Friday, March 7, 2014


It's day 2 of the new station.  I continue to struggle wrapping my brain around the concept of leaving later to catch an earlier train.  Remarkable.  I also remembered not to get off at the usual stop last night.  Something that is probably even more remarkable.

I received a rejection letter for "Last Writer Standing" almost immediately after posting about not having heard anything for ages on anything earlier this week.  As soon as I start to doubt that no news is good news...

Let's see where today's story takes us, shall we?

by Jon Stark

"Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father..."  (Paul to Timothy, a couple thousand years ago.)

                Conrad was not especially pleased with his father although the old man certainly seemed pleased enough with himself.  He had that glow.  In school we called it the "high-pro glow" but I didn't go to school with Conrad.

                The current disagreement centered around the totalitarian policies of a certain middle manager where Conrad was employed.  "You can't tell him anything, no matter how wrong he is." said Conrad.  "He's completely inflexible."

                "Is he?" wondered the father.

                "Most definitely.  There's nothing more stubborn than an old man.  He totally doesn't get it."

                The father let the absent-minded insult slip past.  "Are you sure it's the old man who is inflexible?"  That captured Conrad's attention.  "I would suggest that an old man has changed far more deeply -- and often -- than the younger."

                To his credit, Conrad did not start laughing at once.  He let it settle.  He waited to see if his father was serious.  "An old man open to change?"

                "A young man open to change?" countered the father.  "You're as set in your ways as any geezer.  And more intolerant."

                "How can you say that?"

                The father looked at his hands.  The wrinkles.  The spots.  The scars.  He turned his gaze to the window.  "Do you see those trees?"  Conrad did.  "They are old."


                "So a man cannot become old unless he is like those trees." said the father.  "Bending at the force of the wind, and changing with the seasons."

                The father cut him short.  "I'm not saying that an old man is not stubborn, or reluctant to change simply for the sake of change.  But if you speak to him he will hear you."

                "I don't know." said Conrad.

                "He will.  The trick is to listen when his experience answers you."

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