Danny Tyree, 2/12/2020 [Archive]

Can We Please Have More Middlebrow Citizens?

Can We Please Have More Middlebrow Citizens?

Tyrades! by Danny Tyree


"Middlebrow."

I sit typing this column on the 20th anniversary of the massive heart attack that took the life of my father, and "middlebrow" is one of the words that pops into my mind when remembering Dad.

Except for learning the skills of a medic during his year in the United States Army and taking a Dale Carnegie "How To Win Friends and Influence People" course while in the insurance business, Dad had no formal education beyond being the salutatorian of the Marshall County (Tennessee) High School class of 1943. But he was a voracious reader (history, highbrow classic literature, newspapers, Bennett Cerf jokebooks, B.W. Johnson's Notes on the New Testament, "Reader's Digest") his entire life and displayed a healthy balance between "book learnin'" and common sense.

Dad expressed no resentment for classmates and kinfolk who moved cross-country for employment. He made many newcomers feel welcome when he was selling real estate. But his own happiness involved a simple life of exhibiting his kindness, generosity and problem-solving skills in his hometown.

Dad was much more extroverted than I am, but he commanded attention without being needy and domineering. Dad was a character, but he also HAD character - a distinction that is lost on many attention-seekers.

Dad relished deep thoughts and marched to the beat of a different drummer. but it was a very natural, easy-going pace. It was not a deliberate effort to be a chip-on-the-shoulder cantankerous coot or "weird for the sake of being weird" hipster.

Dad believed in an honest day's work (sometimes physical, sometimes cerebral) for an honest day's pay.He would be appalled by the hordes of people who clamor for "something for nothing" - as well as by well-connected manipulators who exploit the masses through crony capitalism.

Dad practiced the Old School traits of plugging along and "doing the right thing," as contrasted with the current trend toward narcissistic, no-skin-in-the-game "virtue signaling."

Dad tried his best to be a peacemaker and treat everyone the same. He did not spend every waking moment trying to verbally nuke the enemy or conjure ever-narrower subgroups of aggrieved parties.

Perhaps it's a blessing that Dad has been spared the past two decades of polarization. On one side is an overabundance of over-educated, smarmy, silver-spoon elitists who dictate how the commoners should live. On the other side is a growing underclass of "here, hold my beer" nitwits who wallow in their ignorance and their crassness and give renewed life to the worst stereotypes.

This great nation owes much of its prosperity to people infused with wanderlust, who made fame and fortune the driving force of their lives. But the glue that holds America together is good, decent people who stay informed and try on a modest scale to make their families, churches, neighborhoods and communities a little better. Middlebrow citizens.

There are many pundits, celebrities and movers-and-shakers who catch my attention. But I have never daydreamed, "What if HE had been my father?" On the contrary, it has been a priceless comfort over the years to have people ask me, "Who was your daddy?" and when I tell them, they gush, "He was a good man," instead of murmuring "Oh" and abruptly changing the subject.

Edwin Lewis Tyree was one of a kind and irreplaceable.

And I hope future generations produce millions more people just like him!

-

Copyright 2020 Danny Tyree. Danny welcomes email responses at tyreetyrades@aol.com and visits to his Facebook fan page "Tyree's Tyrades." Danny's weekly column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. newspaper syndicate.



Download Danny Tyree's color photo - Download Danny Tyree's black and white mug shot photo
Why not run a cartoon with the column? We recommend the cartoons below as a good compliment to Danny Tyree's topic.
Click on the thumbnail images to preview and download the cartoons.

Related Cartoons

We Can't Get There From Here
By: Jeff Koterba

May 23, 2019

It's a Scorcher Out Theres a Scorcher Out There
By: Jeff Koterba

July 20, 2017

Political Drumming
By: Nate Beeler

January 23, 2019

Political Drumming
By: Nate Beeler

January 23, 2019

Partisan Dining
By: David Fitzsimmons

July 5, 2018

Partisan Dining
By: David Fitzsimmons

July 5, 2018
    

We do not accept and will not review unsolicited submissions from cartoonists.
Sales & Information: (805) 969-2829 sales@cagle.com
Billing Information: (805) 969-2829billing@cagle.com
Technical Support: support@cagle.com

FREE cartoons for your website if you're already a paying print subscriber!
Artwork and columns are copyrighted by each creator. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service