Yes, I am aware what I am inviting for furthur by posting the last blog here as well, but this is my first priority as a place to write and share. I suppose I will find out where I stand over there, huh? I always enjoyed posting and commenting over there, but it was allowed to devolve into a hatefest/dorkfest, and I railed against that and it cost me. I still disapprove of the direction the Advocate has gone, and I would like to see some changes in both the print an online versions, but I think my days of engaging a few of the goofballs that blog and comment there, are finished. I will hope for some changes, and lobby for them when I have an audience, but my days of head butting with them are over. Nothing to be gained from that, but incurring more petty and aggravating management censorship, which is counter-productive. If they ban "further", I will just assume that to be the result of a personal grudge and a death sentence on their part, and let it go. If not, I'll dabble on the hometown site from time to time, and try to bite my tongue when the urge to throw spears tugs at me. Besides, I always have this site to organize protests, rant, and piss and moan, free of meddling moderation, should I be so inclined.
This weekend, on consecutive mornings, I was given a reminder of all of our mortality, as I read in The Advocate Obituaries of the passing of two different people who had impacted my life, and who were close to the ages of my own parents. One of them was the school vice-principal at my high school. While he was feared as a disciplinarian by some kids....(most notably, those lacking discipline), the truth is, he was a dedicated and effective educator, the kind that most any of us would probably, whether we want to admit it or not, would like our own children to benefit from having guide them through high school. Rest in peace Mr. Moore. The other was a man that as a 12 year old, I was around as a friend of his son, one of my classmates. I remember his love of music, hunting, fishing, and most anything outdoors. I remember sitting around his house, listening to his boys and him play guitars and fiddles - probably the first place I ever heard one of my all time favorite songs, "The Orange Blossom Special". I remember that he was a pretty good boat builder, and even built a canoe for the Water Safari one year. Can't recall whether it was ever used, but his buddy Butch actually won the race a year or two afterward. I remember his arrowhead collection, and how he actually learned or taught himself, using only flint and a deer antler, to make dead replica native American type arrowheads.
I must say though that he was a local lawman, with a real hatred of hippies, longhairs, and anybody that fell into that category, which in my teen and later years, put me on the opposite side of the fence from him. Needless to say, he will also be remembered, as a person who made the lives of a few young people quite miserable at every opportunity he had, and that for many years, I had a horrible grudge and resentment for some of the indignities, that I and others suffered at his hand.
I had to tell you that, to tell you this. Given the choice of remembering an ill tempered, and unjust, misguided redneck, (not at all unlike the one that raised me), or a good father, who was eager to share his love of music and the outdoors with his sons and their friends, well I just chose remembering the former as opposed to the latter. I will on occasion, run into his oldest son at breakfast, and shake hands and exchange howdys, and I must say that despite the fact that he and I grew up worlds apart, from what I have heard and read of him, he turned out to be quite an outdoors expert and pioneer sort and a good man. I am sure his dad would be quite proud of him. Rest in peace Jack. I appreciate the things you showed and taught me as a boy, and as far as the grief and crap you heaped upon me as a rebel teen....that is all forgiven. I do wish though that I had had a chance to show up at your bedside with my thinning ponytail and grey beard, and have been able to tell you that in person.
As I said, these serve as a couple of things to remind me of my own mortality, and that I need to make a few things right with those in my life. I am reminded weekly of that as well, when I go home to see my folks. Dad is sneaking up on 90, and is frail, but getting by. Mom on the other hand, though years younger, is as likely to recognize me when I walk through the door, as her brother, her dad, or the bus driver who's come to take her to school as she is to see her oldest son walk in the door. Life is cruel sometimes, and sometimes, I think it all should be played in reverse.........
Born on the bayou where Texas and Louisiana meet on the Gulf Coast. A kid in the '50s, so my heroes were Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, and Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison. Raised in a fishing village, ...Adrift, I grew up on boats and made my money as a kid the way kids in the '50s and '60s did - cutting lawns, throwing a paper and bagging groceries until I was big enough to work on a shrimpboat. Best job I ever had was piloting a ten ton crew boat, worst was probably chopping cotton. I have stood atop Mayan pyramids deep in the Yucatan jungles, and on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange. I am equally at home at a musical on Broadway, or a honky tonk full of shrimpers and tug boat hands. The best ten years of my life were spent in the '70s in Austin, Texas. The last thirty have been spent in the far western 'burbs of Houston working as a petro gypsy in the engineering business. I have had my share of adventures, several of which I probably shouldn't have survived. I am at age 58, the proud father of twelve and fourteen year old sons, so... Onward through the fog!