Memories of Departed Friends

There are many advantages to arriving at the ripe old age of 65 in a decent state of health.  I have most of my teeth, hair and illnesses that are treatable with medications.    I feel very luck that my finances have arrived in the same good state.  I will not give in to the thought that we are just lucky.  We both worked hard, put off having some of the rewards at a younger age for the rewards we now have.

The Bad news is that there is a long list of fellow travelers in this life that are no longer around.  I did not know my real Grandfathers so I did not expect my Dad to live as long as he did.  Mom lived much longer than anyone thought possible.  It is the fact that as a Baby Boomer I can see a pretty clear pattern of my fellow BB's not having their parents.  Having Served in the Military for many years, I have seen the old soldiers pass on and some of the new crop is not doing all that well.

The husband of one of Barb's fellow teachers had her spouse pass this week.  I really enjoyed his spunk and toughness in doing business here in Topeka.  I am reminded by the signs on fences his company put up of his effect on Topeka.  Just yesterday as I drove down Topeka Blvd, I saw his last business surrounded with used cars he accumulated over the years.  

The shocker this morning was the obit page when I saw that a fellow I almost hired in Ottawa passed this week.  In spite of my good feelings for him in the process, everyone told me that another soldier from Ottawa was the best person for the job.  In the short run, the guy I hired was good but didn't pull his weight in the long run.  Wayne Kern should have been at the top of my short list and I regret it.  On the other hand, I can say that Wayne went on in his career and went to Warrant Officer School and worked himself to the top of that ladder as a CW5.  

Back in the day, almost everyone smoked.  Most of the smokers I knew then have either stopped or died. I can't even begin to tell you how many guys that smoked Camel unfiltered cigarets died younger than we all thought necessary.  It would start with a cough, a cancer in the lung and then some horrible tumor in places that most of us don't want.    I have no desire to linger into that sweet good night.  I hope it is some quick action that ends it right there on the spot.  Better yet, how about just not waking up?  

A few years back, I decided to stop smoking and drinking.  I have a routine that on my birthday I have a beer and a good cigar.  After burning a hole in a new shirt and almost getting sick last year I am not sure if I want that cigar.  In fact, I haven't had one this year.  I think that I want to go to Cuba at least once to have one of those fine Cuban cigars, but like the movie line, "I want the Truth - You can handle the Truth!"  I hope that is wrong but who knows.

Oh well, a KU Basketball game tonight and the singing group Straight - No Chaser   will perform here in Topeka tomorrow night.  

I hope no one thinks that this is some indication that I think I am starting to end things soon.  I plan on joining many of my friends at Fiddlers Green someday to have a cool drink of muzzle blast before passing on into eternity, but not today. 


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