A Fresh Take

Grandpa and Uncle Buss, date unknown

This photo is one of my favorites. It’s a picture of my Grandpa and his brother Buss. They grew up in La Porte City, Iowa. They loved the game of baseball, and they were teammates on what looks like their town baseball team. Another thing that is remarkable to me is how they wear their caps — slightly tilted to one side. They can pull it off, in my opinion. Even later in life, my Grandpa would wear his hats in this way. I tried it myself, and I can’t pull it off. My son, however, can wear hats that way and they look nice. It makes me smile when he does, because it reminds me of my Grandpa who was one of my role models. I only met Buss a few times, so what I know about him, I learned from my father.

Dad would often quote this saying, which he got from his Uncle Buss, when he was in that wisdom-sharing mode. It was an idea taken from the game of baseball which he applied to life. Uncle Buss and my Grandpa lived in the Depression era of the 1930’s, and the mindset was much different, much more focused on basic human needs. I heard a lot of stories growing up about the things they did and the sacrifices they made to provide the basics for their families.

This quote, I now believe, is an optimistic one — encouraging us to go for it, with an expectation of success when we extend ourselves beyond our current capabilities. The great thing about a good quote is it stands the test of time, and this one certainly meets that criteria.

“If you can touch it, you can get it.”

Uncle Buss

Not that long ago, I had a different take on this quote. I took this to mean that if I worked really hard, I could achieve anything I wanted — an output-driven interpretation. A reflection of the mindset of my ancestors, to be sure, as they were dealing with a whole different set of challenges in that era. When you are fighting to provide for your family, focusing on outputs is the right thing to do to ensure survival.

And I am grateful they did.

This quote will be moving front and center as I work on my intention for 2021. With this fresh interpretation, the thought that my ancestors are influencing me even today feels great.

I’ve got some work to do. I’ll let you know how it comes out.

Copyright © 2021 Michaele Gardner and Brian Hackerson

Published by Brian Hackerson

My personal philosophy is to be a light.

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