• Davis Young

Turkey over pork chops. Every day.


So, what am I thankful for this Thanksgiving?


I am thankful that I am not a turkey, but I am grateful that a turkey put its wing up, volunteering to grace my daughter’s family table in Michigan.


I am thankful we have been invited to share that table with this turkey.


I am thankful we can also be there Friday to eat turkey leftovers - which are always just as good as the original version and sometimes even better.


I am thankful that starting Saturday I can turn my full attention to my Christmas list. I hope you will soon be turning your full attention to my Christmas list.


I am thankful I was able to play about a dozen different golf courses this year, albeit without distinction - but also without injury.


I am thankful for 60 years of wedded bliss to Karen Young, who is not serving Thanksgiving dinner, which we all know would be pork chops.


I am thankful we are triple-vaxxxxxed, although we may be getting weekly or even daily boosters in the uncertain future.


I am thankful to the pandemic for quieting down long enough for Denny to produce two very successful music festivals last summer.


I am thankful for lots of great Cleveland Indians memories, all of which I will always guard with zeal, including the name Indians.


I am thankful for great neighbors on either side of our house who would be the first to lend a hand (but probably not money) if we needed it.


I am thankful for this, my 58th blog, and all the good folks who live for Tuesday and tell me to keep on keepin’ on.


I am thankful for having grown up in Princeton, New Jersey, perhaps the single most interesting town in America.


Did I mention I’m thankful I’m not a turkey? I’m also glad I’m not a pork chop bringing unhappiness to good people like me.


Thanks everyone. Happy Thanksgiving.

DY: In Just a Few Words is a blog that comes out when something needs to be said or every Tuesday - whichever comes first. Davis Young is a communications professional who adds 50+ years of experience and perspective to issues of the day. His emphasis in DY: In Just a Few Words will be humor (a touch of sarcasm here, a pinch of facetiousness there...). Once in a while, he will touch on something a bit more serious - but hopefully not too deep or depressing.


This blog is a product of DY Author & Speaker LLC. Feel free to quote content with attribution. Respond. Agree. Disagree. Share the content with your friends. Heck - even invite him as a speaker for your group! Enjoy!

It only takes one bullet.


My father was discharged from the Army at a military base in Santa Ana, California, in 1946 at the conclusion of World War II. My mother, my brother and I had remained in our native New Jersey while he concluded his service. I was six years old at the time.


Post-war California was where it was going to happen. Lots of jobs. An historic housing boom. People from everywhere rushing to the Golden State to stake their claim to a future bursting with opportunity. My father sent for us - and that is how we spent the next five years living in the burgeoning community of Altadena, California.


I enrolled at the fast-growing Daniel Webster Elementary School, where I rather quickly expanded my vocabulary in the Daniel Webster tradition and also learned lots of other useful facts and figures. I became addicted to baseball. My friends and I went from schoolyard to schoolyard, vacant lot to vacant lot honing our baseball skills. At night, we would listen to radio broadcasts of Pacific Coast League games out of earshot of parents who thought we were sleeping.


I learned a lot about baseball in those days. And, one day, I also learned about something else. I got a lesson in something a bit less fun. It goes under the name of gun safety. As I read and see daily media accounts of the recent movie set gun tragedy involving Alec Baldwin, it reminds me that I should share my story.


We lived on Oakwood Avenue in Altadena, and a kid named Larry lived up the street. One day I was up at Larry’s house, hanging out like a normal 10-year-old kid, when he came back into the room carrying a rifle. I was standing directly across the room from him. Larry explained the gun belonged to his older brother. He wanted to show me how it worked. An important part of that was to show me how a gun fired.


He knew the gun wasn’t loaded so he pulled the trigger. A rather loud noise ensued as a bullet whizzed past within a couple of inches of my neck, embedding itself in the wall behind me. Lucky me. Larry - with no intent to do so - could have killed me or put me in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. I’m not quite sure how he ever explained that hole in the wall to his parents, but I can assure you that from that moment on, we both had a healthy respect for guns and the damage they can cause when they get into the wrong hands.


That day could very well have been the end of me and scarred my friend, Larry, for life - just as Alec Baldwin will now wake up every morning with thoughts of a mishandled gun etched in his memory. What a shame.


Guns are dangerous. If you have one, keep it under lock and key. 2021 marks 72 years since I learned this valuable lesson. What a shame it would have been to have missed seven decades of holidays, birthdays, Karen, kids, grandkids - and baseball. That’s a sobering thought.


When the 2016 Republican National Convention came to Cleveland, Karen and I went downtown to join in the excitement. There at the center of our city were thousands of people wandering around, including a young man with an assault rifle carried over his shoulder and a pistol strapped to his side. Do you know why he did that? Because he could.


If you have a gun, so be it. Just be sure it’s out of reach of 10-year-olds or anybody else.

DY: In Just a Few Words is a blog that comes out when something needs to be said or every Tuesday - whichever comes first. Davis Young is a communications professional who adds 50+ years of experience and perspective to issues of the day. His emphasis in DY: In Just a Few Words will be humor (a touch of sarcasm here, a pinch of facetiousness there...). Once in a while, he will touch on something a bit more serious - but hopefully not too deep or depressing.


This blog is a product of DY Author & Speaker LLC. Feel free to quote content with attribution. Respond. Agree. Disagree. Share the content with your friends. Heck - even invite him as a speaker for your group! Enjoy!

Please don't tell my mother.


Do you know what a night crawler is?


You probably think it’s a fancy term for a person who is out all night every night crawling from pub-to-pub. About sunrise, a night crawler somehow finds his/her way home, crawls into bed and rests up for a few hours when it’s time to be a night crawler again. You don’t want to be one of those.


Where I was raised in New Jersey, our town certainly had them and as I got older some of my boyhood friends became night crawlers. Sad. A terrible way to spend one’s life.


But that’s not the type of night crawler I am here to talk about today.


When I was a young boy, I fell in love with fishing. We had all kinds of good places to fish, including a creek just down the street that was stocked with trout. Stony Brook they called it. And - for sure - on Thursdays after school you could find 13-year-old Davis wading around in hip boots with my fly rod in quest of those elusive trout.


Guess what I used for bait? Yup, night crawlers. They would come out every night in our lawns and gardens, especially when they were wet. They were worms, big thick, gooey worms sometimes as much as six inches long. Trout love them. On Thursday afternoons, the trout would line up at a top secret fishing hole waiting for my arrival.


Because they come directly from the earth, night crawlers have a lot of dirt on them. It doesn’t take long for the dirt to soil one's hands and, in particular, to get under one’s fingernails. So, with dirty hands and fingernails and perhaps a trout in my creel, I would hear my mother ringing a cowbell, her signal that it was time to get home and change for Thursday afternoon dancing school.


I loved my mother, but I truly hated dancing school. Fishing was definitely more fun. And, so I would drag my feet, fishing right up to the last moment when I would fly home, put on a white shirt, clip on one of my two ties, put on my Sunday suit, slip into my Bass Weejuns and head off to dancing school with my mother. All the mothers came every week. I know my mother came because she was afraid I might slip out a side door and soil our family’s good name. (Little did she know....)


Two things stand out in my memory about dancing school.


The first is that at age 13, all the girls - no exceptions - were taller than me. If I stared straight ahead while learning the Fox Trot, my eyes would be focused directly on their chins.


The second was that all the boys had to wear white gloves. To this day, I am proud indeed that underneath those beautiful white gloves were reminders of my friends the night crawlers. That’s a secret I have kept for all these years. Had any of those other mothers known what was under my white gloves, I would have been severely punished - perhaps even run out of town. And, at the very least, I would have been required to take an additional year of dancing instruction. Heaven forbid! Anything but that, please.


Today, those tall, beautiful young maidens are all in their 80s. They have shrunk in height and I have grown in self-confidence. Our heights are now nearly equal.


I apologize to each and every one of them for my night crawler escapades in white gloves. It’s time for me to tell my night crawler story and for those nice girls from good families to know how sorry I am. My father, who was a public servant, used to say you need to have clean hands to go to court. You also need clean hands to go to dancing school. I sure hope none of those girls ever got involved with a night crawler.


That’s my dancing school story and I’m sticking to it.

DY: In Just a Few Words is a blog that comes out when something needs to be said or every Tuesday - whichever comes first. Davis Young is a communications professional who adds 50+ years of experience and perspective to issues of the day. His emphasis in DY: In Just a Few Words will be humor (a touch of sarcasm here, a pinch of facetiousness there...). Once in a while, he will touch on something a bit more serious - but hopefully not too deep or depressing.


This blog is a product of DY Author & Speaker LLC. Feel free to quote content with attribution. Respond. Agree. Disagree. Share the content with your friends. Heck - even invite him as a speaker for your group! Enjoy!

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