Daniel Boone

Daniel Boone: (N) 1734–1820, an American pioneer, especially in Kentucky.

There’s a lot of things that can be said about Daniel Boone.

Like many historical figures, I don’t know if any of us would be comfortable sitting down and having a conversation with him, nor trying to adjust to his particular interpretation of hygiene.

It is a blessed realty that we are better off enjoying the deeds of our forefathers instead of actually having to put up with their attitudes.

But there are several things I like about Daniel Boone.

When he was floatin’ around, the frontier didn’t go any further than Kentucky. Beyond that was considered Indian country—and therefore, no need to cause trouble, since there was good land right under his feet.

I like that about him.

Something I could learn from Mr. Boone:

Stop complaining about where I am, thinking that a change of residence would do me better.

The second thing about old Daniel was that he shot, gathered and ate what was available to him.

I understand that a healthy diet is important, but sometimes, for a variety of reasons, the things we want to eat are not immediately accessible.

So if Daniel came across a bunch of rabbits, he was suddenly a great fan of bunny.

A whole bushel of wild blackberries could temporarily turn him into a vegetarian.

And he grew what the ground would allow.

The final thing about Daniel Boone that touches my heart is that he was encompassed by Native Americans—who were there long before he was. History tells us that Daniel chose to get along with them instead of trying to kill ’em all off. Matter of fact, he made friends with some of them. The natives became his buddies. They respected his frontier ability and were grateful that of the white people they had encountered, he seemed to be least offensive.

Many of the white men who joined him in Boonsboro married up with the Native Americans and didn’t feel they were slumming at all.

Now there’s three things I can learn:

  • Enjoy where you are and at least pretend it’s where you want to be.
  • Eat what’s available to you.
  • And get along with the people and creatures who are your neighbors.

I will guarantee you—if you do this, just like Old Daniel Boone, you can make the history books.

Centrist

Centrist: (n) a person who holds moderate political views.

I see your point.

I see his point.

I see her point.

Ain’t I neat?

Not necessarily. A certain amount of diplomacy is demanded to make for good politics. But often, life requires a definitive choice. Otherwise, heinous results will
be endured.

Henry Clay is the most famous centrist of all time. Matter of fact, he was given the name, “The Great Compromiser.”

All during his time of being the senator from Kentucky, he fought to keep the Union together by being a centrist on the issue of slavery. He proudly took the Quakers and abolitionists on one side, and the plantation and slave owners from Dixie on the other side, and sat them down to come up with a way to continue slavery while also guaranteeing that certain states in the Union would be slave free.

In doing so, he ended up stealing the freedom of more black men, women and children than any other person in the United States.

A Civil War that should have been fought twenty years earlier was further enraged by years and years of unrelenting and unfulfilling compromise.

Sometimes there is no centrist position.

There is no arena for the propagation of the idea that “all men are kind of created equal.”

There’s no room for “freedom of most speech.”

And there is no possibility that rights are only given to those who presently have enough lawyers to wrangle them.

Henry Clay was a centrist. Because he kept us from dealing with a national tragedy, he will always be known as the person who managed to delay the inevitable Civil War that killed hundreds of thousands.

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Center

Center: (v) to place in the middle

It’s an old joke, but since there are so many young folks around, I will venture to share it, with the aspiration that it might fall on fresh ears.

The story is that a gentleman from Kentucky found himself in a quandary when the Civil War broke out. He did not want to choose sides. He
discovered that the Union Army was clad in blue and those from Dixie had selected gray. Thinking himself a genius and desiring to place himself in the center, free of conflict, he put on blue pants for the Union, and a gray jacket as a tribute to the South.

When the two armies converged at his doorstep to determine his allegiance, the Union Army shot him in the shoulder and the Confederates shot him in the leg.

There is a belief that a center–a compromise or moderation–can be found in everything. It is an interesting theory which over the years has proven to be flawed.

There are some issues that cannot be mollified. They’re just too important.

  • There can be no “Great Compromise” when it comes to slavery.
  • There cannot be a “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the military for the gay servicemen and women.

Sometimes we have to come down on one side or another.

Because sometimes a center is not a solution, but rather, an attempt to avoid one.

 

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Billboard

Billboard: (n) a large outdoor board for displaying advertisements.

Dictionary B

I am gradually learning to be reluctant to assume that my common practices or inclinations are universal across our species.

It is a natural posture we tend to take when justifying our feelings to make ourselves a part of the mass instead of separated like the math nerd from high school who’s too skinny and has pimples.

So I will phrase it this way: I read billboards.

I don’t know why. Probably because driving on the highway, I am a prisoner to the miles. And even though I may be listening to the radio or having a great conversation, 5,280 feet, which makes up only one mile, can still be a long way.

So I’m grateful for the reading material along the side of the road which fortunately is set in a large enough font for me to discern.

I read ’em all.

So I’m not so sure that television advertising always works with me. I have heard many commercials on radio and never given them a second thought.

But I have often stopped at a Chinese buffet advertised on a billboard, which was only five miles ahead, finding myself more and more excited as I speeded toward it.

I’ve gotten good deals on motels.

I have occasionally found an inspirational message.

There are folks who consider billboards to be an eyesore, but I do not believe anyone can claim that they’re ineffective. In the course of a single day on an average freeway in America, tens of thousands of people pass by and at least have to glance up and see the promo.

It is very effective–at least with me.

And I don’t even think they’re ugly, even though the ones in Kentucky that say “Hell Is Real” may totally and completely disprove my assertion.

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