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Reflections

In another couple of days, I'll be off on my annual Spring vacation to the Bay Area -- my way of undercutting the long Seattle winter. Although I got crossed up with it last year, when it rained more down there than it did up here. But that was part of a 'bad year' pattern for me . . . it's going to be different this time.

And when I get back, I shall have arrived, officially, in Octogenarian-land! And damn . . . I'm still having a hard time believing that. A pal of mine down there, and I, will be celebrating it together. I call him my twin, because he and I were born a day apart, on opposite sides of the bay. Yep, Al and I were just a day and a bay apart. He's the older one. I didn't meet him until we were both about 50.

Technically, I guess I'm part of what has been called the Greatest Generation. But I'm not bragging about it. In fact, I don't really consider myself part of it. Mainly, because I never got into the war. Not that I didn't try, but a lousy heart murmur kept me out of it. A kind of disgrace, at the time. And it turned out to be an albatross around my neck, in the long run. No GI Bill for me, which meant a struggle just to get only part way through college, and no breaks on home loans or other perks . . . I even found myself losing handicap points on civil service job exams. It kind of set me apart for my whole subsequent life.

But in the long run, I'm fairly happy with how that worked out, being an outsider just about as far as it can be stretched. They did well, in a desperate war that had to be won (their tactical skills make today's effort look pretty damned puny), but I think they blew it when it came to making the resultant world a better place to live. I think the whole rotten thrust of today's corporate society had its best growth years in their hands. I mean, things have been going downhill ever since they started getting greedy.

No, you guys here wouldn't know that. It's not in the history books that way. But it was like a wild-ass homesteading run . . . find your piece of corporate 'property' and let the devil take the hindmost. No holds barred, in the crazy gold rush that followed, once it really got underway. Maybe it started when the century began, maybe even earlier, but it was that Greatest Generation that devised the tax structures, the credit card games, the consumerism-without-limits that never, EVER found a point at which enough was enough. And they, of course, were the ones that wrote the history books that have told you guys how great they were, to have put together what we have today.

Yes, I guess I'm somewhat jaundiced. I wonder what you'll be like, if you make it to 80?

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
gadzer
Mar. 28th, 2007 07:22 am (UTC)
I don't know that I'll make it to 80...

I always enjoy reading your points of view.
eyegorr
Mar. 28th, 2007 11:39 am (UTC)
I wonder what you'll be like, if you make it to 80?

Probably the only person living on the planet(if Earth still exists in 2054) since most would be living on other planets, like Mars for example.

I'd love to visit Seattle someday and get out of this factory air.. *sighs*
kokyu
Mar. 28th, 2007 02:31 pm (UTC)

Thanks for posting. I appreciate reading your point of view.
nordic_thora
Mar. 28th, 2007 04:51 pm (UTC)
Enjoy your trip, and we'll get together for lunch after you return!
paperhurts
Mar. 28th, 2007 10:41 pm (UTC)
I will be one hot mama with bright red hair! I plan on having a great, big, HUGE tank of a car, and when obnoxious drivers cut me off I'm just going to ram them. And I'll carry a cane to shove up anyone's butt who tries to mess with me. =D

I don't know what it was like during the war except from movies, and from my grandmother's perspective. She was in Berlin until 1952 and it wasn't a great situation (we are still to this day not allowed to even listen to Russian music in her house). My grandfather was there for a little while as an MP but that was after the occupation - and how they met, incidentally. He ended up back here, never took advantage of GI bill, and ended up sewing parachutes and ejection seats for Grumman for 35 years...and now he's back as he's only one of two left alive who know how to install seats on planes that have been un-decommissioned as reconnaissance planes over in Iraq right now...

...needless to say, I myself am now a piece of "corporate property" - a contractor who jumps at the thought of getting a "real" job with the company, but until then makes less with fewer benefits, more work, and less job security...

...which is why I do photography on the side ;)
oldefool
Mar. 29th, 2007 06:59 am (UTC)
I'm betting you WILL be one hot mama!

Thanks for the background tale. That's pretty unique, to have lineage on both sides of that war. Gives you a different perspective on things, I'll bet, than most people have. And that's amazing, about your grandad returning to his old trade, because of his specialized knowledge. You have to wonder why they can't teach it to someone else.

I had thought that your photography was your business. But keep at it, and it will be.
paperhurts
Mar. 29th, 2007 01:44 pm (UTC)
Well last year it was about 10 percent of my income. I'm working to a five year plan to get my photography as the only thing I do - only four more years now ;)
lisi
Apr. 14th, 2007 10:52 am (UTC)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Irv!
oldefool
Apr. 19th, 2007 01:44 am (UTC)
Hi, Lisi...and thanks...

You're the only LJ friend who noticed (or remembered). So you're tops, for the moment. I see you have been away on vacation almost the same amount of time that I have. Hope your experience of it was as good as mine, which I shall account for one of these soon days.

Cheers...
lisi
Apr. 22nd, 2007 05:48 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I had good times on my travels.

I remembered your birthday because a day later my godson turned ten - his very first milestone decade-wise compared to your eighth!

I'm looking forward to reading your report soon.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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