24 May 2019


Long ago I promised myself I'd never be so comfortable that I'd pass up a penny on the ground.
In New York on the way to the subway to visit the 9-11 memorial, in light rain, I saw a penny on the wet sidewalk. I stooped and pocketed it.
Only later when I took a look did I see the date...
1947. The year of my birth.
It's a keeper.

And I'll share a ditty one of my former helo students shared with me...
"See a penny? Pick it up. All day long-
You'll have a penny!" 

21 May 2019

Before They Became Toasters...

Officer's Candidate School was hard.
I learned the secret early on. (And that knowledge also illuminated many of the secrets of life!)
Refuse to quit.
When someone tries to piss you off, smile and ask for more.
So I made it. I graduated and pinned on my "butter bars".

I promised myself early in the OCS program that if I graduated and started getting a regular, "almost livable" paycheck, I'd treat myself to a new car.
So in November of 1967 when I went shopping for a car, what did that 20-yr. old have to choose from?
400+ Cubic-inch engines in virtually any manufacturer's line...
426 Hemis in various Chrysler products.
427 Monsters in Chevrolets and Fords.
400's in Oldsmobiles, Pontiacs, and Buicks.
MUSCLE CARS. Cars with individual personalities.

I had long lusted for an Oldsmobile 442 owned by a friend in High School.
But when the new 1968 442's came out in November of '67, they had changed the body style from the squared-off, boxy '66 that I loved.
But I didn't HATE the way the new car looked, so I plunked down the cash, and took delivery of the car a month after ordering it.

I owned that car for 6 years and put 96,000 miles on the odometer.
During that time I replaced the water pump and the front wheel bearings.
That's all.
And I LOVED every moment of driving that car.

How things have changed.
In 1970 you could walk through a parking lot and identify EVERY make and model car by looking at its ass.
Try doing that today.
Gas mileage rules. And mileage is ruled by aerodynamics and the wind tunnel.
And that makes all these four-wheeled pieces of crap look like members of the same, inbred family!

Our Taurus SHO is faster, more comfortable, more luxurious, more reliable, and quieter than anything made back when I promised myself a new automobile.
It gets better gas mileage (on regular unleaded fuel) too.

But it's an appliance.
It's not exciting.
And I guess, for this old man, that's a GOOD thing, huh?

13 May 2019

Then I Saw Her Face...

Now I'm a believer.

How many times have you been in love?
One of the great things about becoming an old man is that I now know that seeing a beautiful face;
Loving what I see...
Will lead nowhere.
So I've learned to just enjoy God's artwork.

I've been in love several times in my life
And when you know it cannnot lead to a "happily ever after" ending, that's a special kind of pain.
But the saying "It's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all" is true.
I'm glad to have experienced that pain.