Patience should be a key trait in your life

Published 4:23 pm Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Patience was the theme of a column I wrote in 2008. I tried to illustrate how some of my friends, family and acquaintances displayed patience in their trades, hobbies and professions.

I wrote about Cary Powell and Ed Mason and their wives, who displayed a lot of patience as they fished on the St Johns River not too far from Jacksonville, Florida. They made that fishing trip just about every year and they always brought home “big catches.”

Ray Chambliss, a childhood friend who was extremely talented as an artist, used patience in his adult life while developing a unique “lettering” business. Yes, that’s what he did for his successful livelihood. He lettered (painted) wording and logos on most of Mobile’s fire trucks and other commercial vehicles.

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His talent was in such demand that he never lacked for business. Ray told me one time that he would get on the cab, lean over and actually letter the words backwards. That, indeed, is real talent.

C. Williams, the former Atmore postmaster, because of his patience, mastered a unique left-handed golf swing that allowed him to hit a gold ball swinging from the left or right. They call that ambidexterity. The amazing thing about his talents is the fact he won so many local and area golf tournaments and had the trophies to show for it.

Mr. Eddie Staff, Willard Hicks and Willie Ramer displayed unbelievable patience as they worked in their respective woodworking workshops, turning out professional furniture and related wood objects. I still have the comfortable swing and related porch furniture crafted by Mr. Staff.

And then there are those ladies up in Gees Bend, who became world famous for sewing those colorful quilts. They told a television reporter during a national broadcast how patience is required in making these beautiful quilts.

My son Mark used patience when he made a four wheel bike-car using PVC pipe. (There is absolutely no doubt that his patience comes from his mother). His patience is very much on display in his unique workshop, where he built our solid oak cabinets and installed them in our kitchen.

Mr. Ralph Johnson, who lived on the Phillipsville highway south of Perdido, patiently constructed miniature trains, tracks and depots for many years prior to his death. His works were displayed at our spring and fall festivals.

Maybe Romans 8:25 could give us a much better definition for patience.

Having said all this, I learned about another act of patience a couple of years ago when I stopped for a sandwich at a quick food restaurant on Highway 59.

As I waited in line, a lady in front of me turned and asked if I had received a claim check from BP. I told her I had not filed a claim since I was not from the oil spill area. She said, “I want you to know I have just about used up my patience because I have not received one dime from BP.”

She further stated, “Some of my friends had already received their checks and they filed their claims after I did.” She related, “You know, those friends should not be entitled to any BP money because their businesses were failing before all that oil spilled down here.” She said, “All they want is some free money.”

She added, “Everybody is blaming the whole process. I guess the next thing we will hear is ‘let’s blame George Bush.’” As I drove off, I began to think about what she had told me. I wondered if all claims were, indeed, legitimate.

It is only appropriate that we now pause in to remember some notables who passed away in 2014.
A talented and beautiful actress, Martha Hyer, whom I had the opportunity to meet while I was attending the University of Alabama, was 85 years old when she died this year.

Monroeville’s Truman Capote, who furnished us numerous mystery novels, passed away in his late 80s.
Shirley Temple (Good Ship Lolly Pop), who gave the butler Arthur Treacher fits in those 1930-40 movies, passed away at age 85. Other well known actors and actresses who died included James Garner, Lauren Bacall, Sid Caesar, Ralph Waite, Polly Bergen, Mickey Rooney, Phillip Seymore Hoffman, Meshack Taylor (from “Designing Women”) and Ann Davis (Alice on “The Brady Bunch”).

Also lost was Pete Seeger, an original member of the “Weavers” singing group of the 40s and 50s, who recorded two popular hits of that era, “On Top of Old Smoky” and “Irene, Good Night.”

Presidential secretary James Brady, Senator Howard Baker, Israel’s Ariel Sharon and former Florida governor Rubin Askew were among the political figures who died in 2014.

The field of athletics lost former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Chuck Noll, Yankees infielder Jerry Coleman and former Red Sox manager Don Zimmer. Local and area baseball fans will recall Zimmer playing for the Mobile Bears in the 50s.

And, finally, 45-year-old snake handling preacher Rev. James Coot of the Tennessee-Kentucky area died from a snake bite in February.

Here’s wishing all of you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2015.

More news next week.

“…yes, it always whispers to me … those days of long ago…”

You can email Lowell McGill at