I love ‘70s music. The ‘60s are pretty darn close. We all have our own musical tastes, but for me, the era of Motown, mixed in with some good, old fashioned rock’n’roll from the ‘60s and ‘70s is the best there is.
The iPod had my favorite playlist going Saturday morning. The office was deserted and I was on a roll. The tune was straight out of 1972 . . . the O’Jays belting out one of their big hits, Backstabbers . . .

The blades are long,
clenched tight in their fists?
Aimin' straight at your back?
And I don't think they'll miss

As Andy Griffith might say, mmmmmm, that sure is good! I couldn’t help myself and was singing right along with Eddie, William and Walter. Hey, the joint was deserted and I can sing pretty loud with the best of ‘em . . . deserted being the key to that working.
WHAM! The door to my office, which was open, was smacked by an open hand the size of a bear’s paw. Since it didn’t have claws and wasn’t covered with fur that could only mean one thing . . . John Hammer.
“You know what I want, Timmons? I just want one thing. I want these people who feel the need to take a knee during the National Anthem to attend one, just one veteran’s funeral where the flag is presented to the widow. That’s all. Just one!”
I did a quick mental check. Still breathing and although my chest was pounding, there wasn’t an elephant sitting on it. I think the heart attack was avoided.
“John, I get what you’re saying but I don’t think they are protesting with any disrespect intended for a grieving wid-”
“Timmons, could you just for once keep your mouth shut and your ears open?” he roared. “This is about that flag. It’s about the respect that needs to be shown to that flag. Our flag. The American flag. That flag that gives these . . . people the freedom to take the damn knee. The flag that men and women have fought for. FOUGHT FOR, Timmons! They have FOUGHT and BLED and DIED. How does anyone not get that?”
“Well, sure John. But I-”
“There are two soldiers at those funerals,” he said slowly, but still seething. “Their duty, their solemn duty, is to take the flag off the coffin of the veteran and present it to the widow or the family. But it’s much more than that, Timmons. It’s so damn much more. I want those protesters to watch those soldiers. I want them to see the reverence, the absolute and total respect they show our flag. You see, these soldiers get it, Timmons. They know that tonight they might get called out of their barracks, board a cargo plane and land somewhere with bullets flying around them. They know, without a shadow of a doubt, that sooner or later, either them or one of their buddies ain’t coming back home on that plane.
“How many of us would do that, Timmons? I think there’s a whole lot who wouldn’t.
And these guys do, and they hold that flag dear to their hearts.”
He paused again. I think he was just gathering steam.
“Sit through a veteran’s funeral and watch!” Hammer growled! “Did you know they wear white gloves so they don’t soil the flag? Watch them snap that piece of sacred cloth to straight creases. Watch them make each fold with the precision of a watchmaker. They fold it 13 times for a reason, did you know that Timmons? Look it up. It means something special. Watch how slowly they march down the aisle to the casket. Watch them take that folded flag and offer it, with the nation’s gratitude, to the widow. And watch them offer their salute. And then tell me how a damn athlete has the right, the audacity to slap all of that in the face with their disrespect.”
Hammer started to walk away, but stopped. He slowly turned.
“I don’t get it Timmons. If I question – not protest, mind you, question – any part of Black Lives Matter I’m a racist. If I disagree with – what do they call it, the woke crowd? – then I’m a jerk. But they get to completely tear down things that mean the world to me. They get to tell me that my beliefs are wrong. They tell me I have to change. Well, I keep hearing that everything now is about fairness and equality and listening and respect. I’ll tell you what Timmons. It’s about damn time that street went both ways.”
Hammer stomped off.
My iPod was still playing. It was a group called the Undisputed Truth.

Smiling faces sometimes?
Pretend to be your friend?
Smiling faces show no traces?
Of the evil that lurks within (can you dig it?)

Seemed appropriate.

Two cents, which is about how much Timmons said his columns are worth, appears periodically on Wednesdays in The Paper. Timmons is the publisher of The Paper and can be contacted at ttimmons@thepaper24-7.com.