Patton's Ponderings

Friday, April 28, 2017

I’ve had an extra week to ponder, but I’ll try to hold some of them for later. My first is that vacations go by way too fast. My few days away last week, however, allowed me to hit the “Senior Rock-N-Roll Tour.” I saw Neil Diamond in Nashville and the Beach Boys along with the Temptations on Saturday in Cape. You don’t get much more senior that these guys. I will say that if I get to 76 (which I greatly doubt) and sound as good as Neil Diamond (which I won’t) I could not complain. He’s not lost much of his great baritone.

The second show in Cape Saturday night wound up to be a bit bittersweet. The acts were great. I’ve never been a huge Beach Boys fan, but I’m glad I saw them – their music is just plain fun. The Temptations were great too. Motown sound at its best.

The bittersweet came as I heard about the death of Kerry Turman, the longtime bass player of The Temptations. I play bass a little so I watched him a lot Saturday night. Turman went to bed at his hotel in Cape, however, and did not wake up. News reports indicate he was fine Saturday before and after the show. I was reminded again about the fragility of life.

One other note from my “Senior Rock-N-Roll Tour” is that I heard two of the greatest sing-a-long songs in history and, of course, sang along – “Sweet Caroline,” and “My Girl.” I’ve been in other places when bands played those songs, and everyone would sing along. You have to do it. It can’t be helped. That is always fun, but it was great to be in the same building with ND and The Temptations and sing along with them. Thousands of people can make quite choir.

Changing topics – we have a different kind of governor. I was amused Monday when I read Gov. Greitens chose a Lyft car in a Taco Bell parking lot to ceremonially sign a bill that helps companies like Lyft and Uber expand in the state. Greitens was quoted by AP as saying it was probably the first time Missouri’s governor had signed a bill in a Lyft car with a chalupa. You may not agree with Greitens all the time, but you have to admit he’s not boring. Oh – he put all that on Facebook. Of course!

On a more serious note, St. Louis’ minimum wage could rise to $10 an hour starting next week. The 2017 minimum wage in Missouri is $7.70 an hour. The hike to $10 is not much, but those of you who make more, think about trying to live on $7.70 an hour ($308 for a 40 hour week). I know what it is like trying to live on $10. There was a time in my life when I did that, but let me tell you – it was not easy. It was difficult – in fact close to impossible. There are weeks you look real hard at the grocery shelves to see what you really need and what you can live without.

My pondering on the minimum wage is simple. It should be $10 statewide. People cannot live on $7.70 an hour. They have a hard enough time living on $10 an hour. We need to start somewhere, however. I don’t know how high it needs to go, but $10 is a good start. People who are willing to work need a half- way decent wage. We can argue that $10 is not that decent, but it’s much better than $7.70.

For those who try to live on a minimum wage salary, an extra $92 per week (based on 40 hours) would be greatly beneficial.

May is upon us and the first third of 2017 is gone. Time flies when you’re having fun and even when you’re not. I’m not sure what happened to April, but it’s out of here, and it’s graduation season. Area graduation dates are May 9 at Holcomb, May 11 at Delta C-7, May 12 at both Senath-Hornersville and Southland, and May 18 at Kennett.

This is the 40th anniversary of the KHS Class of 1977. It doesn’t seem that long, but I can count – it has been. I’m looking forward to a class reunion later this year. I think primarily I’m looking forward to it because we’ve lost several of our classmates over the last couple of years.

I may say this later in the month, but if I forget – Congratulations to the Class of 2017. It will be 40 years for you before you know it.

Until next week . . .

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