How We Came to What We Love


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I wrote the preceding song to be sung out loud.

Please comply or I'll drop a safe on yer ass.

--Respectfully,

Mr. Sunshine II

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I wrote the preceding song to be sung out loud.

Please comply or I'll drop a safe on yer ass.

--Respectfully,

Mr. Sunshine II

Gee. I've become Mr. Inspiration.

--Brant

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  • 3 weeks later...

Angie,

I have enjoyed your posts here.

Michael

Thank you very much, Michael!!

Shane, et al, I was reading just a tiny bit more on this thread and a few other threads as I can and do want to respond and will respond eventually and don't want to leave a few here hanging if you will. Right now, having a back issue and unfortunately not really much able to sit long enough to respond to much of anything but will as soon as I am more able. So do want to apologize for long delay but haven't forgotten anyone.

Angie

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I have to admit, I genuinely enjoy this thread...a lot. If only we could have a get-together and hash this stuff out in person, that would be grand :)

Charles, something tells me you dug out a diary, or have a photographic memory :blink:! What surprises me most is that a lot of us have a military brat background...haha! Great entry btw.

Stephen, so you're a car buff to boot with physics? Are you still doing any work on cars after all these years?

Angie, it doesn't surprise me about your confrontation. I bet he still has scars...haha!

~ Shane

No, I have no diary. Some things my family help me remember, there having been so many of us! Actually, part of the reason I got into it was because I wanted to push myself to remember the names of some of my friends and my better teachers. To do apologize for the length. I really got carried away.

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Wow, hon, that was seriously long winded. :) ;) I'm seriously impressed but not surprised in the least bit by your remembering so many of your teachers' names and others in your life. There are a number of areas in what you wrote. But I am most curious do you have any more specific adventures with details that I can revel in, how it made you feel, what you observed and your perception of it, and my being able to relive part of your life as if I was there with you?

The framework of my early life was about all I gave, despite the length. But, those many early moves played a big role. Each move brought on a need to adapt to a new school and to develop new friends. When I first moved to a new place, I read an awful lot. As I developed more friends, I more and more played a lot of sports, often with special emphasis on a new sport. I was also a bit inclined to become more mischievous as I became comfort in the new surroundings. It was probably a good thing that I moved before I got into too much trouble! All of this does seem to have set up a certain inclination to becoming restless with doing the same thing too often. New books, new schools and teachers, new friends, new sports, all forever bringing a constant need for new effort and new understandings.

I left the Navy lab after 10 years because I was bored with the excessive similarity of the science I was working on. I wanted to get into new applications and new materials. So I worked for Martin Marietta Labs Baltimore for 6 years and did acquire a new set of expertise. Then I started my own lab and built on both prior sets of expertise and opened myself to a huge variety of materials problems from virtually every industry and application area. Just what my restless mind needed. That restless nature started with my constant moves to some extent, though it was also fed by my constant submersion into the history of many times and the lives of many people. I like living in this time, but I also would have liked to have been involved in the American Revolution. In general, I have always felt as though no state was big enough for me and neither was any particular time. I feel comfortable being an American, but not so with being a Marylander or an Okie. Nonetheless, the states are important as a counterbalance to the federal government and need to be stronger.

Part of the reason I think outside the box relates back to being presented and choosing to be presented with a constant flow of new challenges, all of them requiring thought. That thought in turn benefited from my reading and a wide range of experiences in growing up. My friends in the many places I lived often had very different characteristics from one place to another. Some were quiet and studious and some were jocks. Often they were a mix. At school most of my close friends were the most intelligent kids, but in the neighborhood, they were more commonly just into sports. But, I learned a lesson that there were interesting aspects of all the people among my disparate friends. There were also limitations. Almost none of them ever seemed to have quite the range of thought beyond the commonly accepted viewpoint of their time and place that I had, which I found very disappointing. Those who had the widest ranging minds were the most interesting.

Everywhere I went there were cliques to some extent. I always tried to be above them and to straddle many of the divisions between them. Frankly, I thought they were childish in many cases. There is nothing wrong with people who are especially good friends hanging out with one another, but when they tried to make of point of excluding others based on some notion of being superior when they were not, it really bothered me. By the second year in a new place, I was commonly winning some class office and the reason was simply that I treated everyone with respect. This was a lesson learned partly from my father, but one reinforced by the many moves and the many friendships I developed.

I found something else that I thought was strange. I found that when I really liked someone, I was much more willing to show that I did like them. Many people are superficially nice, but they actually have no real depth of feeling. I was also surprised that many people do not develop very strong loyalties to the people they know who are of good character. Good character seemed not to count as much with many people as it seemed so clear to me that it should. It seems to this day that I am wandering the earth in search of a few people of outstanding character.

Enough for now. I have a breakfast engagement with my wife and three daughters for Father's Day.

Edited by Charles R. Anderson
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> I...do apologize for the length. I really got carried away. [Charles Anderson]

Charles, it was exactly the length, the very detailed experiences and your conclusions from them, that made your post #63 so interesting. And valuable: I found myself making comparisons point by point to how my life was different or similar as I was reading it.

A mere abstract summary wouldn't have been as useful. (Happy Father's Day!)

Edited by Philip Coates
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> I...do apologize for the length. I really got carried away. [Charles Anderson]

Charles, it was exactly the length, the very detailed experiences and your conclusions from them, that made your post #63 so interesting. And valuable: I found myself making comparisons point by point to how my life was different or similar as I was reading it.

A mere abstract summary wouldn't have been as useful. (Happy Father's Day!)

Thanks Phil. Perhaps I will elaborate on a few other observations that were important to me later. There is much more, of course.

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Funny thing, Charles...school.

I was always amused how clicques in school worked. I never belonged to one, but had friends in every one of them. I didn't fit, and didn't want to. I looked for similar qualities in my friends, but welcomed different qualities as a way of expanding my own personal experiences. Those I didn't like didn't get integrated. But one thing above all, I tried to remain and individual. The best example of that came from joining sports.

My freshman year in HS, I joined football. I was 5'7" and 125lbs. They had me as a running back and a corner back, and as a tight end on our "munchkin" defense (usually 4th quarter when we had a comfortable lead). I loved it, but my size, for me, was an impediment. Being on team was a great experience.

But where I really found my forte was during my junior and senior year...track and swimming. Both individual team sports. How I fared came down to me and no one else.

I also dabbled a lot, as part of my experiences. I wrote, I tried architecture, played in the production of Grease as Kenickie...singing, dancing and acting. But not once did I try to fit the mold. I think I'm a better person for it, getting to see things from the outside.

~ Shane

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Funny thing, Charles...school.

I was always amused how clicques in school worked. I never belonged to one, but had friends in every one of them. I didn't fit, and didn't want to. I looked for similar qualities in my friends, but welcomed different qualities as a way of expanding my own personal experiences. Those I didn't like didn't get integrated. But one thing above all, I tried to remain and individual. The best example of that came from joining sports.

My freshman year in HS, I joined football. I was 5'7" and 125lbs. They had me as a running back and a corner back, and as a tight end on our "munchkin" defense (usually 4th quarter when we had a comfortable lead). I loved it, but my size, for me, was an impediment. Being on team was a great experience.

But where I really found my forte was during my junior and senior year...track and swimming. Both individual team sports. How I fared came down to me and no one else.

I also dabbled a lot, as part of my experiences. I wrote, I tried architecture, played in the production of Grease as Kenickie...singing, dancing and acting. But not once did I try to fit the mold. I think I'm a better person for it, getting to see things from the outside.

~ Shane

Beyond Little League baseball, my organized sport was only cross-country. Basketball in Rhode Island was a pick-up game at the Marine Gym. Football in Tulsa was a regular Saturday afternoon game of tackle football played at La Fortune Park. We usually had 4 or 5 guys on a team. No pads, but plenty of hard hitting. I was usually a receiver on offense since I had good hands, ran hard, and focused only on the ball. But I always liked defense best, since nothing beat tackling. I was usually the smallest guy on the field, but I always had twice the number of tackles anyone else had. Tulsa Memorial had a good football team, but they had all played together since Pop Warner. Coming in as a Junior and only having played some pick-up football in my last year in RI, being small, and definitely not being a good sprinter, the high school team had no need for my "talents," except that some of the football players would seek out advice on what questions I thought might be on the exams!

But, I also played chess, bridge, and debated. I did not learn to really like writing until a couple of decades later. But, I did get into writing an outline and the beginning of a book about three kids from Newport beginning about 1772 who became involved in the resistance to the renewed enforcement of the Navigation Act and the burning of the British enforcement schooner the Gaspee. That was a fun exercise late in my Senior year. My Senior year, my family hosted a student from Brazil. Benecio da Silva was bright, a bit young and immature, and he was in America to party. But, he did go on to become a doctor.

Of course, kids often fall into cliques due to friendships formed over many years and it may be harder for them to perceive the limitations and foolishness that is more readily obvious to someone new to the scene. There is a good side to living in a place a long while too. The opportunity to know more people and to have been able to follow their trajectory over a long time, is something I never experienced. I was also often in the situation that more people seemed to know me than I knew. In one of my earlier posts, I said I was often disappointed that people did not respect good character enough. That is true, but my expectations are very high on that issue. It should be said also that kids did generally give me credit for good character and so I was usually fairly popular pretty quickly. Not class president popular, but sometimes class treasurer popular. I was invited to join the Key Club in the second half of my Junior year, which then was an honor. Kids do mostly recognize good character, but not necessarily if you are not pretty friendly and outgoing. I was never the life of the party. Indeed, I have never felt at home at parties. Still, other kids usually treated me with respect and seemed to think I was a decent guy. Nonetheless, I often did wish that loyalties and friendships ran deeper than they did.

Someday, we should talk about girls and how we experienced getting to know them. But not tonight.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've read a few of the last posts on this thread. Yes, yes, apologize and delay in getting around to reading BUTT !!! :) it is so nice to finally be able to sit "back"!!!! for long periods of time without being in excruciating pain!!! Woohoo and finally !!! I'll show my face on ocassion. LOL So many here that got into sports. I was never a girlie girl type and was a serious rough houser if you will. Very much a Tom Boy and still this way today to an extent. I was never afforded the opportunity of any type of "organized" extracurricular sporting type activities. BUT boy, when we did play, it was no holds barred. There were very few girls that would play tackle football with the neighborhood boys but I was always game and up for it. Bring it on and let's have some fun. Yikes. Although got hurt frequently and taking hits and my dishing out hits, I have many many great memories of playing football primarily but also did a bit of baseball and was good at this as well. Ran track for a little while; that is, until the girlie aspects started to come into play and that slowed me down quite a bit. LMAO

When picking teams and playing outside of school, I was usually the first to be chosen because I wasn't afraid of getting hurt and would lay it on thick if you will. It's funny because when in school I dabbled a tiny bit into the sports that were offered but was quickly booted or was the last to be picked. LOL Too rough with the girls. My last memory of playing football in school was "flag" football. I told my PE teacher I wanted to play with the boys but of course wasn't allowed to my dismay and got stuck with the girls and their "prancing" around on the field. OMG, you can't be freakin' serious. So the last play before getting booted (yeah, I know terrible of me for doing this) but watching the other girls running around and "trying to pull the flags" hanging out of their shorts, okay, sure, whatever.

The girl that actually caught the ball was a girl that I did not like at all and had run ins with her if you will. As soon as I saw that she had the ball and now running for the touchdown, I kicked it into high gear after her and passing everyone up in pursuit with a not so nice plan in mind. She's running down the field and all the other girls are trying to keep that girlie composure of being so proper and what is to be expected of a girl and how she is to act in such a situation. Oh, please, give me a break. The typical social norms and what is expected. Oh, my, I still smile at this and what happened. I know not nice but taking out a bit of my own frustration with the situation and her. She "attempted" to manuever and avoid me and keeping her "flag" protected as she thought I was going after. Looking back on it now, I feel and think as if it was more of a predator and prey scenario, the lioness going after the evasive gazelle and their survival. Oh, man. Anyway, as I got closer to her and at full sprint and charging, oh, my GOD, I straight dove for her acting as if I was wanting to get the flag but in reality was aiming for her knees. I wanted to take her out and take her out good and I surely did. I tackled her so hard that she lost her shorts and she flipped in the air. I know. I know. But have to admit it felt good taking her out and satisfied afterwards. Everybody was of course pissed off and I was booted quickly. I think I was in the 8th grade maybe when this happened.

I'm trying to get my head on straight here and thinking about my childhood and sequence of events and then plus not writing, since I haven't written in quite a while now, no emails, etc., etc., so may take me a bit. I'm in a spunkie kinda mood because today is the first day of not much physical pain and wanting to play a bit if you will and being able to sit long enough to write.

I still enjoy sports and good at them if conditioned enough for it. I don't watch sports though, not into it. But do love the physicality of it. As for playing football now, there would be no way. I have way too many injuries from serious rough housing as a kid and other injuries not related to sports, both knees are jacked up, neck, and back too.

I was never much into swimming. I do remember teaching myself how to swim though. Everyone else knew how to swim but me. I had asked a few of the grown ups there to teach me and they declined. So determined and wanting to try, I took it baby step by baby step, took some risks, and taught myself how to swim that day. It felt great and what I had done for myself. I was so proud of myself and my achievement. But unfortunately some other things happened after I announced that I had learned how to swim and that I had taught myself. But nevertheless, a great achievement for me at that time and age -- maybe 9 or 10?? perhaps.

Have an interesting story though when I was 16 maybe and being out in the ocean and caught in a nasty rip tide that took me out. Now this was some freaky stuff right here and literally life and death situation and up to me to save my ass, to stay calm and rational (which I panicked at first and thoughts were going crazy all over the place, my fear of sharks, being drug out to sea and no one knowing what was happening to me) Wow but fought and kept telling myself to stay calm and that if I panicked it would only make the situation worse for me; that I need to think it through, figuring out the dynamics of what I was going through at that time, the current, watching others in the water that were a distance away from me and their not being pulled out, etc., and the best path to choose for my survival literally. Ultimately figured it out and how to get out of such a situation without drowning. By the time the lifegaurd saw what was happening, I was already headed in for shore and he had yelled from shore if I needed help as he was ready to go in after me. I told him no, that I didn't need help; that I was fine. I was so tired and weak both physically and emotionally when I got on to shore and what had just happened....just completely drained. Even the lifeguard was floored and asked me, how did you know what to do. I told him, I just figured it out, no need to panic because it would only make the situation worse and to think it through.

Anyway, I gotta go. Want to write a bit more with the whole grouping deal and some other things and my experiences but sister is here and going to go hang out at the pool and get a bit of sun!!!!!! I see that Charles has mentioned talking about girls and experiences. I would be most interested in reading any exchanges here in regards to this and giving some of my own input being that I'm a girl and all, ya know. LOL

Happy 4th of July, Everyone!!!!!!!

Edited by CNA
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