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The Madera Tribune

Straightening up in the Valley

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webmaster | 04/12/14

“If I tell you I’m good, you would probably think I am boasting. If I tell you I’m no good, you know I’m lying.”
— Bruce Lee

When I was growing up, there were occasions when I was not on my best behavior. I know that must come as a shock to some of you, but it is true. When I was caught misbehaving, my parents would say, “Straighten up, young man!” They generally had a few more choice words added to the mix to help me understand how serious they were, and it worked. I would turn away from my transgressions — often for minutes or even hours — until they were out of sight and out of mind. In the fullness of time, I would once again be me.

We are a mix, of course. We are all a mix of good and bad, noble and perverse. We make every effort to be relatively decent, but sometimes we fall down on the job and are just barely tolerable.

The other day I was doing some pyrography (wood burning). I was burning a picture of a local church onto a piece of oak. The picture came out pretty good, but I hadn’t noticed the defects in the wood I was using. It wasn’t a good piece of oak. The board had been manufactured by gluing several dissimilar pieces of oak together. If the board is going to become a shelf, that’s not a problem. But to serve as the backdrop to a piece of art I was creating, the result was disastrous...


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