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NOVEMBER 13, 2002
Thank God for the shoe box stuffed with interesting stuff. Interesting to me, anyway. I hope, dear readers, that some of these thoughts, ideas, insights, vibrations, gems of wisdom, etc. are interesting to you, too.
* * *
Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
I am indebted to Frank Gilbert for that one.
Frank has contributed more stuff to the box than he realizes, most of it around the oblong table where Byrds boys meet regularly for coffee, inspiration, information and educationamong other things.
One morning he quoted Pres. Roosevelts famed World War II statement, The only thing we have to fear is fear itself, and then added, Thats still true.
But Frank was not through with truisms that morning. He continued: The greatest risk is not taking one.
If you are afraid to walk near the edge, youll never see over the side.
If you are afraid to die, you are afraid to live,
The man has a way of getting you down off your high horse. Commenting on my stuff in The Herald, he said, Sometimes reading your junk gives you an idea. Then its not junk.
I was afraid to ask Frank if junk is a cut above or a cut below stuff.
* * *
I dont know who brought the following insight to the table. It may have been Frank. Sounds just like him. Whoever brought it, credit goes to the late George Washington Carver for saying it originally: How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant with the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.
* * *
That quote aroused my interest in the renowned scientist, and so I pulled a reference book down from the shelf to refresh my memory of his accomplishments.
Mr. Carver (I cant bring myself to just call him Carver) was born of slave parents in 1859. When he was a baby, a band of nightriders stole him and his mother. According to The World Book of Encyclopedia, his master bought him back in exchange for a racehorse. His mother was never heard from again.
Plants greatly interested the young boy. He learned their names and growth habits, and became known as the plant doctor.
Mr. Carver went on to win international fame for his agricultural research. He revolutionized farming in the South, developing products from peanuts and sweet potatoes.
Consider the stuff (good stuff) this great man contributed to his generation and generations that followed, including ours: 300 products from peanuts, ranging from instant coffee to soap and ink; and 118 products from sweet potatoes, including flour, shoe blacking and candy.
Mr. Carver made synthetic marble from wood shavings, dyes from clay, and starch, gum and wallboard from cotton stalks.
The honors the man received for his many valuable contributions to science do not do justice to his contributions to the lives of ordinary people.
Are they still studying the life of George Washington Carver in history, science and agriculture classes in our elementary, middle and high schools? Is he an important part of black studies courses in our colleges? Is he honored during Black History Month?
Lets hope so. He certainly deserves to be.
* * *
I dont think Mr. Carver had anything to do with developing 10-Grain Cereal, but it is something in which he might have been interested.
As far as I know, this fine product is not available in stores. I call it a fine product because it works wonders in keeping this old man fit.
I realized I was out the other day, and I panicked. Drove all the way to Helen just to replenish my supply. To tell the truth, thats the only reason I go up there.
On the right, at 7107 South Main Street, before you get to the heart of the fake Alpine Village, stop at the Nora Mill Gallery. That is where you will find 10-Grain Cereal. It is called 10-Grain Cereal because it contains ten whole grains: cracked wheat, cracked rice, corn grits, rolled oats, flax seed, soy grits, sesame seed, rolled wheat, rolled triticale and buckwheat.
You cook it just like the modern-day oatmeal, grits or cream of wheatonly longer. These whole grains havent been messed around with (thats what makes em healthy), so you need to cook em 15 to 20 minutes. Just follow directions on the tag attached to the bag.
Youll also find recipes there for 10-Grain Cereal muffins, mountain spice cake, broiled topping, and 10-Grain Cereal meat loaf. I have not tried any of these. 10-Grain Breakfast Cereal is my dish.
Shirley says the stuff looks like birdseed. I bet the birds would go for it.
Theres only one drawback. Some of the tiny seeds, such as flax and sesame, sure can get between your teeth. But thats a small price to pay for a delicious, healthy breakfast. It is made more delicious, if not more healthy, by adding a little sweetener, a few raisins, a pat of butter, and a dash of cinnamon.
No, Nora Mill Granary did not pay me to write this.
Virgil Adams is former editor and owner of The Jackson Herald.
By: Kerri Graffius
The Jackson Herald
November 13, 2002
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