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Milli Gilbaugh

Spare the rod - please!

Food For Thought

It’s been a while since I heard anyone repeat what was once an often-used phrase, “Spare the rod and spoil the child.” It was thought that an undisciplined child (as in a child who was not spanked regularly) was headed for a life of crime, or at least a life of self-indulgence and conflict with authority.

The demise of downtown

Food For Thought

It used to be every little town had a business area centered around a park, a courthouse, municipal offices, schools or churches. My hometown of Knoxville still has its castle-like county courthouse, but the business area is rapidly disappearing as the outlying shopping malls, motels and fast food businesses pop up at an amazingly rapid rate.

The class of ‘52

Food For Thought

“One out of every three people over 80 will fall this year,” my friend Russ wrote to me. Russ is the classmate who went rafting on the Amazon three years ago and the one who bungee-jumped off a bridge in Australia to celebrate his 80th birthday. I doubt if he worries much about falling but he did wonder why, as we grow older, we get shorter and our feet get bigger. I’m not sure I know the answer to that but I suspect it is Mother Nature looking out for us. After all, if we are shorter, we haven’t so far to fall, and with bigger feet, we have a broader base to help keep our balance.

Dear terrorist

Food For Thought

Dear terrorist,
I address you as “dear” because, unlike you, I believe all life is precious and worthy of my concern. It is because of that concern for life I write this letter to you. You will probably pay little heed to what I have to say, but I am a mother and am accustomed to having my advice ignored, at least at the moment it is offered. I have found, sometimes, the same advice that was once so nonchalantly tossed aside will be resurrected and considered more seriously at a later time. There is always hope.

Aah! Chocolate!

Food For Thought

For a good deal of my life, I trusted Walter Cronkite to tell me the truth. In fact, I seem to remember he was once called the most trusted man in America, so I guess I wasn’t alone in my faith in him. At present, I’m close to replacing him with David Muir, who seems to have the same sort of confident and reassuring manner, so when he tells us something on the ABC news at six o’clock, I tend to believe him.

The man in the trunk

Food For Thought

Melissa slammed shut the trunk of her car and got back behind the steering wheel. She was still trembling slightly. The man hadn’t been particularly threatening, nor had he been overly friendly; just business-like. With his neat beard and dark glasses he faintly resembled half a dozen men she’d seen recently. Salesmen, businessmen, faces on television– the generic nice-looking, average man, but she was pretty sure she’d never met him.

Recalling and being recalled

Food For Thought

You hear, probably more often than is comfortable, about cars, food products, medicines and other things being recalled for various reasons. I say “more than comfortable” because those recalls (sometimes weeks, months, even years after the fact) most likely are only the tip of the iceberg. There are probably many times more possible reasons for recall that never come to light.
Last summer, I had to finally give in to time and replace my 20-year-old Chevy S-10.

Just wondering

Food For Thought

Remember the teenager whose defense was based on the fact that he suffered from something his attorney called “afflluenza?” In other words, he was a spoiled brat who was raised to believe he was the center of the universe and laws applied to everybody but him. How fast these things fade from the headlines when something more interesting comes along. (Not that I consider highway snipers and suicide bombers to be interesting in the usual sense of the word, but they certainly affect more people and arouse concern among a larger portion of our population.)

A kind of illiteracy?

Food For Thought

My friend Rosemary has over 50 descendants; children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She’s big on family history and often entertains the younger generations with stories and photos of their ancestors. On one recent occasion, she showed them some letters written, by her mother and grandmother, in the fine Palmer method which was taught in our schools for several generations. They puzzled over the letters for some time before admitting that they couldn’t read the “strange” writing.

Leap Year

Food For Thought

Every time leap year rolls around, I think of my Aunt Opal who told me it was acceptable for a woman to propose to a man during leap year. My mother said that could only be on Feb. 29, so the opportunity arises only once every four years. My big sister insisted, if you proposed to him that day, he had no options, he had to say yes. On Feb.

Good heavens!

Food For Thought

It has been announced that the, as yet unseen, Planet X does exist somewhere way out there past Pluto. The best information I could get is it orbits the sun every 15,000 years, which makes for a heck of a long wait between birthdays, an enormous number of pages on the calendar and tediously long winters. I was told it is somewhere around the size of Jupiter– one of our larger planets– with a diameter of roughly three-and-a-half times that of our Earth, though I don’t know how they can be sure if nobody has ever seen it.

Unusual friendships

Food For Thought

I caught part of a recent television program dealing with inter-species friendships in the animal kingdom. When I tuned in, they were discussing an unusual relationship between a Labrador pup and a young lion. They did a lot of racing around and playing just about the same as animal siblings do, and I thought about the kitten we had at one time. She came into a household that already had two female dogs, who got along peacefully, and she was soon adopted by the youngest (and smallest) of the two, who tended to mother her.