• October 22, 2019

A SHARP LIFE: Odessa will endure this storm - Odessa American: Opinions

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A SHARP LIFE: Odessa will endure this storm

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Posted: Sunday, September 8, 2019 6:30 am

Writing this week’s column hasn’t been easy.

For the last two years I’ve written humorous (at least to me) columns in the Odessa American. I’ve written about my kids, my wife, my parents, my job, and just about anything else that strikes me as funny.

But this week not much has felt funny to me. Texts and phone calls to check in on the safety of family and friends have given way to an obsessive reading habit trying to make sense of a tragedy that my hometown never saw coming. Seeing places full of so many happy memories for me on the news as crime scenes has been sobering from across the state, so how do I write an appropriately funny column when people are dealing with the aftermath of a tragedy?

To be frank, after pondering that question until well past my deadline this week (Sorry Laura!) I never really came up with an answer, but the more I thought about my hometown, the more I thought about growing up in Odessa, and the more I thought about the past, the more I ended up pondering my paternal grandmother, known affectionately to all as Nanny, and her penchant for quoting Proverbs 17:22, “A merry heart does good, like medicine.”

Nanny lived in West Texas most of her life, and in Odessa for decades. In her over 80 years on the planet she endured a lot: the Great Depression, World War Two, her own bouts with depression, having me as a grandson, just to name a few.

Life with Nanny was nothing if not memorable. There was the time she renamed her twelve-year-old cat from Molly to Murray, the Thanksgiving dinner she and my grandfather argued about the difference between 50/50 and half-and-half, her propensity to call gum “Lucy” (don’t ask, I don’t know), and the time in high school that she told me in front of my friends, “I think guys with big noses like you are sexy.”

In short, Nanny was a lot like the city she called home for most of her life. She was a little quirky, stubborn as a mule, possessed a strong faith, and whenever life dealt her a blow she always endured, even if she had to do so on her knees.

Odessa, TX

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