May 2004

3 articles in May 2004

Ook, maybe I am not so young but I am not that old. Of course this is coming from a man who hopes not to consider him self old when he is sitting on a porch in a place called Shady Acres looking for his eardrum.

However, the older I get the more I yearn for the simpler times in my life when I was part of a community that took care of each other. I felt this way after I left my heating oil company that allowed me to buy a winter’s worth of oil in advance so I could lock in a price that would allow me keep my family warm this winter. I am not objecting to this practice but it does make me miss the times of my past when I had no idea what a gallon of oil cost.

In fact, there was a time I never had to call the oil company to deliver because it was automatically done. I had no idea what the price was because I knew my oil company, who I had dealt with ever since I arrived in my home over 30 years ago, would take care of me and my family by offering me a fair price. The oil would be delivered and I would pay my bill.

The oil company would also take care of my furnace. I never had to make an appointment to get it done or buy insurance in order to feel confident the dreaded machine in my basement would work. I don’t ever remember seeing him fix the furnace. I knew he was there because I saw the old filters leaning against my garbage pails in my basement. Hell, I don’t remember ever seeing a bill. I just thought it was part of the service he gave me when he delivered the oil.

Continue Reading →

Ii now know I’ve finally grown up and it is time for me to grow old. This took me a little bit longer than most people my age. I am 57 years old and I have yet to feel the pressure of being the patriarch of anything.

I was always the oldest male of the family who was supposed to lead by example. Of course, this is something I never did well. Hopefully I will have the capacity and the intelligence to fall into this newest and by definition the final role of my life. I consider myself extremely fortunate. Both of my parents are alive and totally functional.

In fact, at 87, my father still works for a cable company and does part-time work announcing high school games for the same cable network. My mother, who has always been a stay-at-home wife still cleans her own house, does all the household chores, and takes care of my father as she has done for the past 60+ years.

Continue Reading →

Iiremember being scared. Most men and women feel the same when they start a new job. This apprehension is intensified when it is not only a new job but a first job in a profession you’ve spent the last six years of your life preparing for. I clearly remember my first classroom. The school was old and had a distinct odor all classrooms have.

I assume this is because of the hundreds of books that have been opened and closed or maybe the scents of the multitude of students who so desperately wanted to succeed so they could become what they wanted to become. Where ever the smell came from it was now being reinforced by this newest of teachers attempting to do something he always wanted to do.

The room was old but clean. I was surprised how shiny the floors were even though they were cracked and discolored. There were twenty or so desks in perfect lines waiting to be assigned students. The walls were remarkable void of any poster, piece of tape or hanging staple. The teacher who inhabited the room before me took down all her memories in order to make room for mine. There was a large desk at the front of the room. Like the walls it was cleaned and made ready for its new tenant.

Continue Reading →