Jim Thompson
Jim Thompson
By Jim Thompson
HCP columnist


My wife laughs, for starting on the 22nd of June each year, I begin to get a little depressed.

The summer solstice has passed, and we are facing six months of ever shorter days. I don’t like short days. I really don’t like fall, for it portends the cold days of winter. Although it is now 52 Septembers since I faced winter in a cold and drafty old farmhouse, those memories have never gone away.

I often tell people I went to college so I could afford a stable temperature house and have indoor plumbing. These days, however, I must admit, having spent a few cool nights in a Mennonite household, that when you add thermal windows and decent insulation, I believe you can keep a house pretty warm with just a candle. It is amazing what eliminating drafts will do for a home. I was comfy there and hope to go back.

Yet, my angst further deepens when I come to September. In business, I like to write dates in the military fashion, such as 4 Jul 19. It adds order to dates and is a nod to the Europeans without complying with their date protocol which is confusing when compared to ours.

For instance, while some of us might write the date I just gave you 7/4/19 (Month/Day/Year), the Europeans would write it 4/7/19 (Day/Month/Year). The military way is a nod to both nomenclatures.

Actually, the military date I have shown above is an abbreviation. They add many more characters to it to indicate the hour and minute and to designate the time zone. For instance, 7:30 in the evening on the 4th of July in Hillsboro in 2019 would be written: 041930RJUL19. The day is 04, the time is 19:30, the time zone is R, the month is JUL and the year is 19. No charge for this bit of information.

Then, we come to September. How should I write September? Should it be Sep or Sept? I have seen both ways, and I have used both ways. Sep holds to the convention of three letters for each month, but Sept just looks so right.

But this year, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has left me with yet another angst- bearing decision to be dealt with this September. Back around the summer solstice, I needed to buy a new car. I have not yet placed any bumper stickers or other indications of my affiliation with any organization on this car. I view the mood in the country just too volatile to do so, no matter what one might wish to promote.

This all reminds me of a hostile and volatile country from the first half of the last century which required certain identified persons to wear yellow stars on their clothes, the only difference being that now we are not concerned about what we might be forced to display but what the consequences are if we express our freedom of speech and display something proudly.

I was about to finally and proudly place a “Lifetime NRA Member” decal on the new car. Lifetime membership in the NRA goes back at least 80 years in my family. The NRA was started just after the Civil War and Union General Ambrose Burnside was its first president.

It has a long a proud tradition in the United States.

But now, on 4Sep19, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has passed a resolution declaring the National Rifle Association a “domestic terrorist organization.”

Do I put an NRA decal on my car in defiance, or do I leave it off? If I leave it off, is it for pragmatic reasons (I don’t want my car destroyed by someone as crazy as the San Francisco Board of Supervisors) or am I a coward?

I am pondering this question as I write.

In the meantime, I am glad I have no reason to go to San Francisco or California, for that matter. I had made my mind up some time ago that I really had no business in California, primarily for health reasons, but now the strong desire to never go there again has been ratcheted to a whole new level by this and other California attitudes.

Jim Thompson, formerly of Marshall, is a graduate of Hillsboro High School and the University of Cincinnati. He resides in Duluth, Ga. and is a columnist for The Highland County Press. He may be reached at jthompson@taii.com.