colorful alternative to the highway or the air.

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An Ode to Mayberry

by Evan Stair

I recently spent a few intense days training in Raleigh, North Carolina. During one of the classes a fellow student was joking about a town in North Carolina that was the home of the real Mayberry where Andy Griffith was raised. There apparently was a real Aunt Bee living in this community and a Floyd’s barber shop. I wondered if there was a nice little courthouse with a sheriff who did not believe in carrying firearms, and a bumbling deputy with one bullet in his shirt pocket.

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Corporate Soup Bowl

by Evan Stair

We have almost come to the end of another college football season. It is time for the second season; the bowl season. In the early 1980’s college football highlighted about a third of its teams in classics such as the Rose Bowl, the Orange Bowl, the Cotton Bowl and the Sugar Bowl.

Other secondary bowls included the Blue-Bonnet bowl in Houston, the Tangerine Bowl in Florida, the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, the Hall of Fame bowl in Birmingham, the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, the Holiday Bowl in San Diego, the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, the Sun Bowl in El Paso, and the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe. These bowls held their own for years. Other bowls came and went. The Cherry Bowl is an example of a bowl with great promise that never became a classic.

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Christmas in a Cup of Swiss Miss

by Evan Stair

Welcome to a sleepy late evening while the chill in the darkness outside whips up a mood for pure relaxation in the confines of a house which is asleep. With the lights bright, gently pull out a sauce pan and fill it with a couple of cups of water. Light the fire and kick back for a few minutes at the kitchen table. There is no need to watch. It will get there eventually.

Seasons Past and Present
There are hours upon hours in the Christmas vacation of a college student. There is no need for companionship. There is good company in the memory of seasons past. The relations have not arrived. The silence of the present is a welcome preparation for the noise to come and the noise that has past.

Now, pull out that weathered cup. Pour in the powder followed by the steaming hot liquid. Put on some light Jazz or listen to the wind gently blow the limbs of leafless trees. Slowly stir the heat out of the cup while whipping up a stormy foam. Carefully sip the rich foam making sure the temperature is right. Ignore your mothers urgings and rest a couple of elbows on the table. The year is ending; just let it go.

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A Change in Fashion

by Evan Stair

First let me say that I am not a fashion expert. As I close in on middle age I notice it less and less. You have to remember that I have seen the “long hair, lamb chop, hip-hugger-bell bottom” era to the current “anything weird goes” phase. I know that what annoys me today will be accepted in my eyes eventually. However quickly after I accept this current fashion trend, the youth of our nation get it into their heads that it is time to shock us once again.

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The Fightin' Texas Aggie Band

by Evan Stair

In more ways than one it was homecoming in Stillwater. Last weekend my wife and I were visited by some cousins from Texas. My cousin’s husband attended Texas A & M. My wife’s cousin, who attends Texas A & M, and Uncle drove up from Texas. I was born in Bryan. My sister-in-law, my wife, my wife’s uncle and I attended Oklahoma State University. Not to mention that last Saturday was homecoming at Oklahoma State. However this is not the real point of the story.

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