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Stories Archives for 2018-12

Well Shut My Mouth






Perhaps like me, you have seen women of all ages react to something they see in a strange way.  I have kept close note of this phenomenon recently and almost without exception note that women tend to place their hand over their mouth when scared or shocked, or see something particularly upsetting.  We witnessed this when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton covered her mouth as she watched Navy Seals execute Osama Ben Laden, although she blamed it on allergies.  We even see this gesture when beauty pageant contestants are crowned.  The question is why do women do this?


According to body language experts it is called the “pacifier gesture”.  It’s like a kid sucking his thumb.  When our hands go up and touch our mouths it is saying to ourselves, “It’s OK, it’s safe”.  It’s like our mother giving us a hug.  It says that we will get through this just fine.

Some experts say that when females witness a terrible accident, hear bad news, or are in disbelief, putting their hands over their mouth is physically expressing that they can’t emotionally take anything else in at that point.  Males seldom make the same gesture, but will place their heads in their hands instead.  This is called a “face palm”.

This female body language gesture may have some roots in the ancient 
Chinese custom which forbade females from showing the insides of their mouths.  It was considered uncouth, thus they covered their mouths with their hand when yawning or eating. Thus, they tended to keep their mouths shut at all times.  I think it might be a good thing to resurrect this custom today.


Although men don’t usually cover their mouth with their hand they may use a softer version of this, as the man in the boardroom who puts his pointy finger over his lips and his hands on this chin.  He is expressing basically the same emotion as the female putting her hand over her mouth.


The body language gesture universally used around the world when we are scared is opening our mouths in an oval shape and raising our eyebrows.  One body language expert explains, “This gesture is in our DNA.  It doesn’t matter if you’re black, white, or Hispanic, from Iraq, Zimbabwe, or Chicago.”


It would seem to me that the had-over-mouth gesture in women is also in their DNA as well.  Make a conscious note of how often you see women do this.  Sometimes they will place both hands over their mouths in a particularly severe moment.  Perhaps this has its roots in the old Chinese adage of the three monkeys’ “hear no evil, “see no evil”, and “speak no evil”, with their hands covering their ears, eyes, and mouth.  Perhaps the ladies are unconsciously saying, “I had better keep my mouth shut at this moment, for fear of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.”  Now, with that I can heartedly agree.







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The Christmas Song That Almost Wasn't


Many secular Christmas songs have been written over the years, some successful, but most never made it to the big time.  The second most popular song behind Bing Crosby’s White Christmas almost didn’t get recorded.  Had it not been for Gene Autry’s wife, Ina, the little song may have languished for lack of attention and faded away into the trash can of history.

In 1939 a little poem was written by Robert L. May for Montgomery Ward’s annual holiday booklet giveaway.  It was a story of an outcast reindeer whose “differences” ultimately helped him save Santa’s threatened sleigh ride on Christmas Eve.  To everyone’s surprise, the poem sold over one hundred thousand copies.  


May’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, took the poem and composed a melody in 1947 and tried in vain to sell it to several popular singers, including Bing Crosby, Perry Como, and Dinah Shore, who all rejected it.  By a stroke of luck, Gene Autry’s wife, Ina, heard Mark’s demo record and was enchanted by its “Ugly Duckling” theme. She strongly encouraged Gene to record it as a companion song to his Here Comes Santa Claus record.  But her husband hated the song and refused to record it.


It became widely acknowledged that if not for Ina, there would be no “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer” by Gene Autry. Carl Cotner, Gene’s musical director also tried to talk Gene into recording it.  Carl had told Gene he thought it would be a good song for him, and Carl did the arrangement.


At a recording session, Gene said, “How about that little song that you are so crazy about?”  They placed it on the music stand and he recorded it in one take.  It was later admitted that Ina had talked Gene into doing it.  Five weeks later, on August 4th, Gene cut two more Christmas numbers, Santa, Santa, Santa and If It Doesn’t Snow On Christmas which had moderate success.


“Rudolph” became a favorite on The Hit Parade and soared to the top of the Billboard Country and Western, and Pop charts, a first for Gene Autry.  During its first year of release, “Rudolph” sold two million copies, selling an estimated twenty-five million more over the next forty years.  For decades it remained the best selling single of all time after Bing Crosby’s White Christmas.  The song also anticipated a new trend for Gene – recording songs specifically geared to the children’s market.  Over the years “Rudolph” would be recorded by more than five hundred artists, but Gene’s version always seemed to be everyone’s favorite.



You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen,
Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen,
But do you recall the most famous reindeer of all?

Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer
Had a very shiny nose,
And if you ever saw it
You would even say it glows.

All of the other reindeer
Used to laugh and call him names,
They never let poor Rudolph
Join in any reindeer games.

Then one foggy Christmas Eve
Santa came to say,
Rudolph, with your nose so bright
Won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?

Then how the reindeer loved him
As they shouted out with glee,
Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer
You’ll go down in history. *

Composer: Johnny Marks – 1949




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Mr. Larry Hume










VFW Post 8904 Quartermaster Larry Hume started a project to identify all the World War I veterans from Shelby County that served in the war, or those from other places who are buried in Shelby County. Hume will not let our veterans be forgotten.


“Everybody including myself were really surprised that we ended up with 884 names”, said Hume. 2018 was the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Hume organized a special once-in-a-lifetime event to honor all our World War I veterans. The event was held on Sunday, Nov. 11, at the historical 1885 Shelby County courthouse.


The Veteran’s Day memorial was well attended and featured different local musical performances. Speeches were given by Hume and other prominent members of the community. The local 4H bequeathed special quilts that they made to several surviving veterans from different wars.

The VFW Post 8904’s women auxiliary also unveiled a huge quilted display made of thousands of quilted buddy poppies. The display was hung from a window on the side of the historic courthouse. The individual poppies that made up the quilt were fashioned from hard work of many women both locally and abroad.


“Everything has been self-taught and has just kind of evolved”, said Hume. Hume and his wife Theresa Dibben Hume moved to Center, Texas in 1996.  They started their own successful printing business Chief Imaging. The couple started the print shop with no prior knowledge about it. He did not join the local VFW Post 8904 until one day in 2004.


As time went on Hume became more involved with the local VFW post and became the post commander. After being the post commander for a few years Hume switched over to the role of quartermaster. 


“It gives you an opportunity to see everything”, said Hume. The role of quartermaster is like a finical manager. Hume is very involved in the community. 


As well as being the post quartermaster, Hume is the face of our local VFW.  He appears and usually gives a speech at every war memorial that he can attend, sometimes even in the rain.  He is a member of the Shelby County Historical Society helps with the Shelby County Museum in Center, Texas.  


“I wasn’t in too long before I knew that is what I wanted to do,” said Hume. Hume made a career out of his military service. He served in the Air Force for 20 years and one month. When Hume first joined the military, he worked in administration. 


Over his years in the service, he worked various jobs from finance to teaching. Hume eventually became a Command Chief Master Sergeant working for a wing commander to advise him on enlisted matters.


“It grew me up”, said Hume, after being asked how the military shaped him as a person. Hume finished his military career as an E9 Command Chief Master Sergeant, which is the highest enlisted rank you can achieve in the United States Air Force. 


“I didn’t consider any other service”, said Hume. Growing up as a serviceman’s son Hume enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1961. Fresh out of high school and not wishing to pursue college at the time, Hume chose to join the Air Force. He chose the Air Force over the other branches because his father Lewis Hume Jr. served in the Air Force in World War II. 


“If you don’t want to go to college when you finish high school the military is a good place to start your life”, said Hume. During his 20 years of service in the militarily, Hume went on to pursue a college education. He graduated with two degrees a bachelor’s in business and a master’s in management. 


“I think every veteran would tell you they would do it again”, said Hume. Hume’s only regret about his military service is that he did not serve even longer






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