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Not sure why I was thinking of this but here is a story, quite true, from several years ago.
The Saga Of Smokey The Bear
Smokey wasn’t my son Michael’s first stuffed toy. That was Snoopy. But Smokey was a gift for his 2nd Christmas when he was 1½.
Smokey The Bear came complete with a Smokey The Bear hat and talked when you pulled a string. (Remember those pre digital day toys?) Two things Smokey was supposed to say were “Forest animals are my friends.” and “Help stamp out forest fires.”
Well, it could have been a technical glitch or maybe Smokey was possessed because the first time Michael pulled that string Smokey said “Help stamp out forest animals.”
Michael thought he had done something great because his mother, aunt and uncle as well as me just roared with laughter.
It wasn’t long before that voice box didn’t work no matter how hard you pulled the string.
But now the rest of the story.
Years went by and I was transferred to a fast food unit in Tracy, CA from one in Lodi. We were living in Stockton at the time and Michael was 6.
One day I was in the bathroom shaving or blow drying my hair (this was in the late ‘80s). Michael was standing in the bathroom door watching me as I got ready for a night shift.
Why he asked me this I don’t know but Michael said “Daddy, when you were a little boy did you have a teddy bear?” I answered truthfully, no, that I had not. Michael got a pensive look on his face and then said “Well Daddy, I’m going to give you Smokey ‘cause everyone ought’a have a teddy bear.”
That was 40 plus years ago more or less. Michael will be 47 this August and Smokey has seen better days. His right paw sprang a leak and that hat is long gone, but Smokey is still with me and is buckled into the middle of my back seat. He has ridden with me hundreds of thousands of miles and I hope has a few more miles to go.
". . . those who claim to know the Mind of God, who will tell you what God thinks and how He will judge and condemn others—those people are the greatest of all blasphemers." Aloysius Xingu Leng Pendergast
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