That Gate Can Swing Both Ways

Published: Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 02:33 PM.

            That ball crashed into the front windshield of our faithful ’51 Chevrolet with a glass shattering bang that reverberates to this day. My heart skipped ten beats. And then stopped completely when I realized Daddy was standing on the back porch! He had witnessed the whole thing. He bolted down the steps, grabbed Leon up, and whipped him “for a while”. He never said a word or laid a hand on me.

            I reckon life was not good for Leon that day. But it let me off scot-free. You see, sometimes life can be unfair IN YOUR FAVOR!

            People have had trouble pronouncing my name since I’ve been old enough to remember. It has been misspoken, mutilated and tangled by teachers on the first day of school, by college professors, by store clerks, candle stick makers and by friend and foe alike. It was a great source of embarrassment, most especially when I was in those self conscious early teenage years. I was sixteen when I met Mary Hadley Hayden. You should have heard how “Kesley” rolled off those beautiful lips. She could make it sing!

            I’ve been kinda proud of that special name ever since. A lot of this fairness business deals from the angle you’re viewing it. 

            I married my first wife for two reasons. She was even better looking than Mary Hadley and I thought she had money. It turned out she was poorer than I was! And let me tell you, that was a feat in itself! Before I could kick myself for getting into this deal under false pretenses, she loved me and cared for me and gave me children, respected me, put my concerns above hers on a daily basis, took care of our household, washed and cleaned up after me with a light heart and smile on her face……and she is one person on earth who is completely void of any guile. She has given so much more to this relationship than I have.

            That is why my first wife is still my first wife. I’ve known lots of guys who married above themselves. But I excellest them all!      

            I do wonder from time to time if SHE ever thinks life is unfair!



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