Tuesday, July 18, 2017

See the World for 7 cents

As 6 or 7 year olds, it was our world. And for a nickle and two pennies we could ride the bus all over Charlotte, getting transfers here and there, all day long.

We didn't do that of course, but we could have. All we had to do was, keep asking for "transfers" and never having to put another nickle in the "machine" next to the bus driver's gear shifter. Also, Mr. McKeever (we knew most of the bus drivers by name) would want to know why we wanted a transfer.

Being sneaky and getting into trouble wasn't easy back then.  But, we managed.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Low Fuel

This is one of many memories of Crusader Pilots who are a part of our Crusader Assn.  This one is so much a representation of “Days Gone Bye” that I thought you may find interesting.
R.L. Clark

[Low Fuel]

I enjoyed reading Dick Shaffert's account of the exciting, desperate, and frustrating Dick Hartman rescue attempt. I remember flying several Res-Cap missions during those three days. At that time, I was the junior pilot in VF-162.

As Dick Shaffert mentioned in his narrative, I also remember being one of those guys "saved" by KA-3D tanker pilot Lcdr Tom Maxwell, although not during the Hartman operation.

On one fine day, returning to the ship in my F-8E after being relieved on the Northern Bar-Cap a little bit late, I called the ball with about 1100 pounds. Unfortunately, I got a fouled deck wave off because the pilot ahead of me had trouble clearing the arresting gear. Other than the two tankers, I was the only one left in the pattern. To my surprise, I was told to make a second pass rather than tank. I made the tightest pattern I possibly could and called the ball with 800 pounds, below the normal minimum fuel state for tanking.

These many years later I clearly recall that second pass as being: "Great tight pattern by an enthusiastic 22 year old youngster followed by a steady-as-a-rock groove and an OK 3 wire spoiled by a hook skip caused by an under serviced hook damper; not the pilot's fault at all". The unsympathetic LSO simply logged it as a BOLTER while the Air Boss said, "Superheat 213, your signal TANK".

The duty A-4 tanker was goofing off at 3000 feet on the other side of the circle oblivious to what was going on, so it took a lot of my remaining fuel to climb up and chase him down. He streamed his drogue and I hit it on the first try; ... no joy. He recycled his package, I hit it again; ... still no green light. He mumbled something about resetting some switches and I plugged the basket a third time. Sour package was the final verdict, dang. Why didn't he confirm his tanking gear was operating correctly before I desperately needed fuel?

I snapped the throttle to idle and started down in a left turn. I remember thinking I had only a slim chance to make a successful landing. I was looking at about 200 pounds and wondering if I could survive a flameout in the groove. I was reviewing my ejection procedures when I got a call from Tom Maxwell who said, "Superheat, keep it turning".

Tom, who took his A-3 tanking job a lot more seriously than the guy flying the A-4 tanker that day, had been listing to the whole thing and knew exactly what to do. I looked in my mirrors and saw the Whale at 6:00 o'clock bellowing black smoke and closing at a terrific rate. This image is forever etched in what is left of my brain as if it were a high definition DVD. Funny how that works.

Tom skimmed under my belly just outside my radius of turn, pulled up directly ahead of me, went idle and speed brakes, streamed his drogue, and almost put the basket on the end of my probe. It was as fine a piece of airmanship as I have ever seen, before or since.

A touch of throttle and I was coupled up and taking on fuel. From the time Tom extended the basket until I was connected was literally only a few seconds with almost no maneuvering other than adding a little power. That's how accurate Tom's rendezvous was.

Problem solved and things went back to routine, or as close to routine as combat carrier ops can be. That was the day that Lcdr Maxwell became my new hero and earned a case of Scotch Whiskey on our next visit to Cubi, gift-wrapped no less. Thanks again Tom.

Bob Walters (Pagan) VF-162
13 July 2017

Hurry Up......and Stop!

That's the way many of our fellow drivers approach a red light; and that's going to be the title of my next book.

Well, that may be a little misleading since I've never written a book. Except in my mind.

But, if I had, my next one would be directed toward drivers.....Those brain dead bozos. The majority of whom are young whippersnappers....who, unlike those of us who grew up riding bicycles, instead of playing video games on a computer.... learned basic physics first hand!

Like, when it's raining, the road is slick.  You can't stop on a dime.  I still have an ugly scar on my knee to remind me of that lesson. 

You have to really be dumb to follow the car in front of you with about 4 feet or less,separating the two of you.  How do you know he's not going to slow down or stop unexpectedly?  Are you a psyhic or something ?

You really think he'll never have to stop suddenly....and if he does....that you will be able to react quickly enough to avoid ramming into his rear end?

But of course, perhaps you're lonely, and miss the give and take of human contact....well, keep on tailgating....I guarantee you'll soon have a lot of human contact...mostly lawyers.

Also, I recommend being a little paranoid.   A number a years ago, a terrorist walked down Route 123 not far from my house in Virginia...murdering the drivers lined up to turn into the CIA headquarters.  The cars were bumper to bumper...leaving them no room to escape,
Ever since that episode, I make sure I don't "pin myself in" and leave enough room in front to allow me to get the Hell out of there if I have to.

In fact, people a lot smarter than me have advised drivers for years to constantly look for possible  ways to escape" as
you drive along...just in case the unexpected happens.

And it will.



Monday, July 10, 2017

The Real SECRET to Sucess is...


Take my own profession for example, Radio and TV.

Successful announcers and personalities come and go with the whim of the fickle public and Broadcast executives.  These same executives never "fire" their own.  They retire with Gold Watches.

Meanwhile, washed up old "announcers" wind up sleeping on city grates...preferably with lots of steam coming up in the winter time.

And just how did these management executives get into such positions of power?

In many cases....they entered the business as announcers and performers........but FAILED".. ...they simply weren't good enough at those jobs to last, but were well liked by management hence they  often accepted a less glamorous position at the station...rather than being "let go."

(I can hear the executives talking now..."What the Hell are we going to do with "old so and so?"  He's terrible on the air!...Our ratings at that time period have dropped to almost nothing....He's a nice guy, but he's killing us.  I have a great idea...let's promote him to management....and we'll get him off the air that way...without hurting his feelings..or having any lasting bitterness."

This is likely  the way in works in many businesses.

Now, I'm not advocating that ambitious young workers should NOT do their best at those entry level jobs....but I am advising them not to stay in those jobs too long.

How long?

If I knew that....I'd be relaxing on the beach in the Bahamas right now instead of sitting in my basement writing on my high school website!


(Just kidding. No matter how wealthy I may or may not have become, ...I am living life and doing exactly what makes me extremely happy and content! )  

Saturday, July 08, 2017

LDL Tuesday!

By Jerry Gaudet

Wow, is it ever hot outside!
Well, it is July after all.
But it's COOL to be at (and in) Jimmies!
"LDL" (Let's do lunch) will be held on Tuesday, July 11, 2017, 11:30 AM at "Jimmies" Restaurant in Mint Hill.

We'd like to see you.  Please help spread the word!  Invite other classmates to come!  Even better, bring someone with you! Just be sure YOU, come!

Be cool !

AND.....BTW........Letty and Don Nance inform us they are coming down out of the hills of Virginia to attend "LDL".  And, Don says he'll be bringing jams and jellies.

Bring your empty (and clean) jars for return to him. 


Friday, July 07, 2017

Whatever Happened to...

...Amelia Earhart?

People have been asking that question since 1937, when she and her navigator, Fred Noonan disappeared during their attempted "around the world" flight.

Amelia Earhart
Innumerable theories have been constructed as to what happened to them, the most common one was, "they simply ran out of fuel and crashed into the sea."  Another, more fanciful one was they they landed on an island and were captured by the Japanese who executed them as "spies."

I heard where one of the TV networks is promoting a show that features their theory of what happened.

Personally, I believe that a very professional organization known as TIGHAR has come closer than anyone to solving that mystery.  I interviewed TIGHAR'S archiologist, a few years ago, who made a very compelling case.

It's 29 minutes.....and you can watch it here.

Tom King (Pt 3)"Search For Amelia" - Out of the Past - 2012 from Chuck Langdon on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Bevely Harkey Kearns UpDate

By Jerry Gaudet

Beverly and Maurice continue a long battle following Bee's stroke.  We have this update from Maurice.

 ..."we are in Florida and on 12 July we will go to our Daughters in SC, then on Friday (14th) we will move back to our home outside of Helen, GA.  The house has been empty for 2 years, I just returned after spending 5 days there cleaning.  How long we will be back Home is unknown, Beverly wanted to go Home so that is happening.  Beverly at this point is about as good as she will be, but we Pray every day for progress which is very slow now.  She requires 24/7 assistance.  We appreciate the Prayers for Beverly's condition.  We Pray for all her Classmates,

Saturday, July 01, 2017

"BO...B.O. BO"

It was either Miss Terry, the second grade teacher at Elizabeth School, or Miss Carr, our third grade teacher.....anyway....it was the first day of school and she had each student stand and introduce him or herself to the class.

"Ed Myers,"I said, "Charles Mateer," "Wilson Snell," "Betty Pressley," "Charles Stone," "Bo Madden"....

""No," she said, "That's your nickname. I don't want any nicknames....only your Real First and Last names. Now you may continue."

"Bo Madden," he said.

"No, No" she replied.  "Bo is your nickname.  Bo is short for your real name....BO is your  nickname.....I want your real name."

Frustrated he replied, "BO B.O. BO!"  and sat down.

She had unwittingly given him a new  nick name which we called him thereafter,



Moving Again Soon? Nope.

Earlier, I thought this site might have to move....However, now it appears that we can stay exactly where we are!

That's real good news because moving everything after all these years at the same location is "disruptive" at best...Your kindly old webmaster has forgotten most of what he used to know about computers and websites....so this is a real relief for me.

Also, my dear readers can continue reading about good old CHS....without interruption.  Just one more thing we can just leave in place.



:"Act Your Age"

That's the advice the adults used to give us when we young whippersnappers were being roudy and unruly.

That's the advice I'm tempted to give out to some of our chronologically gifted classmates.
Some of them simply refuse to acknowledge that people who live as long as we have are OLD....and Dammit, ought to act like it!

Bodie Island Lighthouse
Otherwise they'll make the rest of us sitting around in rocking chairs jealous!

Take, for example, Don Nance.

Last week, he and Letty traveled to the outter banks and saw "The Lost Colony."
Then visiting  places like Ocracoke and Hatteras then to where that big lighthouse is...at Buxton, I believe....and climbed the lighthouse there!  As if that weren't enough, he traveled on to Bodie Island and climbed the lighthouse there!

No question that the 82 year old Nance is in good physical shape.
The only question this old couch potato has........is about his sanity!

OK,OK...I admit it; I'm just jealous!


PS...With my eyesight getting dimmer and dimmer, I can't read the sign on Don's back.  But I think it says, "Stop me, before I climb again."

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Spring...Where I Live

By Maxcyne Mott Yorwosky

Greetings from Ogden, Utah:

There are two seasons here in the valley-Winter and Summer.  Along about the end of April, Winter gives one last gasp with a final snowstorm, and Summer announces it's arrival with a week of temperatures in the seventies and eighties. We don't know whether to cheer or moan, for we know we will very soon be withering under the scorching skies of our desert sun.

But the end of June is always a time of celebration.  The last Friday of the month, each year, it is as if someone waves a magic wand over our fair city, and the next morning we are greeted by the sight of beautiful horses adorning the corners of all the streets .  Each is different, painted in different colors and designs.

They are here to herald the opening of Saturday's market day.

The townspeople are like woodland creatures emerging from their winter burrows. 
People gather on the blocked off streets of downtown Ogden,  strolling among stands displaying fresh produce that the farmers have brought,  crafts that artisans have spent making during the cold winter months, all sorts of handmade articles of clothing, fresh baked goods, and most importantly, greeting friends and neighbors that have come to enjoy the festive atmosphere.

You can even enjoy a hot bath on the sidewalk of Main Street, as this young cowpoke demonstrates.

 The pretty horses will remain through out the summer until October brings us frost.  Then they will disappear as silently and magically as they had arrived. We will know  then that it is time to " batten down the hatches ' for a long winter to come.



...are driving me crazy!

The truth of this "computer minefield" we're playing in is......the age old "Young......getting back at the adults.....for making them study, not stay out all night partying, and generally limiting their  "fun."

The young whippersnappers are finally getting back at us wise old foggies.  Of course, the main reason we seasoned citizens are not as sharp as we once were is because those same whippersnappers just about drove us nuts raising the ingrates!

Hell, I started this website, CHS54.com about 10 years ago....the same "young geniuses" were still sucking their thumbs then. Now, that they are in a position of a little bit of power....they are getting their kicks from making us numerically blessed....dance a digital version of the "Hokey Pokey."

All I have to say to those "wise guys".....is, "Enjoy it while you can!".....because "payback" is just a matter of time."

Wait til you get to Heaven........and see who has seniority up there!

Hint:  It ain't going to be you!


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Agnes Anne Caudell

Joe Elliott reports that:

Agnes Anne Caudell, class of ’54 passed away March 1, 2017 in Sylva NC as reported in the Sylva Herald. At  the  time of death was Agnes Anne Hill.

Class of 1952

Like us, the Class of 1952 has done a pretty good job of staying together! They had a big bash this past week and Warren Sparrow and Mary Schulken somehow negotiated an invitation (Crashed.)
It was a grand party, and if my memory  serves me correctly...that was the class that John Otts called the most outstanding class in all his career. (Although I may be wrong...he may have said that about the Class of 1953. But either way, he must have been smoking something, because everyone knows that the Class of 1954 was the best!

Nevertheless Warren reports that he and Mary Sandra had a great time at the Class of '52's get together!  Warren said Jenny Margaret and husband Bill were also in attendance, since that was Forehand's graduation class.

Which reminded me of the fact that those sneaky upperclassmen were constantly stealing our class' girls!

I don't forget things like that.  That's why I refused to attend their party.  That, and the fact that I wasn't invited. 

Class of 195

The hosts of the event were Hobby Cobb (52) and his wife, Jane Thornhill Cobb.

-Warren Sparrow and Mary Sandra Schulken

Looking Back...

...the fact that my chosen career field, radio and TV, was such an ego driven business...and insecure...that one would have to be completely "off your rocker" to choose that as your lifetime work.

Or....in my case....be about 8 years old when you made that decision.

Which was my case... No, ...make that  6 years old.

Thank you, Little Eddie Myers....you nincompoop!

Oh, well.  Whatever is....is.

Or was.

Now, that would have been a good decision....for someone like Arthur Godfrey, or even Grady Cole.

But I was neither,  I was just Ed Myers.

Nevertheless, I did pretty good....rising to a couple of "Big Time" radio and TV stations in the nation's capitol, Washington, DC.  I even hosted  a radio show heard all over the world for about 7 years...for the United States Air Force...called Serenade In Blue.......which was the theme song of the bandleader who founded the show.....Glenn Miller.  I also hosted a morning TV show in Washington for a few years, which featured just about every celebrity  you ever heard of.

But all that happened in about a 10 year period of time.

Then "poof".....it was over.

It wasn't like working at a bank for 40 years....and retiring with a gold watch.

Nope.  I got paid pretty good ....and enjoyed a little bit of  local fame....rode high for a few years...and ......then it was gone.

So, for the past almost 50 years I've just been.....the guy at the end of the cul de sac in Falls Church, VA.  Which is fine with me.  Frankly, I got tired of people saying...."Hey, aren't you the guy on TV?"
Many of my fellow broadcasters, mis-inturbreted that to mean ""I like watching you on TV."

No, it probably means simply...."I'm proud of myself because I recognized you from TV. But frankly, I can't stand watching your show."

Up until about 2 years ago, before I retired, I worked out of my home studio doing radio interviews for a major PR company in New York....doing interviews and getting sound bites from just about every top celebrity in the country. I became "phone buddies" with a number of them,,,,for example I read that one of them, Jeff Bezos (originally of Amazon) has become one of the richest men on earth.
He once told me, during the pre-interview banter....that, and I'm quoting now......."Lee, you have made me what I am today...."  I interviewed him and wrote the story the day "Amazon" finally turned a profit....One Dollar!   But I certainly had almost nohing to do with making him rich!

All this "excitement" is over now....Thanks to modern technology, I was able to work til I was almost 80 years old.   the last 50 or so....from HOME!

If they develop a "time machine" before I shuffle off this  mortal coil, I'm gong to go back and thank 8 year old little Eddie Myers....and let him know that he wasn't as dumb as he looked, because, all in all....things worked out pretty good!


Friday, June 23, 2017


Like the TIMEX watch, she keeps on ticking!

I'm in awe of those classmates of ours, like Elouise, Obie, Charlie, Jerry, etc....who just refuse to slow down.  Makes me feel a little guilty .....as I prepare for my afternoon nap. Her performances are all up here in the Washington DC area, but if you are anywhere close....be sure to arrange to attend one of her shows.  You'll be glad you did!

The nurses cared for sick and wounded soldiers, endured the historically ferocious winter weather of 1917 and 1918 and left a legacy that makes us  proud. Schoettler, inspired by their letters, wrote Ready to Serve, as a one-woman show.  She performs the monologue as an 80 year old veteran nurse looking back at the war fifty years after the Armistice. The nurse - veteran tells their story because "no one ever asked me what we did in France."

After seeing the show recently some one sent a note to Schoettler  -  " I felt like I was having a chat with a World War I nurse. We were transported to a different place in time thanks to your beautiful storytelling."  For more about Ready to Serve and what audiences say: http://bit.ly/1XUrDqv

7 Performances
Thu.      July   6,   5:30 PM 
Sat.       July   8,   1:00 PM

Sun.      July   9,   4:30 PM
Sat.       July  15,   1:00 PM
Tue.      July  18,   5:30 PM
Thu.     July 20,    7:30 PM
Sat.      July 22,    4:45 PM

Gallaudet University -
Eastman StudioTheater
800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC  20002


Thursday, June 22, 2017


Short, but true. Events that happened....but were fleeting, and really don't lend themselves to a story...one that has a beginning and a middle and an end. Stuff that just happened.....and have parked themselves somewhere in the back of my brain.  But, moments I've never forgotten.

For example, the black fellow my Mom had hired to do yard work that summer day.  I was practicing my violin and was having some difficulty with an exercise that was obviously written for a student more advanced than I was.....when the  yard man stopped what he was doing and spoke to me through the open window ...and said, "You're playing that  wrong.  Instead of  staying in the "first position"....it's meant to be played in the "Third position."  Also, he said, "the fifth bar is all staccato and should be bowed in short strokes."

And he continued cutting our lawn.


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Black Hole

Actually, it wasn't black.....but it definitely was a hole.

You see, I learned early in life (and I'm talking now about either the 5th or 6th grade at Elizabeth school) that the secret of being smart...is to have smart friends.

My problem at the moment was....How to change the "D" on my report card, before my Mom could see it.  It was written in INK, and I had no idea how to erase ink.

My friend came up with the solution.

"Simple," he said. Clorox will erase ink.

Sure enough...it worked like a charm. Instantly, the "D" was gone....and I replaced it with a "respectable C."

Damm, it's nice to have smart friends!

Mom congratulated me...kinda...and signed the card.

I was pleased that I had gotten away with the "perfect crime,"   The only thing left to do was change the "C" back to a "D" before I turned the card back in.

Back came the Clorox bottle ....another drop or two...and .....and....Good Grief!  A hole was starting to form on the card!  There was barely enough left for me to write my true grade back in .

That card was a pretty ugly sight by he time the time I was finished with it.

Lordy, Lordy......I had to turn  the thing back in....but the hole seemed to be getting bigger and bigger every time  I looked at it.  Maybe the teacher won't notice.  Maybe she'll be so busy, she won't ever look it it. Or maybe Russia will send an Atomic Bomb over and I won' have to worry about it.....

But, again, my Guardian  Angel  (or maybe it was my Guardian Devil) was with me and thanks to a busy and overworked teacher,   I skated.


Now I know why....

They are called GRAND kids....

Take, for example, one of Bob Ellis':

"My grandson, David Lee Hines, took his 7th grade EOG testing and was one of only 2 students to have a perfect score on Social Studies.   He also scored 98 on Reading and 97 on Math.   The math part surprised me, because that is his best subject.   Putting all that aside, he is a great kid.   David is a rising 8th grader at Piedmont Middle School in Union County , North Carolina."

Congratulations Bob!  Enjoy your little scholar while you can...because I predict that he will soon discover something much more interesting and distracting than good grades: GIRLS!

Let's have a big round of applause....for MOTHER NATURE!


Saturday, June 10, 2017

June Reid's Husband Passes

By Jerry Gaudet

Sympathy to June Reid Helsabeck in the passing of her husband, Mack, on April 28, 2017 from cancer.

Condolances may be sent to:
Mrs. June Helsabeck
1701 Redcoat Dr.
Charlotte, NC 28211

Thursday, June 08, 2017

LDL This coming Tuesday!

By Jerry Gaudet

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

This Just In....

Chance Poor has been signed as the University of Kentucky's new field goal kicker.

The University of Pittsburgh had also tried to recruit him.... to replace their kicker, Chris Blewitt.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Time Machine

There's no such thing, you say?


We all have one.  It's in our heads!  And mine was working overtime last night.  It was stuck around oh, 1940 or so, and those two old spinster sisters were parked outside our house selling vegetables they had grown in their garden.

My sister "Kak"  (I had given her that name because I couldn't pronounce the name Kathryn) and I were waiting for the black man who drove up East 5th Street in his horse drawn wagon every morning...to come up the street so we could give him back his wallet...which had fallen out of his pocket the morning before.

I was sticking pretty close to my older sister because as you may recall, Burt, the little kid across the street had said he was going to kill me.  (he never did, BTW)

About that time, my new friend, Jimmy Weller came riding around the corner on his tricycle, and invited me to his house to join him in his latest project...digging a hole in his back yard.

I did.

And you thought that just because there was no TV nor electronic video games back then, that growing up back then was boring....



Sunday, June 04, 2017

Briar Creek

Image result for the month of june

No school today!

No school for 3 monhs!

Few things ever made little Eddie Myers any happier than that!  In fact, I think I felt a small aftershock of that glorious past emotion this morning!  My open window welcomed in the wonderfully mild fresh air and the sounds of birds chirping...snd for a moment I contemplated gathering a few friends together  like Jimmy Weller, Pat Parker and Charles Mateer  and spend the day down at the Fireman's Hall putting pennies on the railroad tracks, throwing rocks in Briar Creek and talking about girls.

We even tried to fish in that creek once, even though I don't think any fish ever dared to come close to getting into that polluted stream. Occasionally a cop would stop by and ask us what we were doing, and Jimmy (our spokesman for such things) would make up some "reason" we were there.....and that usually did the trick.

But, alas, I soon became fully awake...and "poof"....back to being 80 and a half years old!

Those hazy, lazy days of youth are nice to think about, but.....time passes....things change....
for example, today I've got to.........and let me get out my list....I've got to..........uummm....

I think I'm going to find me a creek to throw some rocks in.


Friday, June 02, 2017

Try This...

Next Time You are at the DMV...

Insist that your religion requires you to wear a colander on your head.

That's what an Arizona man did....and got away with it!



Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day

This Memorial Day Holiday  is meant to remind Americans to honor their military heroes, many of them who "sacrificed all" for their country.

If you're one of those who need reminding, consider yourself lucky, because there are untold millions of Americans, myself included, who can never get it out of our minds: parents, relatives and close friends of the fallen.  To most others, the day is about as meaningful as...last week's episode of "Dancing with the Stars."

It's been almost 50 years since our classmate, my cousin and best friend, Charles Mateer lost his life in Laos, when his helicopter was shot down. ( The official government record lists his death as "an accident."  That's the same Governmen that said for a long time....that he "wasn't even there.")

Charles was flying helicopters for the CIA...under the name of "Air America."

Charles wasn't married, so except for his parents and close relatives....his death was greeted with little more than "Ho Hum."

So, if you would, please remember Charles and say a little prayer for him...on this Memorial Day.



Charles Mateer  1954

Ed Myers, Kathryn Myers, Charles Mateer  1942

We who are left, how shall we look again
Happily on the sun or feel the rain
Without remembering how they who went
Ungrudgingly and spent
Their lives for us loved, too the sun and rain?

-Wilfred Wilson Gibson


Bobby Wells Passes

By Jerry Gaudet

Though not unexpected, it's still a hit to learn of Bobby Wells passing on Friday, May 26.

His memorial service will be at McEwen on Monroe Rd. Thursday, June 1, with family visitation at 1 PM, and the service at 2 PM.

Bobby has a son, Bobby II, called "Buzzy" and two daughters.  No contact information is available now.

Most of us will remember Bob's brother, Ed.  Perhaps you'd like to offer remembrences to Ed.

Mr. and Mrs Ed (Libby) wells
11929 Five Cedars Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28226

Friday, May 26, 2017

The Greatest Commencement Speech Ever

...that our grandchildren never heard.


Neal Boortz web site ^ | 5/24/03 | Neal Boortz
Posted on ‎5‎/‎27‎/‎2003‎ ‎7‎:‎14‎:‎30‎ ‎AM by Elkiejg

I am honored by the invitation to address you on this august occasion. It's about time. Be warned, however, that I am not here to impress you; you'll have enough smoke blown your way today. And you can bet your tassels I'm not here to impress the faculty and administration.

You may not like much of what I have to say, and that's fine. You will remember it though. Especially after about 10 years out there in the real world. This, it goes without saying, does not apply to those of you who will seek your careers and your fortunes as government employees.

This gowned gaggle behind me is your faculty. You’ve heard the old saying that those who can - do. Those who can't - teach. That sounds deliciously insensitive. But there is often raw truth in insensitivity, just as you often find feel-good falsehoods and lies in compassion. Say good-bye to your faculty because now you are getting ready to go out there and do. These folks behind me are going to stay right here and teach.

By the way, just because you are leaving this place with a diploma doesn’t mean the learning is over. When an FAA flight examiner handed me my private pilot’s license many years ago, he said, 'Here, this is your ticket to learn.' The same can be said for your diploma. Believe me, the learning has just begun.

Now, I realize that most of you consider yourselves Liberals. In fact, you are probably very proud of your liberal views. You care so much. You feel so much. You want to help so much. After all, you're a compassionate and caring person, aren't you now? Well, isn’t that just so extraordinarily special. Now, at this age, is as good a time as any to be a Liberal; as good a time as any to know absolutely everything. You have plenty of time, starting tomorrow, for the truth to set in. Over the next few years, as you begin to feel the cold breath of reality down your neck, things are going to start changing pretty fast .. including your own assessment of just how much you really know.

So here are the first assignments for your initial class in reality: Pay attention to the news, read newspapers, and listen to the words and phrases that proud Liberals use to promote their causes. Then compare the words of the left to the words and phrases you hear from those evil, heartless, greedy conservatives. From the Left you will hear "I feel." From the Right you will hear "I think." From the Liberals you will hear references to groups --The Blacks, The Poor, The Rich, The Disadvantaged, The Less Fortunate. From the Right you will hear references to individuals. On the Left you hear talk of group rights; on the Right, individual rights.

That about sums it up, really: Liberals feel. Liberals care. They are pack animals whose identity is tied up in group dynamics. Conservatives and Libertarians think -- and, setting aside the theocracy crowd, their identity is centered on the individual.
Liberals feel that their favored groups, have enforceable rights to the property and services of productive individuals. Conservatives (and Libertarians, myself among them I might add) think that individuals have the right to protect their lives and their property from the plunder of the masses.

In college you developed a group mentality, but if you look closely at your diplomas you will see that they have your individual names on them. Not the name of your school mascot, or of your fraternity or sorority, but your name. Your group identity is going away. Your recognition and appreciation of your individual identity starts now.

If, by the time you reach the age of 30, you do not consider yourself to be a libertarian or a conservative, rush right back here as quickly as you can and apply for a faculty position. These people will welcome you with open arms. They will welcome you, that is, so long as you haven’t developed an individual identity. Once again you will have to be willing to sign on to the group mentality you embraced during the past four years.

Something is going to happen soon that is going to really open your eyes. You’re going to actually get a full time job! You’re also going to get a lifelong work partner. This partner isn’t going to help you do your job. This partner is just going to sit back and wait for payday. This partner doesn’t want to share in your effort, you’re your earnings.

Your new lifelong partner is actually an agent. An agent representing a strange and diverse group of people. An agent for every teenager with an illegitimate child. An agent for a research scientist who wanted to make some cash answering the age-old question of why monkeys grind their teeth. An agent for some poor demented hippie who considers herself to be a meaningful and talented artist ... but who just can’t manage to sell any of her artwork on the open market.

Your new partner is an agent for every person with limited, if any, job skills ... but who wanted a job at City Hall. An agent for tin-horn dictators in fancy military uniforms grasping for American foreign aid. An agent for multi-million-dollar companies who want someone else to pay for their overseas advertising. An agent for everybody who wants to use the unimaginable power of this agent's for their personal enrichment and benefit.

That agent is our wonderful, caring, compassionate, oppressive government. Believe me, you will be awed by the unimaginable power this agent has. Power that you do not have. A power that no individual has, or will have. This agent has the legal power to use force – deadly force – to accomplish its goals.

You have no choice here. Your new friend is just going to walk up to you, introduce itself rather gruffly, hand you a few forms to fill out, and move right on in. Say hello to your own personal one ton gorilla. It will sleep anywhere it wants to.

Now, let me tell you, this agent is not cheap. As you become successful it will seize about 40% of everything you earn. And no, I'm sorry, there just isn't any way you can fire this agent of plunder, and you can’t decrease it’s share of your income. That power rests with him, not you.

So, here I am saying negative things to you about government. Well, be clear on this: It is not wrong to distrust government. It is not wrong to fear government. In certain cases it is not even wrong to despise government for government is inherently evil. Yes … a necessary evil, but dangerous nonetheless … somewhat like a drug. Just as a drug that in the proper dosage can save your life, an overdose of government can be fatal.

Now – let’s address a few things that have been crammed into your minds at this university. There are some ideas you need to expunge as soon as possible. These ideas may work well in academic environment, but they fail miserably out there in the real world.
First – that favorite buzz word of the media, government and academia: Diversity!

You have been taught that the real value of any group of people - be it a social group, an employee group, a management group, whatever - is based on diversity. This is a favored liberal ideal because diversity is based not on an individual's abilities or character, but on a person’s identity and status as a member of a group. Yes – it’s that liberal group identity thing again.

Within the great diversity movement group identification - be it racial, gender based, or some other minority status - means more than the individual's integrity, character or other qualifications.
Brace yourself. You are about to move from this academic atmosphere where diversity rules, to a workplace and a culture where individual achievement and excellence actually count. No matter what your professors have taught you over the last four years, you are about to learn that diversity is absolutely no replacement for excellence, ability, and individual hard work. From this day on every single time you hear the word "diversity" you can rest assured that there is someone close by who is determined to rob you of every vestige of individuality you possess.

We also need to address this thing you seem to have about "rights." We have witnessed an obscene explosion of so-called "rights" in the last few decades, usually emanating from college campuses.
You know the mantra: You have the right to a job. The right to a place to live. The right to a living wage. The right to health care. The right to an education. You probably even have your own pet right - the right to a Beemer, for instance, or the right to have someone else provide for that child you plan on downloading in a year or so.

Forget it. Forget those rights! I'll tell you what your rights are! You have a right to live free, and to the results of your labor. I'll also tell you have no right to any portion of the life or labor of another.
You may, for instance, think that you have a right to health care. After all, Hillary said so, didn’t she? But you cannot receive health care unless some doctor or health practitioner surrenders some of his time - his life - to you. He may be willing to do this for compensation, but that's his choice. You have no "right" to his time or property. You have no right to his or any other person's life or to any portion thereof.

You may also think you have some "right" to a job; a job with a living wage, whatever that is. Do you mean to tell me that you have a right to force your services on another person, and then the right to demand that this person compensate you with their money? Sorry, forget it. I am sure you would scream if some urban outdoorsmen (that would be "homeless person" for those of you who don’t want to give these less fortunate people a romantic and adventurous title) came to you and demanded his job and your money.

The people who have been telling you about all the rights you have are simply exercising one of theirs - the right to be imbeciles. Their being imbeciles didn’t cost anyone else either property or time. It's their right, and they exercise it brilliantly.

By the way, did you catch my use of the phrase "less fortunate" a bit ago when I was talking about the urban outdoorsmen? That phrase is a favorite of the Left. Think about it, and you'll understand why.

To imply that one person is homeless, destitute, dirty, drunk, spaced out on drugs, unemployable, and generally miserable because he is "less fortunate" is to imply that a successful person - one with a job, a home and a future - is in that position because he or she was "fortunate." The dictionary says that fortunate means "having derived good from an unexpected place." There is nothing unexpected about deriving good from hard work. There is also nothing unexpected about deriving misery from choosing drugs, alcohol, and the street.

If the Left can create the common perception that success and failure are simple matters of "fortune" or "luck," then it is easy to promote and justify their various income redistribution schemes. After all, we are just evening out the odds a little bit.
This "success equals luck" idea the liberals like to push is seen everywhere. Democratic presidential candidate Richard Gephardt refers to high-achievers as "people who have won life's lottery." He wants you to believe they are making the big bucks because they are lucky.

It's not luck, my friends. It's choice. One of the greatest lessons I ever learned was in a book by Og Mandino, entitled "The Greatest Secret in the World." The lesson? Very simple: "Use wisely your power of choice."
That bum sitting on a heating grate, smelling like a wharf rat? He’s there by choice. He is there because of the sum total of the choices he has made in his life. This truism is absolutely the hardest thing for some people to accept, especially those who consider themselves to be victims of something or other - victims of discrimination, bad luck, the system, capitalism, whatever. After all, nobody really wants to accept the blame for his or her position in life. Not when it is so much easier to point and say, "Look! He did this to me!" than it is to look into a mirror and say, "You S.O.B.! You did this to me!"

The key to accepting responsibility for your life is to accept the fact that your choices, every one of them, are leading you inexorably to either success or failure, however you define those terms.
Some of the choices are obvious: Whether or not to stay in school. Whether or not to get pregnant. Whether or not to hit the bottle. Whether or not to keep this job you hate until you get another better-paying job. Whether or not to save some of your money, or saddle yourself with huge payments for that new car.

Some of the choices are seemingly insignificant: Whom to go to the movies with. Whose car to ride home in. Whether to watch the tube tonight, or read a book on investing. But, and you can be sure of this, each choice counts. Each choice is a building block - some large, some small. But each one is a part of the structure of your life. If you make the right choices, or if you make more right choices than wrong ones, something absolutely terrible may happen to you. Something unthinkable. You, my friend, could become one of the hated, the evil, the ugly, the feared, the filthy,, the successful, the rich.

Quite a few people have made that mistake.
The rich basically serve two purposes in this country. First, they provide the investments, the investment capital, and the brains for the formation of new businesses. Businesses that hire people. Businesses that send millions of paychecks home each week to the un-rich.

Second, the rich are a wonderful object of ridicule, distrust, and hatred. Few things are more valuable to a politician than the envy most Americans feel for the evil rich.
Envy is a powerful emotion. Even more powerful than the emotional minefield that surrounded Bill Clinton when he reviewed his last batch of White House interns. Politicians use envy to get votes and power. And they keep that power by promising the envious that the envied will be punished: "The rich will pay their fair share of taxes if I have anything to do with it.'

The truth is that the top 10% of income earners in this country pays almost 50% of all income taxes collected. I shudder to think what these job producers would be paying if our tax system were any more "fair."

You have heard, no doubt, that in America the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Interestingly enough, our government's own numbers show that many of the poor actually get richer, and that quite a few of the rich actually get poorer. But for the rich who do actually get richer, and the poor who remain poor … there’s an explanation -- a reason. The rich, you see, keep doing the things that make them rich; while the poor keep doing the things that make them poor.

Speaking of the poor, during your adult life you are going to hear an endless string of politicians bemoaning the plight of the poor in America. So, you need to know that under our government's definition of "poor" you can have a $5 million net worth, a $300,000 home and a new $90,000 Mercedes, all completely paid for. You can also have a maid, cook, and valet, and $1 million in your checking account, and you can still be officially defined by our government as "living in poverty." Now there's something you haven't seen on the evening news.

How does the government pull this one off? Very simple, really. To determine whether or not some poor soul is "living in poverty," the government measures one thing -- just one thing. Income. It doesn't matter one bit how much you have, how much you own, how many cars you drive or how big they are, whether or not your pool is heated, whether you winter in Aspen and spend the summers in the Bahamas, or how much is in your savings account. It only matters how much income you claim in that particular year. This means that if you take a one-year leave of absence from your high-paying job and decide to live off the money in your savings and checking accounts while you write the next great American novel, the government says you are 'living in poverty."

This isn’t exactly what you had in mind when you heard these gloomy statistics, is it?
Do you need more convincing? Try this. The government's own statistics show that people who are said to be "living in poverty" spend more than $1.50 for each dollar of income they claim. Something is a bit fishy here. just remember all this the next time Peter Jennings puffs up and tells you about some hideous new poverty statistics.

Why has the government concocted this phony poverty scam? Because the government needs an excuse to grow and to expand its social welfare programs, which translates into an expansion of its power. If the government can convince you, in all your compassion, that the number of "poor" is increasing, it will have all the excuse it needs to sway an electorate suffering from the advanced stages of Obsessive-Compulsive Compassion Disorder.

I'm about to be stoned by the faculty here. They've already changed their minds about that honorary degree I was going to get. That's OK, though. I still have my Ph.D. in Insensitivity from the Neal Boortz Institute for Insensitivity Training.

I learned that, in short, sensitivity sucks. It's a trap. Think about it - the truth knows no sensitivity. Life can be insensitive. Wallow too much in sensitivity and you’ll be unable to deal with life, or the truth. So, get over it.

Now, before the dean has me shackled and hauled off, I have a few random thoughts.

• You need to register to vote, unless you are on welfare. If you are living off the efforts of others, please do us the favor of sitting down and shutting up until you are on your own again.

• When you do vote, your votes for the House and the Senate are more important than your vote for president. The House controls the purse strings, so concentrate your awareness there.

• Liars cannot be trusted, even when the liar is the president of the United States. If someone can’t deal honestly with you, send them packing.

• Don't bow to the temptation to use the government as an instrument of plunder. If it is wrong for you to take money from someone else who earned it -- to take their money by force for your own needs -- then it is certainly just as wrong for you to demand that the government step forward and do this dirty work for you.

• Don’t look in other people's pockets. You have no business there. What they earn is theirs. What your earn is yours. Keep it that way. Nobody owes you anything, except to respect your privacy and your rights, and leave you the hell alone.

• Speaking of earning, the revered 40-hour workweek is for losers. Forty hours should be considered the minimum, not the maximum. You don’t see highly successful people clocking out of the office every afternoon at five. The losers are the ones caught up in that afternoon rush hour. The winners drive home in the dark.

• Free speech is meant to protect unpopular speech. Popular speech, by definition, needs no protection.

• Finally (and aren’t you glad to hear that word), as Og Mandino wrote,
1. Proclaim your rarity. Each of you is a rare and unique human being.
2. Use wisely your power of choice.
3. Go the extra mile ... drive home in the dark.
Oh, and put off buying a television set as long as you can.

Now, if you have any idea at all what's good for you, you will get the hell out of here and never come back.
Class dismissed.