Posted by: Jim E | October 19, 2010

Big Tiny Little…I Make My Own Shade…

I don’t think I can remember a time when someone called me, “Tiny” or “Little”…now, they have used the term “Big”, from time to time…but as I was putting this post together, I remembered those names together…”Big Tiny Little”…so I looked it up…and he was somebody…and then I remembered how I knew that name…

Big Tiny Little Jr. played piano on the Lawrence Welk show for a number of years in the middle and late 50’s…his father was the band leader, Tiny Little…Big Tiny Little, born in Worthington, Minnesota, started playing the piano when he was very young…and when he was older he was a regular act on the Lawrence Welk show…(though I was never a fan…I think Lawrence Welk reruns are still in syndication on TV all over the country)…he was an accomplished pianist…and was popular coast to coast…he could play just about any style from ragtime, honky tonk, to standards and beyond…he died in March of 2010…

All that to say…Big Tiny Little was big…I knew another person who was big…a wrestler…not professional but high school and college…he was not just big, he was huge…about 6’8″ and weighed about…well, who knows, he was huge…and they called him “Tiny”…you get the drift…lots of people who are very big are many times called by nicknames to really emphasize how big they are…I met “Tiny” at one of our high school wrestling matches…Oh, ya, he was big all right…made me look small…I shook his hand and it engulfed mine…now, “he”, could “block out the sun”, as they say…

In the “Blocking Out The Sun” category…I’m no slouch…again, if you get my drift here…at about 6’5″ (I gained back, the inch or so I lost over the years, when I had both knees replaced a few years ago)…and weigh, well, let’s just leave it at that…(when you are in the running for “Blocking Out The Sun”, what’s 50 pounds here or 50 pounds there!!!)…let’s just say I have been accused of blocking out the sun, more than a time or two!!!…

In fact the reason I am reminded of that, is something that happened a couple of days ago…the weather here in Little Rock has been nothing short of fabulous for about a month or so…warm, sunny and low, low humidity…just perfect weather…we are having a much needed rain today…but yesterday and for 4 or 5 weeks before, we have had perfect weather…but I digress…the other day as I was sitting in the sun on one of our perfect days…someone asked me if I wanted some shade…it just popped out…I said, “No need, I make my own shade.”…well, it’s true I do…but it did remind me of something that happened a few years ago…and you know I am going to tell you about it…

Trees are wonderful…spring, summer, fall and even winter…trees have their own beauty that must be enjoyed…and even in these years of my dotage, I have not lost appreciation for God’s beauty that is all around us…in fact one of the important thing about trees is the shade they provide…a few years ago I was attending one of our grandkids soccer games…it was early in a Minnesota summer…now summer in Minnesota is a “crap shoot”…you never know what you are going to get (50 degrees or 80 degrees)…but that day it was about 78 degrees, low humidity and sunshine…with a few “Buttermilk Clouds” (forecasting the thunderstorms that night)…(more about “Buttermilk Sky” in a later post)…

Shade is needed with the sun shining…even for us at one of our grandkids soccer games…it was a wonderful evening…(in Northern climes, the sun doesn’t set until 9:30 or 10:00 in June)…so the sun was still “pumping out the rays” at game time…as I found a seat in a small set of bleachers…I was about 4 rows up…in fact I was the only one in this small set of bleachers…there was a tree to the right of the bleachers and a tree to the left of the bleachers…but the bleachers themselves were, you guessed it…right, directly in the sun…now, my back was to the sun and I found it to be a bit warm but not too bad…

In a little while along came a woman with her daughter…the daughter was blind, as she walked with a white cane…she had a huge pretzel, a water bottle and a book in Braille to read as her brother played  soccer…her mom brought her over to the bleachers to sit down on the first row…she said to her, “Come here and sit in the shade.”…then she said, “I have sunburn, so I’m going over in the shade.”…meaning under the tree, to the right of the bleachers…

Now I don’t know if you are following this story or not…but there was no shade on the bleachers!!!…she wasn’t thinking I’m sure (and I am sitting there enjoying this lots)…and she maybe never understood the humor of what she said…nor did she look around at what was causing this “shade”…but here I am, the only person or thing in the bleachers…(“blocking out the sun”)…so this mother, placed her daughter in the only place where there was “shade”…not a tree but in the shade I provided..

I will never forget her saying, “Come here and sit in the shade.”…and as I sat there I was laughing to myself as this whole situation unfolded…the mother never looked up and saw me…and later it made me uncomfortable to finally move…(because as you can guess, the shade moved with me)…

I still love trees…for heavens sake…I even provide shade…

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