Back in the sixties, after our kids had all left the house, Helen and I were hearing
a lot about this spirituality craze. Like meditation, philosophy, yoga and ect. So we
joined two other couples who were our good friends and took Werner Erhart's EST
training. It seemed to be a cool thing to do in those days.
Werner Erhart was a German entrepreneur who put together what he considered
the essentials of life which he had gathered from the writings of ancient philosophers.
The course consisted of two weekends of nonstop lectures in a Los Angles hotel
ball room with about 200 others in our group. We had rooms in the hotel for the two
Saturday night stays.
The teachings contained a lot of Transcendental Meditation stuff along with Yoga
anit was fun and we made a lot of friends doing it. It started me thinking about the
meaning and purpose of life itself and what the great philosophers have said about
it over the centuries of time.
I did however learn one thing that I have made great use of over the years.
And that was the ability to put myself to sleep almost anywhere at any time by
concentrating on body relaxation.
I think that over the years this experience may have contributed to my humanitarian
feelings which I have abundantly expressed elsewhere on this site. I also think it was
of great help to me as I was going through the trying dementia journey with my
I should mention that along with these same friends, Helen and I also became
involved with another Spiritually craze......Science of Mind with Terry Cole Whittaker.
But that's another story.
SLEEPING WITH E.S.T.
Once, during world war two, when I was a hero in the army. Our company had
just been landed on the Aleutian island of Amchitka and we were busy night and day,
going without sleep. securing our campsite, Not knowing if or when the Japanese, who
were occupying the nearby islands of Attu and Kiska, might attack us.
Some of us were on a little beach, unloading sacks of coal off barges, and I was
sitting on a sack of coal, waiting for the next barge to come in and fell asleep. Of course
I fell into the sand, but that experience taught me that if I was sleepy enough, I could
sleep anywhere at anytime. But if I had some worries on my mind it was certainly more
difficult. So now I have to tell you a little story about the EST training, which made
falling asleep easy for me, no matter what was on my mind.
So here it is........During the training, we all had to push our chairs aside and lie
on the carpet on our backs or whatever position was comfortable for us, and the leader
in a soft quiet voice guided us through a routine of relaxing the different parts of our
body. Starting with concentrating on relaxing the left foot, and then the left lower leg,
and then the left thigh, and then the same for the right side. Then the left hand, then
the left forearm and so forth over the entire body. This whole process would take about
15 minutes of deep concentration and although at first it seemed rather silly to me,
I found that it really did work .They said that Werner did not invent this, and that it
was taken from the Transcendental Meditation teaching.
When I would come home for lunch each day, I would lie down on the living room
carpet and do this relaxation routine and it would feel like I was sinking into a deep hole,
just the size of my body. Like I was sleeping but still conscious of my surroundings.
I think a psychologist might call this self-hypnosis.
I automatically do this relaxing every time I take a nap or when I go to bed at night
except when I want to stay awake and think, which I often like to do.
Everybody who knows anything about computers knows that the basic element
of a computer is it's ability to store information which we call data. We think of data
as kilobytes, megabytes, and gigabytes of data, and most of us know that a kilobyte
is one thousand bytes and that a byte is eight bits and that a bit is one data memory
cell that can store a one or a zero. (on or off). But how many of us know exactly what
a data memory cell is or how to create one?
I was curious about it and determined to find out about it. From my early teen-age
years I have always been fascinated with electrical and electronic stuff and built many
of the projects in Radio Shack's "Engineer's Notebook" and that is where I found a
circuit for what is called a Data Flip-flop memory cell which can store one bit. So I
built it. It was fairly easy using IC (integrated circuit) chips, but if I had to build it
from scratch, it would require sixteen transistors.
Now I'm thinking.......16 transistors for one bit. That would be 128 transistors for
one byte.....128,000 transistors for one kilobyte. Wow!.......that would be 128 million
transistors to store one megabyte of data.
Now I'm thinking........can this be true?.....or am I missing something?.......So I
Google it and find that it actually is true. With today's technology, they put several
thousand transistors in a space that is smaller than the cross-section of a human hair.
After more Google research, I learn that the great ENIAC computer which was built
before the invention of the transistor in the year 1947 weighed 29 tons and used
18,000 vacuum tubes.
Hurray for the transistor......Where would we be without it?
Now......think about this. Before we had transistors to store data, data was stored
on magnetic tape. can you imagine.....big reels of tape going round and round as the
computer worked to retrieve just a few kilobytes of data......?
DON'T CALL 911
A few years ago, my brother-in law, Don Cook, suffered a heart attack.
(Don was the guy who got me hooked up with my Dear Helen). Don had all the
usual heart attack symptoms, but he told his wife, "Don't call 911. Let's just
wait a little and see if it goes away. We don't want all those fire engines and
ambulances coming to our house with their sirens screaming and their red
lights flashing, causing a big disturbance. With all our neighbors wondering
what's going on."
And so they waited....And waited....And after an hour, his wife called their
daughter who came over and immediately called 911.
And so ...All those fire engines and ambulances came to their house with
their sirens screaming and their red lights flashing, causing a big disturbance.
With all their neighbors wondering what's going on.
Sadly the world lost a wonderful kind and loving man....And even more sadly,
the doctors said they could have saved him if they had had him an hour earlier.
A week ago, I was having my usual day, when around noon, I started getting
dizzy and weak, and by five o'clock, I was so weak I could hardly walk across
the room. My daughter called 911.
Well....They came...With their sirens screaming, and their red lights flashing,
causing a big disturbance. With all our neighbors wondering what's going on......
But ...you know what?...I'M STILL ALIVE
My brother in law...Don Cook...When still kicking.
When my little companion, Ozzie, died, my daughters and friends were insisting that
I get another pet. I really missed Ozzie but I didn't think any other pet could ever take
his place. So I resisted them as long as I could. But eventually they brought this huge
homeless cat over and told me how they had rescued him from the streets and begged me
to give him a home. So what could I do?
They told me that he could not be let outside because be would run away and the coyotes
would get him. He was so heavy I couldn't even pick him up and he made a big mess with
the litter box and shed fur all over the house. He was fat as a pig and ate like a horse and
was always pawing around on the furniture, and would open drawers and cabinets to see
what he could find. He would jump onto table tops and create havoc. A real home wrecker.
He was always trying to get through Ozzie's little dogie door, which I had sealed off. So
after putting up with him for a month, I unsealed it and he wasted no time before squeezing
his fat belly through it.
Wow.....Things started looking better. I think he enjoyed being an outside cat He quit
using the litter box and I was happy to get rid of it. Sometimes he would be gone all day
or all night but he never missed a meal.
Everything was going well for about two months until I smelled a strange odor in the
house and eventually found that he had decided he didn't want to go potty outside any more so he
had made his own litter box in a hidden corner behind some furniture. Well.....That did it
for me.....I sealed up the dogie door with him on the outside and fixed a nice place for him in
Now....... I still have problems. Feeding him in the patio or garage, The ants get into
his food. They seem to prefer cat food over the bait in the ant traps. So I place his food dish
in a pan of water because I know that ants can't swim. So he drinks the water out of that pan
instead of his water bowl. So I put salt in the water pan but he still drinks it and the ants are
I feed him dry cat food. Lots of it. But I have to keep the bags on the rear seat of my little
car because he will find them anywhere else. He can knock them off of high shelves and rip
them open and spread the food all over the floor.
OK......Now I'm thinking.....Do I really need this cat?....Yes, I think I do. Without him I
could never have written such a story as this.
My sisters and I........All of us in our 90's like to reminisce about things we did
when we were kids. I'm amazed at what we still remember after so many years. I've listed
here, some of the little rhymes and chants we all remember so well.
Down by the ocean.......Down by the sea,
Johnny broke a bottle and blamed it onto me.
I told Ma, and Ma told Pa
And Johnny got a licken.......So Ha, Ha, Ha
Jack and Jill went up the hill, to fetch a pail of water,
Jack fell down and broke his crown, and Jill came tumbling after.
Georgie Porgie puddin and pie, Kissed the girls and made them cry.
When the boys came out to play, Georgie Porgie ran away.
Johnnie McGreg I told you.....How could you be so mean.
To grind up all the neighbors cats and dogs in that machine.
One day the thing got busted .....The darned thin wouldn't go.
So Johnnie McGreg he crawled inside to see what made it so.
His wife she had a nightmare.....Was walking in her sleep.
She gave the crank a heck of a yank....And Johnnie McGreg was meat.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the kings horses and all the kings men
Couldn't put humpty together again.
Us kids.......back then
As one of six kids in the family, I remember when our parents
used to tell us that if we didn't eat all the food on our plate, we
would be so skinny that we would get sucked down the drain in
the bathtub. So when they were giving us out Saturday night
bath with several of us in the tub at once, None of us wanted to
sit next to the drain.
Claremont was a college town and Dr. Blasedell was president of the Claremont Collages
Association. I was doing some electrical work at his home during the late 1940's. I think he
was in his seventies and I don't remember much about him except that in his garage was an
ancient Chevrolet sedan in perfect show-room condition. Dark green with yellow spocked
wheels. I asked Mrs. Blasedell if they ever drove it and she told me "Oh yes, We drive to
Pomona and go grocery shopping every Saturday". The town of Pomona bordered
Claremont and was about a mile from where they lived..........
While doing my work there, I was crawling around in the attic and came upon several
boxes of books. I guess I was just curious about what kind of books would be in a collage
professor's attic so I turned my flashlight upon them and found one book that stood apart
from all the others...."Ideal Marriage"......I eagerly looked inside it and couldn't believe what
I was reading. I was fascinated by it and spent about a half hour reading by the light of
my little flashlight, but in the end I decided that I must steal that book from Dr. Blasdell.
I reasoned that he probably knew everything that was in it, and if he didn't, he was too
old for a book like that.
So I took the book home with me and learned so much from it that I think it actually
changed my life. It was written by a German guy......T. H. Van de Velde.....Published 1926.
For decades it was the only recognized book on marriage sexuality. It teaches more about
pleasing your partner than just pleasing oneself. It was banned by the Catholic church
and some countries as pornographic.
To sum it up, I think that many heartbroken marriages could be saved if it was required
that couples read "Ideal Marriage" before being granted a marriage license.
To get an idea of how this book effected Helen and me, take a look at the Blue Room
story on the JUST STORIES page. This wonderful Blue Room would never have been
created without "Ideal Marriage".
I think that my Dear Helen was reading Ideal Marriage and doing some of the
exercises. During her battle with Vascular Dementia my grandson shot a little
video of her dancing with him and showing what the Keagle exercise can do.
I put it on YouTube. https://youtu.be/7n3Gu6aH9CE
DON'T JUST QUIETLY STAND THERE.......talk to people
Yesterday....I was shopping at the local Staples store. Since I'm an old man, ...94...and
hobble around with a cane it seems like everybody wants to help me.
At the check-out stand, there was a short line and I noticed the lady in front of me seizing
me up...... So I said to her. "I know what you're thinking, and the answer is NO..... you don't
need to offer me your place in line because in spite of the way I look, I'm a macho man and I
can stand in line as well as anyone."
Well.....she laughed and we started a conversation. She asked me if I had ever been in
the military service. I told her about when I was just out of high school and my folks were
after me to get a job and go to work. I had to join the army to get out of town. It was the
best thing that ever happened to me. I was so proud to be a hero for five years in the army.
She then told me that her son had recently joined the army under similar circumstances,
and in today's mail she had received her first letter from him. He was so happy and excited
with his army life. He wrote that he lust loved being in the army. After reading his letter, she
also was very happy and wanted to tell everyone about it.
I always enjoy hearing happy stories from happy people. I'm happy I said something to her.
GARBAGE TO TRASH
Helen and I had many family friends but Louie and his family were our best and
closest. Louie often told this story.
The year was about 1940, and Louie was just out of high school. Just married and
looking for work. He was physically strong but didn't have any particular skills. He
applied for a job with the city sanitation dept. and soon landed one collecting garbage.
He would ride standing on the fender of the truck and pick up the heavy garbage
containers and dump them into the truck bed. They told him that if he worked hard
and did well he could be promoted to trash collector within two years.
Louie took them seriously and really applied himself and to everyone's amazement,
he went from garbage to trash in only two months. An all time record for promotion in
the city dept. of sanitation. Throughout his life, Louie never quit bragging about his
advancing from garbage to trash in only two months. Louie stayed with the trash job
for a year but never achieved the next promotion which would have been truck driver.
At that time, Louie's dad had a job at Pascoe Buildings as a shop sweeper and he
got Louie a sweeper job there also. Pascoe was a small company that made and sold
prefabricated steel buildings and the sweepers were the guys who just swept the
factory and machine shop floors and took care of maintenance.
Louie really applied himself there and worked hard and made friends easily and
advanced upwards, job to job and within a few years he was vice president of the
company employing several hundred with only the company founder, Bill Pascoe,
over him. Pascoe Buildings continued to expand and was bought by another big
company and then merged with another. Louie continued as a top executive through
all of this, but the thing in his life he was most proud of was going from garbage to
trash in only two months.
ADVISE TO MOTHER
This story is about our closest family friends who have all passed on, but I don't
want to use their names because some family relative may read this so I will just
use the names..... husband and wife.
At the time when this husband and wife were in their late fifties. The husband
started living the wild life. Drinking heavily and frequenting a high class men's club,
run entirely by women. He told me "George, you should try it. You have no idea what
those girls can do for you".
As a result of this, his marriage became very shaky and his wife became distraught
and was also drinking heavily. Things were going from bad to worse.
During this bad time, his wife confided to Helen that her thirty year old son had
come to her and very seriously offered her a way out. His advise was... "Mom, all you
have to do is give him a little oral sex and everything will be alright". His mother
couldn't believe what she had just heard. She said to him, "Are you out of your mind?
That's all I've ever done for him. How do you think I snagged him in the first place?
I was the best at that out of the whole senior high school class".
Then........Helen and I remembered that her son never went to a normal high
school. He graduated from an all boys catholic high school.
My kids all realized that I was a great musician and enjoyed tooting around on
my trumpet, trombone, baritone, tuba and many other brass horns so they decided
to give me a saxophone for my birthday. It really wasn't my type of instrument, but
I had fun with it and learned to make some weird and gross songs with it. The kids
seemed to enjoy this, so on my next birthday, they presented me with a set of bagpipes.
I found out that bagpipes consist of a goat skin bag that you blow into and fill with air.
There are three hoses exiting the air bag that supply the air for three reed driven horns
called drones, which by their different length, sound the three pitches of a musical cord.
Another hose from the air bag supplies air to a reed driven horn called a chanter which
can be fingered to play a melody.
A huge problem with this contraption was that it takes a lot of wind to supply the air
to four non stop continuously droning pipes. So using all my brain power, I devised a
little airtight box with four hoses to supply air into the box and an output hose going
from the box into the bag. I put little leather flaps on the inputs so air could only come
in and not escape out.
Using this, I could get four windy helpers to supply the air, and all I had to do was
to use my musical talent and play the chanter. Oh what beautiful music we made when
everything was working properly which was seldom because the bag was old and would
shed tiny bits which would clog the reeds.
The second photo is of a Lion's Club performance
.I was using four past presidents to supply the air.
I made a video of Bag Pipes Unlimited
Many years ago.......I think the fifties or sixties, I was a volunteer at the Pomona So Side
Teen Post. It served as a kind of club for high school teens where they could go after school and
play games and socialize and it gave them a place to go and something to do. They were all
black kids from So Gary High School and some were really good kids, but some of them had
gang tendencies, causing problems at school and elsewhere.
James was a big gruff, surly kid who always had to have his own way and had a reputation as
a trouble maker. And it was James who seemed to be the leader of the pack So we were all
very pleased and excited when James started playing the old upright piano that someone had
donated to the club. He would spend hours at that piano and seemed to really enjoy it. It didn't
sound like much to me but we all complimented him on his wonderful music and encouraged
This old upright piano had a lid which could be lifted and inside you could see the little
hammers hitting the strings. One day we found two of the little hammers on the floor, and a few
days later there were several more hammers that had been ripped out. So cautiously, we asked
James about it. His reply........"Those were bad notes".
Well........James continued playing the piano and we continued to find more bad notes on the
floor and strangely, no one else ever played that piano any more. It was James's piano.
A friend sent me an email containing photos with captions showing some
very beautiful trees throughout the world. I was able to view them only
once and could never get them again, no matter how much I clicked around
on the page. However I did find a listing of the html code and I found the
.jpg files for the photos and the text for the captions in the html listing.
I was fascinated by the natural beauty of the photos so I spent some of
my not so valuable time creating a slide show of these beautiful trees.
Only God can make a Tree
THE POMONA BREAKFAST LIONS CLUB
In the year 1961, forty years old, Helen and I
married 16 years..... I had several work related
friends who were members of the Pomona Breakfast
Lions Club and it seemed like they were having a
great time as members of the club and they
convinced me to join.
It turned out to be one of the best things
that ever happened for both Helen and myself. We
found new bunch of friends that we could easily
relate to. And for 50 years, we did just that. As
president in year 1961-62 I posted this little note,
and it pretty well
describes my feelings about the Lions organization.
As my term of office draws rapidly to a close,
and I suddenly realize that i'm almost a has been,
I look back thru my year as president and the almost
six years that I've been a member of this club, and
wonder what my life would be like today, had I never
joined the Pomona Breakfast Lions Club.
Upon joining the club, I immediately became
pervaded by the Lion's Spirit, and have since played
the game for all it was worth. I have taken advantage
of every opportunity and every situation offered me,
and have done my level best to do a job for the club.
In return, this club has done a job for me. There is
no substitute in life for friends. There is no reward
so satisfying as the confidence gained from a job
well done. There are no teachers as proficient as
friends we respect and admire. There are no thoughts
so dear as the memories had in pleasant company.
Yes, I'd say this club has done a job for me, as
it has done for many in the past. If only we will
allow ourselves to be caught up in the tremendous
When I was president of our little Pomona Lions Club, We were visiting a
large club in Las Vegas. There were about ten of us Pomona Lions and almost
a hundred in the Vegas club. As president of the visiting club, I was sitting at
the head table and I'll never forget how embarrassed I was when the Vegas
president started the meeting and handed me the microphone, asking me as
president of the visiting club, to give the blessing... Wow......I don't remember
much of what I said but it went something like this.
" Dear lord.......Please help me get through this with the dignity and grace
it deserves. I've never done this before and I know that I'm stuttering and
stammering around trying to find the right words and my little brain is telling
me that I'm messing it all up. So please forgive me and give us your blessing
I couldn't believe what happened next........There was applause......
One of the Vegas Lions came to me later and told me,
"George.....that was the best blessing I've ever heard".
Sixty-five years ago, when we built the first house at the end of Williams St.
and moved up here, there was nothing but orange groves all around us. Kinsey
Roberts lived down the street and Kinsey had a team of mules which he used to
pull a wagon and do work in the orange groves.
In the summer time when the weeds were growing in the groves, Kinsey would
use his mules to pull a wagon loaded with a 200 gal tank of weed oil and a gas
powered compressor and he would spray the weeds in the groves.
It really was an ingenious method because he could walk behind the wagon
with the hose and spray nozzle and control the mules by yelling at them. If he
was using a truck or tractor he would have to get into the driver's seat every time he
wanted to move forward.
Where ever he went, we could hear the compressor motor running continually
and when we heard it we knew that Kinsey was spraying weeds nearby.
But there was something else we could always hear. We would hear "whoa",
then another loader "whoa", then, real loud, "GOD DAMMIT WHOA". After
that, all we would hear for about two minutes was the little pump motor and then
the sequence would repeat...."Whoa.......WHOA........GOD DAMMIT WHOA"
All day long, we would hear the little motor purring away and the Whoa,
Whoa, God dammit Whoa........every two minutes. Sometimes Kinsey would take
a break and pause at our house so my little daughter, Wendy, could pet the mules,
which she loved to do.
TAKE THE JEWELS
The little town of Hemet in the So. California desert is famous for presenting the Ramona
Pageant which runs every day for one week during the fall of each year. It plays out in a
natural outdoor amphitheater in the hills above Hemet. It's a story from the 1840's about a
beautiful Mexican orphan girl, Ramona, who is the queen of the rancho community and suffers
from racial discrimination because she falls in love with Alassandro, an Indian sheep herder
who works at the rancho
Helen and I were with a little group from our church attending this event. We were seated
in hillside bleachers along with several hundred others watching the performance on the
opposite hill and it was during a time in the performance when the rancho leaders had ordered
Alassandro to leave the rancho because they could not stand the thought of their wonderful
Ramona eloping with a lowly Indian.
Ramona is planning to leave the rancho with Alassandro because she loves him dearly and
her step mother Senora Morena is showing her a chest of beautiful jewels that would become
hers if she would give up Alassandro and marry Philippe, who was the favorite of the rancho
leaders. It was a very sentimental and emotional time in the performance when Ramona, with
tears in her eyes was confronted with this heart breaking decision. All of a sudden the quiet
was broken by a loud voice yelling "TAKE THE JEWELS.......TAKE THE JEWELS"
Then the entire audience erupted into laughter. Even the performers could barely conceal
their laughter and had to wait half minute before continuing....... Now just who was it that so
brazenly yelled out this advice?.........Of course it was Marvin Johnson. One of our group who
was well known for such behavior...... So typical of Marvin..........
Marvin passed away a few years ago and I wanted to tell this story at his funeral but there
were so many happy stories told about him.
A TIME TO LAUGH, A TIME TO CRY
A time to laugh.... A time to cry....A time to live....A time to die....A time for this
or a time for that. Many, many song writers have written songs about this and they
all have different ideas about the ever changing times we pass through in our lives.
I became attached to a website where caregivers of spouses with dementia
diseases can share stories and support each other. There are very few stories of
happy times told on this site. It's mostly stories of the time for placement. The time
for hospice. The time to grieve. The time to cry. The time to die.....etc..
I personally went through these bad times for ten years and now........three years
after my Dear Helen passed, I'm over the last bad time which was the time for
grieving and I'm ready for some good times.
I'm still attached to this website and share the bad times with my wonderful
care-giving friends but I just want to say that for me, it didn't last forever.
Now, my time to laugh is when I get up in the morning and look into the mirror.
My time to cry is when there's no more candy for me to eat.
______ ______ ______ _______
In response to my posting this on the care giver's website, Myrtle asked
me what is my favorite candy......this was my response
Myrtle..........My favorite candy is the Abba-zaba bar. I liked them as a little kid
and they're still my favorite. They were very popular 90 years ago but the only
place I can get them now in Southern Calif, is the Smart And Final store.
They are difficult to eat because they are very tough and brittle. It helps to sit
on them a while to soften them up.
________ _______ ________ _______
When I need to come up with something to bring to a family celebration or birthday
party. I'm known for bringing the Abba-Zabas ........ I usually attach this little card.
Only God can make an Abba-Zaba
At 95 years old, I'm starting to think about where I'll be going when I leave this place.
As a child, I was raised in a Christian family. (my dad was a preacher) But after becoming
of age, religion didn't make much sense to me and it was a lot of trouble. So I gave it up.
Helen and I continued going to church until our parents had passed away and we still support
it financially, in honor of our parents. We had so many wonderful friends in the church who
we still have today. Most of them are also not very religious. I guess it was more of a social
thing, or maybe like us .....To please their parents.
According to the Bible, I've led a wicked life by not going to church and not paying any
attention to what Peter said to Paul, and they don't want bad guys like me running around
up in heaven. Now if I don't go to Heaven, they say I will either go to Purgatory or Hell. They
say that Purgatory is a place where they put you on hold until they decide what to do with
you. and that Hell is a very hot and uncomfortable place where nobody would want to go.
So.....I've been giving this considerable thought and Lucky Me.........I found a way out.
Somewhere in the bible it says that no matter how much you have sinned in your life, all you
have to do before you die is to except the Lord Jesus Christ as your Holy God and Savior
and you will be accepted into the kingdom of Heaven.
That's exactly what I plan to do ..... But only in my last breath.
My friends and family were wishing me a happy veteran's day thinking that I spent
four and a half years in the army during world war two as a patriotic duty to my
country, and needing to be honest I had to tell them this little story.
I had just graduated from high school. It was summer time and my parents were after
me to get a job and go to work. What a revolting idea! They were after me every
day. I had to get out of town. Lucky for me, I found a way out. I joined the army.
my country and patriotism were the last things on my mind. I did it all for myself.
..........................Isn't that what we all do?
To be perfectly honest, I've never done anything in my life that wasn't all for myself.
He was one of the greatest humanitarians I have ever known and I feel like I need to
write a little story about him. It's a story that definitely needs to be told. He made such a
difference in so many peoples lives.
I met Hal through the local Lion's Club where he was very active both in our club and
igher up in the district. He was the chief librarian for the city of Pomona and usually a very
quiet and unassuming guy. He was also a very active member of the local Alcoholics
Anonymous organization and was there for anyone with a drinking problem. I know of two
n our Lions Club whom he had saved.
I found out a little about his background when I heard him give a very inspiring talk to a
group of wayward teens at our local Teen Post. He was born and grew up in the state of
Mississippi where he started picking cotton at the age of ten, as did all other members of
his family. He considered himself fortunate being able to attend an all black school where
he learned to read and write. He struggled to get himself through high school while picking
otton until the age of 18 when he decided to take the only option open to him in order to
escape a life in the cotton fields.
After biding a tearful farewell to his family who had followed him to the railroad tracks,
He hopped onto the first freight train headed north and started a new life. Hal told a little
bit about his journey north..... battling the railroad cops and how he would never have made
it to New York without the help of other travelers, more knowledgeable about freight train
travel than he.
In new York, with the help of charitable organizations like the Salvation Army and the
YMCA He was able to find work as a restaurant dish washer and continue his education,
all the way through a university degree. I think Hal went through a failed marriage but he
was always a bachelor when we knew him. It seemed as though he was always so busy taking
care of others that he didn't have time for a family of his own.
In the year 2002, Hal was president of our Lions club for the second time. Hal was making
some routine announcements when he paused, saying he felt dizzy. He sat down and then
tumbled to the floor. Some firemen, paramedics who were dinning in the restaurant tried to
save him but could not. He died of a heart attack right there.
Hal's funeral was the longest funeral I ever attended because so many people wanted to
tell of their personal experience of what Hal did for them. Some of them sobbing uncontrollably
as they told their story..... Very emotional and heart warming.
What a difference one man can make in so many peoples lives..........
LITTLE BOY'S ART CLASS
A teacher was teaching art to a class of little boys. She asked one little boy to draw a
picture on the blackboard and tell the class about it. So the little boy drew four lines on
the board and said it was a little tree just starting to grow.
Then the teacher asked another little boy to add something to the picture and tell the
class about it. So the second little boy added five lines to the picture and said it was a
little tree just starting to grow in a flower pot.
Then the teacher asked another little boy to add something to the picture and tell the
class about it. So the third little boy added two lines and said it was a light bulb.
Then the teacher asked another little boy to add something to the picture and tell
the class about it. So the fourth little boy added four lines and said that's my mother
putting on her corset.
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