March 22, 2007 – There’s nothing like having State and Ole Miss in the semi-finals of the SEC tournaments to capture the interest of their respective fans. It was business as usual at physical therapy in Calhoun City on the afternoon State eliminated Kentucky in overtime. The game was on the lone TV in the center, which ordinarily seems to be tuned to Jeopardy.
Josh Morgan, an ardent State fan, was keeping an eye on the game, but Erin Long, a therapist who lives in Pontotoc, was outside sitting in the sun when I drove up.
She met me at the door and helped me in, directing me to the chair just behind the bicycle device that I pedal for the first part of my therapy. I earlier had declined to sit on the hard bicycle seat when Casey Clark suggested the chair might be more comfortable.
I watched the game as it was going down to the wire as I pedaled along.
“Where’s Casey?” I asked.
“Over there,” Josh answered, pointing at the TV. “He and Dr. Longest and the hospital administrator (James Franklin) are in Atlanta.”
Erin directed my efforts, which include walking back and forth in the therapy area, walking heel-to-toe along the parallel bars (to develop balance), and several other leg exercises involving large rubber bands and weights strapped around my ankles.
When State scored to put the game in overtime, Josh did a Toyota leap, scraping one of his knuckles on the metal tracks of the suspended ceiling.
Other than that there was no harm done.
Thanks to Columbus Channel 4 we got to watch as much of the tournament as we wanted to see.
•Along with several greetings on my birthday in late February came an interesting notice from newly retired Bruce Schools Principal Rickie Vaughn and his wife, June, that a gift had been made in my honor through Heifer International, of “Honey Bees.”
“May this gift bring you joy as it brings hope and nourishment to a family in need,” the notice said.
It further explained, as I recalled from several gifts though Heifer from my wife, the Williams in Calhoun City and the Vaughns, that the organization is a non-profit that alleviates hunger, poverty and environmental degradation through gifts of food and income-producing farm animals and training.
“Since 1944 Heifer has helped more than 4-million families in 125 countries. Each family ‘passes on the gift’ by giving one or more of its animal’s offspring to another family in need,” the notice concluded.
Greetings from an old friend, Betty Brown, who worked for years in the registrar’s office at Ole Miss, contained a sad note that her 92-year-old father is now on dialysis at the Tupelo center. She says he can’t walk or get up by himself, which is why I am doing physical therapy.
She encourages him by telling him how well I am doing on dialysis. I shall try to do better to support her efforts. “You and my Daddy are examples of God’s miracles,” she wrote inside the birthday greeting card.
•With all the talk about the price of corn doubling because it is being used to produce ethanol as a substitute for gasoline, I realized that I have never seen a place where you could buy the alternative fuel.
I also realized that the only place I have ever seen a hybrid, or “flex-fuel” vehicle, was on a car lot in Memphis.
Then I began to wonder what was the difference in ethanol and corn whiskey or “moonshine?” It turns out the only difference is that ethanol is 15 percent gasoline. Otherwise it is the same stuff.
I don’t know why we didn’t ever try it in the old Model A Ford we used to sometimes run on kerosene when we ran out of gas money. We probably had a better use for it, or that it probably cost more than gasoline, which was 30 cents a gallon or less.
I read recently that food prices are rising due to the use of corn for fuel, threatening the country’s “cheap food” policy. Especially hard hit, it seems, is the Mexican diet which is based on tortillas and such.
Estimates of how much energy is required to produce ethanol range from 75 percent to more than 100 percent, but corn prices are expected to continue to rise until another, more feasible, alternative fuel is discovered.