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Exporting “Making the Connection”; KP Duty; Dog v. Kitten; A Naughty Tea Towel

On Sunday, Suzanne and Bev Garlipp drove to Ocala, FL, 45 minutes north of our homes in The Villages, to give her “Making the Connection” presentation at the Ocala Inner Center. Suzanne was introduced by the event’s sponsor, Jean McDoniel; they are pictured together at left.  

It was a full house at the OIC talk, with 14 percent of the attendees being men. I will pass a special thanks to Bev for helping Suzanne today with setup, book sales, and photography, as I had another engagement. 

Where was Ty today? Well, last year, on the recommendation of a friend in The Villages RV Club, I became an Elk. No, I did not have DNA from Cervus Canadensis transplanted into my bloodstream, nor did I have Super Size antlers affixed to my head, and I definitely don’t browse and graze, although I can bugle pretty well… But I did join the Elks fraternal organization, which after the US government, is the largest charity donor in the world. The Elks also have 2,000 lodges around the USA, and many have RV facilities; we used at least a dozen of these facilities last summer on our Messages of Hope Tour. Anyway, our local lodge put out a call for volunteers to help do maintenance this weekend, and Sunday was my day to help out. My unique skills and specialized training stood me in good stead, for I was given two critical tasks: changing several potable water filters (a 10 minute job) and scrubbing refrigerator shelves, pots and pans (a 2 hour job). Patty, the gal running the kitchen, obviously recognized my skills and potential for growth, saying that I was one of the best dishwashers she’s seen in weeks and when would I be back? (It’s a good thing we’re leaving town in 10 days, or I’d be drafted for regular KP duty.)   

By the way, here are some Elk trivia… there are about 1,000,000 members of the Elks; famous members include Generals Eisenhower, MacArthur, and Patton; Presidents Harding, FD Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Ford; Clint Eastwood, Ben Affleck, Lawrence Welk, Buffalo Bill Cody, Gene Autry, Jack Benny, Will Rogers, Vince Lombardi, Casey Stengel, Mickey Mantle, and many politicians and business men and women. The Elks began in 1868 in NYC as a social club called “The Jolly Corks”… perhaps this is what led me subconsciously to join… Don’t these guys look like “The Original Party Animals”? 

On Saturday we had to take Rudy to the vet, as he had hurt his back when he tried to fly off the bed when the doorbell rang. He’s doing much better now after some pain meds and muscle relaxers, but we’re even more careful than ever to keep him from hurting himself. We already had six sets of doggie steps so he and Gretchen could climb up on their favorite chairs, love seat, sofa, and garden wall, but when the doorbell goes off, both puppies have to go airborne to see who can get to the door first. 

While we were at the vet, we observed this large white dog investigating a container of four brand new kittens. The dog’s owner said he was used to kids (she has eight, God Bless Her), but had never met kittens. He would put his nose up to the cage, and the kitten would swipe it with his tiny paw (and claws). The dog would jump back, then approach slowly until his nose was within range, and zap, clawed again. He must be a young dog; an older dog would surely know better than to try to sniff a young kitten too closely.  

While visiting an establishment that caters mostly to women, I perused the decorative item below hanging in the privy. Initially, my tender sensibilities as a Southern Gentleman were somewhat offended, but then I realized that I might be looking at this trashy tea towel in the wrong way. Rather than alluding to promiscuous sexual activities of a refined group of women born south of the Mason-Dixon Line, perhaps it was the logo of a club of recently transplanted or temporarily visiting (“snowbirding”?) ladies from the Rust Belt or New England (whether of dubious virtue or just playfully funny). Since I have not observed any club tee shirts, ball caps, or pins on women here in The Villages identifying themselves with this club, I must assume that it is a secretive, or underground, movement. Its meetings are not publicized in our Weekly Recreation News, although I am sure that a publicly announced meeting would bring out many new potential members and even more single men interested in becoming Associate Members…  

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