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May 1st 2009

    I once asked a friend why the old timers called him 'Scout'.  He told me that when he was young he had been sitting on the beach, and he had looked into the sky to find a huge object.  Nor was he the only one to have noticed it.  People gathered to point at it. 

    The object was not frightening.  It could have been very large and very far away.  Or it could have been closer and smaller.  For certain it moved slowly against the wind, so it could not have been a cloud.

    Amongst those old timers who could recall that day, there was dispute as to what the object actually was.  'Scout' believed they had seen a Zeppelin.  Others had different opinions.

 

    Often an individual has one name in youth, another name in middle age, and in old age some get to decide how they want to be called.  Scout, didn't like the name 'Scout', and he was indifferent about the name 'Skipper', which was the name most people knew him by.

    One day a party of visiting strangers called him 'Barman'.  I could tell that this name irritated him, and I believed it would pass.  But 'Barman' refused to draw bottles of beer from the icebox and directed the strangers to leave.  

    When I asked Scout why he had turned away what could have been excellent business, Scout pointed to the small print on the sign behind his bar.  "Alwin Hughes, proprietor" it read. 

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