|“I believe,” he says, “. . . that all that is wrong with our world can be attributed to the shortages of front porches and the talks we had on them.” Political, social, economic and personal concerns were taken out and examined after the supper dishes were put away and folks headed for the old metal glider or the front porch swing.
Gully concludes that instant messaging will never replace porch talk - an activity whose added benefit was that, when the conversation was through and all sides of the issue had been examined, the evening breeze would whisk remaining cares away and the cricket concert would gently soothe the soul.
His subjects vary from his belief that, “The demise of the independent hardware store will surely rank as one of the greatest tragedies in American history” to his musings on the idea that being right is not necessarily a virtue.
At one point, Gully calculated how much money he’d earned over the years. After pondering the vast amount and wondering what had happened to it, he realized he’d spent most of it at the Dairy Queen. He went there, not only for the treats but also for the owner, Leon, who was “dedicated to leisure.”
Some of the chapters deal with social issues from a religious point of view. Still, Gully’s comments on the unwarranted flap about the coexistence of science and religion, the necessity of a social compact (which involves taxes), and the idea that you can have too many friends are both humorous and thought provoking.
One chapter deals with the satisfactions of living in a small town. Gully concludes, “There are reason I stay where I do - that I mind my business and everyone else’s, and they know and mind mine. Some people . . . find the scrutiny unbearable, but I prefer to think of it as the tie that binds”. Amen.
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