Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A little History....& Thanks

I was born in Erie, Pennsylvania way back in 1946. Golly, that seems like a long time ago, doesn't it? Moved to central Pa. at a very young age and began my love for the outdoors. After losing my mother 8 years earlier, my father's passing in ’62 was devastating to this 16 yr. old. Life was so cruel. I did not like anything or anybody that attempted to help me. I was blind to the kindness that was offered.

My freshman and sophomore years were spent at DuBois High School, living with Grandma for a while than with Uncle George and Aunt Betty. The summer of ’63 saw me move to Wesleyville to live with my Uncle Jim and Aunt Leona, who I have always credited with making sure that I made it through my junior and senior years and graduate from high school in spite of myself or the problems that I gave them. Not sure if that would have happened without them. Living with them was challenging in many ways. Not just for me, but also for them and my cousins. Sharing a bedroom and everything else must have been difficult for them as well. I knew very few people in Wesleyville, so hanging out with my cousin Pug and his friends became the norm, and to his credit, he never complained or begrudged me. Graduating from Wesleyville High School in ’65 was and always will be one of the bright spots of my teen years. I have always been thankful that this family gave of themselves to me and they were certainly a very important part and influence on my formable years.  

I enlisted in the US Navy a few months after graduation and Viet Nam became a reality. Being shot at and feeling fear and anger and seeing war and casualties has a profound effect on a 19 year old. Believe me when I say, going from boy to man was quick and painful. BUT worth it.    I will never regret my service to my country and am proud to be a Vet.

Returning to the good ole USA in '69, I began my career in the Telecommunications industry. That would last for the next 38 years or so. Now retired for a few years, I've had ample time to reflect...and reflect I have. Why was I so blind for so long. Why? Why? Why? As it turns out, I wasn't so blind that I wasn’t able to see beyond the frames of my glasses and realize the beauty that was all around. My mind was able to remember the kindness that I was offered and the lessons I learned way back than that I didn't understand at the time. The influence from those who tried to help me surfaced and grew in me and FINALLY.. I GOT IT.

To all my aunts and uncles who taught, cared and disciplined me when I most needed it, THANK YOU. My dear sweet Aunt Betty....especially. How I tortured her and Uncle George the 2 years I lived there. But as I said....I finally got it. And thank GOD, I didn't burn the bridge back into their lives. I am so thankful for that. My Uncle John...bless him. He honed my outdoor skills and love of wildlife that were planted many years before. I owe them all and will be forever grateful.
Sandra, Gloria, and I never really had much of a, live together, life after Mom passed away. Between spending time in children’s homes and living with different relatives, our time together under the same roof was pretty limited. In retrospect, asking a family to take on 3 additional children at once was a lot to deal with, and with the attitude that I had, made it even more difficult. I am extremely grateful to our aunts and uncles who took us in and cared for us in our time of need. Through it all, my sisters and I have maintained a meaningful bonded relationship. My sisters have always had my back and I am deeply indebted to them both. I love them and their families very much.

I finally got it right with a life's partner also. Rosemarie has shown me the forgotten meaning of family. Our marriage is the most bestest thing and is right up there with the birth of my 3 sons. I love her and all our children and grandchildren very much.

And so it goes...as I continue on this life's journey I hope to show to all who have helped me along the way, that your deeds were not without merit.  Thank You ALL very much.

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