My Uncle Mort and color wheels

Staff Writer
Glen Rose Reporter
Uncle Mort has been on a quest to find "Fifty Shades of Gray" at local hardware stores.

Credibility of many professional athletes' opinions on matters involving their sports is marginal, and on various "common sense" topics, it deserves even less respect.

When certain athletes claim to have admirable parenting skills, beware. It's then we'd score big returns in the produce business if we could find a trailer load of overripe tomatoes. Rotten ones are best for fans who've had enough. Now, they're ready to wax Archie "Bunkerish" for pro sports' loud mouths. "Dummy up," is what Archie always told Edith.

LeBron James, crowned as royalty by some and zapped by others, hit a verbal home run worthy of our hearing against colleges jumping the gun on recruiting. Eureka, he warned coaches to "leave my 10-year-old alone."...


Can it be? LeBron II, nicknamed "Bronny," already is considered scholarship material at multiple institutions.

Scholarships? College coaches would do well to attract youngsters with gifts like iPhones and iPads instead of scholarships. In this case, figuring "like father, like son" is taking the "gene thing" too far. (A high school science teacher observed, "If a child's mother's eyes have blue genes and the dad has blue genes, chances are the offspring also will have blue "jeans.")

King James – his moniker as a schoolboy basketball phenom – went straight from high school to the pros. Are we on the cusp of junior high basketballers taking the big plunge, skipping both high school and college?

One day, this may not be out of the question. Sadly, ours is a culture which continues to devalue childhood that already is squeezed by pressures far too soon...


And then there are rare old birds like my Uncle Mort. He's blown the old "once an adult/twice a child" saying to smithereens. With birthday number 103 coming up on July 4, his opinions seem forever child-like.

Often clueless on many topics, somehow he manages to re-group, usually making good on promises, mistakes and foibles from here to yon.

He's a live example of the axiom that a "little knowledge is a dangerous thing." This is what we can blame his recent pratfall on. They're still laughing about it in the paint department down at the hardware store...


My uncle dismounted his golf cart, grumbling that he wasn't saving as much money on gasoline as he was a couple of months ago. I pointed out that price per gallon has dropped by almost 50 percent, so really, he's saving even more money.

Logic is usually wasted on him. He said he didn't have time to discuss the economy, and he left without mentioning anything about a painting project. However, he said he needed to pick up a new color wheel before they were gone.

He headed for the hardware store, eager to learn more about the color wheel that people are talking so much about...


The paint people were bumfuzzled by his request. After all, for decades on end, color wheels have been, uh, color wheels. "There are no 'favorites'," one of the sales people responded. "It has to be the favorite," my uncle protested, insisting that everyone is "talking grey" – the color he thinks to be the choice of millions of Americans this summer. As if orchestrated, the hardware people's heads pivoted 180 degrees, now cocked in the other direction.

"It's hard to imagine they could come up with 50 different grey hues," Mort said. Then, it dawned on the manager. Mort thought Fifty Shades of Grey to be a color wheel.

The wonder of it all is that their side-splitting laughter didn't erupt until Mort puttered down the street in his golf cart...


Friends of Mort and Maude – his wife of 80-plus years – agree with her longstanding contention: "I can't do a thing with him." A few years back – while he was attending an auction for freight cars loaded with new hula hoops and croquet sets – Maude's succinct comment made sense. It still does.

"Just let him be."

Truly, there is much about today's world Mort doesn't understand-or even try very hard to figure out.

So, if he chooses to believe – or wants others to think he believes – Fifty Shades of Grey is a color wheel instead of a sordid movie, let him be...

Dr. Newbury is a speaker in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Inquiries/comments to: Phone: 817-447-3872. Website: Archived at