December 24, 2009

Peace on Earth, at home, anyway

It's Christmas Eve again already, and here is my annual Christmas blog . . .

Finding Peace

“Peace on Earth” this Christmas?

Don’t think so. So many Christmas cards I’ve mailed, promising “Peace on
Earth.” Hasn’t happened in my lifetime. I have seen Christmas cards in family
scrapbooks from the 1940s, including 1943, the year I was born. They promised
“Peace on Earth,” in the middle of World War II, with the first tactical atomic
explosion at Hiroshima still two years away. I haven’t and wouldn’t be able to
document it, but I’ll bet Earth has not had a moment of peace since then.

Maybe if we narrowed it down. “Peace in the Christian World.” Nope. “Peace in
America.” Daily murders, violence and crime, in streets, in movies and on TV.
“Peace in California.” Road rage capital of the world. “Peace in San Diego.” Har
de har har. Corruption City. “Peace in La Mesa.” La Mesa is where I live, and
we do have our quiet moments, but why would I offer that as your Christmas
wish? “Peace at my house.” Now we’re getting close, as long as we don’t watch
the news, but peace at my house doesn’t do you much good, and your good is
my wish.

No, once again this Christmas, peace anywhere on Earth has to be portable, and
that peace is achievable. Insurance follows the car, and peace follows the
person. “Peace in your mind” is totally possible this Christmas Day, or if not this
Christmas (it takes a little work), then by next Christmas. If peace follows all the
people who come to sit down at your Christmas dinner, then you will have
“Peace at the Christmas dinner table.”

At many Christmas dinner tables, though, including many in my past, you might
as well ask for “Peace on Earth.”

So many people go through life wired with buttons to be pushed. Such buttons
can be pushed from a range of a thousand miles. All it takes is the right word
traveling through the air. Get a dozen button-wired people at a Christmas dinner
table, and watch out.

The buttons can be unwired. All you have to do is take back the power you have
given to some other person to push it. These can be very important and powerful
people: mothers, fathers, etc. But it isn’t their power they use to push your
buttons. It is yours. You gave it to them years ago, probably starting in
childhood. With that power, they can push your buttons at any time and make
you feel small, cheap, insignificant, selfish, ungrateful, undesirable, inferior, a
lifelong waster of every opportunity you ever had at achieving the greatness that
you were born for, if you had only listened to the person leaning with all his or her
weight against the thumb pressing your button.

You gave that person that power and weight, and you can take it back. All it
takes is forgiveness. Appropriate, at the Christmas season, and the figure it
celebrates, that the route to peace involves forgiveness. But it works. I don’t
know exactly how it works, and it takes some work and willingness to get there,
but when you forgive, you take power back, and peace is there waiting.
Forgiveness, power, surrender, peace and freedom are all different spellings of the same
human condition: happiness.

When you are ready, and it very well could require some professional guidance,
you come to a point where you simply say in your mind to a person: “I forgive
you.” At that instant, the button becomes unwired. The person may say the
same things as before, words that for years you felt as sandpaper in your ears or
an arrow through your heart. But now the words pass right through you and out
into space. Left behind is a feeling of liberation you have known only in your
dreams.

You haven’t said a word to the person about forgiveness. The person knows
something has happened, though, because the button doesn’t work anymore.
So he or she quits pushing, and it is a relief. It was your power, but it required
their energy to keep their thumbs on your buttons all those years, and at some
point, inside themselves, they will feel relieved.

But this Christmas story about reachable peace is not about them; it is about you.
It is a true story.

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December 23, 2009

Snoopy season



Our house is directly below the approach path that various aircraft follow when doing a flyover at Qualcomm Stadium, about nine miles to the northwest. In 1998, when San Diego hosted a Super Bowl, I walked outside about five minutes before kickoff and saw a black speck southeast of us. The speck grew rapidly into a Stealth Bomber, about 1,000 feet above me, streaking toward the stadium. Too late to run for the camera, but before bowl games now I never go outside without it. Tonight, the Poinsettia Bowl is being played at Qualcomm. At 3:30, in the vicinity of our house, Snoopy was warming up. Click on the images for a close-up.

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December 21, 2009

Not your typical school day

On the one hand, nobody who works or goes to school at Abilene High would choose to be in school today, Monday, when Christmas Day is Friday.

On the other hand, in 1954, when the Eagles won the state championship on Saturday, Dec. 18, Monday, Dec. 20, was a school day. But it wasn't just any school day . . .

Monday, Dec. 20, 1954

"Not much reading, writing or arithmetic got done Monday at Abilene High School. Instead the school day was more like a progressive pep rally. Members of the bell team starting ringing the Victory Bell at 8 a.m. and it didn’t stop all day. Assistant principal J.H. Nail said the students 'walked on air' all day Monday.

“ 'We had to pick them off the ceiling every once in a while,' Nail said. 'They had something going all day long.'

"At 4 p.m., members of the Eagle Booster Club, mostly business and professional men in the community, arrived in convertibles to take the team on a parade through downtown. The parade crossed the T&P tracks to North First, then up Cypress and down Pine with the Eagle Booster Club banner and the Victory Bell leading the way.

"In the lead convertible were Eagle tri-captains Twyman Ash, Jim Millerman and John Thomas. A reporter said the players looked uncomfortable with all the attention from the thousands of Abilenians lining the streets. Behind the string of cars came hundreds of AHS students and the Eagle band. Students carried a 'State Champions' banner that stretched almost all the way across the street.

"It was the Eagles’ fourth state championship, to go with titles won in 1923, 1928 and 1931, but this was the first in the more formalized statewide classifications introduced by the University Interscholastic League for the 1951 season. It was different to be from a town whose high school team had emerged champions from a system that more or less insured that only the best teams from all corners of the state moved forward through the playoffs.

"Moser never shrugged, but a typical eyebrows-up quizzical look came to his face when there was a question he couldn’t answer.

"A newspaperman asked him if he thought the Eagles could win the District 1-AAAA championship and get into the playoffs again in 1955. Up went the eyebrows. 'It just depends on how the boys develop,' he said.

"The school, the Eagle Booster Club, and other sponsors hosted a football banquet for the team at the end of every season. For many adults, the banquet was just another obligatory event to attend. The 1954 banquet was different. Moser and the Eagles for a second time presented Abilene High principal Escoe Webb the District 1-AAAA championship trophy, and then the state Class AAAA championship trophy, Abilene High’s first since 1931.

"In turn, the Eagle Booster Club presented gifts to the coaches: checks, ranging from $1,500 for the varsity coaches to $400 for B Team assistants like Tommy Morris, who was only a couple of years out of Abilene Christian College. It didn’t sound like much, but $400 put a big grin on the faces of assistants like Morris, whose annual salary was $3,500.

"The Booster Club had a gift for the head coach as well. Moser was presented the keys to a new 1954 Buick."

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December 20, 2009

The state championship feeling

Abilene High won a Texas state football championship last night, beating two-time defending state champion Katy High, 28-17, at the Alamodome in San Antonio. I listened to the game on the radio, just like I listened in 1954 when Abilene beat Houston's Austin High, 14-7, in Houston. Only in 2009, I listened to an audio feed over the Internet that could be heard globally by anyone with an Internet connection. With the Internet, there is no more local news.

How does it feel, in the locker room, or on the ride home, after winning a state championship? According to H.P. Hawkins, it's something you never forget . . .

Dec. 18, 1954, Abilene 14, Houston Stephen F. Austin 7

"That morning, at 11 a.m. before the 2 p.m. kickoff, the Eagles had gathered in their hotel for their pre-game meal of dry roast beef, a dry baked potato and dry toast. Now, as state champions, they ate what they wanted in a private room in a restaurant.

"It was all our teammates and coaches alone in one room together,” Hawkins said. “There was a feeling of happiness, of closeness, and of accomplishment that I will never forget.” Twyman Ash had in his possession the game ball. In the locker room he had approached Moser with it. 'Coach,' Ash said, 'you take it.'

" 'No, sir,' said Moser. 'You boys earned it.' So Ash, who had three catches in the winning drive, carried the ball home. At 7:30, the Eagles boarded their chartered Martin 202 for the flight back to Abilene. Waiting for them at the airport that night was a crowd of 3,000 people.

"The crowd started building about 8 p.m. when radio stations said the team plane was due about 9:30 p.m. The crowd overflowed the airport lobby area onto the tarmac and grassy areas around the terminal building. It was cold, but nobody cared.

"The crowd got to cheer twice. A shout went up as an airliner’s lights appeared, on approach. The plane landed and taxied back to the terminal and the crowd roared. But it was a plane chartered by Eagle fans for the Houston trip who nevertheless hugely enjoyed their reception.

"The team plane appeared several minutes later and the crowd roared again as the twin-engine aircraft parked and this time deplaned the players down stairs in the tail of the Martin 202. The players were reserved but all smiles as they waited to collect duffle bags containing their pads, helmets and cleats from the plane’s baggage hold."

Dec. 17, 1955, Abilene 33, Tyler 13

"Milstead, approached after the game by a young Tyler fan wanting an autograph, told the boy he should go get Abilene players to sign instead. 'Everybody on that team was great,' Milstead said, 'simply great.' He said the Lions 'could play Abilene every day in the week and never beat ‘em.'

“ 'They hit hard and never let up,' said Trimble, the Tyler end. 'They’d knock you down, and when you got back up, knock you down again. It was tough.'

"In the Eagle locker room, senior co-captains Caudle and Colwell were blubbering into their coach’s shoulder. They and the other seniors were the first class to play all three years under Moser. 'Coach, I can’t play any more,' said Caudle, a starter on both offense and defense for both the 1954 and ’55 champions, and a two-way all-district selection as a senior. 'Sure you can, son,' Moser said. 'You’ve got college games ahead.'

"But that’s not what Caudle had meant. He couldn’t be an Eagle any more, part of a team that had won 23 straight games and a second state championship. It was a feeling of achievement and of belonging that might be part of this black and gold gang for a long while, with junior players like Gregory, Jimmy Carpenter, Stuart Peake and Rufus King in the room. It was not an easy thing for an 18-year-old to leave behind."

Dec. 22, 1956, Abilene 14, Corpus Christi Ray 0

"At the end of the game Hayseed Stephens was jumping up and down on his crutches. Line coach Hank Watkins, who had a nickname for just about everybody, came up and hugged 'Old Poker Face,' his name for Jimmy Carpenter. 'Hate to lose you, Jim,' Watkins said. 'Hate to leave, Coach,' Carpenter said. 'Wish I could play two more years.'

"The players let the coaches strip to their underwear before throwing them in the showers. Teen music issued from the Eagle bus as it rolled out of a silent Memorial Stadium. Stuart Peake on guitar, singing 'Never Felt More Like Singing the Blues,' a Guy Mitchell radio hit. Peake sat in the back of the bus with the seniors: Rufus and Boyd King, Jim Rose, Kenny Schmidt, Charles Bradshaw, Jimmy Carpenter, Glynn Gregory, Bufford Carr, Hubert Jordan, Ervin Bishop, 21 seniors in all.

“ 'The juniors and sophomores sat in the front and talked about next year’s team,' said Moser of the ride home. 'Those young kids are ready to go. John Young came up to me and asked when spring training would start. I told him I didn’t know, and he answered, ‘I wish it was starting Monday’.”

Now it is Sunday morning, Dec. 20, 2009, in Abilene, and Eagle players have that state championship feeling again. Their winning streak stands at 15, they believe in their coach, and there are lots of juniors in the room. Don't know when spring training starts.

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December 19, 2009

The winners' week

Abilene High coach Steve Warren had the best quote of the week, best because it is a true statement.

"This has been unbelievable," he told a Friday night pep rally crowd of 4,000 at Shotwell Stadium. "This whole week has been awesome and then some."

Warren spoke with the mind, the experience, and the voice, of a professional athlete. When you sift through the stories in the week before a championship game, whether it's the Super Bowl, the BCS championship, the World Series, the College World Series, or prep championships like Abilene vs. Katy, it's a common theme: getting to the championship game is the real story.

I first became aware of this in writing about major league baseball. Players, managers and coaches kept saying the World Series is important, but it's important like a really good sauce on an entrée, the best gravy you ever had on (choosing a Texas measure of superlatives) a chicken-fried steak. The league championship is the chicken-fried steak. Win the National League or the American League pennant, you have won what really counts. It was a championship that took months, not one week. As Steve Warren said, it is a week to savor. There is nothing not to remember about this week. It's all good. Next week, well, someone will have won, and someone will have lost.

Based on their speed, defense, skill players, and penchant for getting better as the game goes on, I pick Abilene, by a score of 35-14. Whatever that score turns out to be, this week has been 100-to-nothing, for both sides.

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December 17, 2009

A game with a life of its own

In Abilene High history, state championship games have had a way of taking on a life of their own, which may be true of all state championship games. Excerpts from "Warbirds" follow.

Dec. 18, 1954

"The juggernaut from Abilene was favored to beat Stephen F. Austin by three touchdowns in the state championship game at Houston.

"Instead, with 5:49 remaining in the game, the Mustangs on fourth down lined up at the Abilene six-yard line to kick a field goal that would put them ahead of the Eagles, 10-7.

"No one in Houston was surprised. Maybe they were having heart attacks, but they weren’t surprised.

"While Abilene was pounding two playoff foes by a cumulative score of 107-0, Stephen F. Austin in bi-district barely squeaked past Galveston Ball, 21-20. In the semifinals, the Mustangs faced a Corpus Christi Miller team that had beaten them soundly, 25-6, in the third game of the season. The Mustangs won, again by 21-20.

"It was the team that wouldn’t quit. Just to get into the playoffs, in the last game of the regular season the Mustangs had to beat the defending Class AAAA champions, Houston Lamar. And they did, 16-14.

"If these nail-biters were hard on the Mustangs’ fans, it was hell on the 3,000 fans that had followed the Eagles to Houston’s 20,000-seat Public Schools Stadium . . ."

Dec. 17, 1955

"During the week in the statewide media, Abilene was established as a one-touchdown favorite over Tyler, and the feeling was that it would be something like 21-14, based on the Eagles’ power to score. Moser himself felt that way. For several weeks he had been telling his coaches (but no one else) that the 1955 Eagles were the best offensive team he ever saw.

“ 'If we can hold them to two touchdowns,' Moser told the Eagle Booster Club, 'we’ll win, I believe.'

"Abilene, in West Central Texas, and Tyler, way over in East Texas, had never met on a football field. They had some mutual adversaries in Waco, Wichita Falls and Dallas Highland Park, but their meeting at Amon Carter Stadium for the 1955 state championship would be their first.

"Having won the Love Field coin toss, Abilene, as the home team, got to pick its jerseys. Moser told his team leader, quarterback David Bourland, that new white jerseys had arrived. Bourland quickly voted in favor of the old gold jerseys. The belly series depended on deception, particularly on the part of the quarterback, and Bourland had become very good at it. He always liked to wear the gold jerseys, because the ball was too easy to see against the white.

"Abilene and Tyler both had 12 straight victories against no defeats. In the playoffs, Tyler first defeated Corpus Christi Miller, 22-7, then Baytown, 20-0. Abilene had averaged 39 points a game, Tyler 29. The Eagles had surrendered 10 fewer points than the Lions, 77 to 87. Against their lone common opponent in 1955, Abilene had beaten Highland Park, 34-0, in the season opener; Tyler beat the Scotties, 33-13, in their next-to-last district game. Abilene’s scouts, Blacky Blackburn and Wally Bullington, told Moser the Lions were a great team. Moser told the Eagles they would have to do 'everything right' to win.

"The Lions were big and fast. Center Jim Davis and tackle Billy Sims both weighed 200 pounds and both were all-state candidates, as was 186-pound halfback Joe Leggette, who had 980 yards rushing. But the star of the team, and probably the best all-around high school football player of the 1955 season, was 6-2, 190-pound quarterback Charles Milstead.

“ 'Another Walt Fondren,' Jack Holden wrote, 'a Doyle Traylor,' comparing Milstead to star Southwest Conference quarterbacks of the era. Tyler ran the same belly option offense as Abilene, and Milstead’s ability to run or pass gave the Tyler system a dangerous extra option.

"Members of Abilene’s state championship teams of 1923, 1928, 1931 and 1954 were special guests at the Friday pep rally. The team left for Fort Worth on the Eagle Bus right after the pep rally and headquartered at the Texas Hotel. More than 5,000 Abilenians made the 140-mile trip the next day, including almost 1,000 on a special Texas & Pacific train. The Victory Bell went in a truck and the 100-plus members of the Eagle Marching Band went in buses. After about 8 a.m., two-lane U.S. 80 was lined up with cars going east, through Baird, Cisco, Eastland and Ranger, streaming black and gold crepe decorations, headed for Fort Worth. About the same number of fans came from Tyler. Crowd estimates at kickoff went as high as 30,000 in the 37,000-seat stadium, meaning as many as 20,000 people from Fort Worth and other parts of the state came to the game. It promised to be a big game between two powerhouse teams, maybe even a classic. It turned out to be a classic, all right, one that had fans shaking their heads that afternoon and 45 years later."

Dec. 22, 1956

"The Eagles rolled into Austin on Friday, Dec. 21, with two streaks and a record on the line.

"Their streak of consecutive games won stood at 36. They were playing to become only the third high school team in Texas to win three straight state championships, after Waco (1925-26-27) and Amarillo (1934-35-36). And by winning, the Eagles would become the school with the most state championships – six – in Texas schoolboy history.

"Twenty of 23 Texas sports writers picked Abilene to beat Ray, which was in a state title game for the first time. The margins ranged from one point to 'no doubt.' Amarillo’s Putt Powell thought it was reasonable to suppose the Eagles would score more touchdowns than Ray made first downs. . . . "

The final score was 14-0, and the game became memorable for a play sequence in the first quarter that involved what is called a "14-point turnaround." Back to the book:

"The Texan offense came to the line breathing fire. In five plays they had gained the Eagle 19 and looked like a team that could beat the Eagle defense. Then end Stuart Peake broke through and hit quarterback Arthur McCallum. The ball came loose and bounced all the way back to the 44 before McCallum could fall on it. Unperturbed, McCallum threw to end Sonny Davis at the Abilene 21. He threw again to Davis, this time to the Eagle 4. Abilene was very much a team in trouble. McCallum kept on a quarterback sneak to the 2. Sub halfback Bart Shirley rammed to the one. McCallum tried another sneak and was piled up at the one-foot line.

"On fourth down, the two teams massed at the goalline, Abilene in its gap-8 defense. The center Christian snapped the ball, the lines charged, and suddenly the ball was in the air above the tumult, floating free, describing a lazy parabola toward the left end of the Texan line. It landed directly in front of Eagle linebacker Gerald Galbraith, who smothered it at the 3 as fans on both sides screamed. The ball appeared to have simply squirted through McCallum’s hands at the snap.

"The Eagle backs lined up in the end zone. Gregory improved things somewhat with a three-yard dive to the 6 In the huddle, Galbraith looked at right tackle Boyd King. 'I asked old Boyd if he could take that old boy out (tackle Walter Beck),' Galbraith said. 'Sure, run that old 4-play,' King told him.

"Galbraith called it: '4 Straightaway, on Set, on Set.' The Eagles in their gold jerseys, standing in their end zone, broke the huddle with a clap of hands, trotted to the line of scrimmage at the 6, fell into the hands-on-knees 'ready' stance. 'Down,' Galbraith called, with the downward inflection. The team dropped into its three-point stance. 'Set,' Galbraith yelled, but without time for the rising, anticipatory inflection, because the Eagles had charged. Galbraith took the snap from Jim Rose, pivoted right, handed to Carpenter going by, and going by so fast that Galbraith barely got the ball to him. Boyd King got position on Walter Beck, just like his coach had taught him, and knocked Beck outside. Jordan blocked Floyd Brown inside.

"Carpenter, all 153 fleet pounds of him, hit the hole in a flash and burst into the clear on the other side. A Ray halfback came up. Carpenter spun to the outside, flaring slightly toward the right sideline, and in a couple of strides was in high gear. It was a footrace with the Ray safety that Carpenter won easily, 94 yards to the end zone. His teammates sprinted all the way down the field after him, and after Gregory’s kick, Abilene led, 7-0.

"Men who have played football, for the rest of their lives may refer to a particular kind of traumatic event as 'a 14-point turnaround.' A team is on the goalline, about to score, when something happens – an interception runback, or a fumble and a 94-yard run. Not only has the team lost its seven points, the other team has scored seven, more or less in the same breath. It is a terrific 'what if' shock, and it had happened to the Ray Texans . . ."

"The 14-point turnaround works both ways. After Carpenter’s run, the energized Eagles took control of the game . . . "

Saturday's game between Abilene and Katy will have acquired some sort of signature that will be remembered 50 years from now. What will it be?

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December 16, 2009

School of Eagle Fame

Somewhere in the mid-20th century, there stands a cultural watershed, a technological Continental Divide, beyond which people in general, but young people specifically, started moving indoors for their entertainment.

I wouldn’t be so bold as to say it was that Friday night in Abilene when “Blackboard Jungle” and “Rock Around the Clock” came to the Paramount Theater, but I would think that event was somewhere in the vicinity, because it was totally non-local. The main physical feature of the Divide is the ability to separate oneself from locality, and the galvanizing force of “Rock Around the Clock” made it an arrow pointing young people down the yellow brick road of media toward radio, and then television, and then the Internet, whose arrival in the 1990s really sealed the deal. Many young people today spend far more time in the Internet distance than they do in their locality, a troubling social reality that has become the subject of books.

I may be a year off about this, but I believe that television arrived in Abilene the same year Chuck Moser did: 1953. Both had an immediate effect, but I am sure that Abilenians between the ages of 10 and 20, who today are in their 60s and 70s, when they think about the ‘50s, remember more about Moser and the Abilene Eagles than they do television. Famous people on television were, and are, a dime a dozen. Famous people locally are, well, REALLY famous.

By Christmas of 1954, Moser and the Eagles were not only famous locally, but they were putting Abilene on the map, and it’s hard to generate much more community appeal than that. The Eagles created not only a football, but a social, dynasty. Pete Shotwell, a legendary coach whose retirement after the 1952 Eagle season brought about Moser’s hiring, was given a new job in the Abilene schools. From my book, “Warbirds:”

“Abilene had experienced significant growth during and after World War II, and there were more elementary schools and two junior highs with a third planned to open in 1955, plus a black elementary school and a black high school, Woodson High. But there was no centralized physical education system. To Abilene school administrators, Shotwell, or ‘Shot,’ as he was affectionately known, made a proposal to create a new administrative position that would oversee physical education and health education in the growing Abilene schools system.

“It would give him official authority over a program he had already helped create, elementary school football. Football, in uniform, was played as a strictly recreational program in all the city schools. By 1950, boys as young as fourth grade in Abilene could start playing organized football, in city school leagues, that played to championships and awarded championship trophies and jacket patches.”

I was in 6th grade when Abilene won the 1954 state championship. I was also a second-year player on the feared Central Elementary Wildcats. In seventh, eighth, and ninth grades, I played for the South Junior High Coyotes. By ninth grade, we played road games as far away as San Angelo, and we had cheerleaders, bands and pep rallies. The three Abilene junior highs played to a city championship, which South – ahem – won my ninth grade year. We beat the North Junior Broncos, 27-15, after trailing, 15-0, at Fair Park Stadium – same place the Eagles played – before a crowd of 4,000 people.

This was youth – and community – involvement that I am not sure the 2009 social network can support. Someone in Abilene would have to write that story. One thing: fame has not changed much, except to become more influential in young lives. One hears horrifying stories of six-year-old girls talking their parents into spending $2,000 for Hannah Montana concert tickets. Kids still are whelmed by fame up-close. Abilene kids this week are seeing quite a fuss over the team playing for a state championship in San Antonio on Saturday. It’s totally possible that Eagle football in 2009 can still pry kids away from cyberspace for a little while.

It’s the same, and it’s different. In the 1950s, fans would send telegrams to the Eagle teams, wherever the championship was being played, for the players to read before the game. This afternoon, on Facebook, I discovered the “Abilene Eagles 2009 Support Group,” to “show a collective support for the Warbirds to be victorious over Katy High School.” When I found the group, two hours ago, the membership was 1,401. Just now, it was 1,749. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.

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About me

  • I am a journalist, educator, writing consultant and author, living in La Mesa, CA. I am a native of Texas, which shows in most of my work. I believe that anything is possible. When I was 35, I realized that the ideal life would be to have the imagination of a six-year-old, and the wisdom of a 65-year-old. I can still get to the imagination (as you can, simply by cutting away all the data you’ve learned from first grade on) and I now possess the wisdom of a 65-year-old. Being 65 can be unsettling – too late to plant trees and enjoy the shade – but the wisdom that comes with it is terrific compensation. I learned in 50th grade that, no matter how bad things get, there is always compensation. Now I am in the 60th grade, and I am learning things that I didn’t know in 59th. This September, I’ll start 61st grade, and learn things I don’t know now. To find what grade you’re in, start with the year you started 12th grade, and count up. My newest book is “Warbirds – How They Played the Game.” My new company is The Write Outsource, quality media writing on deadline, at www.writeoutsource.com. I am working on a book about the media, and I am about to revise my cookbook about home cooking on a tight budget, such as so many of us face at this time.
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