Riff Raff: All thanked up, again

by Michael Tilley ([email protected]) 627 views 

Editor’s note: This essay was first posted in November 2012. Few things have changed.
In this month containing the Thanksgiving holiday, folks on Facebook have taken to listing something each day for which they are thankful.

Of the few friends on my little page, the thankful items they mention include: Jesus, family, friends, Jesus, girlfriends, healthy babies, Jesus, children, boyfriends, Jesus, grandparents, The U.S. of A., The Lord Almighty, spouses, beer, Jesus, and sex.

This certainly goes against the grain of the clever Drive-By Truckers song, “Too much sex (too little Jesus).”

“Take the Lord into your heart and stop that fornication.
We’re building us an army, gonna knock out Satan.
Visa or Mastercard, our operator’s waiting.
Too much sex, too little Jesus.”

Amen, right?

So as I won’t feel guilty about not posting something each day of the month, figured I just knock it all out right here with a list of 30 things that trigger my thankful button. And, in no particular order, here they are.

Angela. Josie. Anna Claire.

Am thankful Al Gore took some time off from saving Polar Bears to invent the Internet.

It’s nice to not live in a hurricane zone. (Sure, you get more notice with a hurricane than a tornado, but when’s the last time you heard of a tornado knocking out power to more than 6 million people and causing more than $20 billion in damage?)

Thankful that the consensus is we’ll get a new head Hog coach in a few weeks.

Am thankful that often in the same week The City Wire is accused of being another member of the liberal media and accused of being a right wing “soap box” controlled by the rich.

Thankful that my mom and dad were my mom and dad. The more I learn about parents and parenting, the more grateful I am.

Thankful for the folks who figured out how to ferment grapes. Really thankful.

Thankful for all those inches and feet by which Raymond Evans, who would become my grandfather, missed bullets and mortar and other sources of death while he fought across the front lines of Europe in 1944 and 1945.

Granma Tilley, who taught me how to snap beans, clean corn, stake tomatoes and the importance of being quiet and listening to the world around you.

Sister Loretta and her family.

The Duke and Duchess and their generosity that exceeds understanding and what is deserved. Thanks, Bob and Linda.

Am thankful to never have been abducted by aliens. (At least not that I know of.)

Jack White, Tom Barr and other directors and officers at the Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce who allowed me to pack way more than six years of experience into my six years as a chamber employee.

iTunes. Seriously.

Did I mention the thing about being thankful for the grape fermentation process?

Thankful that Miss Ada Mills did whatever she did to allow me to intern one summer in the D.C. office of U.S. Rep. John Paul Hammerschmidt.

Randy Tumbleson.

Most folks doubt the sanity of anyone who would agree to work with an old curmudgeon of a journalist, but am thankful for the crew who work for and with The City Wire (now Talk Business & Politics). They’ve taught me that talent comes in many forms.

Thankful for newspapers who put their online content behind a paywall.

Because they have all the answers about better government, schools, economic development and slave history, am thankful Republicans will soon be in charge of the Arkansas General Assembly.

Thankful that I won’t be burdened next year with high expectations for the Razorback football team.

Angus and Malcolm.

Am thankful for folks like Nancy Fikes, Ardith Morris and Tommy Mumert who helped a farm boy from Johnson County learn more about his potential.

The Davis family and that wonderful home near Minnow Creek.

Most folks thought I was nuts upon volunteering, and I had doubts, but am thankful to have served in the U.S. military.

Did I mention the thing about being thankful for the grape fermentation process?

Thankful I was alive as part of the generation to witness the Dallas Cowboys win a Super Bowl. We’ll soon die out and no one will remember the Cowboys winning more than two consecutive playoff games.

Considering the odds of popping up elsewhere, am glad to have been born on U.S. soil.

Am also thankful I was able to think of 30 things for which to be thankful.

Oh, yeah, and Jesus, beer and sex.