One of the most poignant scenes in the John Wayne movie epic “The Alamo” occurs late in the picture when Davey Crockett and another Tennessee backwoodsman are sitting by a campfire inside the doomed compound.
Both men were wounded in 12 days and nights of battle with thousands of Santa Anna’s soldiers.
They know the tiny garrison will be overrun the next day and that all will die.
The other Tennessean notices Davey staring into the fire. He asks: “What ya thinkin’ about?”
“Not thinking, just rememberin.”
As I grow older, I find myself doing a lot more remembering. My wife says it’s because I’m always looking for material for this column.
One of my cousins teased me that I was going to tell of the family’s secrets in my column. My response was that I was only getting warmed up.
A colleague at work mentioned blackberry picking and I immediately had a flashback to the days when my brother and sister and I used to help our grandmother pick blackberries.
She was deathly afraid of snakes so it was my job to run through the blackberry patch and scare away the reptiles.
I was proud to do it because she always made sure I got the biggest piece of blackberry cobbler.
It dawned on me one day that she might not love me as much as the others because she never sent them through that patch in harm’s way.
So I asked if that was what it meant. She put her arm around me and whispered:
“I have you do it because you’re the biggest and strongest and bravest.”
At that point, I would have fought for the right to run through those briars.
Later, I chuckled to realize it was the first time I could recall being taken advantage of by someone I loved. I later realized it also was great training for being a parent.
Yesterday’s mail brought an ATM card and I recalled the time I was going through the ATM lane with a vanload of kids.
I inserted the ATM card and took the cash. As we drove away, my six-year-old son called from the back of the van: “Dad, when you die, can I have that card?”
I asked why he wanted it. He said because “you put it into that machine and out comes free money.”
Today I realized that I’ve spent the last 27 years trying to convince him that’s not actually how things work.