Glory Days

There are many possible pathways through a life. For many, the high point of their lives came early, in high school or college. As they settled down into family life, they rarely ever cracked a book or veered in a different direction. When one talks to them, most of their talk is of their glory days—and their present lives are a long comedown.

Although I was a high school valedictorian who was accepted for a four-year scholarship at an Ivy League college, I never felt I had any real laurels upon which to rest. The first seven years of my life were spent in a Hungarian household, where the Magyar language was the only one spoken. This gave me a slightly different outlook from most others. As I learned English and began to see myself as an American, I also saw myself as something of a hyphenated American who had his feet in two cultures.

During my high school and college years, I was walking around with a pituitary tumor that gave me severe headaches as it pressed against the optic nerve. So my glory days of youth were spent mostly in pain. When I was successfully operated on after I graduated in 1966, I looked like an 11-year-old rather than a college graduate. You can imagine how that affected my self-image.

In the intervening years I had two careers: first, as a computer programmer and director of marketing for a demographic data supplier, and then as a computer specialist and office manager for two tax accounting firms. In both professions, I saw myself as a mercenary who was actually after different game.

Now that I am retired, I am coming into my own as a writer here on this WordPress site. Oh, I am no “influencer.” I have no intention of getting you to buy crap, or anything else. If I am selling anything, it is my thoughts and feelings as a human being living in difficult times. I feel good and am considerably happier than I was during my youth.

It looks as if I am now living through my glory days.

Unexpected Angels

Young Volunteers Removing Graffiti

In general, I am not one to praise the younger generation—probably because they have adopted too many aspects of our culture which I find spurious, including smart phones, e-scooters, and in fact the whole gig economy.

Imagine my surprise when I found many young men and women cleaning up the mess in Santa Monica after the looters and other thugs had their way last Sunday. Okay, I guess I was a little tough on them, but after all they shouldn’t ought to have have stepped on my lawn.

More Graffiti Cleanup

I have always loved the look of Santa Monica. In 1966, when I moved into an apartment on Sunset Boulevard near Barrington Avenue, the first trip I took on my own was by bus to Santa Monica and its beach. After having been raised in grungy Cleveland with its dirty red brick, I saw Santa Monica as a pretty town at the edge of the sea. In Cleveland, we had no beach to speak of along the shores of poor, polluted Lake Erie. For many years, I lived in Santa Monica, until I was squeezed out around 1979 when Proposition 13 was adopted by the voters of California. Still, I live within two and a half miles of the ocean and I like to walk there from time to time.