Of missing socks and a friend deeply missed

Today I will attempt to solve one of the many mysteries of life. The mystery? What happened to that other sock?

You know, in your heart of hearts, that you put several pairs into the washer, yet somehow when you go to fold the socks, inevitably at least one will be lost.

Before I attempt to solve that mystery, however, I would like to take a moment to pay tribute to a friend of mine. When I started this column I needed a catchy name. I decided that since I spend a fair amount of my retirement years in coffee shops, that I would call the column Coffee House Ramblings. Well, last month one of my coffee-drinking buddies passed on. I would like to dedicate this issue of Coffee House Ramblings to Mr. Stylie R. Morris.

I first met Mr. Morris several years ago at the local New Palestine McDonald’s. You see, I always called Stylie “Mr. Morris.” To me, he commanded respect. Those of you who know me know that I am hard of hearing and wear hearing aids. With my hearing, I always thought Gene, another coffee drinker, was calling Mr. Morris “Smiley,” not “Stylie.” I did not know until Mr. Morris passed on that his given name was Stylie. Mr. Morris certainly lived up to his name; he exuded style.

Mr. Morris passed away at the age of 82. Every day, without fail, he would show up for coffee. What made Mr. Morris so remarkable? I guess it was his quiet, gentlemanly demeanor. I never once heard him raise his voice, but he had that confident look and twinkle in his eye that exhibited confidence, confidence in what the speaker was saying.

He had been a trucker for more than 20 years. He also was a father and a grandfather. Mr. Morris was proud of his kids, his family and of course his grandkids. I had the pleasure to interact with his family.

I taught his granddaughter how to drive. Kara attends New Palestine High School. I have taught a lot of kids to drive in my soon-to-be 50-year tenure as a driver education teacher.

I wish I could say that all of my kids exhibited a good home life and a pleasant demeanor, but if I said that, then I would be less than truthful. But Mr. Morris’s granddaughter exhibited the same qualities that I saw in Mr. Morris. Wow, what a legacy that one can pass on to your family.

Mr. Morris, just know that C.O., Gene, Lovie, Randy, Ross, Marge, George and the rest of the McDonald’s family will miss you.

Before I get back to socks, I would like to offer just one more comment with regard to Mr. Morris. I attended the viewing for Mr. Morris in September. He was loved not only by his family but also by the entire New Palestine community. After I left the funeral home, I was told that a large contingency of the staff from McDonald’s also attended the viewing. Mr. Morris, you will be missed by your family and friends.

Now back to that missing sock. Contrary to public opinion, I have done a few loads of wash in my day. I have also folded laundry. It is beyond my wildest imagination as to what happens to that one lost sock. Apparently, I am not The Lone Ranger in that department. For you see, in preparing to write this column, I of course turned to social media. I did an unscientific poll.

Many admitted to losing a sock, not a pair, but one sock in the washer or dryer. One wag (who shall remain nameless) pointed out that washing machines are heavy when one tries to move them. This retired Lilly chemist’s theory? Washing machines are heavy because they are the tomb of the devoured remains in the belly of the washing machine.

Another nameless person (also retired, from Naval Avionics) actually had his dryer catch on fire due to a sock. His story about the fire was comical. I can just see this brilliant scientist unceremoniously kicking the burning dryer out his front door.

Another respondent to my poll told about her husband taking the washing machine apart to remove not one but four socks.

Did you know there is a National Lost Sock Day? I am sad to say I missed it. It was May 9. Also, and I had a hard time believing this one, there is actually a a phenomenon called Missing Sock Syndrome.

Lastly, I also read an article titled “How Your Brain Tricks You into Thinking That You Lost A Sock.” I kid you not, I could not believe the psychobabble the author used to explain the phenomenon.

So please, with all the real issues in this world today, please don’t get left out to dry if you lose one sock in the laundry.

C.O. Montgomery is a former teacher and township trustee. He is a New Palestine resident.