Posts tagged ‘memories’

POEMS & FLEETING THOUGHTS

THE 50 YEAR HIGH SCHOOL REUNION

Recently, about a year ago or so I was invited to the reunion of the 50th anniversary of my high school graduating class. Called by a guy I vaguely remembered, we talked about our lives and about my attendance. I said I would not.
Here are the reasons.
I had a crush on a few girls. Admiring their slender bodies, those wonderful maturing bodies with developing breasts and legs of infinite beauty. I shared friendships with guys who shared my interests. We all were young looking to the future.
Honestly, I do not want to know if those young, hopeful classmates fulfilled their dreams. How the world treated their hopes. I do not want to know of the failed marriages, the disappointing careers, the lives spent in no way matching what they planned. And perhaps I do not want them to know how my life and dreams came to fruition not planned.
Avoiding the reunion, gives me the opportunity to preserve the memory of those youthful smiles, faces full of hope and dreams. I do not want those visions erased by the reality of the elderly remnants of a past gone. And foremost, I do want the knowledge of those who have died.
This is a weakness.
When I have a dear friend dying, I visit while we can talk about passed experiences. While we can talk about life but never their thoughts of what comes next.
I have no desire to gaze upon the reality of life while remembering the past while those I held dear are they nothing but shells waiting for the end. I want to remember them, all of them, with eyes to the future, not how that future dealt with their dreams.

December 9, 2017 at 10:02 pm 1 comment

POEMS & FLEETING THOUGHTS

                                      BARCLAY FRIENDS SENION CENTER

 

I will get back on track, I promise, to the purpose of this blog. I already have subjects lined up, but events happen that I feel I my voice, events which I cannot ignore. Here is one of them.

Here, in West Chester, Pennsylvania there occurred a fire springing to five alarms. I might add that this a rural area where all the firefighters are volunteers. Great men and women deserving a great deal of praise for providing their life-saving service.

The fire last night was at Barclay Friends Senior Center, filled with residents in assisted living and various levels of independence. Some 100 residents were evacuated with 20 injuries. No deaths have yet been reported. Firefighters did an excellent job, along with the residents of the area helping all they could. Reflecting the value of a small community and a commitment to their fellow residents.

The reason for this article is the mementos lost. Memories lost to the elderly population of this complex. Surely they had in their small residence all they thought of value after their long life. Now all that – gone. Lost memories not rekindled unless they embrace a physical part of that history.

I think of the unbelievable destruction by the recent wildfires in California. Where so many families lost everything they owned, including their past.

These are tragedies I hope to God I never experience. And my friends, I have the same hope for you.   

 

November 17, 2017 at 9:33 pm 1 comment

REALITY

What’s done is done

I can’t go back

To right the wrongs

To heal the wounds.

November 9, 2017 at 10:40 pm 1 comment

POEMS & FLEETING THOUGHTS: SOFTENING THE PAST

My memories wander

To the days of my youth,

Long gone,

Softened by years

Memories dwell in

A fantasy world,

Hiding the scars

And the pain.

September 16, 2016 at 11:42 pm 1 comment

REMEMBERANCES: FAMILY VACATIONS

When on family vacations the trips would sometimes be long, driving to Colorado to visit relatives, or driving to North Carolina for summer vacations. When the kids were small, on our way to Sunset Beach in southern North Carolina, we stopped for a night at our usual place, a truck stop/motel/restaurant. Needless to say, this was an adventure for us all.

We also stopped at places with huge restaurants, and upon entering, found the place to be completely empty. We soon found out why. At one of these stops there was also a motel. We checked in and soon my barefoot wife and children observed the blackened souls of their feet. There was also the time when in a motel we discovered the hole drilled into the bathroom wall for the antenna was bigger than needed. Whoever fixed this must have had my level of handiness, for the hole was stuffed with toilet paper.

But one thing I enjoyed on extended vacations, and never revealed to my family, was my love of going into our van to retrieve something in the early morning after sleeping in a motel, sitting in the driver’s seat, I savored he smell of the interior. The atmosphere was far from usual. Combined were the smells of food packed for the trip, homemade food to share with friends and relatives. At times there would be the smell of the gear for a summer camping trip. All these odors combined to give me the feeling of change, the feeling of adventure, the feeling of family.

August 16, 2016 at 10:34 pm 1 comment

REMEMBERANCES: A MEMORY OF MY CHILDREN

My then wife, Joni, and I were playing work tag. She began work at Chester County Hospital at 3PM, and I left my research job at 3PM. Our girls spent minimal time at the babysitter’s home. After going to the hospital and searching out my wife’s car, I transferred their car seats and picked up Annie, 4, and Lynn, 2. Annie was always the big sister during those times, sharing her knowledge of the world with Lynn. One day, as I listened to them talk buckled into their seats, I heard Annie say, “You know, Lynn, there are people so poor that they don’t have a pool.”

I silently chuckled to myself. We have an in ground pool. The reason I found this amusing was that until I went to college, I lived in a house with no running hot water and no bathtub or shower. How the times of my life have changed.

Another experience fondly remembered is Annie drawing on post-it notes and hanging them in the room which is now my study. These were Annie’s drawings. She then brought her little sister into the room and asked her if she would like to buy any of them. They all had a price on the post-it note.

Innocent Lynn said, “I’ll take this one, and this one and on and on.” At the end of her selection Lynn handed Annie imaginary money.

Annie looked at Lynn and said, “This is reality. No imaginary money accepted.”

I don’t remember how the incident ended, but it is an incident I will always carry in my heart.

  

August 9, 2016 at 8:15 pm 1 comment

POEMS AND FLEETING THOUGHTS: NIGHT

Night shuts down

The normal life,

But then mine

Comes alive,

With memories

And monsters

And thoughts

Too real.

January 11, 2016 at 9:09 pm 2 comments

A PERSONAL LOSS

Just recently I learned that my baby is beyond repair, rust of the underside is the culprit.  This was the second car I ever owned, purchased in 1975, a 1973 Super Beetle.  The reason for the purchase was the theft of my first car, a 1970 Beetle while I was working in the Bronx.  I drove my 1973 Beetle in New Jersey.  Next was a trip to Florida.  After driving to Florida I drove my love to California, and finally it was transported to Pennsylvania in 1985.  Residing in Pennsylvania became its death knell.  What has ceased to exist is not so much a car, but the representation of a fountain of memories.

Here is a brief history.

I learned to drive while in the air force during pilot training, stationed in Selma, Alabama, in a Beetle.  I knew how to fly, but not how to drive.  I recall driving the backroads and, when another Beetle passed, honking at each other.  I purchased my first Beetle in 1970 while stationed at Sheppard AFB, in Wichita Falls, Texas.  I loved it; my first car.  When released from the service, (I washed-out of pilot training and became a missile crew commander)  I drove my car home to Newark, New Jersey.  As previously mentioned, while working in the Bronx my car was stolen.  The sense of loss I experienced was extreme.  My first car was gone.

Now the memories associated with my 1975 Super Beetle.

My mother who died in 1981 at the age of 59, rode in that car.  The car transported me and my mother on shopping trips and excursions to buy Christmas trees.  I drove the car from Newark to Miami to continue my career in nephrology research.  When the location of my job changed, I drove my Super Beetle from Miami to Los Angeles, my brother as my companion.

My Beetle and I spent seven years in Los Angeles where one time my next door neighbor needed a ride and got to meet Peggy Lee, quite unexpectedly.

So many memories caught up in a vehicle.  Now I have only memories for my Super Beetle is dead.

October 7, 2015 at 8:24 pm Leave a comment

COMMAND AND CONTROL by ERIC SCHLOSSER

Having just completed reading the above book, I’m consumed by memories which I’ll discuss later in this piece.

This work deals with the birth of the nuclear weapon and its subsequent proliferation in both this country and others.  I found the early proliferation of these weapons in the U.S. to be extremely interesting.  One of the aspects at the beginning of deployment was which agency should control them, the military or the government.  The safety of these weapons is also discussed in detail along with the measures necessary in handling these weapons is covered in depth.  After reading this book, one wonders how some of the newly emerging nuclear powers, North Korea and Pakistan for instance, safeguards and controls their arsenal.  Having these weapons, they may be prone to blowing themselves up rather than their enemies.

Past accidents with nuclear weapons are also discussed.  To say we have been lucky thus far is to put it mildly.

The memories stirred by this work were the result of one accident the book follows in great detail.  That accident was the explosive destruction of a Titan II missile complex located near Little Rock, Arkansas in 1980.  My interest was due to the fact I served, from 1970 to 1973, as first a deputy commander and then commander of a Titan II missile complex outside of Wichita, Kansas.

For three years, every three or four days I would pull 24 hour alerts.  I knew the layout of the complex and the hazards involved and that’s why reading this book induced a flood of memories.

I highly recommend this book.  It is an outstanding history of the safety and development of nuclear weapons.

February 13, 2014 at 8:11 pm Leave a comment


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