Thursday, July 30, 2009


Its been a one heck of a week and although I was looking for restful period the nerves feel like they have been through an 8.0 earthquake.
Things started out quite peaceful even knowing I could not make the trip to Colorado to see my Brother's ashes put into the family plot. Our youngest grand daughter was performing in a Cinderella ballet in Old Town Temecula and since her parents had purchased advance tickets for the family it was a must to show up. Not only was it important to be there for the show, the following Monday was a memorial service for our Son-in-laws Mother.
Knowing that we needed to spend the three days away from home I decided to take advantage of "Free" hotel rooms at the fabulous Harrah's Rincon Casino. The room was beautiful even though it was in the middle of nowhere. Since I'm not an accredited gambler I stick to slot machines that scream with video displays when you win something. It's really amazing how fast those colorful little gadgets can suck up a twenty dollar bill! After letting one machine tease me for a couple hours it was time to look for food. Off to the Buffet we go and check out the price, Wow!, $20 a piece, not me! I don't mind feeding a slot machine but it don't take that much to fill me up. Maybe it's cheaper at the "Cafe"; it is but only by a fraction, by the time I pay the tab and tip I could have eaten in the Buffet.
Back to our own little castle we were ready for some real nap times if we can get the fans to cool us off. Doctor appointment for the wife sent her to have CT scan to see if her kidney is manufacturing more stones. Called my Dr. for results of biopsy done on my face to learn I have to schedule an appointment for follow up. Today was the day of reckoning with the dermatologist and report not good. Cancer showed up in both places only one requires that I see a plastic surgeon to cut up my cheek. At this point in my life I don't know if want to just put a bag over my head or go see a lawyer and make out a will.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Just when I thought the summer would be mine to enjoy as I see fit, one appointment after another keeps me tied to roaming my own area. This aging thing is really for the birds. After having a dermatologist dig in my face and leaving my completion looking like the craters on the moon, I called to get the results of the biopsy only to learn I have to go through the whole procedure again.
Politics, politics! I get so tired of all the politics playing out on the media. Everyone gives their two cents worth of commentary on the need for health care reform but no one knows what reform really is. Until those fat cats sitting in Washington have to survive on what most of the senior citizens on social security have to live on, they will never understand the suffering. No one wants the government to run health care; that would be socialized medicine so they say. Lets see now. is medicare socialized medicine, how about the VA, is that socialized medicine, how about state sponsored aid programs?
RACIAL PROFILING? Seems to me no matter what stature a person has even being a Harvard professor doesn't warrant the rage displayed over a police officer attempting to do his duty. Before the media puts video footage and statements over the air ways I think it would be helpful if the whole story was investigated first. It just might be that tempers were ignited unnecessarily.
These people who are called birthers, can they really be so stupid as to question the birth of our President. If any person in the US requests a copy of birth certificate I doubt that they can get the original document.
The second amendment is constantly being debated and the NRA would have every citizen armed with AK 47s, carry concealed weapons and shoot when confronted or shoot it out like Billy The Kid and WYATT EARP. Growing up in Colorado where big game hunting is popular and the kill is usually put on someones table, I think guns for that purpose is great. Being the victim on more than one occasion where a gun was placed to my temple and my belongings taken from me, I truly think I would be dead had I resisted or tried to pull a gun of my own.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Good Eats

Birthdays are fun when its not you getting older! My better half celebrated another revolution on father times clock and the family was kind enough to see that we stuffed ourselves. With so many offspring's we have to split our time between them. One family took us out for lunch at Joe's Crab Shack, where we enjoyed the sea food and ocean view. Later that evening another group took us for Mexican food. The rest of the evening was spent nursing our overloaded guts and watching television.
Looking back into memory vault I am trying to remember just how we survived heat waves in the 50s. Air conditioning was something only the most wealthy would have had. I do remember a water cooled contraption that we had for our car, it sat on the hump between driver and passenger and plugged into the cigarette lighter. It was great for cooling the legs of front seat passengers. Home cooling was a matter of getting a #2 galvanized wash tub and filling it with ice and placing a fan behind it to blow the cool air, worked great as long you didn't move from in front of it.
Those of us who still haven't achieved the luxury of air conditioning or the means to pay for the electricity still rely on some of these old remedies of cooling from the past

Friday, July 17, 2009


Looking in the mirror and seeing this old man looking back at me I think of this song by Tom T. Hall. These lyrics have such a meaningful lesson of what life's treasures really are.

This modern technology such a facebook sure has a way of bringing together old acquaintances. I see pictures of young folks who I knew when all of us were much younger, some were cousins I haven't seen in many years and would never recognize if I passed them on the street. Its nice to see that time has been good to them and blessed them with loving families. As I browse through the listing, reflections of the good times our families shared come to surface in my memory bank. Its nice to know you are not forgotten when an invitation to become friends on facebook pops up and it turns out to be family that you have lost contact with over the years.

With the anniversary of Apollo 11 at hand it brings back memories for me when I first began work in the aerospace industry and worked on the experiments left on the moon by the astronauts. Although there is little praise or recognition for the little sub contractors, I feel honored to have been a small part of history.

Its been a long time since I made a trip back to the town in Colorado where I grew up. My sister-in-law called to let me know she would be taking my brothers ashes there to put in the family plot. When she informed me that she would be staying in a motel close to a "McDonald's" it sent shock waves to my memory bank. The little town has grown up! When I lived there we knew everyone and didn't need a map or street names to find our way around. Now it seems there are many developments, the place has tripled in size and one needs a GPS system to navigate. I complained a lot the last time I visited about the way the land was being taken over with little regard to preservation of natural resources but since I no longer live there I guess I just have to accept the growth of the wealthy newcomers. There are no longer old friends to visit there only my oldest brother, so next time I make the trip it will be as a tourist and I will pretend its my first time and maybe then I'll fit in.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rambling thoughts

This old body required another trip to see another doctor and I came home looking like a clown with spots dotting the face. After months of wondering just when zits or ingrown whiskers would heal and clear up I decided maybe it was time to have them checked out. No conclusions were established but biopsy's were taken and I came home with holes in my face and waiting outcome of lab results.
Getting old has its ups and downs, its great to get discounts on certain venues but as the saying goes "My can do can't keep up with my want to"seems to be more prevalent with each passing day.
With the state of California now issuing IOU's and it appears a mass exodus will soon be taking place, the greed of the wealthy just seems to be expanding. Many elderly and low income families live in Mobile home parks, their home may be paid for but they still have to rent the ground it sits on. If they are lucky they may live in a community that has local government controlled rent control keeping their housing cost within budget. Some of the property owners who are big corporations continually try to overturn rent controls with court battles, causing anxiety and mental stress to the elderly on very low incomes. It becomes more obvious that these corporations would like to round up the elderly, handicapped, and minimum wage earners and march them to the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean and watch them fall off.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sad Day Brings Memories

Today was spent glued to the television choking back tears as I absorbed the love poured out to the world for an amazing entertainer and humanitarian. Too often we as a public are bombarded with celebrity innuendo from media spell casters and are swept away in their spell. I too for years had doubt and negative thoughts about Micheal Jackson, but as his love and charitable givings was poured out on the stage of his memorial tribute my heart melted.
I could not help feeling the pain his family was going through, it brought back painfull memories of the family members I have lost through the years. The most recent loss was by best friend, my mentor, my Brother.
Jerry was my eldest by two years, we were always the best of friends and never ashamed to tell each other how much we loved one another. He was my tutor in grade school, my body guard in high school and my buddy in the Navy. Our cowboy playing days in the hills of good old Pagosa often found us on opposite sides. Jerry always wanted to be the good guy with the white hat and I would be the outlaw or Indian. One day while acting out our roles, Jerry hide behind the old out house and as he peeked around the corner to shoot me with his rubber band pistol, I let him have it between the eyes with my Red Ryder Daisy BB gun. Luckily the BB only glanced off his forehead but left him a tell all sign for my dad to see.
Many times when I would be trounced on by some bully in school Jerry would be right there to pull them off. When he left to join the Navy my heart was broken. Oh, I had a few friends I could hang out with but no one watche over me like my big bro. as a result I managed to get myself into trouble. As soon I could get old enough to join the Navy I too left good old Pagosa. I was really surprised when I learned my basic training would be in Great Lakes, Il. Thats where Jerry was going to training school, when he found out I was there he came to visit me often and of course help through the rough periods.
Whenever his ship and mine entered into any naval port the word would get around that the Willett boys were in town! Jerry's ship was in the Atol Islands when the A bomb was tested in operation Redwing and he stood on the deck as the mushroom cloud rose into the sky.
Jerry suffered for a long time with lung problems COPD and passed away in 2008, time goes by slowly when a broken heart is mending and I hope mine soon will, it has taken time with the loss of my parents and my first wife. The old heart is full of scars from days of sorrow just as I know the hearts of the Jackson family will be.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Bad Economy?

Looks to me like we may be heading down the road to the past. Never thought I'd live to see the day this country would be in such sorry shape.
I remember when such luxuries as have tokens or ration stamps to put a meal on the table was a real blessing.
Many times my father would glue a piece of rubber from an old tire inner tube to the sole of my shoe to cover the hole. A chicken on Sunday meant the Lord had blessed our family again, we ate so many chickens that my father refused to eat that bird when time got better. Every member in my family worked and contributed to the family budget. My first job in 1951 when we lived in Texas for awhile was to haul popcorn in a wagon from the the "White" theater to the "Colored" one two blocks away. The Colored theater was for Blacks and Hispanics, the Hispanics had to sit in the balcony. I never understood such discrimination. My father was the projectionist, my mother worked the concession stand and my two brothers were ushers. Our weekly pay came in a little coin envelope and we would all empty ours onto the dining room table for my parents to pay bill and buy food. This lesson carried over to our move to Colorado until dad gave up the theater work and started his own business and my mother began working in the bank.
I hope these lessons of days gone by will help me as I struggle in my old age to stretch my social security dollars between a roof over my head and medicine never mind eating, guess I could loose some weight anyway.

I Miss Red Ryder!

July 4th celebrations bring back fond memories for me as I grew up in this small town in Colorado. Pagosa was the home of a famous artist and cartoonist by the name of Fred Harman. Fred created the "Red Ryder and Little Beaver characters, his comic books and stories also became movies and of course all little boys would want to emulate him. I am so proud that I grew up not only knowing him but his first side kick to play "Little Beaver" was a classmate of mine in grade school. My family knew him well and my father who owned a little printing shop would print his stationary for him. In 1949 the first July 4th celebration to honor him was named the "Red Ryder Roundup." Red Ryder and Little Beaver would lead the parade down the main street of this little town and along the parade route people from all over would stand elbow to elbow to get a glimse of the famous cowboy.
The afternoon would be highlighted by a rodeo santioned by the RCA and leading contenders would compete for the top cowboy award. This celebration continues today with Fred's son who owns a museum there and as the population has grown so has the celebration.
Oh, I enjoy the tasty barbeques and the flashing of fireworks lighting the night sky but those memories of days gone by still brings a tear to these old eyes.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

God Bless America

Before we fire up a barbecue or watch fireworks light up the sky, lets all take a moment to remember just why! Lets remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy. Look around and see if there isn't a gray headed being next to you who may have served this country is some small way, perhaps they didn't serve in military or stood on some political soap box. They just might be the policeman, fireman, teacher or ordinary taxpayer but all have contributed to what we enjoy today. Those who have wealth and security should be congratulated but those who gave all in labor, treasure, and tears should not be condemned.