Thursday evening we attended the annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner at the shooting range (Red River Regional Marksmanship Center). I’ve been away from there for too long—at least for shooting or for visiting for any length of time. If we are to carry through on our plan for me to try out the rifle and for me to get in some bulls-eye practice, I should have been asleep for three hours, now, I think.
Anyway, this year the board of directors did the cooking, rather than having the meal catered. I must say that it was a good, basic meal that I greatly enjoyed. Couldn’t eat the scalloped potatoes (that having been bought in cartons), but the rest of the meal, aside from dinner rolls, was gluten-free and quite tasty. I had salad, lots of raw veggies, pork roast, corn and coffee. Al also had chicken and scalloped potatoes (one of his favorites). And desserts. Which I can’t have.
There were drawings for prizes. I expect those are donated by one of our major sponsors, which company we appreciate greatly. I now have two more “outdoorsman–hunter” type knives, 5″ and 9″. They will be useful in gardening, trimming and general yard work. (Neither one is as expensive as the pocket knife I bought about 10 years ago. But there are many things one cannot do with a pocket knife.)
We also got to talk about isolationism and small communities a bit. What it is like to live in a small farming community, only rarely venturing into the larger city for lectures, concerts, university plays, recitals, etc. For at least the first 17 years of my life, the only black people I knew were university and college faculty members; heads of their departments, sought-after professors, multi-talented, well dressed, affluent and articulate, comfortable and conversible. When I started college, add fellow students and religious sisters. As much distinction as I ever would have made in my first 25 or so years of life, they were higher on the food chain than I was. Not that I was any more than a conceited brat, but still…there was me, and then there was everyone else.
Ah, well! Nothing really did matter in those years but buying books and earning enough to buy books and keep a roof over them to keep them dry, reading the books I wanted to read, playing my trumpet and my piano and singing. Writing, of course, buying a little art, constructing crossword puzzles. Very self centered. Probably still am. It may be, simply, that the “externals” parts of “me” have expanded as the decades have progressed.
Coffee’s gone. Awake is going.