Watchful Eye
Off the Wall, Sept
12, 2013

I’ve always been fascinated with the American language. It is true; I haven’t always used the words correctly according to Webster’s Dictionary. Never the less, I seem to get my point across concerning the numerous stories I’ve written.

While taking my walks lately, something always comes to mind to ponder. Recently, two words struck me as having a number of definitions in and of themselves and also together when used jointly. They are “watch” and “eye.” It is through the combination of them both I was able to form the title to this week’s column.

As I descended down Ligonier Street in Latrobe, heading toward Holy Family Church, I thought, “How funny. Isn’t every eye watchful to those who can see?”

Then I got into a Pee Vee mood. Can’t you just hear the commercials on television, “Now, for a limited time only, get them while they last, a dozen of eyes packaged separately in individual boxes for easy storage for only $19.95 plus shipping and handling. And if you order within the next hour, we will throw in an extra eight eyes so all the members in your family will have one. Wow, what a deal! Just call 1 800-EYE-BALL and we will ship them to you.”

Just think of all the uses. Keep intruders away by implanting them in lifelike Halloween masks and have them looking out windows. Keep them in children’s room. They will know not to act up because the watchful eyes are keeping track of everything they are doing. Or affix them to your glasses above your nose. If someone calls you three eyes, now you can agree. Be creative. It doesn’t take a genius to use these little round balls.

On the serious side, lists the synonyms. These are: hawkeye, keen eye, lidless eye, penetrating eye, sharp eye, sleepless eye, weather eye, x-ray eye and one I grew up with as said by my mother a lot – peeled eye. When mother couldn’t find something, she used to tell us kids, “Keep your eyes peeled. I seem to have misplaced the scissors,” for example.

Gruesome thought, isn’t it? If layer upon layer is removed, one will have to order from a catalog to have “watchful eyes" inserted. Oh my…

Many of you may remember one of my favorite songs by Ella Fitzgerald, “Someone to Watch Over Me.” The first stanza goes like this: “There’s a somebody I’m longin’ to see, I hope that he, turns out to be, Someone who’ll watch over me.” It wasn’t so much that men were taller and watched over their counterparts, but took care of them in a way a man should take care of his female companion. Those unfamiliar with the song should Google it or have someone who is computer savvy do it so everyone can read the lyrics and then learn the tune. Then you may understand why I like the song so much.

The timepiece that we wear around our wrists is, as you know, called a watch. It doesn’t have the “guts” to look at us. It’s just a mechanism. I can only surmise, since we watch it, the name is a derivative of our eye contact. There is that “eye” relevancy.

And last, one can subscribe to the “Watchtower” magazine put out by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. According to, “The purpose of the magazine is to draw attention to the kingdom of God, which Jehovah’s Witnesses believe is a real government that will soon replace all earthly governments. It comforts people with good news that God’s heavenly kingdom will soon end all wickedness and transform the earth into a paradise.” Onward to the usage of the word, “eye.”

People who see “eye to eye” with another are not holding a stare-down to see how long it takes until one person blinks or bursts out laughing, but more so agrees with the other concerning the subject at hand.

Blackeye Susan is a flowering plant similar to a daisy with yellow pedals. It is not a woman who got bopped in the eye. “Keep an eye out” for fishing poles and reels. “Hey there goes Jonathan. I know it’s him because one of his eyes is bouncing off his cheek.” Don’t think so. Another way of saying “watch out for…”

Hey, can you do me a favor? If you do order one of those watchful eyes, please be careful. I wouldn’t want you to clean up the mess “eye drops” may create!.

- Paul J. Volkmann
Contact me by email

To buy my book, Off the Wall Favorites, call me at 724-539-8850.