The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The Wisdom Of Barnyard Bruke: "team work conquers many problems!"

Greetings to everyone in western Illinois. I'm a hope'n this column finds everyone feel'n well and in good spirits. As for meself I've got a miserable cold and a touch of the flu. I've had the flu shot and the pneumonia shot but forgot to ask the doctor about a "cold" shot. Many folk I've run into this past month have suffered from some melody or another that would fit into the category of "cold" or "flu."

I suppose I should have been wear'n rubber surgical gloves and a competent face mask, like pictures of the Japanese show they do, when I went out in the public. Carry'n a bottle of disinfectant to spray on all door handles and any other object I may have come in contact with could have possibly helped prevent my sickness as well. But somehow I can't imagine the reaction of the bank folk if'n I had a face mask on demand'n a withdrawal the other day. They would probably pull an alarm on me and take away my squirt bottle.

It seems a "warm weather" or "summer cold" hits ya harder and lasts longer than winter colds do. Be'n plugged up in the head and chest and have'n a sore throat with achy breaky muscles is no fun at anytime. But it hinders your energy when nice weather comes along and you'd like to get some work done.

This "cold" also gets ya in the voice box which enables ya to sound like Herman the Bullfrog when ya talk. And yet even with the sound of a bullfrog ya have troubles gett'n enough energy to do much hopp'n.

I like to visit friends in the hospital, nursing home, or those confined to their homes, thru out the year to spread a little "good cheer" and keep them up on happen'ins out in the world and neighborhood.

One does not dare engage in any such socialize'n activities when carry'n this "under the weather bug". Wouldn't want to spread any of this "melody" anywhere else in the community. In fact, I'm a wish'n the "hombre" that passed this "bug" along to me had stayed at home as well! It would of saved me a passal of problems.

Seems there is much conflict and dissension go'n on in many places when I read the paper and listen to the news. It reminds me of two examples:

Example 1) Years ago we had a cornfield catch afire as we were about one half done harvest'n it. Combine, trucks, auger wagon, and tractor were all in the field. The wind was a blow'n a pretty good clip.

I suppose ya can imagine how frightful that experience was. Not only was your machinery in danger of loss but the remain'n stand'n corn was vulnerable as well.

That was before the days of cell phones. We frantically raced to the neighbor'n house and found someone at home.

They were asked to call the fire department for which they asked "which one". We replied we didn't know whose jurisdiction the field was in so just call both possibilities.

Two separate fire departments showed up at the same time. Whew-what a sight for sore eyes they were. We had already burned up our jackets and one half our shirts try'n to beat the fire out. Next step would've been to take off our britches and utilize them for try'n to beat out the fire. It would have been an awful frightful sight and I doubt if'n my wife would've cooperated at that point in time. At least I'm sure her britches were go'n to stay put where they belonged.

Anyhow, after the firemen arrived they proceeded to argue about whose jurisdiction the cornfields fire belong in. It is understandable, I suppose, to realize their concern for liability reasons. However the fire was now in my stand'n corn an lastly approach'n my machinery.

Just as I ran out of proper clothe'n and started to undo my belt for one last valiant effort of "britches beating" one of the firemen spoke up. "You fellers argue this out if'n ya wants to, I'm fight'n this fire to save this man's cornfield and the machinery in it".

That was all it took. Momentarily "procedure" had taken precedence over "urgency" and they had forgotten their mission. Now the effort was extended cooperatively and the remaining cornfield, with machinery was saved.

Example 2) A house fire took place in our community and the fire progressed rapidly with flames stretch'n through the windows and roof greedily consume'n more as it raged and crackled.

Two local fire departments showed up and with complete teamwork and skill set up to fight the fire. With amaze'n efficiency they put in place a collapsible water tank. A tanker dumped its load of water and as it pulled away a second one backed up and unloaded. The fire departments blended right into action and began blasting the flames while firefighters surrounded the house. Some even entered into the house look'n for inhabitants. The flames were forced back, giving ground and dying back. Ever so often there was a fierce outburst, and then it would fade away. Smoke filled the air with volumes of steam as cold water hit the highly heated areas. Some it was all over.

We can learn from both examples. A great fire can be amazingly taken care of when everyone works together. What if the firefighters hadn't arrived promptly for the house fire or the fire chiefs had bad judgment and leadership skills. He might have begun arguing with us as in he cornfield fire, while everyone milled around uncertainly. What if some firefighters asked others to "stand back, we were here first!"

What if'n the firefighters had spent precious time point'n fingers at the homeowner at his carelessness with a space heater cause this unnecessary fire pointing blame, and cause'n terrible delay.

All the while the flames consume the home. But no, this did not happen. Our communities could learn much from these firefighters. Churches, school boards, local politicians as well as national and state politicians should unite and put aside partisan differences.

Work'n on problems and search'n for sound solutions would be greatly magnified to everyones benefit with an attitude of teamwork.

Well, as for me and the boys we're gonna give this much thought and temper our attitudes accordingly. In the meantime I'm a hope'n ya all go to the polls and vote and ask the important questions before you cast your final vote. Then have a good week ahead. Enjoy your families and community.

Keep on Smile'n

Catch ya Later

Barnyard Bruke