I’d guess i give “the finger” to people at least 6 times a day; more on that later in the blog.
I would speculate most of the readers of this blog are old enough (some maybe too old) to remember The Andy Griffith Show, Gomer Pyle USMC and Mayberry RFD. Who can forget that lovable cast of characters created for those series: Andy, Barney, Opie, Aunt Bee, Gomer, Gober and a dozen others that made us chuckle over small town Americana? Heck, those kinds of shows made us feel good and appreciate the little things in life.
And of course, there was the riveting dialogue. Script writers earned their keep back in those days. I was doing some digging (others call it research) and i came across this tidbit that is just too precious to pass up: Jim Nabors: “Hey, Andy!” Andy Griffith: “Hey, Gomer.” Nabors: “Hey, Aunt Bee.” Frances Bavier as Aunt Bee: “Hey, Gomer.” Nabors: “Hey, Opie.” Ron Howard as Opie Taylor: “Hey, Gomer.” Brilliant, absolutely brilliant.
Youve got to admit, that kind of exchange would never take place in 2011 on our 55 inch flat panel 3-D screens; mounted on the walls no less. Today we get to hear and see things far more vivid, totally gross or sexually provacative. Then you have to ask yourself; is that better? or worse? Sometime, don’t you long for those good old days? Getting caught up in a nostalgia for a sweeter, simpler time? A place where you know your neighbors and even the town drunk (hey Otis) is really just a nice old man and not some pedophile just out of prison looking for a friendly playground to hang around?
Interesting to me, because i see Sun City as having that same kind of down home, small town feel…if we will just let it. I’ve told you before, the Del Webb Sun Cities Museum has volumes of fascinating glimpses back of how and why it succeeded. Perhaps nothing better amplifies those early years in Sun City when people became instant neighbors and friends than a single legal sized sheet of paper produced by Jerry Svendsen (PR Dept) and called Del Webb’s Sun City Newsletter (sounds like they got the name for it from the Griffith show writers).
They published regular newsletters about who was moving into town, where they were from and what they did. This one caught my eye as it was on my birthday (though i was only 14 at the time) on July 6, 1962. This one paragraph is too good to pass up: How about this one – – – C. L. Wells, who for years worked for Eastman Kodak Company, has never been especially fond of photography. Upon his retirement the company presented him with, of all things – – – a camera. Now, can you picture that! C. L. and his wife Nellie, from Rochester, New York, currently reside at 11836 Cherry Hills Dr. patiently awaiting completion of their home at 100023 Palmer Dr.
Go ahead, snicker if you must, but i think a step back in time to this kind of cornyness would be a good thing. How nice would it be to let knew the community know who new buyers were and where they came from? Obviously you would need their consent, clearly those in the witness protection plan or having bilked their former employer out of several hundreds of thousands of dollars would want to remain more anonymous, but so be it. All kidding aside, wouldn’t it be good to see us better open our arms to newcomers?
All of which brings me back full circle to my own kind of Sun City cool…”the finger.” I’ll be the first to admit, the old finger compared to the new finger is wholly different. Seems when i was driving about while living elsewhere, more often than not, there was more than a fair exchange of 1 fingered salutes between many of us driving cars on packed freeways and bumper to bumper roadways. It was the universal symbol and often triggered more than one incident of road rage.
Now, within these white walls, i have mastered an entire different kind of “the finger.” Here in Sun City we often say hi (nope, not hey) to one another as we pass on the streets. Some would call it downright neighborly. The problem comes when we drive our golf cars, race down the street on our no-speed Schwinn or on that rare occurrence we take our car out, many of us want to exchange pleasantries. Big overzealous hand waves, akin to the beauty pageant winners wrist flick, often leave us feeling foolish; especially when those we are waving at ignore us. The simple answer is for many to develop the ultimate little finger flick. You raise your hand ever so slightly, extend your trigger finger and then just nonchalantly raise it without either pomp or ceremony. If there is no response, no big deal, obviously they didn’t see it. If they give us the finger back, we have touched another human being in a gesture of human kindness and coolness.
Odd, because just this morning, one of the RCSC board members asked me what we should do about angry residents and the problems they are causing. I guess i could have just said, give them “the finger,” but that would have resulted in a far lengthier discussion i wanted to get in at the moment. As i think about it and this idea of running for the RCSC board, maybe i’ll just ask supporters to start saying “hey Pearson.” How fun would that be?