Remembering both the trivial and the important
I am finding too many exciting events are passing me by. Did you know that last week down in Luling, Texas, they held the Watermelon Thumping and World Championship Seed Spitting Contest? I didn't.
It would do no good for me to go as a contestant as I would not know a good, ripe ready-to-eat watermelon from a green one. And if any baseball players were enrolled in the Seed Spitting Contest no one else would stand a chance. Speaking of spitting, have you ever wondered what it is about the game of baseball that makes the players spit all the time..
If they are dumb enough to chew tobacco I can see their need to spit. But the spittoon was invented over a hundred years ago and surely every dugout could afford one of those. I saw some brass unused spittoons in a store the other day for just $15.00. .
May be we should post signs like they do in Hong Kong: "No Spitting Allowed." They are posted mainly on the Star Ferry that runs between the mainland city of Kowloon and the island of Hong Kong. Posted in two languages. If reading skills continue to diminish in this country it would not help the ball players unless there was a drawing beside the admonition of a person spitting..
Tomorrow is the third anniversary of China regaining sovereignty over Hong Kong. The old British colony has continued to prosper. Eric Kwong, professor of World Religions at the Hong Kong Baptist Seminary, writes that church attendance appears the same and there is an increased interest in theological study in most of the Hong Kong Christian seminaries. So China's rule over Hong Kong was not the end of the world as some had predicted. That does not mean everything is better for everybody, nor that all problems are gone. There are lots of old and new problems to keep the preachers and the police busy..
Getting back to important events you may have missed as I did. For example. Just last Sunday, June 25, an anniversary was not widely noted. It was 134 years ago last Sunday that Lt. Col. George A. Custer and his Seventh Calvary were defeated by the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians..
Such a slight of "Custer's Last Stand" is understandable when we remember that fifty years ago last Sunday, June 25, 1950, the North Korean armies stormed into South Korea and tried to take over the entire peninsula at the urging of the Soviet dictator, Josef Stalin. The Korean "police action" as it was stupidly called by some, did not last long but left a lasting impression on Americans and Koreans. .
For half a century American young men and women have been sent over to Korea to guard the 38th parallel that divides the two Koreas. It is time America left that job to the Koreans and use the money saved on education. Possibly the meeting of the two heads of State last week will lead eventually to peace and unification on the Korean peninsula. .
Of the many who were killed and maimed during that conflict I mention only one. He was born in China of missionary parents, he attended Howard Payne and had lived in Brownwood when his parents were on leave in the 1930s. He became a correspondent for Time Magazine, based in Hong Kong. Being the Asian expert that he was and an inquisitive journalist, he flew from Hong Kong to Korea for a better understanding of the situation. It was one of those `beyond the call of duty' things..
The war was only 27 days old when he and the regiment he was visiting were surrounded and wiped out. His name was Wilson Fielder, Jr. I never met Wilson, Jr., but some years later the preaching of his missionary father, in the Stag Creek Baptist Church in Comanche County, pointed us toward a life in China..
Keep tabs with the trivial. But never forget the important events and people that come along the way. ---- June 30, 2000.
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