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Columbia, South Carolina
September 25, 2009     The Columbia Star
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September 25, 2009

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i :! lUINHNIHNIIILI iwlmUllUllnNjIim ilMllUllWllnUm MNlUNI THE COLUMBIA STAR SO Commentary SEPTEMBER 25. 2009 - 5 R I00IU6HAL SOVIET UNION It's not a criticism; It's an observation In praise of older women | By Mike Cox I don't remember her name. If the truth be told, I probably was too dumbstruck to ask her in the first place. Growing Ul0 in the rich urban environment of River Bend, Alabama, gave me a lot of exposure to many cultural experiences. Dancing with a girl was- n't one of them. Most places have summer camps with cool Native American names like Arawak, Wawanakwa, and Chosatonga. The folks in west Alabama went to Camp Mac. Except for the stupid name it was a typical camp for kids in the early 60s. We had scenic wilderness, boys and girls quarters divided by a lake, and irresponsible counselors in charge of our very lives. One night everyone met in a lodge for a get-toget.her. I had never been within spit- ting distance of any girl who wasn't related to me except for the Stone girls. And they didn't really count if you know what I mean. The social gathering featured hot dogs, a fire, and a record player cranking out the latest hits. I remember "Cathy's Clown," "Only the Lone- 1 " y, and "Devil or Angel." A girl I'd never met walked over and asked me to dance. She was a full grown adult, at least 13 years old. I don't remember any specific features, but she was my dream She was . girl. also way out of my league. While Greenfields played, we stood in one place and shuffled our feet. She made small talk, and I tried to keep from wetting my pants, That was my first experience with an older woman, l went to sleep dreaming of her and how my future was set. I had no need to meet any other woman. The next day an older boy from Birmingham stole her from me. The next time I noticed an older woman was during baseball sea- son. A couple of guys had older sisters who came to the games. ]anie was in high school and had white shorts and brown legs. She mostly lounged around the playing field far enough away to not appear interested but close enough to distract the entire infield. Larry Key played in our league a few years later. His sister was closer to my age but also sport- ed the killer combination of white shorts and tan legs. She continued the tradition of getting guys yelled at for not paying attention. Older women have been getting me in trouble ever since. Today older women are as popular as Twitter, and are called cougars. Whoever invented the term placed older women squarely in prime time. That and Demi Moore. There are dozens of TV shows featuring cougars in the premise or at least the title. A new one this year stars Court- ney Cox in "Cougar Town." Courtney Cox is an older woman. That's the problem with growing older but not up. Your chronology continues to move for- ward, but your attitude and thought process remains somewhere in the past. To me Courtney Cox is one of the young chicks from "Friends." When I think of older women, I'm thinking of Diane Lane or Susan Sarandon. But in reality, a cougar for me is some- one like Granny Clam- pett. Rowwrr. Thirty-something speaks Quality time in the mud By Mike Maddock Since the fall of 1997, my wife and I have proba- bly been without our chil- dren about two or three times a year. I'm not com- plaining- that's just the way it is. So when the opportunity arose for a lit- fie quality time together this past weekend, we tookit. Most sane couples would have a nice dinner or go to a movie or take a weekend at the beach. Normal people would take the opportunity to relax, reconnect, and enjoy a few minutes without tying a shoe or driving to soccer practice or waiting in a carpool line, but my wife and I aren't normal...and neither are about 7200 of our closest friends who participated in this past weekend's USMC Mud Run. Instead of a candle- light dinner, my wife and l chose ladder climbs, mon- key bridges, rope swings, log crossings, and mud...lots of mud. We got screaming Marines instead of polite maitre ds, and the closest thing to a romantic moment we had on the course was when my wife slipped early on the trail, flung her arms back as she was falling, and caught me squarely in my special place. It was the only time I felt nau- seous during the race. The rest of it was an absolute blast. It was like being a little kid again playing War in the neigh- borhood, except we got to jump in every mud hole without fear of parental repercussion, the obsta- cles were much cooler than Mrs. Stubbs's azaleas or Mr. Sanders' rusty lawn chair, and the game didn't end in an argument over who shot whom. The lone casualties were my t-shirt and old nmning shoes, and, because we were cov- ered in mud from head to toe, our teeth have never looked whiter. The only slightly dis- turbing obstacle was the ten-foot vertical wall climb. My team elected to shoot me up the wall first. I watched a Marine at the top of the wall on the other side helping women over, so naturally I reached my hand out to the Marine on my side of the wall fully expecting him to pull me up. I was wrong. He looked at me as if to sa3 "Forget it, GomerI This ain't Dianne's on Devine, and I ain't your garqonI" Just as I was thinking this soldier's face and his expression was the last thing I was ever going to see, about ten people waiting at the bot- tom of the wall catapulted me over. I helped my teammates up, then looked back at the Marine as I headed to the next obstacle. He didn't exactly smile, but gave me a look that said. "That's what it's all about...Gomer." Friends and acquain- tances alike had extolled the virtues of the Mud Run to me for years, and we did a couple of stories on it here at The Columbia Star, but I never really thought of diving into the mud until my wife received a call from one of her good buddies asking us to join the flay. I'm so glad we did...for a couple of reasons. The Mud Run is "to raise money to support Marines and their families from the Columbia area who have been wounded or killed while serving on active duty. Profits from the race are also used to support several local col- lege scholarships named after Marines killed serv- ing their country and local events which promote the Marine Corps in the com- munity." I can think of no bet- ter cause and have just one regret. I can roll around in the mud with my wife only once a year. the M the weapons range When my friend was a pastor of a church up north he made friends with the local police chief. They'd meet frequently for a Coke and to swap sto- ries as guys like to do. The pastor would sit with his back to the door, and the chief always sat where he could see people coming and going; cops like to see such things. On one particular day the police chief invites Pastor Randy to ride with him out to the police weapons range for a bit of shooting. Randy likes to hunt and cheerfully accepts the offer. Randy owns several hunting rifles and a cross- bow, but not a handgun. "That's okay," says the chief, "you can use mine." There are three of them out at the range: The chief, a sergeant who drives the chief, and Pastor Randy. The sergeant is the first to shoot using the chief's .40 caliber Glock handgun. The target is a metal man silhouette mounted on a coil spring. Sarge takes careful aim and shoots. Dead center- but just below the belt line. "Ouch, that hurt," says the chief, laughing as he takes up his position to shoot. Chief's shot strikes almost the exact spot, but the sergeant says nothing about the chief's hit. The chief hands the Glock over to Pastor Randy. "I noticed that both shots were about the same but a little low," says Pastor Randy, "so I aim about a foot over the silhouette's head." WhamI The bullet hits dead center in the upper chest - center mass. The pastor hands the pistol back to the chief with the comment, "Thanks, pilgrim, that's a really nice weapon ya got there." "Great shot," the chief says quietly to the pas- tor as he holsters his weapon. Sarge says nothing at all as the trio walks back to the chief's car. That's enough for one day. We are Olympia holds monthly meeting By Josh Cruse = We are Olympia held its monthly meeting Monday September 21. lim ]aco announced that flu shots will be given to seniors at the Pacific Lodge at 717 Maryland Street Thursday, October 8 from 10 am to noon. Corporal Derek Eldado from the Richland County police department reported three major crimes occurred in the Olympia area in August. Burglaries occurred at 528 Georgia Street and 501 Georgia Street. A robbery and assault occurred at 1327 Dover Street. Bob Johnson with Vulcan Materials Company reported that the scale house on River Road at the quarry was broken into over the weekend. Among the items stolen were a safe and a television monitor. The suspects were on bikes or scooters, Johnson said. Eldado said that on Friday September 25 Lower Richland High School will be the host site for All Comers Track Meet & Family Night, an event filled with food, competition, school supplies, and prizes. Pre-registra- tion for the event will begin at 5 pm until 6 pm. Betty Hilliard said the Olympia Festival will be held April 24. The planning committee will meet at 701 Whaley Street the first Monday in October. We are Olympia will not meet in October due to the South Carolina State Fair but will meet in November.