Our Fearless Columnist, Dorothy Denne, still has her arm in a sling and subsequently cannot type any new wit and repartee this week. So, we searched high and low in our archives and found this gem from Dorothy from 2010.
Sitting within earshot, on the outdoor dining patio, was a group of four senior men. It was a brisk morning so they sat around the table with hands in pockets or wrapped around styrofoam cups of steaming coffee.
Two more arrived with a tray mounded with donuts and muffins.
As they chewed, slurped, and licked fingers, I heard them lamenting about “modern times.” One complained, “You can’t have wishy, warshy, wimpy leaders or you never get anything done.”
A couple of peacocks squawked at each other and I missed the next few comments. Then he added, “There is no discipline today. When I was in the military, they would have kicked my butt out with a dishonorable discharge if I did what these people do today.”
Through peacock squawks, children’s laughter, and mothers’ banter, I heard snips and snatches from the men: “they’re just no good,” “don’t know what they’re doing,” “don’t care about anybody but themselves,” “just plain crooks.”
I thought they were talking about government and politicians. Turned out they were talking about their church.
The peacocks strutted off, looking for greener pastures filled with females. The children were herded into strollers by the young mothers who, bolstered by coffee, were ready for their morning walk.
Oblivious to the beauty and serenity, the men’s conversation turned to heroes. Their conclusion: there are none today.
I thought about that a bit. I had to agree there is a shortage of the type hero of which they were speaking. The one whose name is recognized by all, whose life is to be admired and emulated for the betterment of mankind, a role model for young and old alike.
Yet, there is a heroism in ordinary life that people the world over are called upon to display every day. Few of us who are lucky enough to take the necessities of life for granted appreciate this quotidian drama.
I stood and pushed in my chair. It was time to leave those grumpy old men, with full bellies, sitting among their crumbs and empty cups.
As I passed their table I just could not resist my impulse. I dropped my cup in the trash and politely said, “Quitcherbeefin’, and count your blessings.”