So what is it to 'ya?
Yeah, I made it to the "double-nickel" era....(55 years old), and that means (as my wife recently quiped) SENIOR DISCOUNTS at fast food joints...(ahem)...big friggin' hairy deal!
Here's a wee sampling of what ELSE happened on THIS day:
1787: John Fitch tests his steamboat on the Delaware River
1864: The Red Cross is formed
1921: J. Edgar Hoover becomes asst. dir. of the FBI
1945: Vietnam conflict begins as Ho Chi Minh stages a coup
1966: The Beatles arrive in NYC
1984 last VW Rabbit produced (1st generation)
1989: Nolan Ryan strikes out his 5,000 batter (Rickey Henderson)
Stormin' Norman Schwartzkopf
Valerie Harper (Rhoda)
Giada De Laurentiis (everyday Italian - yummy)
John Lee Hooker
Now I have to say that when I was a mere "pup" of about 8 years old, I sure didn't think things would turn out "quite" as they have. All I really wanted was to have a life like my Dad's...no big deal. And he wasn't even what anyone could call "well off". I wanted a car, a small family, nice house in some meaningless little part of some city somewhere, free to work until I retire, watch the kids grow up, mow my lawn, wash my car, and have a cold one now and again.
Well, I DO have the car...(for the past TWENTY FOUR YEARS I've had that car...).
As for everything else...well, it didn't pan out "exactly" like it was SUPPOSED to...then again, what really does?
I had a few successes along the way, made my fair share of REALLY good mistakes (haven't we all?), managed to stay out of jail for ALL these years, and had a really mediocre time of it all. I'm on my second marriage (crosses fingers), I let "THE girl" get away years ago (you guys will know what I mean by that), learned a ton of crap that I can't really apply to anything (or anyone) without getting arrested in the process, and learned a number of trades along the way.
Made a lot of friends also...and made my share of enemies as well (mostly after moving here). I've lost family and dear friends to boot...and the list only gets longer each year.
I never have gotten to see places I WANTED to go to, but got to travel to places that were so-so, hot, rainy, cold, snowy, and a few that were simply breath-taking. Even got to go out of country twice. And getting bronchitis in another country is far worse that getting it at home! Haven't seen nearly as much as time (and finances) would allow, but hey...maybe in the NEXT life?
(Note to self - come back as a TRAVEL AGENT...they always get good deals!)
But through it all, I still can't imagine that I wound up here, in Fort Wayne's worst area, trying to SURVIVE...screw living...that's for people with foreseeable futures.
Me? I take it ONE DAMN DAY at a time.
Never thought I'd live in an area that wants so badly to become a ghetto. I've been through plenty (in several states) to know to never make a choice to settle down there, but nevertheless, the area changed AROUND US, and well...here we are. Amazing the fun tricks "Father Fate" can play, isn't it? I could suppose that I'm HERE (now) for a reason (besides pissing of the locals). I'd like to think I'm making some kind of difference, but to be honest, I'm just not seeing it.
It's like being in a combat area...always on guard, ready for anything, but hoping for nothing. Hours of stress punctuated by seconds of terror...seconds to react...seconds to make like a hole in the ground and hope to hell that whatever hits winds up NOT hitting where you happen to be. And never knowing where (or when) something (or someone) is going to come at you from is always "exciting". You wait for something that doesn't happen, but as soon as you let your defenses down...it comes hard and fast. Yeah..it's kind of like that in our neighborhood.
Sure hasn't been getting BETTER over these ten LONG years.
But we do what we do....it's that simple.
As for whatever time left to me...well, aside from knowing that I have more years BEHIND me than in FRONT of me, I'd love to be able to just hit the damn lottery, move my wife and I far, far A-W-A-Y from this crotch of the Midwest, and get back to LIVING again. And maybe start a family, get a dog or two, and write ...a lot. I figure there's enough for a good size tome regarding my life. I'd like to travel some more too. I always had an affinity for Scotland.
I guess I'd have to PLAY the lottery first...to WIN it...(damn).
Aw, what the hell...I can dream can't I?
And that's what great about dreams...the price is ALWAYS affordable.
So here's to the FIRST 55 years...may the NEXT 55 be a lot...shorter...(as they certainly will be)!