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June 05, 2008


...Back in the thirties, as long as you didn't do something to upset some adult, your summer was your own. Get up, eat breakfast, do your chores, get out of sight. I was the oldest, and my Mom always had younger ones demanding attention. But most mothers were housewives, and knew each other's kids by sight. You seldom were able to get so far from home between meals that no one would recognize you. News of any major misdeed usually reached home before you did...

Jerry Selby recalls the days when he was young.

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May 29, 2008

It's A Zoo In There

...Often I'll turn around and see him as motionless as if he were hunting, but a few feet behind or to one side of me. If I talk to him, he sits down and appears to listen. Occasionally he even begins to groom himself while we are only a few feet apart...

Jerry Selby reports that the barn cat is beginning to feel at home in his surroundings.

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May 22, 2008

Finding Out About Our Neighbours

Jerry Selby brushes up on a few facts about his neighbours to the north and the south.

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May 15, 2008

Oak Leaves Big As Squirrels' Ears

Jerry Selby recalls farming as it was way back then.

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May 08, 2008

Changing Times

...Farming, and rural life in general, has changed so much in my lifetime it's hard to believe. Communications, for example. Radio, TV, telephone. Cell phones, computers. Most farmers have two-way radios, a cell phone, and a GPS unit in their big, sound-proofed, air conditioned tractors. Many use an on-board laptop computer. And everyone has several motor vehicles. We don't live in a four mile an hour world these days...

Jerry Selby muses on changing times in rural America.

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May 01, 2008

Goat Power

That grass just grows and grows! What Jerry Selby needs is a couple of goats.

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April 24, 2008


...Euphemophobe. I think I may have just coined that word. Can't find it on Google, Amazon.com or Wikipedia. What I mean is a person with an abiding dislike for the overuse of euphemisms. Me, for instance...

Jerry Selby is annoyed by mealy-mouthed politically correct doublespeak.

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April 17, 2008

Supply And Demand

Jerry Selby suggests ways of cutting down an over-supply of flab and at the same time reducing the use of non-renewable fuels.

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April 10, 2008

Time For A Spring Tune-Up

Jerry Selby suggests that now is the time to "spring-clean'' yourself.

For more of Jerry's wise words please click on The Shepherdsville Times in the menu on this page.

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April 03, 2008

A Storming Time To Read

With the weather still far from friendly in Indiana, Jerry Selby mentions some authors who make it worthwhile to stay indoors

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March 27, 2008

Freezer Mites

Ever noticed how ice cream seems to shrink while its in the freezer? Could the freezer mites have been at it? Jerry Selby brings us another happy helping of life in Shepherdsville.

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March 20, 2008

History And Mystery

Who the heck is this Klinkett guy?

Jerry Selby puzzles over a file containing names, addresses and phone numbers accumulated down the years.

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March 13, 2008

Dinged And Danged

Jerry Selby and his wife Avie have been dinged and danged and dropkicked a little this week, but life goes on.

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March 06, 2008

Speeding Coyote

There goes a coyote, travelling at full speed. Is it training for the Coyote Olympics?

Here's another of Jerry Selby's delightful columns. To read more of his engaging words please click on The Shepherdsville Times in the menu on this page.

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February 28, 2008

Winter's Waning

...I can remember when we really enjoyed snow and cold weather. But only in small doses. Maybe an hour or two, or an afternoon, or once in a while a whole day, with a convivial group, kids, adults or both. I can also remember some of the worst hours of my life, out doing a job that had to be done, with wet feet, frostbit ears and nose, fingers and hands so stiff you could hardly hold an axe...

Jerry Selby is delighted to see winter on the way out.

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February 21, 2008

Lack Of Language Does Not Mean Dumb

Humans are not making llife easier for so-called "dumb'' animals, as Jerry Selby reveals.

To read more of Jerry's good-natured columns please click on The Shepherdsville Times in the menu on this page.

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February 14, 2008

The Sunny Spot?

A patch of bright light was enough to fool Old Sox the dog in his search for warmth, as the inimitable Jerry Selby reveals.

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January 31, 2008

Sox Keeps Rolling Along

...Sox is about as old in dog years as I am in people years. But she certainly is a lot more agile.

She seems to have designed her own exercise plan. She usually times it to go through her routine while we are eating supper. She has her favorite spot, a space of floor right in front of the living room TV. She lies on her back, and begins rolling from side to side. Legs extended and waving in a patterned way. She moves her head from side to side, too, all time as if someone were calling cadence for her...

Jerry Selby tells of mice, racoons, and a very speical dog. To read more of Jerry's columns please click on The Shepherdsville Times in the menu on this page. They are guaranteed to bring delight.

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January 24, 2008

Do The Math

When it comes to weddings it isn't the size of the show that matters, says the inimitable Jerry Selby. It's endurance.

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January 17, 2008

Let There Be Light

...I am always embarrassed when I have to call on someone else to perform routine maintenance tasks like that, but it’s part of the price for living longer than I ever expected.

One good thing, we still have a plentiful supply of grandkids, who are proficient in most building, remodeling, and large and small gasoline motor repair.

Most of the younger ones are girls, but I’ve seen their work, and I’m impressed...

Jerry Selby calls in help to light up the new year.

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January 10, 2008


...All four of us are meatloaf connoisseurs, and carry some weight in such matters. In fact we carry some weight in any circumstance...

Jerry Selby pays a fine tribute to his wife's skill as a cook.

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January 03, 2008

Damn Computer!

...I like cows, always did. Even thought of becoming a dairy farmer. But they’re so doggone regular. Seven days a week. Morning and evening, they are out there looking patient and expectant and accusing. Damn cows....

Jerry Selby thinks that the "big damn dumb computer'' is like a cow, staring accusingly with its glass eye, making demands.

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December 27, 2007

If Climate Changes, Why Not The Calendar?

...If the world is going to be a wetter, hotter place, with many of our current seaside cities under water, and our ways of providing food, clothing, and shelter violently disrupted, agreeing on new ways of thinking and talking about what we’ve always taken for granted will become an important survival skill...

Jerry Selby suggests that long-term climate change will compel us to adopt new ways of thinking about weather, climate and time.

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December 20, 2007

A Day That Shall Live In Infamy

Jerry Selby ponders on the way the world has gone since that infamous day when Japanese bombers attacked Pearl Harbour.

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December 13, 2007

Supersized Sparrows

...Amongst our many winter birdfeed customers is a flock of house sparrows. English Sparrows, we used to call them. I guess that wasn’t politically correct, but we didn’t know any better...

Jerry Selby introduces us to some of his winter visitors.

To read more of Jerry's vigorous words please click on The Shepherdsville Times in the menu on this page.

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December 06, 2007

Time Wounds All Heels

Faced with a deadline, Jerry Selby conjures up some ideas for stories.

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November 29, 2007


...People these days don't realize how the human voice can be made to carry without the aid of electronics. 'Hollerin' is almost a lost art...

Jerry Selby shouts the praises of a good hollerin' voice.

To read more of Jerry's friendly words please click on The Shepherdsville Times in the menu on this page.

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November 22, 2007

Using A Chicken Hook

Jerry Selby delves into old magazines to discover more of the history of the Indiana county in which he lives.

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November 15, 2007

Old Cats Can Learn New Tricks

...Friday morning, approximately 2am Eastern Standard Time, our elderly cat, The Princess, let out an extremely loud yowl, followed immediately by another one still louder. And topped off by the loudest and most hair-raising utterance ever produced by a domestic cat....

Oh dear, what could the matter be? The amiable Jerry Selby reveals all in his latest news from rural Indiana.

To read more of Jerry's words please click on The Shepherdsville Times in the menu on his page.

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November 08, 2007

In The Fall

...Most of our trees and shrubs drop their leaves by the end of November. The fall color is glorious, and the air smells of dry leaves with a hint of wood smoke. Gradually, starting in late September, the green begins to be edged with reds and yellows and oranges and browns. Each tree stands out separately from the background. Some lose leaves early and stand starkly limned amongst their neighbors...

Jerry Selby tells of a time of enchantment in rural Indiana.

For more of Jerry's seasonal words please click on The Shepherdsville Times in the menu on this page.

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November 01, 2007

Let's Go Halloweenin'

Jerry Selby recalls the Halloweens of his younger days, when trickery required innovative imagination - backed up by soap or Bon-Ami.

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October 25, 2007

I Give Up

Did doughnuts come before coffee was discovered, or was it the other way around?

Jerry Selby muses on serious matters.

For more of Jerry's tasty words please click on The Shepherdsville Times in the menu on this page.

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October 19, 2007

Bluejays In The Garden

...We have a pair of resident bluejays, and when one of them sails in the lesser birds scatter. They are rather overbearing and bullying, but they serve a useful purpose to the smaller birds, and even small animals. Their loud and raucous alarm calls serve notice to everyone that there is something they consider dangerous in the area. Humans, hawks, owls, nest-robbing snakes, raccoons, cats and menacing-looking dogs are among their list of things that bear watching...

Jerry Selby reminds us of the things that are truly important in a well-lived life.

For more of his engaging words please click on The Shepherdsville Times in the menu on this page.

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October 04, 2007

800-Pound Gorillas

...Our milkhouse, where the wild critters know there is always a free meal, is again doing a booming business. All the hunters and gatherers have begun the life-and-death effort to bulk up with enough fat and protein to get them through the lean and starving times of January and February. The other night I saw three of the youngsters from this spring's raccoon crop, being mentored by Spike, the aging white opossum. Many people will tell you that they are mortal enemies, but 'taint necessarily so...

Good-humoured Jerry Selby tells of life in rural Indiana in autumn.

For more of Jerry's engaging words please click on The Shepherdsville News in the menu on this page.

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September 27, 2007

Days Of Yore

Jerry Selby points out that in the"good old days'' there were plenty of things to worry about, but many of today's health concerns were then not the least bit worrisome.

For more of Jerry's sensible words please click on The Shepherdsville Times in the menu on this page.

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September 20, 2007

Growing Into Your Hat

...Avie and I were sitting in the Doctor's waiting room this morning. Avie had her little lightweight and easy to fold into the back seat walker with her. She still feels more comfortable with it when she is outdoors. The other lady had a walker of a slightly different type. We got to discussing the good and bad features of the various walker types.

All of a sudden it tickled my funny bone.

"Would you have believed twenty years ago we'd be sitting here knowledgeably discussing the strong and weak points of walkers?"

A cheerful Jerry Selby, who has just celebrated his eightieth birthday, proves yet again the passing years do not dim a keen sense of humour.

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September 13, 2007


...The lawn looks like it was mowed in the dark. It was. I tried to wait until the sun was down. Had to turn the headlights on to finish.

But it is mowed. And the garden tractor lights work fine...

The amiable Jerry Selby sends another topical and thoughtful column from Indiana.

To read more of Jerry's entertaining words please click on The Shepherdsville Times in the menu on this page.

Continue reading "Critters" »

September 06, 2007

Three Cheers For Avie

...It has been almost fifty-seven years since Avie and I signed the papers and said the words that began our partnership. I told her a while ago, "You know, the luckiest thing I ever did in my life was to team up with you. But I think I sure got the best end of the deal."

Looking back over time, there have been occasions when we each wished we'd never heard of each other. But not many, and not long, and never beyond repair. Thank you, Avonelle. I hope you can put up with me for another 20 years...

Jerry Selby, who is the sort of guy you wish you'd known all your life, pays a touching tribute to Avie, his partner for most of his life.

For more of Jerry's columns please click on The Shepherdsville Times in the menu on this page.

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August 30, 2007

Tomato Time

"It's amazing what some people will do to make a great impression. Last week, two of the ladies who are part of Chip Werry's dental practice made really great impressions on me—in my mouth, that is. Due to a combination of heavy smoking, old age, and poor dental hygiene, I have just about as many teeth left as a badly carved Hallowe'en pumpkin. So the ladies made impressions as a necessary early step in getting me back in corn-on-the-cob condition before the season is over,'' says Jerry Selby.

Jerry's words always make a good impression. To read more of them please click on The Shepherdsville Times in the menu on this page.

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August 23, 2007

Did You Hear That?

...My world is becoming much like I was on permanent 24-hour duty in a large foundry, with an adjoining grinder room, and a howling blizzard blowing around the corners of a sheet metal building at all times ...

Jerry Selby's hearing may be letting him down, but his sense of humour is in fine fettle.

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August 16, 2007

Those Wonderful Skeeters

Could mosquitoes save the world? The inimitable Jerry Selby goes on an itchy flight of fancy.

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August 09, 2007

Looking For Something To Do

...What do you suppose those old pioneer guys, who couldn’t read or write, did to pass the time when the weather was too bad to be out? They had to stay close enough to home to be back by milking time, and most didn’t have any money, decent clothes, and had never owned a pair of professional cobbler-made boots...

Jerry Selby muses on what to do when the weather is less than friendly.

Open Writing readers can pass the time most enjoyably by reading Jerry's neighbour-friendly columns. For more of them please click on The Shepherdsville Times in the menu on his page.

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August 02, 2007

High Corn And Good Neighbours

...The retirement books don’t tell you about treasured moments such as this. Here I sit at the breakfast table, hoping to enjoy my bowl of bran flakes with prune bits.

And after I take the first big spoonful I realize I forgot to put in both my upper and lower dentures...

Jerry Selby's amiable column this week leaps from bran flakes to high corn, air conditioning to good neighbours.

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July 26, 2007

Amusement And Delight

…You thought hunting and gathering meant like picking up walnuts or killing deer, I'll bet. Naw. It meant hunting for a bottle and gathering somewhere the ladies wouldn't interfere, like the sawmill or blacksmith shop…

The irrepressible Jerry Selby tells of leaking pipes, raccoon poop, Shepherdsville phlox, convivial bottles…oh and there’s a mention of Open Writing in there somewhere.

Jerry finds amusement and delight in everday life. Read his column every week in his Web magazine.

Continue reading "Amusement And Delight" »

July 19, 2007

Speaking Your Mind

...I’ve had a lifelong problem with foot-in-mouth disease, but the verbal is not usually preserved for your grandchildren’s amusement...

Jerry Selby ponders on the embarrassment of archiving blogs - magnanimously bestowed upon the world, by teenagers or even those old enough to know better - which purport to solve the world's problems.

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July 12, 2007

Call Me Lazy

...I used to have a cartoon under the plate-glass top on my old wood desk. It showed two guys in swivel chairs, each leaned back, with feet propped on opposite sides of a desk. The caption was, "Think - maybe we can avoid this work." That's the spirit! That's how the world becomes a better place....

Jerry Selby believes that enlightened laziness is the first step to progress.

Do watch out for more of Jerry's sparkling words. His column will appear every Thursday. Lucky Open Writing! Lucky readers!

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