Don's Perspective on Life, 1996
I was born in Oklahoma but I really Don't Remember!
My grandfather was a share cropper, a proud man who raised twelve children and in later life became a cabinet maker and moved his family to Nashville Tennessee. My father was raised almost without parents, he served his country in war and peace. His grandmother was part Cherokee who walked a trail of tears before we sat our feet on life's path of bitter tears.
My father help build the Panama Canal, where he contracted malaria that would leave his lungs forever weak. My mother survived life as a share cropper's daughter on the farm during the depression, the move to the big City, the great war, all the contention associated with the raising of a family in near poverty. But that was nothing to her surviving 19 + years as I grew from child to young adult. I am glad my kids didn't do to me what I put her through.
I am a product of the 60's and proud of it! The fact is life is better because we cared and because we ask why and because we did not accept no for an answer. We put our life on the line and changed the world. Mistakes, I made a few, but then again too few to mention. We did not create a utopia, we never wanted to in the first place, we did want a better world, with opportunity for everyone where the needs of the many took precedent over the lust and greed of the few.
But all is not good, because in the end we lost the revolution and I think they all suck! Today, we are not a name, we are a number, we are not freemen, we can be pushed, filled, stamped, indexed, briefed and debriefed! We are our own prisoner. We have been to the moon, but never really came back. We own more but have less. We did not live The Day After, but the images were burned into our mind. For thirty years we had nightmares or day ponies. We look but do not see. Simple acts of kindness are withheld while we watch a white Bronco travel down a highway in a town where fantasies are blurred with reality, or forgotten.
As I slowly approach the checkout generation, happy that I am not there yet, remembering far too many of my generation now departed, I am reminded of the old saying "burn your bridges before you cross them." I remember sitting in the truck stop drinking coffee with someone who saw the Wright Brothers, not at Kitty Hawk, N.C, but as they toured the country. I still can here him tell of his amazement as he witnessed the plane hovering off the ground. Several years ago I was at the Cape to see the Apollo 17launch. In forty years what will my grandchildren see? More important what will they feel? I am what I was? Maybe, then again maybe not?
Yesterday and Today
Almost nothing gives me more pleasure than see a dream become reality be that software I created or a movie or song. Sitting in a pontoon watching the water ripple, wondering if someone will 'discover' the unifying theory soon, is both relaxing and fulfilling. I have never had an experience like watching the birth of my son. On a clear night as I look up and see light that originated before life on earth began, I am amazed. Looking and reflecting on the rocks in Sedona has a calming and healing effect on me. I truly cherish and honor the woman I share my life with. I am in awe at the talent of my Children. I have an unassuming love for my grandchildren, for they will take us from here today to there tomorrow.
Billy Walace should be inducted into the country music Hall of Fame! We are not alone, never have been. There is no sanctuary! I saw Chuck, Bo, and Paul when they were. I know who produced The Crescendo's "Old Julie" a song that made it to number 10 in the top 40 in 1958. I know his Television theme song and have a copy. I remember him as he filled in on American Bandstand when Dick Clark made his first move. I once wrote a song playing Hank William's guitar. I have been a dog, and know that pigs are Sacred. I too worked till my eyes were red as rust. But the poor stayed poor. I went out into the woods alone, and couldn't find Sparky. I traveled all over this country, and visited afar, learning much, knowing little. And now your getting on that plane, but first, how big is a hill of beans? Let us remember to never forget to remember.
All of the above was just prologue to me and my life. But then again I could be wrong.