A comment on one of our Cleverjourneys articles, coupled with a serendipitous drive by a church, reminded me of something my Great Grandmother would often say.
“I pray every day for our country and our President, but I’m so sad and discouraged by all the evil. I keep looking for a sign,” was the reader’s comment.
Anytime I hear someone say “I’m looking for a sign” or “There’s your sign,” by default I think of Grandma Morgan.
Born Margaret Deliatha Ralph, just five days after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865, great grandma was a Chickasaw-Choctaw Native American. She married James A. Morgan, a cowboy who herded livestock in cattle drives from Mexico to Kansas and Missouri in the late 1800s to early 1900s.
For awhile, when I was about five through seven, she would visit and we shared the same bedroom. She would teach me Native American lore, language and customs.
Grandma Morgan emphasized that God and Jesus Christ were definitely in line with her childhood teachings. Although she couldn’t read small print (she was in her late 90s), my mother or father would read a few Bible versus to her each evening.
Of all these things she tried to teach me, the lesson I eventually comprehended was “Always look for the signs. They are all around you.”
“Red birds mean good luck,” she would say. “But big black crows will eat your corn. They are not so good.”
I’d laugh and think about the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz.
She died in 1965, a month shy of her 100th birthday. Over 55 years later, I realize her influence and wisdom continues to impact my life.
The year of 2020, has been a remarkable one of pandemic and evil politics. Dodie and I decided to simplify our lives in April. We don’t watch TV and stay far away from mainstream news media.
We moved to the beautiful Texas Hill Country and now live in a simple, small house near a pristine river flowing between Bandera and Kerrville.
With a combination of our desire to NOT conform to news media falsehoods, politically mandated restrictions and political correctness–coupled with the need to seek truth, defy negativity and live with peace–we did three things:
1. Traveled for over a month in 15 states and to Washington D.C. (July 4th) to experience the real America and learn what people really thought. Some of the most decent humans we know are fellow travelers, RVers and Bikers.
2. Simplified, decluttered and healed.
3. Started this CleverJourneys blog to share truths, fun and wisdom.
Along the way we saw many redbirds, but the most obvious signs were those in front of our nation’s churches. We hope you enjoy some of these witty signs of our times.
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Raised in San Antonio, Jack Dennis’ early experiences were as a newspaper reporter and private investigator. With a Texas State University bachelor’s degree, Jack studied journalism, education and psychology. He was the founding vice-president of Sigma Delta Chi, the Association of Professional Journalists at the University. Jack has received numerous awards, including Investigative Reporter of the Year from Rocky Mountain Press Association, David Ashworth Community Award, and Leadership in Management.
Some of the people and groups Jack has interviewed include:
Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, George Strait, Roy Orbison, Justin Timberlake, Steven Tyler, Freddie Mercury, Kenny Rogers, Kenny Loggins, Jackson Browne, Steve Wariner, Tanya Tucker, Scotty Moore, Fats Domino, Patty Page, Tommy Roe, Emmy Lou Harris, Johnny Rivers, Charly McClain, Kinky Friedman, John McFee, Guy Allison & Patrick Simmons (Doobie Brothers) , Randy Bachman (BTO), Jim Messina, Todd Rundgren, Alvin Lee, Gary Puckett, The Ventures, Freddy Cannon, Augie Meyer, Christopher Cross, Whiskey Myers, Sha Na Na (John “Bowzer” Baumann), Flash Cadillac, Jerry Scheff, John Wilkinson, Darrell McCall, and more.
Politicians & News
George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Lady Bird Johnson, Greg Abbott, Rudolph Giuliani, Larry King, Jack Anderson, Tom Bradley, Connie Mack, and more.
Clint Eastwood, Mike Myers, Taylor Lautner, Cameron Diaz, Jerry Lewis, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, Selena Gomez, Tippi Hedren, James Earl Jones, James Woods, Jim Nabors, Martha Raye, Rosalind Russell, June Lockhart, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Howie Mandel, Meg Ryan, Cheri Oteri, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, James Drury, Melanie Griffith, Nathan Lane, Alan Thicke, Lou Diamond Phillips, Clint Howard, Tony Sirico, Cesar Romero, Michael Berryman, Tracy Scoggins, William Windom, Warren Stevens and more.
Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Wally Schirra, Dave Scott, Gene Cernan, Walt Cunningham, Scott Carpenter, Gene Kranz (NASA Flight Director), Ed Mitchell, Richard Gordon, Bruce McCandless, Vanentina Treshkova (first woman in space, Russia), Alex Leonov (first man to walk in space, Russian), Al Worden, Dee O’Hara (nurse to astronauts) and more.
Sports: Joe Torre, Roger Staubach, Bob Hayes, Billie Jean King, Manuela Maleeva, Drew Pearson, Bob Lilly, Tim Duncan, David Robinson, George Gervin, Tony Parker, Shannon Miller, Cathy Rigby, Bruce Bowen, Wade Boggs, Fernando Valenzuela, Bernie Kosar, Dale Murphy, Jim Abbott, Dick Bartell, Mike Schmidt, Dan Pastorini and more.
May Pang, Bob Eubanks, Vernon Presley, Vester Presley, Charlie Hodge, Joe Esposito, Rick Stanley (Elvis’ step-brother, Harold Lloyd (Elvis’ first cousin), Doyle Brunson, Kara Peller, Hank Meijer, Norman Brinkler, Stanley Marcus, Jerry King, Mac King, Nathan Burton, Zach Anner, Louie Anderson, Owen Benjamin, Steve Byrne and more.
As head of Facilities for a major retailer (H-E-B Food/Drugs) for 20 years, Jack co-founded Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (PRSM) and was elected President to establish PRSM magazine. Jack is a writer, speaker, golf-concierge and happiness coach. He has researched and studied happiness for over 40 years.
Jack was a prolific writer for Examiner.com, with over 1,900 articles written in six years. His articles and stories have appeared in AXS Entertainment, The ROWDY Country Music, Memphis Flash, and numerous magazines.
He is author of “Miracles of Justice,” a true courtroom drama novel about social injustice and miracles.