Monday is my birthday! The month of October is a great time to party, eat candy and celebrate things that go bump in the night. While I love getting flowers on my special day a one-on-one interview with Stephen King would be the greatest birthday gift of all.
When they were alive my parents always made a big deal about my birthday. I married into a family that didn’t celebrate holidays, personal or otherwise. I understand why my Native American in-laws didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving. Christmas didn’t have much meaning either. We did put a lit-up Santa Claus and Frosty-the-Snowman on the roof of our house. My friends Terry Earls and neighbor Barbara Titus and her sons Tim and Robert enjoyed seeing them. We lived in Dixieland on Road 22 and Avenue 19, which did not get much traffic. The only trick-or-treaters we got were one or two neighbors making pity visits before heading into town for some real treats.
REMEMBER THE AXIOM — “Don’t trust anyone over 30?” A popular school of thought during my childhood that hung around through my teens. Then the Vietnam War raged on while I was in high school. The military had both my brothers. My parents were divorcing and I was all but on my own! Dad always thought I was with Mom and vise-versa. I was what my Poppa Ralph would have called running the streets.
How is it possible that the same little hellion is now more than twice the age of 30? Life is one cosmic joke and at times I feel like a punch line!
Running around as a teenager I had to be careful because as a Quality Dairy milkman my dad was wired into all the local grapevines. There were two things he hated above all else. Liars and hearing on the street one of his kids had misbehaved. I didn’t lie to my dad but I did spin the truth in my favor whenever possible. I got suspended from school a few times for smoking on the high school grounds. I didn’t get arrested or pregnant, which is more than I can say for some of my contemporaries of the era.
Moreover, to anyone who believes a lie of omission is as bad as the bald-faced variety is wrong. People are allowed to have a private life. Part of that privacy is the right to keep things to themselves. People once knew that, and I hope in some part of the country this is still practiced. However, not in parts of Cali, where people become celebrities by misbehaving and getting it on television.
PARTIES IN OCTOBER ARE always more fun than those the rest of the year. The big one will be Saturday, Oct. 20, when the Madera Rotary will host its Halloween Ball. If you have never attended I highly recommend it. Costumes are near mandatory, which makes for a great time. A designated driver is recommended to those who plan to imbibe!
Nothing ruins a good time like a ticket for driving-under-the-influence! That will cost more than $10,000 and the headaches, as a result, include mandatory jail time, huge fines, higher insurance rates, possible loss of employment and the embarrassment to you and your family. Call a cab, rent a limo, get an Uber! Any of these are less expensive than a DUI!
Innocent people die every day because someone chose to drink and drive. Don’t be stupid: If you drink, don’t drive.
I plan to celebrate my birthday at the ball and have a DD! Join me by contacting any Rotary Club member or call Peck’s Printery at 674-5401 or Dianna Barden, 246-7144.
Long days and pleasant nights, have a great weekend.
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