Dear Jack: Your Final Week of 4th Grade

10 and a half years!

This week as you turn 10 and a half years old, it coincides with your final week of the 4th grade. Hopefully, this will be the last time you have to spend an entire school year wearing a mask!

All the parents were invited to spend time with our 4th graders at a graduation picnic at your school’s playground.

I brought the football I keep in the Jeep and we played catch out in the field. Mommy and I staggered it to where she showed up right about the time I was leaving.

Next year is your final year of elementary school! It will be the only year you and your sister are at the same school; as she will starting Kindergarten.

You are growing up!



Dear Jack: Your 1st Week of 4th Grade, Actually in the Classroom, “Face Mask to Face Mask”

9 years, 9 months.

Dear Jack,

Despite 4th grade having had started a couple of weeks ago, it wasn’t until this week that you actually got to start going to your physical classroom at your school and meet your classmates, as well as your teacher, face to face.

Granted, when I say “face to face”, I of course mean “face mask to face mask”.

You explained to me that you are allowed to take your masks off during recess, “unless we get to close to each other”.

I then envisioned what the game of Tag would look like:

You keep the mask off until you’re close enough to tag the person, then you hurry to reach in your pocket to put your mask back on before you tag them.

Yeah… ’cause that oughtta stop the spread of Covid alright!




Dear Jack: Your New Lizard-Themed Chuck Taylor Shoes for 4th Grade

9 years, 8 months.

Dear Jack,

You got to start your first full week of 4th grade with a totally unique pair of Chuck Taylor schools.

The only thing is, you haven’t actually got to wear them to school yet, since your’re starting out with “remote learning” from the guest bedroom of our house.

Leave it to you to find a pair with colorful lizards.

This is of course relevant to your life, as you have now owned your pet pine lizard for about a month now.

I think by the time you finally get settled into this “remote learning” thing, you’ll get to go to class in an actual classroom at your school- and show off your one-of-a-kind shoes!




Food Fast Companies Use Red And Yellow In Their Logos

Sometimes as an elementary school kid I would just simply luck out. An announcement would come over the brown loudspeaker in class to announce that in the afternoon in the auditorium we would be having a Snake Show. Maybe this is just a northern Alabama thing, I don’t know. But what I do know is the entire school got to skip Social Studies once a year to see The Snake Man share his crazy collection of snakes onstage.

Cobras, water moccasins, racers, and even a giant anaconda which he let a group of volunteers hold in a group effort. Every once in a while, he would purposely (“accidently”) let a snake slither off the display table onto the stage of the floor. And whenever that happened, a piercing scream filled the non air conditioned room as many of the girls (and boys) yelled in terror at the top of their lungs.

The Snake Man defined what it meant to have a backwoods country Southern accent, like the kind State Troopers have in Virginia. He had these old fashioned jokes that he thought were hilarious. And by the 4th grade, I had memorized his routine. When he pulled out the albino rattlesnake, he would always say: “The reason this snake is white is because of lack of pigment in his genes. Now I don’t mean blue jeans…” At the end of the show, he gave us all some tips on how to know which snakes were poisonous and which were not. And I will never forget this:

“Red and black, you can pet his back. Red and yella, will kill a fella.”

After the days of Snake Shows were done, I was part of DECA, a Marketing class and club in high school. I loved it. I was actually good at it. We had competitions and got to travel. In the class I learned some neat behind-the-scenes stuff about advertising. One of the things was this: Fast food restaurants usually only use two colors for their signs: Red and yellow.

A quick Wikipedia search of some of the meanings of these colors is interesting. Red: exit, energy, passion, love. Yellow: Slow, fun, happiness, friendship, hope. A person is driving along, sees the red and yellow sign, and subconsciously thinks, “I need to SLOW down and EXIT here, because I have a PASSIONATE LOVE for that food. It brings me HAPPINESS and HOPE, not to mention ENERGY. And Ronald McDonald is my FRIEND.”

It’s hard to find an exception to the red and yellow fast food sign rule. McDonald’s, Burger King, Hardees (Carl’s Jr.), Krystal, Sonic, In-N-Out Burger, Taco Bell, Arby’s, Wendy’s, Popeye’s, Pizza Hut, Bojangle’s. A Google image search will cease any doubts.

Red and yella will kill a fella. Applies to snakes and food.