Getting old is NOT for sissies…
You can tell when the weather is going to change, you’re expected to be grumpy (I LIKE that) and you’re not embarrassed to take an old gun to the range…
Sitting here thinking last night I remembered back-
I remember Sputnik- My mother told me years later I begged Daddy to take me outside so I could see it go over… (Not) Today you can watch the ISS every night, and most people don’t even think about it.
I remember my first gun at age 8- A Savage Sure Shot single shot .22 (still go it)
My first knife- It was a Case Peanut, when I went out to my uncle’s place, he gave me a Sowbelly, said I’d need all the blades on it. And carrying those knives through high school. (Now days that would be expulsion at best)
My first rifle- A model 94 in 30-30 (still got that one too)
Pistols- Colt revolvers and Colt 1911s (being in the South, most officers and veterans had Colts)
B&W TV with 3 channels, and it was only on 12 hours a day
Veterans- WWI, WWII and Korea. Just everyday people, the mailman, the grocer, the little league coach, the deputy sheriff and many others. They all got dressed up and marched in the Veteran’s Day parade, even in a small town, but they never considered themselves special.
My grandfathers- What they taught me, by word and deed. Honesty, responsibility and integrity
President Kennedy being shot.
My first car- $300 for a Corvair Spyder, from mowing yards. (I was 14). Learning how to maintain and work on cars (actually started that at age 10 with Grandpa)
Cars you could actually recognize by sight AND sound (Ford V-8 vs. Chevy V-8 vs. Dodge V-8)
My first ‘paid’ job, shovelling crap for a veterinarian for $1/hr… Made the point that I was going to get an education… (at 14)
Playing sports, hunting, some fishing growing up. Learning about Buck gates, how to blood track, what a flyway was…
Going to school with either a rifle or shotgun in the car/truck and a pistol under the seat (And not even locking the car/truck)
Family reunions, real letters, my grandmother still being on a party line.
Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, everyone glued to the TV for the launches and recoveries. Watching the moon landing in a bar on the Via Venato in Rome, walking back to the Pensione we were staying in at 0400 in the morning and every place that had a TV had it on and facing the street, with people around all of them. Random people shaking our hands and congratulating us as Americans.
Vietnam, ‘my’ first war. Wondering if I was going to be drafted, going in the Navy.
Learning FORTRAN and programming on an IBM 1190 punchcard machine.
The first space stations, Skylab, Mir, the first shuttle launch. Skipping forward to my Navy days, Challenger and the flight hours searching in vain for the capsule.
Calculators- Buying one for over $200 dollars to make doing my job easier.
My first computer- An IBM XT, single floppy, 640k of memory. Building my first computer- Spent something like $3200 buying hardware in the mid-80s from the suppliers in Silicon Valley (It was an early 386). Kept that monster in to the 90s. AOL (spit), had to cancel a credit card to keep them from continuing to charge me after I cancelled my account…
Two daughters and now three grandkids
So many other things… I’m not rich, never will be, but you know what?
I wouldn’t change a damn thing…