Since Dec 7, 1997

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Here are some thoughts on myself. ...This is who I am........ I was born before radar, credit cards, ballpoint pens, split atoms, lasers, and pantyhose. But not before family bonding, fatherly responsibility and well-behaved children. I had no dishwasher, clothes dryer, electric blanket, air conditioner or Nike anything. I did have a loving full time Mom, a drug free & crime free neighborhood, and penmanship lessons. I had not heard of a househusband, gay rights, computer dating, fm radio, or children divorcing parents. I was familiar with The Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, and corporal punishment. Home invasions, car jacking, and hate crimes were non-existent and the last place crime and corruption was imagined was in the White House. I was the only white on my high school basketball team, the coach, nor I, or the rest of the team ever mentioned it in three seasons. It was unimportant to the stated goals of the team. Television was not affordable, and when my parents finally got one, I would not leave activities at the community house, such as dances, movies, and Sunday Mass, to watch TV. I thought the word *Mother* referred to our Moms, and being gay meant the high school football team won on Saturday. Grass was what rich people had on their yard, and you could make four bits mowing it. Coke was what you drank when they were all out of Pepsi. Pot was the place toddlers went when they were too short to get up on the commode. Lines were the white boundaries on the highway, and stories to get girls to like you. Crack was the sound the bat made when the ball was struck well by the batter. Girls played baseball when there was not enough boys to make two teams, boys helped with the dishes, when there was not enough girls to do the kitchen duties. Spending money came from pickin’, potatoes at 5 cents a bushel, apples 8 cents a bushel, and duckpins at 10 cents a line. We never felt poor, even though homemade elderberry jelly sandwiches was the only lunch carried to school for 12 years, new shoes and new jeans were purchased for me for the first time at 17, the year before I joined the Navy. I knew a man with herpes, and that was the worst social disease that ever occurred in my circle, it was kept very private, he did not wear it as a badge of pride. There was only one way sex would kill you, if you had a heart attack from the exertion. I never knew how rich I was until I watched the youth of today. I had a Mother, Father, Sisters and Father Finn [my priest] guiding and encouraging me for my first 18 years, joined by Uncle Sam for the next 24. I drove submarines, started up reactors, fixed ships, and taught turbine theory, in 15 states and 4 foreign countries, from seaman [$73 per month] to commander [high 5 figures], I loved every gut busting minute of it. I love my wife, pay my taxes, I am straight, honest and faithful, I got up before 6 am for forty years, I am a definite disappointment to the ACLU, and I am not a victim of anything. I have never overreached, never underachieved, and never felt square. My three sons and three daughters always call me sir, hug and kiss me at greeting and departing, and always make safe arrival calls, they also had a full time mother, we could never afford the loss of her time to let her go to work, and she never had the inclination to put the house in jeopardy for more than an hour. I would not trade my childhood in the 50’s for my grandson’s in the 90’s. I have brought Laotian refugee families to the US, none could speak English and they had no skills other than as rice cutters. Without welfare, special schooling, and government benevolence, they have achieved, and excelled. In the case of the first family [Chantavong] in the first year, the three adults maintained full employment, and the three minors learned English. In the second year the family bought their first family sedan, were promoted above min wage, but still used public transportation. In the fourth year, they got their first mortgage [and had their first dinner at a restaurant], and the oldest son started college. In their 8th year, the first son graduated from UMASS with an engineering degree, and the second son and daughter were in Massachusetts Universities. In their tenth year the three elders opened their own tofu factory, and the second son entered law school. They and I believed that America is the land of opportunity, and if you keep your eye on the ball, and resist holding up the 7-11 to get what you want, show patience, honesty and sacrifice, then success is just a matter of persistence. Porgy Girl is the name of my boat, and my maritime *handle* I use it as a screen name because I answer to it each day on the Gulf of Mexico [about 5 days a week]. And in honor of the Captain of the “original” Porgy Girl, a steel hull lobster boat on which I crewed at age 12, and where I learned self reliance and poetry from the old Russian skipper. I am retired, I dive [scuba] and fish the Gulf of Mexico and play at golf [16 hcp], six children, 15 grands and 6 great grands.in 2002 i had a cranial vascular attack[CVA],commonly called a stroke, caused by a 100% occluded carotid artery,i still have lingering weakness in my left limbs,a reason i must type with one hand.make sure you are getting annual physical, including age related issues,carotid artery doppler,colonoscopy,cystoscopy,blood tests,blood pressure monitoring. get a good doctor tell him what you want.IT’S NOT EASY BEING OLD