Prehistoric Legends: Is that a new Fine Arts Casino?

By Jim Wilcox, Guest Writer

Is that a new Fine Arts Casino?

   I knew the General Assembly of our Nazarene denomination assembled in Indianapolis this summer, but among the news items of what happened there, I never heard anything about joining our Native American brothers and sisters in constructing casinos.

   (I wonder how this is going over in Olathe, Kansas.)

   Wouldn’t it be great if we could get Englebert Humperdinck to perform there? Or the Beach Boys? That would be awesome.

   And if we put in slot machines, it seems logical to suggest that tuition would go down.

   Do any of you watch “Duck Dynasty”? I was introduced to it by my older grandson, who finds it hilarious. I watched it with him one night, and his hysteria was contagious. I have to confess, I am so hooked!

   One episode I like is when two of the younger duck-call-making brothers go to the driving range to hit golf balls. As they’re trying to out-hit each other, the camera pulls back and shows their dad and uncle shooting at the balls as if they are skeet. (I wish they’d do that in the PGA. Maybe those four-day tournaments would be interesting.)

   I also like the one of the two old guys (picture ZZTop) when they go to “Career Day” at their grandkids’ school. As that grisled geezer begins to go on and on and on about his days in the Vietnam war (he just calls it “Nam”), I’m sitting there in my family room, about to lose a lung.

   And when the other one begins to demonstrate to a biology class how to skin a duck or a rabbit or some animal with a lot of blood, I’m on the floor, holding my belly! Those school children were choking back bile and gasping with shock and awe.

   Do you think that if the century-long tradition of taking a three-month break from public school had been originally scheduled for December-to-March, our favorite season would be winter?

   When I ask students what their favorite season is, most say summer, but I think that’s mostly because of the long break from school rather than the blazing sun. (Understand that I start to get hot and sweaty at 60 degrees.) Who could love 100 days of 100 degrees? I mean what sane person could love 100 days of 100 degrees?

   That’s what I meant.

   This summer was an anomaly of comparatively mild temperatures. And frequent rain. And green grass. And edible homegrown tomatoes. I’m thinking it’s all because Gary England is retiring.

   My parents celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary this summer. Seventy! Seven-0! I’m certain that’s a lot longer than my dad was bargaining for when he said “I do” in 1943.

   You know the record is 83 anniversaries. Friends of our family lived to celebrate their 80th. The 25th anniversary is called Silver. The 50th is called Golden. I think the 80th should be called Dust.

   Anyway, we had quite a family reunion. Imagine a lot of old people in the same house sharing stories of our most recent disease or the surgery we had in June or how much our backs hurt when we take the National Geographic magazine to the garage. “I don’t know,” one shrieks, “how that stack got so high.”

   It was nice to see my son from Portland for a couple of days, and it was fun to be with my twin brother again. We went to his church one Sunday (he’s the pastor, so it’s called “his”) and several of the flock mistook me for him. By the third time, I was thinking about announcing that the church would pick up the tab for everybody’s lunch.

   But that would have bankrupted that church. They’d probably have to build a casino in order to recover.