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BEAUMONT ENTERPRISE: Sometimes the best thing on television is an ad for old songs. The record companies think we’ll buy them because they make us feel good. I’ve never purchased any, but I always watch.

Not long ago “The Three Bells” by the Browns came on. It’s a story of the birth, marriage and death of little Jimmy Brown, all memorialized by bells from a tiny chapel.

It made me think of how simple things like the sound of a bell can remind us of what’s important in life.

On my morning run I take a neighborhood street. Trees arch overhead framing the houses like a Norman Rockwell painting. Each day a little girl rides her tricycle on the driveway while her dad reads the paper.

She smiles at me and rings a bell mounted on her handle bars. Once I was the dad. Now my daughters have gone, too big for bells.

Around the corner I often cross paths with an old man on a bike with fat tires and a basket. He too has a bell and greets me with it. I worry when he’s not there.

If I’m feeling strong I push on to the park for a loop around the running trail. Bells from the Catholic church across the way call parishioners to morning mass.

I went there once for the funeral of my friend, Jack. We used to run together.

In the back pew sat several runners in shorts and sneakers. The bells for Jack’s service had drawn them in from the trail to the tiny chapel to say goodbye.

Like Jimmy Brown, there are constants in my life. Bells are easy to overlook. Less so, for whom they toll.

Listen and remember:

Malcolm D. Gibson
Copyright 2016
All Rights Reserved

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