Taking a blowtorch to cobwebs

By Stephen Harris - For The Tribune

Stephen Harris Back In The Hometown

Following all of the excitement, 74-year-old Henry Wayne Gurley explained that he had been in his shed near Statesville burning cobwebs with a propane torch. He stopped and stepped next door to his house for a few minutes.

Then Gurley heard a boom.

Firefighters could not save his shed. Destroyed were about $25,000 worth of tools and a 100-pound catfish that Gurley had just filleted.

I feel for Gurley in his loss. In my time I’ve been guilty of some doozies myself. But I’d never heard of burning cobwebs with a blowtorch. Here in the hometown, I just use a broom.

However, some folks prefer taking a blowtorch to cobwebs.

For instance:

Smartphones can be wonderful things. I know someone who spends after-hours at home using her smartphone to do extra office work. Once in a while a smartphone’s camera can come in real handy and, say, record something that is unexpected and turns into valuable evidence for law enforcement.

But much more often a smartphone is used, say, to share with the world what you just ordered at Starbucks, a map of the Starbucks location and a photo of the coffee cup.

Taking a blowtorch to cobwebs.

A kid in school expresses a special need. The teacher, counselor, coach and/or principal come up with a plan, a parent may be called for input, and a solution is implemented.

But then there are other instances, say, in which a lawyer is called, so is a politician, a lawsuit is filed, and a new law gets passed.

So now here we are in North Carolina where we have the state and federal governments at loggerheads over bathrooms, the schools are caught in the middle and are threatened with the loss millions of federal dollars that they can’t do without, and it’s up to the courts to come up with a solution.

Taking a blowtorch to cobwebs.

Things fell into place quite nicely during a time not so long ago when they played high school JV football games on Thursdays, varsity games on Fridays, the pee wees on Saturday mornings, colleges on Saturday afternoons and the pros on Sunday afternoons. You could pick your favorite, spend a couple of hours on a game and go on with the rest of your weekend and find a life for yourself.

Not anymore. Colleges and/or pros now have got to play on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday or Monday nights. They replay high school games on TV on Saturdays. And when they’re not playing games they’re cablecasting football shows and talking football on the radio every … single … minute.

Taking a blowtorch to cobwebs.

William McKinley once campaigned, successfully, for president from his front porch in Canton, Ohio. Just come and ask him something, he said. Anyone. During four and a half months in 1896 some 750,000 did.

These days, campaigns for high office involve hundreds of staff workers and millions of dollars. Candidates start as soon as the result of the prior election is known. Campaigns last four years.

And you see this year’s results.

Wonder what ol’ Bill McKinley would think of that? Bet it would drive him to take a blowtorch to cobwebs.

Stephen Harris returned home to live in State Road.

Stephen Harris

Back In The Hometown

http://elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/web1_Stephen-Harris-mug-12-07-2.jpgStephen Harris

Back In The Hometown

By Stephen Harris

For The Tribune

Elkin Tribune
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