Doing it my way: The random thoughts of an octogenarian

When I think back to when I was a boy, I think of standing up to bullies in the school yard and that handsome new singer Frank Sinatra the girls were swooning over.

Historical Image of schoolboys of North Whitefield School

MISSOURI, June 4, 2017-I find that as I get older there are times when I am alone, maybe in the front room or out in the yard enjoying the sight of flowers, birds and natural beauties given to us by the Almighty. At times like these, I find myself reminiscing over my life, reflecting on both the positive and negative experiences I have had on my journey.

I tend to dismiss the bad memories as I do not want to revisit those experiences at this stage of my life. Thankfully, I am blessed that there were not that many to even think about

Many times thoughts come back to when I was a young child growing up and I remember playing “kick the tin can” or “hide and go seek.” I remember the kid who was the bully in the neighborhood that I tried to avoid as much as possible. Otherwise, he would beat me up.

Finally, I got tired of running and stood up to the bully, even though I knew I would get a “lickin’.” It was worth it, knowing that he would never bother me again. I’m sure most of us have had similar experiences. By the way, the weapon of choice in that era was fists, not guns or knives.

Now I do not necessarily consider this a bad memory, but am just acknowledge that it was just a part of growing up. Neither I, nor my parents, had no thought of suing anybody.

I know that all of you at some time in your life have gone out in the park or out in an open field and have lain down on your back so you could look up to the sky and observe the beautiful white billowing clouds. Or at nighttime, when the sky was so clear and the stars were shining so brightly, you shared with your friend or friends what you wanted to be when you grew up. Where the roads you chose would take.

The imaginations ran wild and no one made fun of your dreams. It was clean and refreshing, those moments of dreaming, and to this day they are still so vivid in my mind.

What a memory!

Then there was going to the movies and watching your heroes on the screen? You would think, “I want to do that” or “I want to be like that person” or “I wish I could sing like that.”

These are not unique to any one person, in my opinion, but I bet most of us have had those thoughts—another great way to dream. I venture to say that the entrepreneurs of our great country were and still are people who would be classified as dreamers.

In 1943 Frank Sinatra was a dreamer who did it “his way” and had a marvelous career. It’s said he drives the girls wild.

Remember those days when there were movies like the “Wolf Man” or “Frankenstein”?

On a summer’s night, when the movie was over, you would be walking home and there was a mild wind that ruffled the branches of the trees. Your mind started racing as you imagined the Wolf Man (1941) was in the bushes, but you kept your head straight even though your heart was pounding and you were saying to your feet, “Get me home as fast as you can.”

Take a break and reminisce with me.

I guess because we are seniors, our minds have been put on “cruise control,” which enables us to have these random thought moments (which is preferable to so-called “senior moments”).

It is not uncommon to draw on these past memories when with a younger family member who may be in a similar situation to what we experienced, such as wanting to grow up fast.

Our responses will often be “Don’t wish your youth away” or “Enjoy the moment, as you will grow up fast enough.” In this way, we can get more mileage out of those memories and maybe help someone else along the way.

However, that’s a time and place I am from-



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