Faris Hayter's sage advice
|Faris Hayter -- 1940s|
When I was a kid, my Dad gave me two pieces of advice, both of which really messed up my life. There’s no telling where I’d be now if Dad had just kept his mouth shut, or said something like, “Son, always look out for yourself, ‘cause nobody else will.”
Not Faris Hayter. When the family was living on Camille Street, Dad told Dennis and me a cool story. I have no recollection of what it was about, but I do remember what he said after the telling. He said, “Boys, I want you to always remember this. Don’t ever be an apple polisher.”
Both of us assured Dad that we wouldn’t think of it. That seemed to please him. Dad’s advice meant nothing to me until he the fifth retelling of the story. -- So, that’s what apple-polishing is! He doesn’t want me to try to be the teacher’s pet!
I’m not sure where the adage came from; all I know is what it did to me. From that time on, I kept clear of any person with authority. I smiled at my teachers before entering the room, but I never stood outside the door to talk with them. I feared they might think I was after something.
When I was in graduate school, I was somehow selected as one of two students to represent Sam Houston State at a conference in Austin. The big draw had to do with getting to talk with Lt. Governor Bill Hobby. To this day, I have no idea why I was chosen. Outside the classroom, I never spoke two words to any of my professors.
As proud and dumbfounded as I was, I realized that, to take the trip, I’d have to skip one day of a political science class. It was a three-hour a day lecture during the summer session and the professor deducted points from your test scores if you missed a single class.
Well, I knew I should tell the professor why I wouldn’t be attending his class for one day. Perhaps he wouldn’t deduct points considering the reason for my absence. However, if I did that I would be going against both pieces of advice my dad had given me. By going in to talk to the professor, it might appear to him that I was polishing apples.
And, it might appear to him that I was bragging about getting chosen to go to Austin. That’s tied to my dad’s second piece of advice. He once told me, “Mark, don’t ever toot your own horn.”
I thought it best not to share with Dad the first thought that hit my mind. – “Right, Dad. I’ll always borrow a horn when I feel the need to toot.” – If I knew anything I knew that my father was not a fan his children’s first thoughts.
I ended up making a “B” in that government class. The points deducted from my final test score hurt, but so did the information I missed during the lecture. I had borrowed another student’s notes, and he was obviously smarter than I, ‘cause he didn’t take many notes.
Truth be told, it wasn’t as much Dad’s words that affected me, as his example. An humble man, my dad, and I loved him for it.
|My Dad and Me 1954|
This reason for telling all of this is to provide background for what I’m getting ready to tell you. It’s called a “qualifier.” That’s another thing I picked up from Dad. That man would fly around the barn twice before lighting somewhere. That’s partly why I have so many qualifiers in my articles. Faris Hayter did it to me.
What I really want to tell you is that Kay and I have a radio show called “Hanging with the Hayters.” Get it? We’re Mark and Kay Hayter and the show is about spending an hour a week hanging around with us. Kay came up with the name. The show airs live every Wednesday at noon on www.irlonestar.com. That’s what all of this was leading up to. So – next time. – Beg pardon?
Well, if you insist. Listening to “Hanging with the Hayters” is a lot like Kay and me talking to you while you’re eating lunch. Kay’s good to eat lunch with. After 44 years of marriage, we still converse between bites. Mostly Kay does. That girl is out there.
During the show, we speak on a variety of topics. This includes family stuff, as well as some less personal educational information about Midlothian carpentry skills and Turkish soup recipes. (Those stories are currently being fleshed out.)
We also glean a lot of info from our very own Conroe Courier. I’m particularly drawn to some of the happenings mentioned in the calendar of events. Occasionally, I’ll call and ask for further explanation on some of the goings-on. I’m curious about whether or not you need to be a Presbyterian to join “Grace Presbyterian’s Mens’s Brew Night?” Stuff like that.
In a month or so, Lone Star Community Radio will join Conroe’s FM 104.5 and 106.1 in a joint project between the City of Conroe and irlonestar.com. While I much prefer writing for and reading the newspaper, doing a live radio broadcast is also fun and challenging. I certainly wouldn’t do it without Kay, though. That’s why you need to believe that I’m actually trying to promote Kay. She’s the one whose horn I wish to toot. – Well that didn’t sound right. – Next time.
HWTH archives -- https://soundcloud.com/irlonestar/sets/hwth.