Home Opinion Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Life’s Mysteries

Mine Creek Revelations by Louie Graves: Life’s Mysteries


ONE OF LIFE’S delicious mysteries is why some people are lefthanded and some are righthanded. The split is about 85-90% righthanded, no matter the race, gender, religion, favorite football team or national origin. There are a very, very few people who are ambidextrous — that is, favoring neither hand.

Some perfessers have been studying this lefty/righty thingy and they don’t know anymore than you or I do. Whether you’re lefthanded or righthanded, it happens in the womb. Maybe you have seen pictures of fetuses with left or right thumb in their mouths. That preference for thumbs continues after birth. And you don’t change from righty to lefty during life, either. Not many other animals exhibit a preference for left or right. Apes do, but they’re split about 50-50.

Lefthanders are often at a distinct disadvantage. In school they must sit at desks designed for righthanded writers. Most tools are designed for righties. You want to make a lefty cuss? Ask him or her to make a delicate cut with a pair of ordinary scissors. Scissors are made for righties.

Perfessers have been able to tell whether cavemen or cavewomen were righties or lefties by looking at which arm bones were developed the most. Or, upon closer study, the perfessers discovered that the teeth could indicate if the caveman tore raw meat from right to left or left to right. Who woulda thunk to look for that?

Both the neanderthals and our early human being ancestors showed evidence of being righty or lefty.

In combat and some sports, lefthanders are said to have an advantage. Righthanded boxers don’t like to fight lefties.

Golf (a truly vexing game) is a sport in which righties must emphasize the control of their left hand and arm over the right.

I am one of 10 children. Only one was a lefty. But in baseball he played first base lefthanded, and he batted righthanded. He probably played first base because one of our uncles bought us baseball gloves and the only lefthanded glove he could find was a first baseman’s mitt.

Since the brother batted righty, later in life I used to badger him to take up golf where he would have an advantage because he had greater control of his left arm and hand. The bats worked equally well for lefties or righties, so that didn’t influence his choice. It was probably because whoever taught him to bat taught him to bat righthanded.

The perfessers say it is an error to think that lefthanders are not as smart as their righthanded brethren. In my own case, the lefty brother was also maybe the smartest of the 10 kids. Well, it was nip-and-tuck with one of the righties. I’m mentioning no names here, only to confirm that I was not the smart righty.

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ANIMAL CRACKERS. Recently a friend posted on Facebook a picture of a formation of geese flying high overhead in broad daylight. It was a big flight, maybe 60 or more birds. Maybe even more. They were flying so fast I didn’t have time to count accurately.

I told her that I hadn’t seen a flight of geese in at least 25 years. It used to be a common sight — them winging north as warm weather approached, or headed south ahead of the cold.

Now, most of our geese are year-round residents, and not everyone is happy about that.

I have a mental picture of a flight of geese, almost out of sight high in the moonlight. Their honking was so distant and exotic. I wondered where they were going.

ANOTHER FALL NOTE. Suddenly our hardwoods are turning such beautiful colors! Some are subtle, some blow you away with their vivid presentation. Vermont we’re not; but it’s nice anyway.

AND ONE MORE fall note: Please be careful when driving early in the morning or late in the day. There are lots and lots of deer out there just waiting for a chance to run into your buggy.

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VETERANS DAY. You think you are tough? At the Veterans Day ceremony Oscar Coulter of Center Point recalled spending a year in a foxhole during the Korean War. He said he was often chest deep in freezing water, and the only thing that kept him from freezing to death was body lice which made him scratch and squirm.

I sat beside Oscar at the luncheon after the courthouse ceremony, and he embellished his story. He said that some soldiers’ toes froze. When they removed their socks, their toes remained inside.

And thanks to the Junior High kids who handed out flags and nice notes and bags of candies to the veterans. It means a lot to the veterans to see youngsters showing appreciation.

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THINGS I LEARNED from opening (and believing) email: The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.

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WORD GAMES. Another set of twins: Itching and Scratching. Just could not make them sit still. Maybe they had Oscar’s body lice.

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HE SAID: “Science fiction is any idea that occurs in the head and doesn’t exist yet, but soon will, and will change everything for everybody, and nothing will ever be the same again. As soon as you have an idea that changes some small part of the world you are writing science fiction. It is always the art of the possible, never the impossible.” Ray Bradbury, science fiction writer

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SHE SAID: “We think about education as a stepping stone into a higher socio-economic class, into a better job. And it does do those things. But I don’t think that’s what it really is. I experienced it as getting access to different ideas and perspectives and using them to construct my own mind.” Tara Westover, essayist and historian

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