Pine Nuts: Thanks for the Memories | SierraSun.com
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Pine Nuts: Thanks for the Memories

McAvoy Layne

I was whistling, “Born to Lose,” while waiting to get my booster shot, and overheard a young passerby ask his mother, “Mom, why is that man whistling?”

“Because he’s happy, Honey.”

And she was right. I was happy to be the lucky recipient of a potentially lifesaving vaccine, and, were I not to draw attention to myself there in the pharmacy, I’d have been dancing to the ironic song I was whistling.



One of the nice remunerations of growing older is an ability to celebrate other peoples’ conquests and achievements, some call it Freuden Freude. I only wish I could shake the hands of the doctors and scientists who developed our vaccines and take them all to T’s for lunch.

I was able to extend a small expression of gratitude this morning, with a little help from my pet Jay, Huckleberry. Six roofers were standing in a circle on the driveway below, about to tackle the big job of keeping ice from falling on us this winter. Huckleberry had just tapped on my window with his beak and was waiting patiently for his Beer Nut, while I whistled, “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.”



I shouted to the workers below, “Gentlemen, thank you for your good work, and my pet jay, Huckleberry, would like to thank you too.”

With that said, I took a half-step back from the Beer Nut I had set out for Huck, and here he came to take it almost out of my hand. The guys down below shouted their approval and gave Huckleberry a standing ovation.

When we take time to celebrate little subtleties, well, little grievances pass away. As an example, I’m delighted that I can put my thoughts down on paper, and thanks to this fine family journal, convey these thoughts to you. As I number my columns, I happen to know this one is number 1,528, and yet, it is the first in which I am acknowledging my joy. Please allow me to say thank you to the publishers and readers of Pine Nuts, for granting 22 years of scribbler gaiety.

Some of the feedback I have received over the years has been helpful too, like, “You don’t know Jack!” (Ah, but I do, he lives in New Jersey.) Humility is an essential ingredient to contentment. Mark Twain received a letter once that said, “Sam, those who criticize your writing never saw you dance.”

But before I quit apostrophizing and get me to bed, I must vehemently denounce the recent algae bloom of ill-conceived antisemitism. Of all the misplaced prejudices in the world, this one has the least to recommend it. Our Jewish friends and neighbors are our intellectual aristocracy. They are good at just about everything, and better than most at obstruse thinking. So the animosity we are witnessing today is most assuredly a product of envy, one of the seven deadly sins, I forget what the other six are just now. But then I am sleepy, and must say goodnight…


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