Improvise, adapt and overcome

By BY MARK H. STOWERS COLUMNIST,

Good Mornin’! Good Mornin’!

It wasn’t the greatest Clint Eastwood movie. Not even close actually.

But in Heartbreak Ridge, Eastwood takes a bunch of rag tag men and eventually makes Marines out of them. But the phrase he uses, “Improvise, adapt and overcome” has new meaning to me during this quarantine.

With 50 different governors giving 50 different sets of instructions – some almost daily – you pretty much have to stay in your own lane and follow the rules as you understand them.

This past Friday, Governor Tate Reeves re-opened tattoo parlors. I tried to do a little research and see just how many there are in the state but couldn’t find a number or have an idea of how to find the number.

I really don’t think that re-opening this part of the fractured economy is going to tip the scales in one direction or the other in recovery.

I mean, how many folks actually have tattoos versus those who don’t?

I have no clue.

But more power to them, their industry is open and hopefully they’ve employed more spell checkers or copy editors to oversee the influx of inked statements we’ll all be witnessing in the near future.

Anyway, I think they will be more of a testing ground for other industries to learn from any mistakes – outside of spelling.

Which leads me back to my opening phrase of improvise, adapt and overcome.

The world will be uniquely different when all of the quarantines and such are lifted. But we’ve been through many advents of improvising, adapting and overcoming.

The searing Delta heat comes each and every summer.

We find ways of dealing with it whether it’s complaining, turning the A/C to a lower degree, finding a colder beverage or just grinning somewhat and bearing it.

I remember at Camp Tallaha I’d take three showers a day pretty much and slept in front of a three-speed box fan. The spring-fed, ice cold pool wasn’t something we avoided either. Basically, you adapted or suffered heat stroke.

Yeah, I had that once in Southern California after running around playing ultimate frisbee in the smog. Not a fun experience and I don’t remember if we won or not. Anyway…

One day the quarantines and such will come to an end and we’ll have to continue to improvise, adapt and overcome.

Some businesses like restaurants, salons and barbershops will have the steepest adapting curve as theirs is a much more hands-on industry. But we’ll survive and the MacGyver in every industry will come to life and make the after-quarantine life something that can be handled, adapted to and overcome.

And we’ll move on to the next challenge of rebuilding the economy and perhaps voting. I tote around a mask, I’ve got hand sanitizer and a box of gloves and a pack of gum pretty much at all times.

They’ve become the pocketknife of the quarantine world. Something you need to have on you at all times and you don’t want to leave home without it.

As Americans and more importantly as southerners, we’ve all learned to improvise, adapt and overcome, especially when Mother Nature is against us, the preacher is going a bit too long and we’re afraid we might miss getting the good seats at lunch or when a hurdle appears out of nowhere.

And as we say on the combine, “Improvise, adapt and overcome – shower more, don’t worry, the cafeteria never runs out of fried chicken and it’s just a mask, wear it and stay safe another day for now.”

That’s probably too many words for a tattoo though. Till next week!

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