For a Personalized Autographed copy of “STRAWBERRIES IN WINTERTIME” or “WOODEN & ME” mail a check for $25 to:
400 Roosevelt Court
Ventura, CA 93003
* * *
Always Make Time for Playing
School is back in session and I, for one, will miss having the kids around every day.
No, not my two kids because their last first days of school have passed. Rather, the kids I see daily during the summer out and about at the beach, around the neighborhood, playing at parks.
Here is an example of how random kids brighten my day. It occurred at a local soccer field while I was on my afternoon run.
Five boys, all around age 10, were playing with a Nerf football. Two of the kids were the headliners – make that, HEADliners.
Kid 1: “You keep hitting me in the head with the football.”
Kid 2: “Yeah.”
Kid 1: “Hey, are you doing it on purpose?”
Kid 2: “Yeah.”
Kid 1: “Why?”
Kid 2: “Because it’s fun.”
Kid 1: “Okay.”
Because most things can be improved in some way, it seems to me the word “perfect” is usually not a perfect adjective.
Monday’s solar eclipse was, I dare say, perfect.
Add solar eclipse. Maya Angelou’s poetic words seemed perfect for the occasion: “This is a wonderful day – I have never seen this one before.”
Today, too, even without an eclipse.
The U.S. Navy didn’t ask me, but in the 21st century its ships should not be colliding into tankers and container ships, as has tragically happened twice in the past two months.
Heck, in the 19th century these collisions should not have happened.
Nobody asked me, but I wish there was as much widespread interest in seeing our natural parks and protecting our oceans, rivers and environment as there was in buying protective goggles and viewing the solar eclipse.
In response to my column on mentoring, Art Zweig emailed asking me to share information about the local chapter of SCORE (www.ventura.score.org) – Senior Core of Retired Executives:
“It was started in 1964 by then-president Kennedy. We are volunteers who are mentors for people who want to start up a business or need help in a business they already have.
“We meet with people, one on one, free of charge and cover an array of topics – financing, accounting, legal and any other subject they might need. We also have many workshops on a variety of topics every month.
“We also offer programs for Veterans of the Armed Forces called Boots to Business. I would appreciate it if you could mention this in your column so the public is aware that we are available to help.”
Consider it mentioned, Art.
A number of readers emailed in about my column remembering former Star sports editor John Cressy. Here are excerpts from two:
“It is so hard to lose a longtime friend. I think society undervalues the depth of that loss,” wrote Colleen Cason, my wise colleague. “I wish I had known John better. I saw him a couple months ago at UCSB. He was so upbeat. I’m glad to have that memory of him to hold onto. My condolences to you and all the others at the loss of the leader of the band.”
And from Larry Alamillo: “I did not know the man, but I easily recognized John Cressy’s name. He was one of my favorites.”
My wife doesn’t have a lot of products cluttering our shower, but these four bottles caught my eye: a shampoo with “coconut milk,” body wash with “vanilla chai,” conditioner with “avocado” and Fur So Green shampoo with “green tea.”
Reaction 1: I’m assuming the last bottle is for our dog Murray.
Reaction 2: I hope there’s no Wheaties with “Dove Soap” in the pantry.
Coming full circle back to Back To School, a nugget of wisdom Coach John Wooden once wrote to my kids seems worth sharing now: “Please remember that, as the new school year is here, to work hard on your studies – but keep some time for play!”
Probably perfect advice for adults and their working lives, too – keep some time for play!
* * *
Woody Woodburn writes a weekly column for The Ventura County Star and can be contacted at WoodyWriter@gmail.com.
Check out my memoir WOODEN & ME: Life Lessons from My Two-Decade Friendship with the Legendary Coach and Humanitarian to Help “Make Each Day Your Masterpiece” and my essay collection “Strawberries in Wintertime: Essays on Life, Love, and Laughter” …
- Personalized signed copies are available at WoodyWoodburn.com
- Unsigned paperbacks or Kindle ebook can be purchased here at Amazon