Blog 1807 – 09.04.2020



One of the first people I recall being called Gabby was black and white western cowboy sidekick Gabby Hayes. He got his moniker as most Gabby(s) do for talking a lot. Among my own daddy’s many nick names which included, Jake, Tony, and Two-Speed was Windy which in his case was just a synonym for Gabby.

I suppose many who know me think this apple did not fall very far from that tree. Believe it or not, I was once a shy and quiet little boy and young man, but I out grew it or perhaps I was just listening during those first couple of decades trying to decide what I really wanted to say.

Listening, reading, thinking, and observing are all prerequisites for interesting story tellers. My dad was definitely one and I try to keep that particular side of the family business going. You see I believe we are all in the same family business and actually a part of one big family, the Loving Family. Oh, the puppet masters, the lawyers, the salesmen, the politicians, and war mongers among us are forever trying to keep us divided into different camps to increase their own profits and power. But, different is the lie, sameness and oneness are the true true. For way too many as the song says, “The miracle of oneness doesn’t move you anymore.” The life long search for an enemy to blame all our troubles on is the classic rube snipe hunt.

Though there is a long billed bird named snipe per Wikipedia, “The snipe hunt is a practical joke or fool’s errand in existence in North America as early as the 1840’s, in which the non suspecting new comer is duped into trying to catch the nonexistent animal called a snipe.” This is the sort of joke pulled on many rookie employees, club or class members, who are sent on time wasting and embarrassing errands to find some non existent special tool like a rack stretcher to make more room for storage. I have found that practical jokes seldom are and that making someone new to the group the butt of old shared jokes is less about a true right of passage and more about a sort of sadistic perpetual revenge like hazing. Others did it to us so we feel compelled to pass on the sick tradition buying into the ‘all in good fun’ myth, and trying to gloss over the often quite painful memory of not feeling a part of the group. As you might have guessed I do not think practical jokes are all that much fun or ever very practical in reality.

Another myth I wish we could dispel is the myth of the strong intelligent quiet man hero, the man of few words, who prefers to cut short the conversations with hard stares, monosyllable words, and slaps to the backs of heads as does long time NCSI team boss, Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

I have mentioned previously that during this COVID-19 lock down and work slow down in my field that I have been streaming a lot of movies and long running TV series. NCSI is one of the longer running police crime dramas. After watching now thirteen and a half of the to date seventeen seasons of NCSI, the cast of characters have come to feel like family to me. It is more than possible that I know more about some of these characters than I do certain members my own nuclear family.

Like soap operas these long running weekly TV series with their well developed, well written, and well portrayed character can become a big part of our lives. I recall as a young man attending a small church Wednesday night prayer meeting where a kindly grandma lady made a rather long prayer request for another lady who was going through some very difficult times. Turned out the lady she was requesting prayer for was a character in one of the soaps that she faithfully and daily watched. My mother who was as a girl in the nineteen forties and a Roy Rogers and Gene Autry western movie fan in particular told my brother and I more than once of how she and the kids she attended the movies with would get so caught up in the screen action that they would yell out in unison, “Watch out, Roy” as the bad guys lay in ambush.

I have watched Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ character age and mellow a lot over the almost fourteen seasons that I have already viewed. I have seen him take more time to listen, head smack less, and even hug his team mates from time to time. He is even talking in more complete sentences. True friendships and true relationships are not built on always agreeing or sharing the same point of few, but upon sharing lots of words and thoughts with one another. We rub off on one another our rougher edges till we realize, I think, one of the greatest truths of all, that our differences are only skin deep. At heart we are the same. We are one and alike in everything that really matters.

“One love, one heart. Let’s get together and be alright.” – Bob Marley

Your friend and fellow traveler,

David White

Not That Different

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