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Friday, March 8, 2013

THINGS I NEVER GET TIRED OF

BRYCE ON LIFE

- Why do we keep coming back for more?

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I am a sucker for reruns. I love to watch an old movie, maybe because I'm not too impressed with what Hollywood is churning out these days. For example, I recently watched "Billy Bud" the other night, which I probably hadn't seen in forty years. It was based on Herman Melville's novel of the same name and starred Robert Ryan, Terence Stamp, Peter Ustinov, Melvyn Douglas, and a young David McCallum. This was a departure in character for Ryan, who often played a hero or good guy. Instead, he played a heartless, cold blooded villian. There are a handful of such movies I'll watch over and over again, such as "Twelve Angry Men," "Anatomy of a Murder," "Stalag 17," and others. Interestingly, these are all black-and-white movies which suggests the story-line is more important to me than the cinematography. Over the years, I have learned there are a series of things I never get tired of, such as movies and music, and I wonder why I am so fascinated with them.

I like attending wedding anniversaries as it represents a significant milestone for a couple and reflects their love and commitment to each other. Unlike birthdays, which I generally have no use for, anniversaries represent a conscious decision made by two people. In birthdays, you don't really have a lot to say about when and where you are born.

I never tire of watching members of the military returning home to their loved ones. The surprise homecomings are always heart warming; click for SAMPLE. Even homecomings with pets can be moving. Such reunions reflect considerable love and relief to the families of our military personnel returning from harm's way.

The game of baseball has been a favorite of mine since I was a lad, and I certainly enjoy watching a game. As I get older though, I find I enjoy watching the youngsters as opposed to the pros. Any game at the Little League level, high school/college, or even the minor leagues can be more interesting as they are trying harder than the pros and haven't yet forgotten that it is nothing more than a "game" (as opposed to a business).

I have been following the Olympics since the 1964 Tokyo games. I never get tired of the opening ceremonies, particularly the lighting of the cauldron. They've all been memorable, including the recent London games, but I particularly marveled at the elegant simplicity of the Mexican games in 1968. As far as I am concerned, if I miss the opening ceremonies, I've missed the games.

I've always enjoyed Independence Day (4th of July), particularly in a small town who holds a parade. I guess it brings the patriot out in me. We typically host a barbecue at my house, but more importantly we enjoy a fireworks display afterwards. Over the years, I think I've missed seeing fireworks only once, which was due to inclement weather. If I get a chance, I'll tune-in on television to watch fireworks, particularly if a good orchestra is on hand to play Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever." And, Yes, I miss Arthur Fiedler's rendition with the Boston Pops.

I'm a sucker for a parade, whether it is Independence Day, Thanksgiving, or New Year's eve. For the last ten years I have been involved with a local Christmas parade where we pass out candy to the kids, and beads (after all, this is the South). To me, it is not the floats, balloons and flowers that make a good parade, it is the marching bands. I am particularly proud of the marching band of my college alma mater, the Ohio University Marching 110, "The finest band in the land."

I never tire of watching craftsmen at work, regardless of the products they produce. It is always a pleasure to watch someone who knows what they are doing, regardless of their profession, and see a quality product being built. Regrettably, craftsmanship is in decline in this country, but when I find a good one, I just sit back and take notes.

Formal ceremonies of just about any kind can be very moving to me, such as the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, the Battleship Arizona Memorial, the Iwo Jima reunion, and Reagan's speech at the 40th anniversary of D-Day at Normandy. Such ceremonies can be very touching. It is also of importance to family members. As an American though, such ceremonies are important as they express our national respect and commitment to others, particularly those who paid the supreme sacrifice.

At the end of any military funeral, I have seen the playing of "Taps" cause grown men to weep, including yours truly. There is something about "Taps" that lends itself to the finality to a service. In other words, it wouldn't be complete without the distant sound of this military classic.

As a Scot, I have a deep-seated attachment to the sound of bagpipes. Although the pipes can be used for festive occasions, the playing of "Scotland the Brave" and "Amazing Grace," stirs my soul like no other instrument. There must be something in my DNA which causes this, for I never walk away from it. No doubt other instruments from other lands equally affect other people with different heritages. It plays to our soul.

If I sit back and study these elements collectively, what is it about them that causes me to come back to them time and again. Surely I have seen all of this many times over the years, but why do they hit a nerve with me? My guess is they probably represent my sense of who I am and what my values are. It reflects my sense of patriotism, morality, work ethic, and family heritage. I actually think it is a bit like Pavlov's Dog, where I have been conditioned to salivate upon command. Whatever it is, I embrace these ideas and will hopefully continue to revisit them for many years to come.

I've told you what things I never get tired of, now how about you? Then ask yourself the question, "Why?"

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim's columns, see:   timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2013 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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