Well folks, here I am, warts and all, about to make a confession to the world at large. I am about to clean myself. Being born a Methodist, and not a Catholic, there is no confession booth for this lost soul. So, here goes…
It seems that the boredom of attending school day after day after day was getting to me and a buddy of mine. Even though my buddy went on to meet his maker years ago, I will not name him here and besmirch his good reputation.
And now the plot thickens. Our teenage minds decided that we needed a day off, away from the humdrum. We would skip school at the Waynesville Township High School and travel over to Asheville, North Carolina, the next large town. If anyone happened to ask where we had been, we would just explain that we had to go to the dentist. Pretty simple, right? Maybe not.
We hit the pool rooms in Asheville, went to an afternoon movie, had lunch at the S and S Cafeteria, I believe that was the place, and just had a blast. Bet the guys back at school wish they were with us. Woah, not so fast, Ray, the worst is yet to come.
The next day, Coach Weatherby, who was also the school principal, came knocking on my classroom door and called me out into the hallway. Surprisingly, his first question was “Where were you yesterday?” So the grand plan goes into effect and I coyly replied that I had gone to the dentist.
“That’s not what your buddy said.”
Those words from the man who had been my Sunday school teacher still ring in my ears. I was mortified. I had told a bald-faced lie, and even worse, I was caught flat-footed. Guess I felt betrayed, but my buddy was better than me…he told the truth!
That was the day that I learned a great lesson…the hard way. The lesson was…never Lie. I later learned…there would be consequences to telling this lie.
Today there seem to be no consequences as national leaders lie, and lie repeatedly, with seemingly no consequences. There used to be consequences, but that was then, and this is now.
As a famous writer and radio personality, Paul Harvey, used to say “And now, the rest of the story.”
As a sophomore, I was a starter on the varsity basketball team and we won the Western Regional State Championship. I was looking forward to a great senior season and I really loved to play basketball.
However, Coach Carl Ratcliff, saw fit to sit me on the bench. I was no longer a starter and was virtually not playing. Of course, Coach Weatherby, as the school principal and head coach was close to Coach Ratcliff and had probably told him about me lying.
I felt that my basketball skills had not diminished, rightly or wrongly, and that I was being punished. After sitting on the bench for what my teenage mind determined was much too long for the crime that I had committed, I decided to quit the team. My dreams were squashed. I seldom picked up a basketball after that.
Maybe my personal pride overruled my better judgment, but nevertheless, I had learned my lesson…never lie!
Click HERE to order Ray’s book Depression Baby: True Stories from Growing Up During the Great Depression in Appalachia — and Other Things…
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