The Ennis Daily News (Ennis, Tex.), Ed. 1 Thursday, July 4, 2013 Page: 4 of 8
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Thursday, July 4,2013
Ennis Daily News
Don’t forget what makes today special.
Especially in a time when the topics in
the news are contentious, controversial
and sometimes frightening, remember-
ing the joy of being an American is key
Remembering that joy paves the road
to correcting the ills that face us, truly
We, the proud citizens of the land of
the free and the home of the brave, are
lucky to call this land our land.
Today is a moment
that brings families,
strangers together in
the simplicity of being
a citizen of this won-
It is certainly an ap-
propriate time to call to
mind the veterans and soldiers, both
local and from points far removed, who
have fought and are continuing in the
fight to protect the freedom that we rel-
It is certainly an appropriate time to
call to mind the peace officers, emer-
gency responders and care workers who
protect us in moments of need, weak-
ness and hardship.
It is certainly an appropriate time to
call to mind the families that unite
around us as we celebrate the founding
of our country and the legacy of our
founding fathers. That relationship
unites us as one large, extended family
unit of Americans who all believe in
freedom and choice.
Today, as we observe and remember
the achievements and sacrifices that
helped us forge the nation we live in and
celebrate, we must remember our rea-
Without the continued fight to support
our ideals of freedom and equality for
every man, woman and child, we would
not be where we are. We lose sight of
what we have accomplished as a nation,
though, much as the perfectionist loses
sight of his stepwise improvements in
his search of purity.
While we hear about leaks and spying,
national security-justified surveillance
against Americans and a laundry list of
concerns that scare us into worrying
that our grand American experiment
may have already lost its luster, we must
remember we hold the ultimate power.
We, the people, are the country, not our
leaders, not their decisions and not the
power they choose to wield. Never forget
that and we will never have to be so
afraid as to forget the greatness of Amer-
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Praying for birds of a feather
The bird’s name was Perry
He belonged to a little red-
headed girl in Central Florida
who loved him dearly When she
was eight years old,
however, he flew the
The little girl’s
mother was a devout
woman of faith, so
she prayed mightily
for that bird. She
prayed for the bird’s
safety and she prayed
for his well-being;
she prayed that he
would find his way
back to his family
which loved him. She
prayed for her griev-
ing daughter and for
the Lord’s will to be
done. Never before, had a bird
been covered with the prayers
which surrounded this parakeet.
Three days after his escape,
Perry Como landed safely a mile
from their home.
On the little girl’s grand-
(You can’t make this stuff up.)
“Your grandmother’s head?” I
“My grandmother’s head,”
she said. “She had gone to the
I could envision the landing. I
could envision the bird. But I
couldn’t help but ask how she
knew this was the same bird.
She had an easy answer: “Oh,
it was Perry Como because he
had a chipped toenail.”
I repeat: you can’t make this
stuff up ... and you can’t argue
with those who carry such sto-
ries around with them in a suit-
case of memories.
The little red-headed girl grew
up, got married and had a daugh-
ter of her own.
She bought her little girl a
cockatiel that she named Fluffy
Puffy Pretty Bird and shouldn’t
we all carry such glorious labels?
In Perry that bird was trans-
ported to a show-and-tell at one
of the local schools.
The bird, you see,
Bells” no matter the
month of the year.
For the school’s
borrowed a cage for
As fate would have
it, the bottom of that
cage was faulty and
it fell out in front of
the school where the
buses were parked to
home for the day.
A bus driver witnessed the en-
tire ordeal: there were buses in a
row, children everywhere, a bird
on the loose and a distraught
mother in hot pursuit, trying to
whistle “Jingle Bells” as she
chased him, which is no small
The bus driver bowed her
head to pray ... for the bird’s
safety and for his well-being, for
the safety of the children in her
care and their well-being. “Lord,
help that woman,” she said with
fervor and sincerity.
It is no surprise that a bird
can fly faster than a mother can
run. Fluffy outdistanced his
loved ones in no time flat and the
It was not an unfamiliar
process for the mother.
But, like her own mother, the
little red-headed girl who was
now a red-headed mother was a
devout woman of faith so she
prayed mightily for this bird: for
his comfort and his safety for his
well-being, for his sense of di-
rection, and especially for his re-
turn to her daughter, so the
grieving could end.
One day passed.
A second day passed.
On the third day the bird
named Fluffy landed on top of
the head of the bus driver 10
“Oh, now you’re kidding me,”
I said, and you’re saying too.
“It’s the truth,” she insisted,
and she doesn’t lie.
Fluffy was rescued and re-
turned to his family the same
day which marked the anniver-
sary of the little red-headed
girl’s mother’s death — the one
who began this circle of praying
fervently for birds and children,
and mothers and buses.
“We all had curly hair,” the red-
headed mother explained. Did it
look like a nest? Only Perry Como
and Fluffy can answer for sure and
they have both passed on to that
great bird cage in the sky where
they are sharing this story now
and none of the other birds proba-
bly believe them.
It is a story for which so many
morals can be derived, if you
wish to be Aesop. Having a de-
vout mother is surely one of
God’s greatest gifts. Teaching
your bird to whistle “Jingle
Bells” is ingenious. Learning to
check the bottom of the bird
cage is prudent before traveling,
and you don’t have to be St. Fran-
cis of Assisi to recognize the
good gifts that birds bring.
God bless Perry Como.
God bless Fluffy
And God bless all those
women who spend their days
praying through the details, for
as even the birds know, you may
find God there.
Susan Lincoln is the managing
editor of The Perry (Fla.) News-
One man s trash, another’s garbage
Have you ever thrown some-
thing out, like a Rembrandt etch-
ing or an old Tiffany lamp, only
to find out later that it was worth
tens of thousands of dollars?
Neither have I. Yet
every time I watch
show" or "Pawn
Stars," I hear that
someone found this
in the trash, or that a
neighbor had given
them George Wash-
ington's sword to
thank them for clean-
ing out the attic.
It makes me won-
der what I did to get
the stingy neighbors
I have, who never seem to throw
out anything valuable. When I go
through their trash, there's never
anything worth selling, and yet
I'm the one who gets yelled at. I'm
talking about you, Thelma! It's
bad enough that all your garbage
is just garbage. It's a real pain to
have to listen to you telling me
you'll call the police if I don't put
it back in the recycling bin ex-
actly the way I found it.
What a troublemaker she is.
I know she's got stuff in that
house that's worth real money;
it's got to be only a matter of time
before she makes a mistake and
throws it out. No one likes a
It's not even about the money
it's about making a good deal. It's
like the lottery except your
chances of finding a Rembrandt
in the trash are much, much bet-
ter. And you don't
have to wait in line.
One of the things I
see that are worth a
lot of money are old
dolls, the kind with
porcelain heads and
stuffed bodies that
are wearing dull
brown, truly unflat-
dresses. All the ex-
perts pick them up
and look at them and
say they're worth
$800. Eight hundred
dollars? These things make
Chatty Cathy look like Bar-
barella. No wonder most of them
are in such good shape. Nobody
would want to play with those
dumpy-looking things. A dead
flounder would be cuter and
more fun. These antique dolls are
the opposite of fun. They are
anatomically correct in the way
a sandbag is anatomically cor-
rect. And I'm talking about the
hands and feet. Forget about the
other parts - they sure did.
It transforms into nothing. It
does not speak or let you change
its diapers or comb its hair. Call-
ing this a toy is like calling a feed
bag a prom dress. As a present, it
would be worse than giving your
kid a lump of coal for Christmas.
At least the child can burn the
coal. No one wants to burn $800.
Wouldn't you know it, I inher-
ited one of these so-called "dolls"
from an elderly aunt. I don't col-
lect them, and no one I know col-
lects them, so I put it on eBay to
get the depressing thing out of
my home before it sucked out my
will to live. And to get a quick
$800. There's no doubt I could buy
something much more fun than
that doll for $800. Like a hair
shirt. Or leg irons.
There are lots of dolls like this
for sale on eBay for $800, but
they're not up for auction. They
are always listed as "Buy it Now"
with a price. So, I took a few flat-
tering pictures of my windfall
and waited for the bids to come
in. The first bid was for $29. Well,
that's OK, I thought. You start
low, and it grows from there.
There were six and a half days
left for people to bid the doll up to
its true value. And sure enough,
they did. The final price? $39.
Well, I got it for free, so I didn't
lose any money. And in truth, I
wouldn't have paid that much for
Now that it's gone, I can get
back to looking for Van Goghs in
the neighbor's trash.
Contact Jim Mullen at Jim-
The Village Idiot
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Todaro, Nick. The Ennis Daily News (Ennis, Tex.), Ed. 1 Thursday, July 4, 2013, newspaper, July 4, 2013; Ennis, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth774722/m1/4/: accessed February 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Ennis Public Library.