Moving Onward

Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.”

Sir Winston Churchill

Forty Years of “Gravy”

On July 14, 1979, I turned my 1975 Monte Carlo into an El Camino, instantly.  I also managed to push the ball of my femur through the back of its socket. Basically, I broke my hip, the largest joint in the human body. Some describe the pain of a broken hip as comparable to that of birthing a child. Having had no way of verifying that, I just took their word for it. By the way, it was painful enough to make those analogies seem valid.

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Return to the Lone Star State

After arriving home yesterday morning at 7:00 am from a road trip to my previous state of residence, I reflect on the week-long excursion. From Muncie to the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex is roughly one thousand miles, about 16 hours of drive time using the optimum route. Having made the trip many times over the last 4 decades, the distance may not have changed, but my physical stamina and mental acuity sure have!

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Dayton Days

We were in our apartment at Poplar Apartments in Durham, North Carolina, when Dad opted for the Air Force instead of waiting for his draft number to come up. Originally, we were to be heading to San Antonio, which I thought was cool since I’d been learning all about the Alamo, in fact, we had just watched the John Wayne film classic. However, at the last minute the final verdict came in and it would be “Wright-Patt”, so it was off to Dayton, Ohio.

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Secrets of Gimghoul Castle

Some of our family’s happiest times were while living in North Carolina for the second time from 1969 to 1971. Our close friends, the Booth family, were instrumental in the creation of many of those fond memories. Bob Booth Sr., head of the Durham Chamber of Commerce, his wife Barbara, a native Tarheel, their intellectually gifted elder child Susan, and Bobby Jr., who was my age, were extremely knowledgeable of the region which included neighboring Orange County to the west, the location of Chapel Hill. One of the enigmas of Chapel Hill, the college town home of one of the three oldest public universities in the country, the University of North Carolina, was a place known as Gimghoul Castle.

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Greatest Rock & Roll Band Ever. Period.

Anyone who’s really known me, would certainly be aware that I’ve always been a die hard “Led Head” for over four decades. There are other great ones of course, Aerosmith, Doobie Brothers, The Allmans, Pink Floyd, Lynyrd Skynyd, Blue Oyster Cult, Rush, but none have superceded, in my mind, and don’t hold a candle to, what originally began as the New Yardbirds.

Through the 1980s and 1990s, fusion jazz, new age and ambient music were my choices airing throughout the day, but now in hindsight, I realize my heart is still in the music of the 1970s.

Will add more on this topic later – it’s bedtime for Bonzo!

Open Letter to Mr. J. Barleycorn

Through all of these years you’ve been there right by my side. Early
on, I considered you a trusted friend, a confidant – through all sorts of experiences. You were present at my graduations, my weddings, and funerals, each and every major life-changing event I’ve ever known. Did you make things better? No! You put a fog over my eyes where I could not even recognize the importance of the event.

You’ve put to ruin each and every asset that I had been blessed with. Thanks to you, I can no longer hold down employment for any substantial length of time. More resources have been expended on your account in a matter of a few years than most people ever obtain in a lifetime. You’ve broken up relationships with the dearest of friends and my beloved family members, not to mention a couple of wives. You’ve downtrodden any form of quality of life for the pure sake of your want of power, control and your insatiable appetite for more and more dollars, only for a brief respite. You are the biggest of lies.

And I’m most certainly not the only victim of your curse.

You are the most destructive phenomenon in the history of this planet, far more dangerous than any of your cohorts, Henry Heroin, Cranston Crack, Marty Meth, and so on and so forth, mainly because you are condoned by society. It’s all about money and nothing else, pure capitalism. You used your influence to shit on the native Americans, keeping them so inebriated that they were handily coerced into signing over their sacred lands with the scrawl of an “x” on a flimsy bill of sale which was deemed adequate proof of agreement. And there was the Whiskey Rebellion over taxes imposed upon the evil sauce. Hell, you almost tore this country apart before it was even firmly established.

You are hereby discharged of your duties.

It’s been a real pleasure knowing you John, but it is most definitely high time for you to remove yourself from my presence forever.

You and “Spuds MacKenzie” can kiss my entire ass!

Very sincerely,

Stephen A. Dowell