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Showing posts from July, 2017

Dear Mister Nash

Dear Mister Nash

For poetry I have no zest Even when written by the best To tell the truth I haven't time To sit and think of words that rhyme
I wrote this in 1960. I was 11 and in the 6th grade. I had received an assignment to write a poem. I was not too happy about the assignment and struggled with it until I finally came up with the above. I got an “A” and it was put on the 1st page of a school newsletter containing some of the students' writings. 8th grade came around and again I received an assignment to write a poem. I decided to submit my now 2 year old poem. I got an “A” on it and it was included in the school's annual literary publication. It was either the 10th or the 11th grade when once again I received an assignment to write a poem. I worked on a few things, but in the end I fell back on the one I wrote in 6th grade. Why not? It had already gotten me 2 “A”s. I was not an A student in anything except gym and math. I submitted the same poem again. I…

1969 Some Kind of Storm

1969 Some Kind of Storm – Keesler Part 2

I was stationed at Keesler AFB in Biloxi Mississippi when Hurricane Camille decided to pay a visit. Camille came ashore at Bay St. Louis, Mississippi just west of Keesler. Camille was a Category 5 hurricane. Meteorologists described the wind as tornado force that even blew apart houses not touched by the storm surge. Only Hurricane Andrew was even close to Camille's wind speed. It had winds recorded up to 190mph but actual peak wind speed is not known since all the high quality measuring instruments in the area were destroyed during the storm.
It was the weekend of Woodstock and we were going to be all restricted to base anyway but once Camille hit we were restricted to a cinder block building with no windows and no electricity. What seemed like half my generation was at Max Yasgur's farm listening to the likes of Joe Cocker, Country Joe, Ten Years After, CSN&Y and others that Sunday. Me, I was stuck sitting in the dark on a h…

What Is It You Actually Do?

What is it you actually do?

My Dad was an OR (operations research) engineer for the phone company. I'd been to his office a few times when I was growing up. From time to time I would ask him what he did at work. He would start to explain about the number of lines coming in, redirection, capacity, blah blah blah. I'd half tune out waiting for the part where he told me what he actually did but it never came. Then I would say yeah, but what is it you actually do? His reply of course was I just told you. I never got it.
When I'm told or see a sign to not touch or not do something it immediately makes me want to do it even if it's something I would not ordinarily do. This seemed to be true for everyone in my family. I know with my sister, the best way to get her to do something is tell her she can't. What is that about? Is that human nature or is it something odd about my family? It even shows up in golf. If my thought while striking the ball is don't h…

1969 and the Importance of Personal Hygiene

1969 and the Importance of Personal Hygiene

1969 was a seminal year for me and a signature year in America and it was following a rather notable 1968 where we saw the Martin Luther King Jr and Bobby Kennedy assassinations, the Democratic Convention protest debacle , and the Tommy Smith and John Carlos raised fist salute at the Olympics.

1969 was at the peak of the anti-war movement. It was the year of Woodstock, Apollo 11 and Neil Armstrong's “ giant leap” on the moon. It was the year of the Beatles last live performance (London Rooftop). The year the draft lottery was established. It was the start of PBS and Sesame Street. It was the year of Chappaquiddick and the Charles Manson murders. It was the year Richard Nixon became President, and the trial of the Chicago 7, from the Democratic Convention the previous year. It was the year of Hurricane Camille, the fiercest hurricane to ever hit North America  It was the year of Muhammad Ali's conviction of draft evasion. …

Standing In Line

Standing In Line


I hate standing in line. I've been told that there is a reason for everything but jeeze, there should be a good one for this standing in line business, because I don't like it. When I was young I had trouble just standing still. I was impatient. Waiting in line was torturous. Everyone in my family was quick paced. We walked fast. We talked fast. We ate fast. We drove fast. Being fast may have been one of the few things I knew for certain about myself.
I struggled with who I was or rather who I was supposed to be. I was shy as a child, and still am reserved with those I do not know well. Even after graduating from High School and heading off to college I had little clue as to who I really was. All I knew was certain things were required, certain things were fun, certain things were not, and there was also a certain way to act or present oneself because that's what you did. I had no sense as to whether I had any value as a person. I spent tim…