How the same two words can mean such different things to people!

Sure, “all alone” can mean being lonely or longing to be with others and is a sad feeling of being left alone or it can be “all alone” yeah!

Now I can watch the big game in peace and quiet or I can trim my toenails without someone staring at me!

How about “a vacation”? It could mean time taken off to finish painting your house or taking care of someone for a short period of time, or it can mean living it up on the brilliant white beaches of a Caribbean island. However, recently I was struck by two words that really mean something different to many males; “The Draft”.

Since 1948 until 1973 “The Draft” was the way the military filled vacancies until in 1973 when the draft was ended and the military became all voluntary. However today every male between 18 and 25 today has to register with the Selective Service System which serves as a backup to the all volunteer military. To be drafted wasn’t necessarily a good thing and to hear someone say “you’re drafted” usually sent shivers down youthful spines!

But fast forward to today. “The Draft” means a good thing is going to happen to many males between 18 and 25 if “The Draft” you’re talking about is for the National Football League! If you are drafted and can cut it, your life is going to take a major change from being a college student to a highly paid professional playing a game.

While the NFL’s definition of “The Draft” is different than the military’s it is still a form of conscription; labor demanded by some established authority.

In this case the NFL is the authority and it’s the various franchises who “Draft” a player into their employment. There are other ways to make it to the NFL like invitations to tryout camps, but to be at the top of the draft means a heck of a lot more money and prestige. Trades are made often and a player drafted by one team can suddenly be dealt to another later in the day!

It’s a complicated process that takes several days and is televised from start to finish with experts predicting who is going to be drafted by whom. It takes on a carnival atmosphere with parties and “Draft” day is a business into itself. The potential draftees have attended “scouting combines” where they were timed for speed and skill, given intensive medical and psychological exams, and were interviewed by player personal, coaches, and others connected with the teams.

With the amount of money promised to these future stars they want to know just what kind of package they are getting. That’s a far cry from the way the military drafted, they were just looking for bodies, skilled or not, and even though they don’t draft now, the males that are registered are always on the alert for the sudden call up.

But for the football draftees they can’t wait to sign up for the draft. Many even cut their education’s short in order to capitalize on the chance to make some serious cash. Ironically during the draft times many males stayed in school to avoid the draft!!

So in some households the words “The Draft” are equivalent to a swear words, but right down the street in another house they are jumping with joy after a successful day at “The Draft”!!!

To reach Rick Schultze email yarick@pioneer.net


Rick Schultze

A few years ago at a writers conference held in the central Oregon coast town of Yachats, where I live, I listened to the late Ken Kesey, a frequent visitor to the area, tell a writer that this could be a hard place to write. “If you think you can sit there staring at the ocean for inspiration you’re wrong, it’s not out there, it’s in your head!” He was right; it is beautiful here in Lincoln County, the kind of beauty that makes concentrating on anything else tough and since hearing that insight, I’ve written at a desk facing a wall, no windows opening onto a ocean view, although I have one, but it’s worked. I’ve done, and do, different kinds of writing. As a freelance writer I’ve been a observational columnist, a humor columnist, a book and music reviewer for newspapers, magazines, and online. However, as a creative writer, my heart belongs to fiction. In that genre I do short stories, road adventure stories, musical adventure tales, and in current production, are three small novels. So really the purpose of this web site is to give you a glance of some of the things I’ve done, a preview of what’s coming, and hopefully, a view of what it’s like to be a writer living in a small town on the Oregon coast!