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Jim's Jottings

Jottings on 'roos, reporters and peaches

April 16, 2014 - • It lightens my day just seeing a bunch of kangaroos bouncing across a desert in some commercial. To the geniuses behind the 'roo marketing: Trouble is, I don't remember what they are advertising. Sorry about that. (No, I am not)

• Print media news writers' questions often become space fillers. But, they can be referred to at some point in the future. Television news questions and answers become lost in space, unreferable. Which is jut one more good reason for newspapers.

• I believe there are great reasons no politician has been dubbed "Abe" since Lincoln. Wait a minute. Or, was that they have never been dubbed, called or referred to as, "Honest?"

• One last mention or thought in regards to tv reporter questions: So many of them are hypothetical, answerable only with hypothetical guesses leading to no conclusions. While short on answers, they do fill the allotted air space, which is good for the marketing geniuses behind the kangaroo commercials.

• Some days you're the dog, some days you're the hydrant. I won't tell you what I'm feeling like today after being roasted on Saturday.

• There was this blind man who picked up a hammer and saw.

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WWII war story.

I was assigned to a 26-foot landing craft aboard a ship hauling a couple dozen other 26-foot landing craft in the Pacific Theater during the war. The ship, which isn't really important, but helps fill the allotted space on this page, was the USS Woodford.

Rations were never enough for we, 19-year-old and still growing boys. My farm rearing didn't include many peaches, but while serving, peaches were good eating.

One day while on an island dock, there stood a gallon can of peach halves, soaking in their juices, unattended.

The captain pulled our craft up to the dock, and the gallon can just "fell" into our craft, stopping in the bilges.

Relaying this story to my WWI veteran father many years later, I learned this type of thievery ran in the family. While he was confined in the Shiawassee County Medical Center in Corunna, he was a not-too-contented patient. He told me, "You have to learn how to improvise in a place like this."

He was on a sugar diet, but didn't know why.

He did know he didn't get enough to eat. That's when he told me how he improvised. At the 7:30 p.m. coffee time, Dad arranged to have some graham crackers delivered with his hot water and Sanka.

He'd stash them in a shirt pocket for a later snack. Too, the packet of Sanka never made Dad's cup of coffee strong enough for his taste.

He arranged through a nurse's aide (either 'Do Little' or 'Useless' as he called them) to have a jar of Sunrise coffee brought in to strengthen his brew.

On his person or wheelchair, besides the Sunrise, were salt, pepper and sealed tiny cups of cream. I also saw he had saved up saltine cracks and his U.S. Army teaspoon. Some how, after WW1 that spoon had just "fallen" into his possession and, by golly, he'd had it ever since.

We improvised that day with the peaches, we had a beach party.

Jim Sherman, Sr. is president of Sherman Publications, Inc. He has penned "Jim's Jottings" since 1955.
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