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Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye. 

My college mate, friend, and boss (when I worked security at the closed Legend City amusement park, in the 70s) has passed away.

John Conneally

Fair Winds and Following Seas, My Friend!

We only recently reconnected on Facebook after a 30 year absence.

As Father’s day is looming, I was going to write initially something about my Father, his Father, my Grandfather, or having been a father, etc….

But, you guys have already seen this in this venue.

I was a step-child.  And my step-mother and I were not in agreement on most things.  Like how to treat me.  And my father was largely absent.  My childhood memories are largely not pleasant ones.

Here’s what John’s stepson and one of his daughters had to say about him.

For Father’s Day.

John Conneally was my step-father from my body’s age of 8 1/2 to 14 1/2 and helped Tina Poling-Conneally raise me during those years. He introduced me critical analysis, science fiction, the concepts of leadership, teamwork, discipline, tactics, strategy, deduction and showed me what being brilliant without much solid, applicable way to make it useful for one’s self and society as a whole. As invaluable as they all are the most important one for me is the latter, and it motivates me more and more each day.
John died sometime either last night or today of complications from leukemia, liver failure and lung cancer. He had exposure to horrendous chemical wastes and other environmental hazards while in the Navy which very likely caused his leukemia and the liver and lung cancer came from self-medicating with tobacco and alcohol to keep his highly sensitive and strong soul from feeling and dealing with the internal awarenesses the society he grew up in had zero ability to teach him how to handle; John would have been a capable medicine man, shaman, holistic therapist and healing artist had he been born into this part of the world in the 80’s to today.
He lived as best a life as he could and I am glad I was able to be influenced by his life, both the good and the bad. May his pathways now lead him through all the misconceptions _and_ perfection of his life he just left. May his soul reach out to the wonders he sought and may be achieve them increasingly and unceasingly.
May he be able to choose rebirth, if and when he wants to from the realms of Experience that are without sufferings, pain fear and lack. May his lives and experiences between lives be of benefit to himself and All Beings.

Fare well, John Conneally. I am praying for you and perhaps we’ll meet again someday in much better and healthier ways.

Love to you.

____________

It’s a very hard thing, to think of someone you love in the past tense. Rest in peace, Dad. You are already missed.

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My wish for all of you as parents is to be as well thought of and loved in hindsight, as John’s children have of him.

If only…

 

 

On Mother’s Day

Long-time readers of my humble blog might notice I don’t usually make mention of the above ‘Hallmark holiday’.

Because reasons.

First, my real Mother, the woman who bore me, passed away when I was in the Second Grade, directly because of her addictive personality.  She was ill my entire life with emphysema.  I barely knew her – certainly not enough to bond, or to have fond memories.

My Father loved her immensely.  Her death about killed him.

Subsequently, he met, dated and married the woman who became my stepmother.  She obviously wanted to be with him, but soon after the marriage, it became apparent she had no patience to raise yet another child.  She already had two grown of her own.  And deeply resented my Father’s traveling for business, and being absent because of his addiction to sports – watching, officiating, refereeing, umpiring, baseball, softball, basketball, football and hockey.

And, not to put to fine a point on it – she took her resentment out on me.

So, my relationship with my mothers was lacking at best.  Certainly it colored my future relationships with other women.

But, I am learning.

My ex-wife receives a bouquet of roses every Mother’s Day.  And has for the past twenty-two years.  Not because I wish to rekindle the relationship (we remain friends), but because our daughter Molly is unable to get them for her.

It’s the least I can do.

To all of you who had good moms out there, Good For You!

I wish I had…

The Reverend Has Left The Building! 

My dear friend, and blog brother, after having been squelched by WordPress, returned this week to his earlier Blogger software.

But to no avail.

He advised us Friday as his numbers have dropped significantly, he would no longer be posting his blog from Alaska, Way Up North!

This is a damn shame. 

He has been an inspiration for Christians and non-Christians alike. And has been a good friend to me on and off the Internet.

And to all of us who believe in The United States and Freedom!

It has been said that blogging is dying. Between people choosing to leave, and others actually passing away, this may be true.

Paul was one of my earliest followers and cheerleaders.  Thank you!

Godspeed, Rev. Paul! 

Another January 26, But Different

You know me and anniversaries.

This is the day my Mom passed, in the 50’s.  I was just a little kid.

This is the day, 1n 2009, lymphoma reared it’s head.  I am now in remission (cancer free!)  🙂

So January 26 doesn’t hold many positive memories for me.

Except one. 

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In 1967 (correct from the previously reported 1966), my beloved Sister Ellie gave birth to a son. Who ultimately married, fathered four wonderful children (one of whom is autistic – and is doing spectacularly in his own right!). And in spite of divorce has remained a terrific, supportive, loving father to all.

He is my nephew Brian (aka Skeets). And I couldn’t be more proud as he turns 50 today!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRIAN!50th-birthday-cake-7

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

My most sincere and deepest thanks for the responses to my bleg posted below!

Not just the practical, but the prayers and good thoughts, as well.

One of the things about the Internet that never ceases to amaze me, is with all the political and religious divisiveness that one sees on the computer screen, when difficulties occur, people step up!

We now have enough funding to obtain a replacement controller for the lift chair, as well as some other needed items, like the shoulder cooling vest my roommate will need following her surgery.

She and I are both overwhelmed, and very grateful!

thank-you

The Horrible Chair (A Bleg)

Being disabled, including a fused right hip, makes raising up from seated, especially of the lower variety chair, difficult, painful and sometimes ne’er impossible.

So, after my roommate’s stepmother passed, when we were tasked with emptying her home for sale, I was most grateful I was offered her ‘lift chair’!   Having a fulcrum in the front of the recliner, it lifts one up out of the chair from seated. The process is reversed to sit.

pride-lc105-electric-recliner-lift-chair

Quite nice, really. 

The control extends the chair to operate as a recliner, and even lays out flat, for sleeping!

However, it’s been in regular use for a few years now, and the controller module is failing!

Meaning it will no longer recline, is stuck in one sitting position, and sometimes will not elevate.

A problem for me, meaning my knee often goes out when I get up! Sometimes I can get it back into place in twenty seconds – sometimes not in twenty minutes.  Sigh.

And it’s VERY painful.

(And knee braces are not possible, for too many reasons to go into here.)

A problem for my roommate (besides having to listen to me yell and whine) because SHE will need the chair soon to sleep in (post shoulder rotator cuff surgery). (I’ll be sitting in a straight chair in the interim.)

And a replacement control unit is almost $100 !

Funds are always tight, even more so now with her working less with the bad shoulder.  She hasn’t worked a ‘regular’ work week in over a year, with her many health issues.

Sigh.

I don’t usually bleg, but contributions to my PayPal account (on the right sidebar) in any amount would be most appreciated!

Failing that, a good thought or prayer if that’s what you do.  She will probably miss 12 weeks of work.

The surgeon says if she doesn’t have the repair surgery soon, it will become a replacement (!)

And please don’t tell her I asked – she’d have a fit. (she doesn’t always read the blog.)

Thank you for your kind consideration!  🙂

Again With The Gratitude!

I’m disabled.  For a number of reasons, including lymphoma.  I don’t make much money on disability.  I’ve an old, beater car, without working A/C.  I rent a room in which to live.  I’ve no romantic relationship in my life.  I have chronic pain issues.  They will never get better.

Sometimes, as above, I whine about these things.  The holidays do not help.

But, The Universe usually doesn’t let me sit on the pity pot too long…

Some time back, I reached out to a friend-of-long-ago on Facebook.  And, he never responded.  Oh, well.  He was a college classmate, who became my boss (for a time) then a good friend.  And we lost track of each other because of Life.

I was always a little envious of him.  In college, he was in good shape, having just left The Marines.  He

Archer

Archer

was handsome.  Sparkling blue eyes, a shock of black hair, chiseled jaw and a permanent five-o’clock shadow with a blue/black beard undertone.  He kinda resembled the adult cartoon character Archer.  And his wife was gor-geous!  (Maybe that was the most envious part?)

Well, I finally heard back from him on Facebook!

We all have our ‘stuff’.  He is no different.

He’s divorced, and NOT friendly with his ex. (I am with mine.)  He, too is on disability, brought about by his military service.  He has a type of chronic leukemia.  Not necessarily lethal, but in need of regular treatment. (Which he now receives).

And he told me he had been homeless for ELEVEN YEARS!!!

He is now working with other homeless veterans to help them get back on their feet and find places to live.

And to think I was whining earlier…

GRATITUDE

♫ When I’m 64 ♫

♫ “When I’m Sixty Four”♫

When I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
If I’d been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?You’ll be older too
And if you say the word
I could stay with youI could be handy, mending a fuse
When your lights have gone
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday mornings go for a ride
Doing the garden, digging the weeds
Who could ask for more?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?

Every summer we can rent a cottage in the Isle of Wight
If it’s not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera, Chuck & Dave

Send me a postcard, drop me a line
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, wasting away
Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?
Ho!

(apologies to Paul McCartney)

Well, I turned 64 today.
There’s no one special person to whom this song applies.
I suppose I should be grateful I’ve made it this far.
But, frankly, doing it alone sucks.
(I’ll stop whining now.)
I DO have friends, family and animals to whom I can turn in time of need.
And that means everything.
Almost.
A touch, a hug, a kiss.  Holding a hand?
Doesn’t appear to be in my future.
(Okay, I will stop whining now!)
HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE!

Saying Goodbye To Bob @ Burro Town

My dear friend Bob Hall passed away February last.  He had suffered complications from diabetes (first losing a big toe, then the lower half of a leg), then ultimately acid reflux lead to GERD, and then esophageal cancer.  The last few months of his life, he was eating through a feeding tube.  Lost half his weight, and was fighting pneumonia which finally took him.

I had known Bob, first as my investigation boss at Tom Ezell & Associates; later as my boss at Legendary Guns of the West (where I worked part-time), since 1981.  More than being a boss, he was a dear friend.  We saw each other through the stuff of life.  I’ve a stepbrother – Bob and I are much closer.

He was always honest and true to me.  His trademark was nothing is so serious that a joke cannot be made about it.  Irreverent humor – Firesign Theatre and Monty Python quotes were often exchanged between us.

He was a crack shot and loved to go ‘to the desert’ to go shooting.  Even in his final days, using a walker.  And he passed his love of guns and The Second Amendment to his wife and daughters.

He didn’t want a somber funeral.

I heard from one of his daughters that this Saturday (yesterday) was to be his memorial celebration.  A caravan of his friends and family went to the desert to one of his favorite shooting spots, did some eating, shooting, then spread his ashes.

Bob’s favorite things, family, shooting and grilling – combined!

I was honored to have been invited, and was honored to bring and shoot my 1911 – a National Match slide on a Vega frame, with lowered Bomar sights, a Micro bushing, and Swenson ambidextrous safety,  hand-fitted by gunsmith Burke Hill.  Which Bob sold to me in 1983.

I dubbed her The Bob Hall Signature Model.  My roommate calls her Bobbie.

It’s been probably 20K rounds, and except for occasional cleaning, lube and replacing the recoil spring @ 3000 rounds, not much has changed.  She remains a tack driver.

Essentially a race gun (c) 1977.

And she is my companion when the Phoenix weather permits.

Bob sold her to me for a pittance.  He never profited from guns he sold to friends.  And I had to make payments to him, I was so poor! (having been a new father at the time.)

It’s only fitting I take her to what Bob called Burro Town to shoot her one more time.

For Bob.

So, about eighteen of us gathered yesterday.  Did some shooting – ate BBQ chicken with all the fixings. (including cherry cheesecake – Bob’s favorite!)

Then, we stood in a circle and shared memories of Bob.  There was tears and laughter.  Then Anita (Bob’s wife) asked those who wish to to take some of Bob’s ashes and place them about Burro Town*.

Then, we shot a simultaneous volley in his name.  All of us using guns once owned by him!

This is the photo the family chose to place on the food table.  Bob hated having his picture taken.

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(*It was named Burro Town by Bob, due to the wild burros that wander the region.  Usually, we see a few.  Yesterday, they were absent.)

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But we who loved him were there.

 

Aeronautical Porcine Creatures!

flying-pigYep, pigs must be flying!

I’m actually writing about a sporting event.

(for the new reader, you’ve heard of sports widows?  I’m a sports orphan.  My Dad, if he wasn’t playing, coaching or officiating baseball, basketball, football and hockey, he was watching them!  Being disabled at age 12, my Dad could no longer relate to me.  See?  Sports Orphan.)

Consequently, I occasionally watch Olympic events, but none of the sports listed above.  The last time I watched an entire baseball game was probably with my Dad.  And he passed in 1977.

And certainly have no interest in any foreign sport.

My roommate hails from CHICAGOLAND.  And, while she is not a big sports fan, has loyalty to the region of her birth.  In spite of the fact she has lived in Arizona since 1981.

Which brings me to the whole pigs flying thing.  She wanted to watch Game Seven of the Chicago Cubs/Cleveland Indians World Series last night.

And she didn’t want to watch it alone…

Sigh.

So, I joined her in watching the game.  Turns out, it was a pretty even match-up (except for that Cleveland pitcher who was more of cyborg than man!)

And, we watched the entire game together.  Including the tarping of the field and through the Tenth inning.  All the way to the end.

Congratulations Cubbies!

And hats off to the Indians.  Both sides appeared gentlemanly and gave it their all.

Unlike the players in the political arena.  The game was peppered with thoroughly nasty political commercials.  And reports of vandalism and violence continue.

No riots or violence were reported following the World Series.

Maybe there’s a lesson which can be learned from this?

chicago_cubs_2016

PS – The Joe Maddon for President bumper stickers will continue for sale on the sidebar through the election.  Joe is the Cubs manager.  All monies raised are donated to a charity of Joe’s choosing (he does this a lot!)

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…