Will Rogers – My Hero

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For this morning’s cackle, I want to talk about Will Rogers. He is the reason I started RJsCorner 8 years ago. I have been reading him since I was a kid.
Will RogersFor all you people that don’t know anything about what happened before 1980, I want to give you a little snort of Will and his words. Will was born way back in 1879 in Indian territory now known as Oklahoma. His roots were in the Cherokee nation. He started out in Vaudeville doing rope tricks in the Ziegfeld Follies but became world famous for his writing and his radio programs. He was a homespun guy whose earthy antics and folksy style made him the most famous entertainer of his time. Will died at the age of 55 in an aircraft accident with Wiley Post in August 1935.
I have been pretty lax in visiting Will here on RJsCorner lately, that is something I will correct going forward. Will lived during the Great Depression but he never got dark in his writings.  Hopefully, I will be able to say the same thing at least going forward from here.
If any of this sounds interesting to you, then stick around. I think I just might be able to brighten your day once in a while and hopefully bring an occasional smile to your face.
Much more on Will is coming soon in one of my Weekly Squawks. If you don’t know much about Will, it will be my pleasure to introduce you to him.
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Why are the posts now called cackles??

2018-03-13_10-35-34Welcome to the new and improved RJsCorner. Before I get into anything serious, you may think it’s kinda strange for me to now call my daily posts “Morning Cackles”?  I got a reason for my madness. First off, for you city folks,  a cackle is a short and abrupt sound that hens make after they lay eggs.  My morning posts going forward will be short (250 words or less) and to the point.
Paying respect to my poultry friends is one of the reasons for the name of my posts. But I gotta admit that the main reason is that the current guy in the Oval Office tweets, which is defined as a weak chirping sound. I know he is president and I’m only a retired guy living in the Midwest but I kinda think my words have more value and I guarantee they will contain more truth. So,  I put out a full-blown morning cackle instead of his nightly tweets.
Getting back to my poultry friends, their eggs are a source of high-quality protein and also vitamins and minerals. I don’t know how the term “laying an egg” got to be so negative. I’m sure laying an egg isn’t easy! They put a lot of work into it and so do I in writing my posts.
I like to think that I can lay a pretty good egg on a daily basis, but it’s up to you to determine that. Let me know what you think??
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Tongue In Cheek..

I am going to do a little ‘explainin’ on this post about the foundations for RJsCorner. Everyone knows that a good house has to have a good foundation in order to survive. Since RJsCorner has been going on for almost nine years now and has over 3,000 posts it must have a pretty good foundation, even if it is not mentioned very often.

I started RJsCorner primarily because I had an overwhelming desire to write about my view of the world. I have always loved writing but had never tried to do it around a theme. I needed something as a common thread throughout my future posts. That something turned out to be based around my biggest hero/mentor/inspiration in life. His name was Will Rogers. He died almost 15 years before I was born so I really only knew him by his words and stories about him. If you do a search for “Will Rogers” in my search box at the top of each page you will find over a hundred posts about Will.

Will Rogers was a very prolific writer. Here are some words about him from the back of one of my favorite books:

2017-10-11_10-00-37.pngWill Rogers “was” America. Part Cherokee Indian and former cowboy, he captivated audiences around the world with sparkling gems of wisdom cloaked in gentle and uproarious country wit..

A simple, plain-spoken man, he was the voice of a nation during the ’20s and ’30s. Movie star, vaudeville headliner, radio commentator, his views and observations were syndicated daily and weekly in over 600 newspapers across the country.

Here is the essential Will Rogers — the story of his remarkable career, from Oklahoma “cowpuncher” to international star . . . and the warm, knowing and hilarious philosophies of the man embodied the heart and soul of the nation.

Will Rogers was a very prolific writer. He had a lot to say about the ‘human condition’ in America during his years. He tackled on a myriad of topics but by far the one he wrote most about was politics.  He described politics of his time as “applesauce”. It’s hard to find the original source of this term but to me it means that the political process takes something that is good and wholesome and pulverizes it into an unrecognizable mush.

His most famous quote was the title of the book above. He wrote some pretty critical words but they were always with respect for the subject at hand and with a dose of humor.

The descriptions of Will Rogers is quite varied. Some call him a humorist-social commentator, some a humorist-philosopher, and some a satirist. His words were primarily with a “Tongue In Cheek” spirit. For those of you who might have a different view from me on that phrase here is a pretty good definition:

When a statement is “tongue in cheek” it is ironic, slyly humorous; it is not meant to be taken seriously, however it’s sarcasm is subtle.

Though not meant to be taken seriously, it is not overt joking or kidding around, it is “gently poking fun”. A “tongue in cheek” statement may have a double meaning, some sort of innuendo or is witty in some way, particularly to the speaker. The tone or the context of the statement may make it to be taken seriously by the listener.

Here at RJsCorner I try to always keep Will’s philosophy of writing in mind.  Some who read my words just take them too literally when they are primarily intended as ‘tongue in cheek’.

These are indeed dark times for America but they are not the only time there have been dark clouds.  We will get through them as we have in the past, if we only don’t take them too serious.  In that vein I will close out this post with one of my favorite quotes from Will.

Do the best you can but don’t take life too serious.

That’s darn good advise for our times if you ask me….

Never Just One Source…

Will Rogers is perhaps my primary hero in life. He is the reason I started up blogging  ten years ago and still today I try to follow his philosophy  when blogging here at RJsCorner.

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From Will’s Facebook page
Like Will I can tell from a mile away those folks who only watch Fox News for all their info about the political world. Their obsession with fear of almost everything shows through in much of what they do.

Like Will I try to think for myself but I don’t make up facts to align with my worldview. Common sense can explain much of the world today but it seems that so many of the pundits at Fox News and most of the others for that matter don’t have much of it.  When our news sources turned from an information providing public service to  for-profit institutions what sells the most is what is important to them. Giving balanced “reports” of the day has been long since abandoned.

There is just not enough people with common sense around anymore..

Even though you died several years before I was born I miss you Will and will try to carry on your tradition here at RJsCorner…

Being A Hero…

Will Rogers 6This thing about being a hero, about the main thing to it is to know when to die. Prolonged life has ruined more men than it ever made.

Will Rogers July 1928

I have been avoiding one of my heroes of late and that is a shame. Will Rogers has as much to teach us in the 21st century as he did almost a hundred years ago.

I’m not much of a sports guy but from what I can get from it there are too many heroes that just don’t know when to hang up their cleats or whatever they use.  They are really great at doing that one thing but then when their abilities wain many just seem hang on.  I know that Green Bay quarterback was a recent example. He just didn’t know when to take his millions and retire to something else.

Mark Twain was another guy that didn’t know how to exit stage left as old show people used to say. He wrote some books that were pretty famous (I didn’t personally care for them but so what), then as he got older he became extremely cynical about almost everything.  It ruined his persona as a literary hero to many.

I never really did much in my life to gain much attention. I helped invent the Trimline telephone and worked on several other things in that area but all have long since disappeared. I built quite a few painted country cabinets that are family heirlooms to those who bought them but that is a pretty limited crowd and of course I have been blogging for seven years now. I don’t have much of a legacy to tarnish in my old age.  So I can think and say pretty much whatever I want on RJsCorner and nothing much is damaged.

I know some of my heroes are tarnished by their actions. Cosby is one of the more recent ones.  I didn’t get married until I was almost 40 years of age and I used to say that everything I knew about marriage I learned from Cosby.  Of course I don’t say that anymore as it has now taken on a completely different persona.  Instead of being on my hero list Cosby is not occupying the black list.

Another hero was Henry Ford, he practically invented the middle class in America by paying his employees their share of the gains they produced. Without him and the processes he invented the 1950s and 60s would have been quite different place from the one I grew up in.  But then their is his racist stands in life. Every hero seems to have  a dark side.

In some ways its kind of nice to not to have to live up to a hero status. No one expects much from me, an unknown old and deaf guy so I don’t have much of an ability to disappoint anyone. I can pretty much say whatever I want and it doesn’t matter much. But I like to think that I am of my hero Will Rogers genre. I try to always treat everyone one with the respect they deserve.  Even here on RJ’sCorner…