Saturday, July 2, 2011


     I will be attending my fifty year Class of '61' reunion next week! Wow, was it really that long ago?  Over the last few weeks I have been thinking (unusual, I know) about this class and who we really were and have become over the years. I remember standing in line to go into the gym and be seated for the graduation ceremony and feeling the mixture of emotions flow over me and listening to the banter and apprehension in the voices of my classmates.

     Graduation, especially from high school, is a very stressful time for people. It means they actually have to do something unfamiliar and different. They are for the most part like young birds being kicked out of the nest. For the graduate it is usually a case of College, a Job or the Military.

     For many of our class and for many reasons they chose to stay in the home town and in some cases to go to the local college or obtain a local job, get married and raise a family. Some left the home town, only to return later. This is fine, the home town is a good place to grow up and live.

     Others of the class scattered to the winds, especially those that joined or were drafted into the military. Some moved for better paying jobs or just the desire to 'GO'. Whatever the reason, that is fine too. We are a nation of movers. It is estimated that a high school graduate these days can expect to have at least seven different jobs in his lifetime. So much for fiscal security.

     Back to my original question of 'who are we' then and now as a class. I think we are a fairly typical group. A bit unusual perhaps that so many of us have managed to stay in touch over the years and that so many of our age group have stepped up to the electronic age and embraced the computer and it's social networking applications.

     We are a group of men and women who have survived the most interesting, dangerous and technically challenging time in the history of mankind. Those of us in the class that are still here are the lucky survivors. It is worth sticking around just to see what will happen next.

     All of us are into our late 60's now and the youthful bodies and and the sharp edges of our minds have started to diminish. I for one have hung up my 'tu-tu' and party lamp shade. We have all begun to have the aches and pains that come with age - worn  joints, worn internal organs, especially the heart. The ranks of the class is beginning to thin and we all know that it will get thinner faster as the years pass.

     I look through the senior pictures of the 'Class of 61' yearbook at all those unsuspecting faces and try to remember our conversations and activities in high school. I can get only snippets of memories on relatively few of the closer friends. We have all moved on and there is only a handful of people that have kept a small network of friends within the class.

     As I said, I think our class is normal for the times and the Deep South in which we lived. Most all of us were from middle class white families and never attended an integrated school. Politics of the times were history making, the Vietnam war was building up and there was rioting in the streets of the major cities of the U.S.

     Yes we are comparatively normal as a class goes, but we all have a history together. There was a time when we were all touched by the same teachers, breathed the same air, had interactions and discourse, walked the same school halls, talked about each other, had our various 'clicks', and worried about what our peers thought of us.

     Though very few or none of us realized this was a foundation building time of our lives, we all seemed to muddle through, graduate and live happy (?) productive (?) lives. I am sure that at this time in our lives we all can look back and point to a few decisions we made that we would have liked to have a 'do over'. Sorry, but all decisions have consequences, good or bad.

     We all have several reasons that we have chosen to attend this reunion. Mostly just to see some people we were close to in high school, maybe just to see how much your classmates have changed, there might even be a couple or more here to see that guy or gal they had a crush on in high school, you never know.

     We may be a typical class but I thank as individuals we are all very, very special in our own way to each other. With that in mind, I intend to enjoy the short time we will have together at this special reunion. I hope all who read my blog from time to time that are not classmates remember the good times when the world was yours for the taking. Go to your own reunions if possible to see your old buddies and enjoy the moment.

Friday, February 25, 2011


This is my latest attempt at art as completed 13 Feb 2011. One of my Grandsons asked me to paint an owl for his girlfriend for Valentine's day. She is a big owl fan. I think she liked it. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Celtic Woman - A New Journey - You Raise Me Up


It appears that I am in the mood to begin blogging again. I have been preoccupied with some health issues of late which resulted in some mild depression which in turn further resulted in a lack of desire to paint or write or for that matter anything else. A few pills and I am feeling much better now (ho ho, hee hee, ha ha).

Specifically I was carrying too much weight which was causing a number of health issues.  It finally came down to lose weight or face a stroke or early death . At that point I made the decision to see a surgeon after which I decided to have a Lap Band procedure. Basically this  is simply a plastic band placed around the upper part of my stomach. This limits the amount of food I can eat at one time and tells my body that I am full when the upper small stomach is filled. There is a small opening, which can be regulated through a port inserted under the skin, that allows the food to slowly pass into the lower large part of the stomach.

There were other options but those involved major surgery and long recovery time. I am glad I opted for the Lap Band. Recovery has gone well except for the incision in which the port was inserted. The port is the device attached to the band by a tube through which an injection or extraction of saline solution can tighten or loosen the band as needed. The incision for this port has not healed properly as did the other five holes cut during the surgery. Some rejection of the port by the body and partly because I am diabetic. It is about three quarters healed but still has to be packed and dressed twice a day.

Still I am glad I made the decision to have the procedure. I had the surgery Oct. 26 and to date, Dec. 26, I have lost 62 pounds. On the down side, there are challenges.
The first challenge of course is facing the fact that I will never be able to eat and enjoy food as I did in the past. I will from now on only be able to eat a very, very small portion - no more steaks, chops, hamburgers, fast foods, fried food, carbonated drinks, bread. Going to a restaurant is a waste of money since I can only eat about ten percent of the meal.

Another factor is the change in the body as more and more weight is lost. The whole chemical balance is changing, mostly for the better. The depression sometimes comes with those changes. On the other hand many of my weight related issues are getting better and my GP Doctor is looking at taking me off some of my medications.

All in all life is supposed to be an adventure and I consider this one of those adventures. Can't hardly wait to see what 2011 holds in store for me.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Another Painted Plate

This is another plate that I did a few years ago. It currently resides in my computer/work room/office

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I am not sure when I painted this scene of a picnic in the woods. Must have been in 96 or 97 time frame. A simple scene that does not need an explanation.