What are we chasing? Whatever ambition we may possess, there is always a race to success, right? Socieity establishes a standard, each of us has an inate urge for something and most of us spend our entire life chasing it. In the Book of Proverbs, the world's greatest mind endowed by God with unlimited Wisdom, King Solomon wrote this about the "Race": "Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor. Now, I ask, what more do we need than a good life, a prosperous life and an honorable life? What more could anyone wish for? From the first moment, all I wanted was to be happy. It really never entered my mind that my degree of happiness was to be limited by the degree of happiness that I spread among others. We are social animals, but we are also rather selfish animals. I have no clear memory of my formative years, but I do know that I was a rather demanding brat. How could I be other wise as an only child whose every whim someone made every attempt to satisfy, or else! My 'life's education' began my first week as a roommate with Pat Mayes at East Texas Baptist College Frank Davis Hall in Marshall, Texas. Our 'dorm' was a former Convent and it was rather plain and moldy. Pat and I soon made other arrangements for housing, but not until he made his mark in the interesting events there. Our room was on the third floor with no elevator. The floor above was used as a discontinued furniture storage center. The floors were so old, there was a crack between the boards that allowed light from the room below to shine through. Our beds were simply old army cots. We had tall cabinets as closets with a single naked light bulb with a chain for illumination. Austere? Yep! Inadequate heating and cooling and constant noise. We shared our abode with the football team and they terrified us each Sunday following their games. The beer flowed and they loved to celebrate their drunkeness by visiting our rooms with a baseball bat and smashing or light bulbs at all hours of the night. Pat took some fishing line and tied the chain to our light to his bedstead. When a drunken visitor crashed the scene, just as he started to bring us darkness, Pat would jerk the line. I think it somewhat sobered the visitor...most times he would stand, stupefied, utter some curse and grumble out for his next visit. Pat shared his fishing line with other freshmen and soon the whole thing simply ceased to happen.
With my next roomies, I transferred to Sam Houston State in Huntsville. With my BMus in 1953, I began a teaching career. Educational politics has long been my waterloo. I would have been a different creature had I remained a teacher, but to miss out on broadcasting and theater?? Naw!
And that's what I get from My Box of Chocolates right here in my corner studio under the shadow of Kyle Field.
James G Austin '69