Internet problems delayed the publishing of this blog, but here it is somewhat late.
After long and intense reflection; some of a religious bent might say, “prayerful consideration,” 27 seconds, that’s long enough for any intense reflection; I have decided to tell the world a little about myself. However, before I do I want to give the reader a chance to understand where I’m coming from. The “Warning” to this so-called “book in progress” is something I will suggest every reader of any post in this category read. So, here it is! You are the first to read this Introduction to the very first chapter in my new book entitled – It Ain’t Necessarily So.
It has been said that, “History is written by the winners.” Hell, I said that in my book, A Short Futile Life, soon to be published by Second Wind Publishing. Since I said it, it has to have been said before.
I am one such winner in that I have outlived any who might be able to refute the things I say. I will, to the best of my ability, be honest except when it suits me to be otherwise. After all, I am a storyteller, and the important thing to a storyteller is to keep the reader interested, not be honest.
I will also warn you that the things I tell you about me, my family, my life, my loves, my hates, my accomplishments (there’s very damned few of those so I’ll have to make some up) and my failures (do you really think I would tell you about those) are things that interest me, or at last did at the time.
Now, having been warned, let us begin. Please feel free to make suggestions. They will be welcomed, ignored, but genuinely welcomed.
It Ain’t Necessarily So
A Biased Introduction
I don’t precisely remember being born, but I have it on good authority that I was. People I trust, who were there, namely my mother, said that it really did happen and I believe her. I also have an official document stating that I was born. It is not a birth certificate in the normal sense, but an American Consular Service form that is a “Report of Birth of Children Born to American Parents”. Since I have that piece of paper (or at least a copy of it) and I’m here, I guess that pretty much settles the mater that I really was born and that I am not just, as some young friends of mine claim, a bird dropping that was left on a fence post to hatch.
Francis Bacon said, “Age appears to be best in four things: old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.” I’ve had a couple of books published, but does that make me an old author? When Bacon talked about “old authors” was he talking about dead and gone writers from a century before him, or old codgers who can’t stand up by themselves?
Now that I am older than most people on this earth, I was hoping that people would listen to what I say just because I’m old. However, they don’t and why should they?
H. L. Menkin said, “The older I grow, the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.” I have to agree with that thought. I don’t know that I’m wiser. I’m more experienced, maybe, but wiser? One of the problems with what my experience has taught me is that much of what I know is no longer needed. It is from a time before computers, space travel, cameras that don’t need film, cell phones with the camera in it yet, satellite global positioning, or even automatic transmissions.
Some say that I should associate with more people my own age. Why? All they talk about is the past. “I remember back in…” I knew one old guy that always used to say, “I remember back in aught three…” He was talking about 1903, then he’d tell the story he’d told you a hundred times. He’s long gone, but now I too can say, “I remember back in aught three…” But who wants to be reminded of what became the quagmire of the war in Iraq?
If you look at the history books, 1931 (the year in which I was born) was not a particularly auspicious year. Not a whole lot happened that year. I think the Empire State Building was completed that year and work started on Boulder Dam, later named Hoover dam.
Considering that it was an era known as the Great Depression, it is understandable that not much happened of significance. I, of course, being raised in the middle of Africa didn’t know anything about any depression until I came to the United States at age fifteen and had to study History. When I came to the US the Depression was over and all the talk was of “The War.”
I don’t remember much of my early years, by that I mean before I was five or so, and so some of what I tell you about those years is hear-say, or my imagination, both of which are inadmissible in a court of law.
I was told that I was so startled by coming into the world that I didn’t talk for almost two years. I don’t think it was that I didn’t have anything to say; it was just that with everyone else was talking so much I couldn’t get anyone to listen to me. I have learned in the years since then that people are much more interested in what they want to tell you than in what you have to say. That is OK since you don’t learn nearly as much by talking as by listening.
If you find someone that is genuinely interested in what you have to say, then listen to what they have to say. If they talk mostly about the things they want or have, move quietly away and find someone else to talk to. Things aren’t worth thinking about. If they talk about people, listen to what they have to say, but don’t take their advice. People are just slightly more valuable than things. If they talk about ideas, and their ideas stimulate you to thinking, then keep them as a friend. Friends with fresh ideas are worth spending time with. If their ideas startle you sometimes, but are stimulating rather than frightening, and if the person is attractive, of the right age, sex, and of the same disposition, marry them.
I married well both times. My first marriage was strictly a business deal. I’ll tell you more about it later. For right now I’ll just say it was the only business venture I ever entered into that I considered a total success. I think she felt the same way, at least we parted company very good friends and grateful to the other for what each brought to the table, or to the bed, so to speak.
With some of her friends and some of my friends present, the terms of the contract were thoroughly discussed before we got married. There was no written contract, no prenuptial agreements, or any of that BS, but we both considered a verbal agreement as binding as anything on paper. Now I am not digressing so much as getting ahead of my story. I think, if possible, stories should be told in a chronological order, don’t you?
I’ll try to keep things in better order in the following chapters. As I said right at the beginning, this chapter is sort of an introduction, a biased one at that.
Body On the Church Steps coming soon from Second Wind Publishing.