Tag Archives: WPlongform

Social Security – Redux

I called this Redux because I wrote this one, Social Security less than a year ago.  Government programs that you thought you could rely upon are really at the whim of whoever is in office at the time. The other … Continue reading

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63. If Only This Was Possible

“Dad!  Is that you?” “Of course, you don’t recognize your own father?” “Well, …  you look terrific, I mean, … when I last saw you 10 years ago …” “Ya, Alzheimer’s does that to you.  You look pretty chipper for … Continue reading

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62. Lazy

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My father was a Mechanical Engineer.  That was how he defined himself.  Sure, he retired as the Executive Vice-President of the company where he worked for 42 years, but he was always an engineer first.  The precision necessary for the … Continue reading

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61. Water, Air, and Dirt

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My father was a bit of a pocket philosopher.  There wasn’t an occasion or event that couldn’t be summed by a clever quip that he had learned while growing up.  Some of these clever quips turned into what appeared to … Continue reading

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60. The Commute to Work

I drove to work for nearly 30 years.  Only briefly did I ever have a passenger along.  There was always some excuse for that.  My hours were often strange or I lived in places where no one else lived.  Of … Continue reading

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59. The Last Visit

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The new century has not been kind to us.  In 2001 Barbara passed away from Cancer at the age of 60.  In 2003 my father had passed away from Alzheimer’s at the age of 89.  In 2005 Elinor passed away, … Continue reading

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58. Our Dinner Table

Both Mom and I had been raised with the tradition of the evening meal at the dinner table.  So it was easy for us to adopt the same traditions for our family.  Mom had eaten dinner many times at my … Continue reading

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57. Williamsburg

Karen and I absolutely loved living together in Massachusetts.  It is a place of beauty from the Blue Mountains to Cape Ann to Cape Cod.  It is a place that has mastered the culinary arts with those resources locally available … Continue reading

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56. Do Me A Favor

Michal Weber arrived in Shamokin, PA, Northumberland County, from Stuttgart, Germany around 1770, changed his name to Michal Weaver, and the family with most of its branches would always live there.  He volunteered to fight for his new country and … Continue reading

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55. The Micros

As the children begin to grow into their own, there is always an event that tells the parent that each child is different. This event is different from what foods they like or their favorite color. In our family, the … Continue reading

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54. Not Just Another Tulip Story

I guess you would think that I had nothing better to do while working in that nice office in Falls Church, VA. but look out the window. That woodpecker and I sparred for a few weeks it’s true, but that … Continue reading

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53. The Pileated Woodpecker

As the children were getting a bit older, it was finally time to share some of my own stories at the dinner table. Some of those stories were repetitions of those my father had told me, but some, like the … Continue reading

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52. Grover

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We first saw this starving, flea-bitten street dog shortly after we moved here.  Patrick was riding his tricycle on the driveway and this strange dog came up the driveway behind him.  When my son turned around, the dog was there … Continue reading

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49. Nantucket and Atom Ant

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The remaining 25 of us on the program at GTE were notified on May 1st that we would be going to Northern Virginia on temporary assignment (TDY) on June 1, 1991.  The TDY would last for 6 months and then … Continue reading

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48. The Transfer

During this time I had continued to work for GTE Government Systems.  I was working on a very important DoD software development program that would eventually be used in the 1991 Persian Gulf War and I was having a great … Continue reading

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38. You Had Better Hurry Up

Karen and I were having a wonderful time together as newlyweds.  We were learning a lot about each other, enjoying our jobs, and enjoying, for the most part, cookouts at my parents house.  We did, however feel the political background … Continue reading

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37. The Bat

Karen had grown up in a log cabin at New Germany State Park in Garrett County, Western Maryland where her father was the Park Manager.   So she was used to a wide variety of creatures that roamed the woods.  Bear, … Continue reading

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36. The Food of the Cape

When I took the job at AT&T, part of the move was to rent the apartment that was available in a building that Elinor owned.  Her mother (Gram) lived on the first floor, her nephew Gary lived on the second … Continue reading

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35. Oracle

One of the first things Karen wanted to do when we got back from our honeymoon was find a good job.  The job market wasn’t that bad in 1985 and so she had a lot of choices.  One ad that … Continue reading

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34. The Cows

I had never considered myself to be a particularly funny person.  Oh sure I could tell a joke if I was forced into it, but I was more known for the bizarre way I looked at things.  (See Temperature or … Continue reading

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33. The Wave

This is such a simple thing.  It’s used as a greeting, a salutation, a parting gesture, and sometimes even an epithet signifying the owners’ ignorance.  But we all wave at people that we know and don’t know as a way … Continue reading

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32. The One You Waited For, Part 2

I got home very late Thursday night, completely exhausted (that happens when you get 3 hours of sleep a night), and full of thoughts of San Francisco.  I spent my day off on Friday walking and thinking.  I walked to … Continue reading

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31. The One You Waited For, Part 1

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Well, my children this is the one.  This is the story that you have heard at the dinner table countless times, debated by your mother and I as to how this or that happened, and always ending the same way … Continue reading

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30. Keep on Keepin’ On

The strangest thing happened.  The one person that had been tearing me down for years, the person that had confederated with Barbara to find fault in everything I did, called me on the telephone.  Elinor told me that I had … Continue reading

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29. My New Life

My decision to return home and marry Paula was not well received by my family.  Generally they were pleased that I was doing well in San Francisco and pleased that they didn’t have to deal with ‘that’ girl.  Elinor and … Continue reading

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28. Teacher of the Basics

I had a nice career in the computer science field.  In almost every respect my daily life was highly technical and high pressure, but I loved every minute of every day.  But it was all very accidental.  I had worked … Continue reading

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27. San Francisco

 “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco” – probably Mark Twain. I arrived in San Francisco on a sunny Friday afternoon in August 1975.  What a beautiful city!  I was having dinner at a small … Continue reading

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26. Trying to Fix It

In the five years since I had lived with Greg and John there were some substantial changes to my life.  Despite my efforts to the contrary, I had learned a lot at school.  The Viet Nam war ended, and with … Continue reading

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25. Taking the Next Step

Sophomore year was ending and the cycle of looking for an apartment for next year was beginning.  I don’t know how it happened but we all had decided to part ways and get an apartment on our own.  That might … Continue reading

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24. The Bourbon

The cocktail party was the main adult social event for upwardly mobile couples in the 1950s.  If you were going to host one of these parties, it was important that your home had some essential elements.  The first was a … Continue reading

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23. Later Sports

The next time I would play tennis would be at military school.  A golf team at a military school wasn’t very likely.  But at least I had the tennis.  I played in the Florida heat every chance I got but … Continue reading

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22. Sophomore Year

Greg, Rod, John and I had become really good friends throughout freshman year.  The four of us had a lot of good times together then.  I even hitchhiked to Charlottesville, VA with Rod for no apparent reason, at least none … Continue reading

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21. Courage of Music

I grew up in the age of radio.  No, not “The Green Hornet” era of radio, but good old AM rock-and-roll radio.  The Casey Kasem Top 40 Countdown was a weekly event where he would tell us which songs were … Continue reading

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20. Freshman Year

I was finally allowed to work a real job over the summer and so I arrived in Boston with $750 in the bank.  I thought that was a lot of money but it didn’t last long.  I was in sensory … Continue reading

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19. Summer Camp

It was the summer of 1968. I was a camp counselor at a small boys camp in western Massachusetts.  I was the new Massachusetts Junior Smallbore Champion.  I had passed my NRA instructors test and so I was qualified to … Continue reading

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18. Preparing for College

Academically I was doing fine for my junior and senior years at Tabor.  It wasn’t the easy excellence that I had known in elementary school, but I was never really in danger of not passing a subject, except maybe French.  … Continue reading

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17. Tabor Academy, Part 2

Life at Tabor was all I had hoped it would be.  Although I still struggled academically, I was completely comfortable there.  Thanks to the Rifle Team, I had made several really good and lifelong friends.  But I was still emotionally … Continue reading

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16. The Rifle Team

During the summer before I had started at Tabor, my father imparted another of his sage stories.  This one was very brief and had to do with his experiences in college.  He had enjoyed considerable success on the pistol team … Continue reading

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15. For What It’s Worth

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When I was a sophomore at Tabor, I took a class in Modern European History with George Trautman.  Many of my old friends will remember him. He was one of the finest teachers I’ve ever had.  On the first class … Continue reading

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14. Tabor Academy

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I was nearing my 15th birthday and much had happened in the previous 5 years.  My mother had fallen into a world of prescribed depression.  She blamed my father for everything that had happened to her.  She felt that I … Continue reading

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13. Miami Military Academy

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I didn’t know any of this at the time, but this idea of sending me off to Miami Military Academy (MMA) was a pretty sweet deal for my mother.  It got me out of the house, which was the main … Continue reading

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12. Early Sports

My father wasn’t much of a golfer.  His somewhat portly stature, amazing strength, and lack of flexibility helped to create a consistent duck hook that was truly a sight to behold.  The interesting and funny thing was that he was … Continue reading

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11. The End of the Beginning, Part 2

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We arrived in the town of Wilton Manors, FL and I began my new life in another rented house.  The neighborhood was cleaner, the people were nicer, and the weather was warmer than anything Cambridge had to offer.  But I … Continue reading

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10. The End of the Beginning, Part 1

By any measure I was a pretty lucky kid.  I lived in a small town on Cape Cod, I had a good group of friends, and I had a great family.  We had gone on vacations together to Florida, I … Continue reading

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9. The US Steel Story

There is no doubt that my Dad had an unusual way of teaching.  He taught almost by parable, but not quite.  He would tell a story, sometimes funny, and leave the rest for you to figure out on your own.  … Continue reading

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8. Physical Weirdness

In our house the focal point of every new topic, every new discussion, and ultimately every new clever story was at the dinner table.  The evening meal was when every member of the family was present at the same time.  … Continue reading

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7. The Piano

For as long as I can remember there was always a shiny black Steinway Baby Grand Piano in our house.  Neither of my parents could play it but I think it served two very important purposes.  First it was an … Continue reading

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6. Gullible Electrons

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One day my father explained to me that in the wintertime electricity was stored in the carpet.  I was only eight years old and my skepticism was met with a wry smile and the offer of proof.  “Take off your … Continue reading

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5. The Marksman

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It’s hard for me to imagine a more intimate activity between a father and his young child than when he begins to teach his child how to shoot.  It begins with a fathers judgment that his child is old enough … Continue reading

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4. 2nd Grade at Sippican

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I didn’t understand it.  It was raining.  It was always raining.  I had my Davy Crockett fringed jacket and my Daniel Boone ‘coonskin cap and I was, as usual, ready to explore the acres of woods around the house.  So, … Continue reading

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