"One man, living again in his home state, surrounded by territory once rife with Conservatives,
and now hijacked by imported Liberals. This is the product of a self-imposed duty to continue to speak my Traditionalist Values
despite the Left's proliferation, procreation and perpetual regurgitation."

"One woman, living in a southern state, invaded by liberal policies, where strong Conservatives
were once revered. Proudly clinging to my guns. Proudly singing to my God."




social transition


Gossamer Socialist



Problem obvious

Liberty Caged, 11-4-08

Next Opportunity for Redemption of The Republic...

...6:00 AM Eastern, November 1st, 2016

Click for Western Maine Mountains Forecast

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Of Mentors, Memories and Meaning

"Fred" was my fourth grade teacher in a class of only 14 students. He was also the principal, which is why his 'portion' of the children of that grade was reduced ...he had to perform double duty. Despite it not being the norm, nobody complained back in those days. In fact, we had an exceptional class of kids who got an early start on a school year's worth of childhood camaraderie that was rare, even back then.

His first name was "Fred". We didn't call him that, of course. Kids were taught to have respect. He was a large, tall man (especially to a 4th grader!) and somehow just commanded respect. It was a lot more than his physical size, though. It was a gentle, but constant, "push" he gave each of us to grasp life and sense the possibilities. It was in his eyes, which danced with enthusiasm. He was very adamant about the need for knowing history, the important effect of science upon it and the tool that math is to conduct science. Many, many impacting lessons on a small cluster of absorptive minds, yet one simple 'saying' he told us stayed with me always.

He had a door in the rear of our classroom that was an extra entry to 'The Office'. The makeshift classroom was a narrow and short space, forcing the center row of 4 desks to be staggered, slightly off center and forward, to allow access. Upon being summoned by office personnel, he had left the classroom momentarily in the middle of a math lesson. When he came back into the classroom suddenly he found the entire class watching as me and my girlfriend demonstrated how to kiss (yes, hearken back to the days when this was the wild cutting edge of classroom behavior!). Naturally, we were ALL embarrassed to the core! You remember that children in 4th grade weren't even supposed to LIKE eachother, much less kiss, right?

One little girl, in her nervousness of the moment, burst out with the innocent question of "how come they want to do that?" He smoothly replied without missing a beat, "water seeks its' own level". Now the connotations could have been numerous, but he was quick to explain that we were of like minds and interests, thus we were interested in eachother. He went on to include that we would find this declaration to be applicable to many situations in life and we should remember it. Of course it can be used to be complimentary, derogatory and all the increments in between, but it remains exceedingly true. I had the very real pleasure of telling him one day, many years later, of the impression he made upon me and that I recalled that particular tidbit more vividly than almost anything else he imparted. I could see the surprise in his face alongside his realization that he had made a lifelong impression.

My father, a career professional photographer, gave me the gift of full investment in whatever you were taking on. While not truly achievable, perfection was to be pursued with all the details, emphasis and chasing of excellence. My mother gave me dogged determination to achieve no matter what the obstacles tossed in your path. Today, I try to give it back to her as she courageously battles the curse of cancer. But I know I can only give moral support ...because you can't give back what she always has had. Both my parents taught me to love your family and friends without limits or qualifications. Loyalty, good manners, consideration, empathy and defense of principles... how long would the list be if itemized? I had real parents!

"Ronnie" demonstrated that anything mechanical could be fixed ...and how to "bandaid" the malady of the moment to allow one to get home. He showed me how cumbersome fear was and that it could defeat you, when you otherwise could win.

"Bob" showed me to appreciate and recognize the honor that is conveyed when someone shows you something useful, for they would not try to show you unless they felt you were worthy. It was a bit painful at the time because I was just a twenty something snot nosed kid ...and he first had to get me to overcome my huge, defensive pride. He had to get me to shut up, reckon with and admit my ignorance, and open my mind to the insight he offered.

"Kurt" made me realize the power of being calm. He pointed out how distracting to clear thought the act of whining is. He made me realize the importance of accepting what is ...and moving on without getting all hung up on the occasion. He also emphasized, silently and without words, the art of humility.

"Joe" taught me management of people who work for you. He showed me the importance of accepting faults in employees (and friends!) and not wearing myself out with some foolish notion that I could change them. He showed me how to work together with others and to see people's strong points and value, despite their shortfalls. He polished my dedication to detail and thoroughness. He showed me just how long I could work despite fatigue and literally days on end without sleep. And together we celebrated the rewards of our accomplishments, many times, in many remote places around the world.

"Gary" taught me the difference between "excuses" and "reasons". He showed me that no competition was insurmountable, no matter how much glitter and fanfare it was accompanied by. He stressed and demonstrated the need to do your homework and the effectiveness of testing. From him I learned the success that can follow if you arrive at the event, whatever it might be (rather than what it was at the time for us), fully prepared.

Girlfriends, even from a very young age, all imparted life long lessons of good and bad. Many of those impressions were seemingly invisible at the time, but materialized as I grew and finally had the sense to look back with clarity. "Pam", "Bambi" and finally "Kathy" each showed me the bitter taste of deceit (yet surely had their reasons ...probably me!). But each also contributed much sunshine and happy moments of sharing. I have no regrets in any of these cases. Each contributed its' own degree of 'wealth', at the net expense of only money. I remember each fondly as a part of my growing process.

"Tammy" and "Joni" demonstrated what kindness and real heart was, even when the rest of the platter was wrong, with each of us headed in opposite directions.

"Susan" became my life's angel, my closest and dearest friend forever, and defined the true meaning of pure goodness. She is my most staunch supporter and cheerleader, loyal, deeply loving and astonishingly innocent to this day.

"Nick" and "Bill" showed me how to get up, under your own power and by yourself, after falling ...and how to stay that way, dignified and self-sustaining.

With "Nick", it was the overcoming of all the wrong moves during his late childhood years, against all odds, and making it work anyway. He had the good sense and dignity to suddenly see the need to accept responsibilities and rise to them. This he did substantially on his own, and has since raised a beautiful young child (with another on the way), saved a marriage to a lovely, intelligent, articulate woman and has built a mini-empire of his own creation. He retrieved himself from a sure road to doom. I view him as a shining demonstration of how today's youth can be. I will always look to him with great reverence.

"Bill" had it all only to seemingly lose nearly everything in a tragic accident. He has now spent more of his life in a wheelchair as a quadriplegic than he spent out of it before the accident. He has lived on with courage, humor and involvement in all the things he found he could still do. He uses his strong mind and enjoys daily the computer and a lovely wife who has seen him for the amazing man he truly is. No self created 'pity party' for this incredible gentleman! Only eight days before his sudden unexpected passing, "Gary" gave me one of the last pieces of his life's wisdom after I had told him of my friend "Bill":

"Sounds like you have found an interesting friend with a lot of 'performance blood' in common. It seems like [those] that are in such a state tend to get far more out of life than some of the "healthy" guys that can't seem to enjoy anything other than feeling sorry for themselves. Lots to learn from these fellows if you take the time to listen carefully."

"Marcia" illustrated the same strength that "Bill" and so many of my other mentors demonstrate, when she lost her life's love without any warning. She is a living example of dignity, faith in God and endurance. She is a shining friend and a wonderful mother to three incredible, productive adult children. She also encouraged me to write, for me first, just as much as for anyone else.

Many people lament getting older and long to be "young again". I am not one of those. I enjoy each and every day. When the day ends, I pray I will be granted another and I bathe in the lessons that came from today. I always thank God for the complete resplendence He has granted me in my life. Dad always told me, "tomorrow never comes" and "every one you pass up is one you'll never get". The people who have cared enough to enrich the days of my life just sweeten the mix. We can't go back, why waste time longing to? Doesn't it make so much more sense to really live your next "today"?

We all have these kinds of stories to tell, if we stop and consider it. Marvelous tributes through examples of virtue and appreciation of life surround us. There are good people in this world and we can choose to recognize and absorb their content. We have options in this life. Options that can become choices. Who have you showed a life choice to lately?

*Trackbacked @ Woman Honor Thyself's Autumn Trackback Weekend (because I know it will having meaning to that Angel!)*


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