Friday, June 24, 2005


I am lucky, the problem is not all my luck is good luck. The fact that I have made it to fifty-five is a small miricle. Something inside of me distorts my desision making processes, life on the edge. I believe that this compulsion comes from my father's side of the family. My Dad passed away twelve years ago and there is not a day that goes by that I don't think about him. My mother joined dad five years ago. Mom was his second wife and they had three children, I am the youngest. I have an older Brother and sister plus two older half sisters from dad's first marrage. My parents also adopted a Seneca indian girl who I consider my sister.
As I was growing up my dad ran a dirt business, he sold topsoil, stone, and did excavating. The shale pit was the back of the family farm and from time to time it neede to be dynomited to loosen more shale. By the time I was seven years old I was loading trucks with the crawler John Deere my dad had. Developed an early case of can do. When it came time to blast the pit dad would jack hammer holes in the floor, fill them with a charge, pack mud in behind the sticks, then park the bulldozer over the hole. My job was to take the wires leading to the charge and touch them to the battery of the dozer. The blast was more of a shock then a blast, you could feel the ground move and the dozer felt like it jumped up. My mother always said the same thing to my dad, "Leonard you should not have that boy doing that,he could get hurt!" It always struck me as great fun. Nowadays he would be in jail for child abuse or some damn thing, but dad never gave us anything to do that we could not handle. My memories of growing up are still vivid as my dad would do anything to keep his kids happy, fed, entertained, and well behaved. Many of the desisions I made as a youth were determined by the knowledge that if my old man found out I would not live to do the misdeed again.
Some of the things I love are exactly the things my father loved. Hunting cottontailed rabbits with a brace of beagles and a single shot .410 shotgun, internal combustion engines, machinery,
growing our own food, building anything, and suprizes, I loved to see the look on the faces of my sons when they were growing up when I showed up with a dirtbike, horse, go cart, fireworks, goats, bicycles, dogs, or any number of things. My dad was the same way. My mother was always the voice of reason, that person who did all the worrying for everyone. She always longed for order and my father created chaos and sought excitement. We did not have a lot of money when I was a child, but I did not know that. Money management I learned from my mother, how to take pleasure in all that I do I learned from my father.
In my next post I wll tell tales of daring do. Rodeo riding, moto-cross racing, field cars, and the many crashes I have been in that should have killed me.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

It's Hell to be an old Hippie! Back in the day we did not need anyone to tell us what we should think, what we should worship, where we can smoke, nor did we ever have to worry about being politically correct. Since the four days of peace, love, and understanding that was the Woodstock Nation there has been no peace and very little understanding and I am not feeling the love. The people in charge have created the "Global Economy" to feed the need for greed. The class system is alive and well in America and our leaders demand blind obedience, if you do not agree with them you are not a good American. We now have the "Patriot Act" to short curuit the rights our forefathers fought so bravely to attain. The lies are too many to even list, they lie about the wars, the social security system, 911, the health care system, taxes, oil, pollution, our food, and have strenghend the controls over every asspect of daily living.
The world is big on labels we can no longer just be people we have to be , left, right, republican, democrat, liberal, conservative, christian , muslum, or any number of tags we will soon be wearing on our personnal bar codes. For the last twenty-five years the needs and wants of my family caused me to sell out, become one of the mindless throng, chasing the American Dream. My retirement is nearly at hand and I ponder things I could have or should done differently. I was part of a good fight to make a difference thirty years ago, to stop an unjust war, to get the world to care for our planet and each other, and change the way things are done. That same protest spirit is going in America again it is time to get off my stump and join in. The best place for me to start is with myself. It is time to simplify my life, trim the fat, and get mobile again.
Just when did my life get so cluttered? It started very slowly and snuck right up on me about the time I bought my first house. At that point I still dreamed of a better world, but that morgage became a circular line in the sand, that soon became a fence. It dictated to me that now I have a stake to protect, and I began to acclumulate material things, cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles, tractors, more land, bigger house, a third piece of land, and it went on and on. The effect of all this that I spent twenty-five years in a job that I never really liked and compelled myself to do things that I am not all that proud of. Some of those things I even got awards for.
OK Ok at this point I am going to climb down off my soap box, that all is fairly depressing and not at all in tune with who I really am. Who am I? Fifty-five year old white male, married at nineteen to his sweetheart (and still am), father of two sons, proud grandfather of two, horse and dog owner. Twenty some months away from retiring from a job with the state, small business owner, and an accidental farmer.
I grew up on a farm and could not wait to get away. Hated the life, longed for action, and was heavily influenced by the music of the 60's. My way out or so I thought was to join the Navy and see the world. The Navy did not want me for physical reasons so being a seventeen year old high school graduate what else was there for me to do? Buy a motorcycle, smoke some weed, grow my hair long, travel, and chase girls. I met my future bride just that way, she thought I was such a rebel and her parents hated me so I must be the man for her. For the record her parents love me and have for years. Of the five kids in her family we are the only ones who stayed married. Free Love! What a concept! Pregnant! Holy Shit I'm Fucked now! Thank God! That turned out to be the best thing that could have happened. Remember the Navy? Well whatever infirmary kept me out sure was not working the same on the Army as they needed cannon fodder for a little war they were waging in South East Asia. I got one of the last paternity deferments issued because of a beautiful shotgun wedding. So here we are a nineteen year old free spirited hippie male and his blushing, very pregnant, tie dyed, seventeen year old beautiful bride. Reality check! My mother, "Get a job you bum, you have a family to feed."
Her mother, " I knew that bastard was no good, but the baby will have a name, then I will have him killed."
My father, he was laughing so hard I am not sure what he said but boy he loved my bride and the two of them became fast friends for life. Any time I did something she did not like, my dad was the go to guy.
Her father, this man scared the shit out of me for years. He was a mountain of a man who worked in slaughter houses all his life. He could put half a cow on his shoulder and walk around with it. Big booming voice and big mugs of beer with a shot of whiskey. He turns out to be a nice guy.
I am going to post this and continue the story later.............................................