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By Lacey Gardner

Wiser’s Wramblings: Flags Were Flown-Nonagarian Wisdom Will Speak

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By Chuck Wiser, I write the words to share what my eyes see and my heart feels

As they often say about Allegany County, and likely just about any county around; If you don’t like the weather, just wait awhile it will change. It certainly does and has. Two weeks ago, we were in near drought-like conditions and the Genesee River water depth was at record low levels. Last night our furnace kicked on with our living room thermostat set somewhere around 65⁰ and I slept wearing a long sleeve T-Shirt and heavy lounging PJ’s bottoms. “Slept” is probably a misnomer as I didn’t fully fall asleep until around 4:30 AM. My oft’ quoted source of wisdom Gerry Vance’s dad’s saying, came to mind as I tossed and turned from about 11 PM until finally accepting the suggestion of: “if you can’t sleep, get up. And, if or while you are up, do something.” I did just that. What did I do? I thought!

I try to stay apolitical. If I left a space between “a” and political” it would reverse the meaning, but I try to avoid political as much as I can as I try not to add any persuasion of opinion on others by way of their reading my columns. When I was teaching, I was VERY careful to avoid any discussions in my class presentations or even “out of class” discussions with students. Growing up in the 60’s there was a reputation attached, deservedly or not, to “teachers being liberals,” along with the accusations or implications that a “liberal society” was being cultivated by the teaching profession. I think I was successful in avoiding influencing students regarding anything political. I try to do the same in my writings.

If I mention a topic or activity, such as that of which we-are-in-the-midst-of, with this ongoing saga with the former President it is merely to reflect that the country, and its peoples are being divided, largely due to the activities associated with the whole movement of acceptance and support of a controversial agenda. I’m not trying to convince or persuade anyone regardless of their “leanings,” but rather to plead with them, and you, to not lose your civility, compassion, and respect for your fellow citizens.

In the military they drummed into us a group of topics to be avoided in conversations, primarily to avoid initiating or escalating discussions that could trigger disagreement, confrontations, or unrest “within the ranks.” Those topics to be avoided, specifically included: Mothers, Wives, Religion or Politics.

Having just offered a hint of a political discussion, I am now going to jump into the region of “religion” but solely as a service to the library and the Grace United Church to announce or advertise an upcoming activity that may be of interest, or not. These organizations don’t always have an outlet to disseminate their activities beyond their own doors or within their “familial community.” Whenever I seek information from them, they express deep gratitude for my sharing the awareness of these events.

“Due to ongoing construction at the front entrance and steps to the Library access to the Monday Club Room will be from one of the front side doors depending on construction activity. Access to the building should be reached by following the handicap ramp to the left of the front steps to the landing and look for signs directing you to either the Juvenile Section side door or the Monday Club Side door.” There will be no lower level access from the back parking area.”

Dr. Gerald Borchert is the father of the current Pastor Karen Borchert at the Grace United Church, now a merged combination of the former Congregational Church, and the Christian Temple.

Dr. Borchert, who holds an honors Ph.D. from Princeton, has served as a dean of two theological seminaries in the U.S.A. and as the chair of the Commission on Interchurch Relations for the Baptist World Alliance. He has directed more than fifty seminars to the Bible lands and was on the translation team of the New Living Translation
Dr. Borchert has published a score of books and several hundred articles on the Bible and religious issues. He is Emeritus Professor at the Robert Webber Institute for Worship Studies. His new book, Reading John, has been praised as a “delightful,” “eloquent,” “fresh,” “conversational” storybook about Jesus.  Gerald Borchert and his wife, Doris, a former professor of Christian education, have taught in many institutions around the world before retiring to the Wellsville area where their son, Mark, is a dean at Houghton University and their daughter-in-law, Karen, is the pastor at Grace United Church.

As my signature statement says I write what my eyes see and my heart feels. What it doesn’t include are the items I write about just to get them out of my head. My opening paragraph mentioned my late/early getting to sleep. My sleeplessness is primarily the result of my overly active mind. Ideas wramble and rattle around in my head non-stop. It’s like a bad golf game, which I may have mentioned last week. The only way to get rid of it is to pass it on to someone else. Therefore, I pass my Wrambling’s on to you just to get them out of my head. There are wonders to be seen and felt in the future, so I need to make room for them. Not bad enough that my head is filled with all these Wrambling’s, and I don’t know where or how it makes room, but I also nearly always have a song rattling around in there as well. My outlet for that used to be whistling. You can blame, but more likely thank, my daughter Kristin for not having to hear my piercing high-pitched whistle. I know her mother thanks her nearly every day for that as it drove her nuts as well. I had developed a technique whereby I could whistle through a slight deformity, or curvature of my lips without having that telltale puckered look. I would walk around in a room whistling, audibly, and people would look around trying to figure out where the sound was coming from. I would look right at them, mere feet away, and they still couldn’t figure it out. Every once in awhile I will try to see if I can still whistle that way, but I can’t. I can’t even whistle the old-fashioned puckered way, nor the fingers in the mouth ear piercing whistle like “LJ” Muscato used, to call his daughters back to their camper at mealtime or bedtime.

Mentioning LJ’s daughters, and my daughter, it cannot go without being mentioned anytime the “girls” get together in my presence, that they don’t mention sneaking (stealing) an occasional beer from me as they thought I didn’t count them and know if any were missing. Whether I counted them or not, as long as they didn’t take the last one, at that point in my life, I just made sure that there was an ample supply on hand to cover any and all social activities, at or around, the Deer Run Campground.

Speaking of Campgrounds, summertime activities have replaced wintertime functions up at Tall Pines ATV Park based on the number and nature of scanner calls mentioning the Jones Road, Andover, hilltop recreational location.

My wife just reminded me of a phenomenon that recently enlightened me. Back in “the old days” when I watched TV, and specifically the Action, Adventure series, I would shake my head when a rope would snag, or a cord would get caught preventing the death ending descent of the hero or villain. I thought it impossible for the coincidence of that happening. Ladies and Gentlemen, it is no coincidence, and they are not embellishing the action at all. To agree with my assessment all you must do is reflect on the number of times that the hose, rope, or string that you were coiling, got caught, turned over and kinked, or snagged on something that didn’t even seem to be in the line of travel. Two instances of that this week reminded me of that concept. One was trying to unravel an extension cord, and the other was trying to wind my 50-foot garden hose back onto the reel. (Auto-defect thinks I need to say “real”).

Speaking of which…A Facebook friend commented recently about a battle with “Auto-Correct” or “Auto-Insert” in a device that was being used. There are times when those functions are handy and times when they cause real problems. If you don’t watch or check what was entered in your writings, assuming that what you typed/keyboarded is what appeared in your writing, you may be surprised. These two functions are but the tip of the iceberg as to what lies ahead with this “Artificial Intelligence” (AI) build up and emergence. There are certain limitations to AI that can and will cause future problems. The Human emotion and feeling, Intuition, evaluation of consequences etc. can’t be “programmed.” You can override Auto Correct/Insert but you need to be persistent. Type and re-type what you really want and eventually it will “learn” and keep it. You can also bypass the auto-suggest by correcting and leaving off the first letter, leave a space between the 1st and 2nd letters or type an incorrect first letter then edit it to add or change to make what you want acceptable. I tend to type the way I would say something and autodefect doesn’t like me to say/type “have to” which I frequently say/type. After it “hi-lites” the words if I click on the pair, it suggests the world “must.” So, it is saying I must use must instead of using have to so if I want to be correct, I have to use must. 😉   

Wednesday the 14th was Flag Day. I think in the past it was celebrated significantly more often. Either the old timers such as I, or the sentimentalists or patriotic are fading away, or it has become just another ho-hum day. I recall in years past having sung in various singing groups where we participated in ceremonies honoring the flag. Sadly, I think another “tradition is fading away.

Much is written and reported at this time of year about the safety of motorcycles and using caution and awareness to their presence. I’ve said my piece on that so won’t repeat myself. I would like to single out the other two wheeled vehicles that now adorn not only the streets but the sidewalks and crosswalks of the streets in and around town. Bicyclists are supposed to follow most, if not all, of the highway and street traffic laws as do cars and trucks. Very seldom do I see compliance. I am surprised that there are as few accidents and injuries as there are. Darting through, between and around cars maneuvering the streets is not only wrong but it could be dead wrong. Obey the laws.

My Mother Was My Father

As Father’s Day is soon to be,
It means to some far more than me.
Life isn’t always fair you see,
Nor for us brings one fatherly.
Sometimes a mother’s love unfolds,
When to her bosom, you she holds.
And to you whispers we’ll be bold,
I’ll be your dad, that too my role.
I guess the one who gave his seed,
Saw not that I, a dad would need.
But mom was capable the deed
And nourished me with love my feed.
I had no one that I called dad,
Odd though it seems I was not sad.
My mother gave me all she had,
She filled both roles for which I’m glad.
Happy Father’s Day Mom! Rest in Peace

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