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James R. Stout

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When I Was Seven

            If you’re over a certain age, then you will probably remember Art Linklater and his program “Kids Say the Darndest Things”. He would interview kids and ask questions and some of the answers were hilarious. Well, kids also do the darndest things. Let me tell you about one…

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X-15 Moments

            The first camera that I owned was a Kodak X-15 Instamatic that used 126 film. It was a Christmas present from my parents in 1971. I had always been interested in photography, but the cost of a good camera was beyond my means. The Kodak was not what you would call a “good camera”. It was …

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What's In A Name?

            What’s in a name? Jim Croce sang about the mere fact that he had a name. His name meant something. But names have come and gone through the centuries. I’ll be speaking of English names in this little piece. Around the time that I was born there were some favorite names that our parents g…

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Let's Play In The Dirt!

            It may sound strange to the children of today, but when I was a child one of the things that we would do for hours at a time was to “play in the dirt”. In an age where children don’t spend a great deal of time outside, I’m sure that playing in the dirt sounds like something that wouldn’t…

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When The Flavor Ebbs Away

            I used to love to chew chewing gum. I especially liked those big balls of gum that were bursting with flavor. There was a manufacturer that sold them in a pack of 8 gum balls. The flavors included lime, grape, cherry, lemon, orange, strawberry, raspberry, and banana. I also loved the Fru…

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            I watched an old movie tonight in which there was an extended scene where a group of people were stranded on foot in a burning desert. The camera would pan out and show them trudging along in the sand with the wind blowing making waves in the dunes. In the far distance were barren mounta…

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The Battle of Toledo Bend

            Experts say that our brains are not fully developed when we are in our teens. They say that this is especially true for the rational part of our brain. The brain doesn’t become fully developed until about the age of 25. All of this is pretty much supported simply by observing the behavio…

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Typing 101

            The first typewriter that I ever used was an IBM monstrosity that my mother had. Mom started typing in high school in the early 40’s and after graduation in 1946 she went to a business school where she sharpened her typing skills as well as she learned to use several secretarial machines…

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Dear Friends

Hello Readers and Friends!

            I know that people are reading my blog and visiting my website. I know this because of the counter that tells me how many views that I have had. To all of you who come and read my blog I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. You'll never…

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Don't Join The Circus

            It happened frequently when I was growing up. Perhaps one of my sisters got something and I didn’t or maybe I felt that I had been overlooked for something that I believed that I should have been rewarded for. Whatever the reason was didn’t really matter. Too often I would loudly proclai…

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Happy Trails

            There have been times in my life that I haven’t exactly made the smartest decisions. Fortunately, I have thus far survived despite some of those errant decisions. I even managed to come out of a few of those situations with something special to show for it. I was in Arizona checking out …

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Paul Harvey

            My first memories of Paul Harvey are from when I was about 5 years old. That would have been circa 1960. I have previously mentioned in my writings that I would spend a lot of time with my grandparents on their farm when I was young. In those days, my grandmother would be cooking lunch a…

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The Bully Oof

            I suppose we all had at least one when we were growing up. One what, you ask? A self-appointed tormentor. Otherwise known as a “bully”. Bullies have been around since the beginning of time. During my years from about 8 to 14 there were three different guys that I was bullied by. In all t…

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For What It's Worth

            Back in the spring of 1967 there was a hit record by a group called “Buffalo Springfield”. The song was entitled, “For What It’s Worth”. It has some great guitar playing, thought-provoking lyrics, and a very catchy line that goes “Hey, children, what’s that sound? Everybody look what’s g…

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Information Overload

            Six years before I was born something new came to Houston, Texas. That something was a television station. There weren’t many stations operating in America at the time, but that would change swiftly over the next few years. By the time I can remember, let’s say about 1958 or 1959, televi…

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What's That Down In The Creek?

            There’s a bridge on one of the main county roads that I use in order to get to the highway that takes me to the four different towns that I must go to on a regular basis. The county road is made of dirt and rock while the current bridge over the large creek is made of wood, iron, and con…

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A Father's Love

            On February 2, 1956 my father was in a bad car accident. He was crippled for life due to the injuries that he received. To tell the truth, his crippling was probably as much due to the treatment he received as it was the injury itself. Let’s just say that if you think veterans get inferi…

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Plans and Reasons

            It was the morning of December 16, 1972. I was 17 at the time and like the song says, “It was a very good year”. I awoke early that morning, took a shower, fretted over the perfect outfit to wear much much the same as a male bird will groom himself to attract a mate, and I even used a ne…

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Dad Climbs a Mountain

            In June of 2001 Tropical Storm Allison left our house with a foot of water throughout. We had been planning a vacation out to West Texas for the last week of June and the vacation quickly became doubtful. The night that our house flooded was a Friday night and it was very frustrating to …

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The Red Eyes Have It

            There may be no dumber animal than a young and newly married husband. I should know. I once was one before I transcended that existence and eventually became what I am today - An old unmarried, but infinitely smarter man. But let’s you and I go back a few years. 41 years or so…

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