Sunday, September 27, 2015

YOUTH:  Long Gone But Not Forgotten!

WISDOM   WISDOM   WISDOM   WISDOM   WISDOM   WISDOM   WISDOM

        YOUR PERSONAL GPS
You might reach your life's destination better if you remember
YOUTH IS HAPPY BECAUSE IT HAS THE ABILITY TO SEE BEAUTY.  ANYONE WHO KEEPS THE ABILITY TO SEE BEAUTY NEVER GROWS OLD -  Franz Kafka

MAY BE NO FOOL LIKE AN OLD FOOL, BUT OUR OBSERVATION HAS BEEN THAT THE YOUNG FOOL RUNS HIM A CLOSE SECOND - Gonzales


RILEY AND DELANEY ROSE
Ages 16 and 14

The youngest of nine grandchildren, Riley is 16 and his sister, Delaney Rose, is 14, a junior and a freshman in one of the nation's top high schools.  My wife and I have been quite involved in their lives, my wife at this very moment going to dinner with "Rosebud".  The kids are blessed with two far above average parents, educated, loving and involved.  They live in a home just a bit short of being a mansion, which took two years to build to their parents specifications.  With all this going for them, I watch as they struggle growing through youth, all very normal.  I am made to think of how much I missed, or not, in my youth.



IN YOUTH WE RUN INTO DIFFICULTIES.  IN OLD AGE DIFFICULTIES RUN INTO US -  Beverly Sills





WALT PIERCE
A Senior At 16
I never knew the blessings that Riley and "Rosebud" can take for granted.  Born at the start of a world wide depression, I was so big that I went to the first grade when I was only 5.  When I was Riley and "Rosebud's" age, I lived by myself on $10.00 a week.  My apartment costs $5.00 a week leaving me $5.00 for every thing else.  I lied about my age, after all, I was a senior in high school, so obviously I was at least 18, and I joined the West Virginia National Guard, which paid me $18.00 a month, $37.00 when the Guard was called out for a flood in 1947.  Even though I doubled my spendable income, by then I had discovered girls and acquired an old car.  Yes, gas was only about a quarter a gallon, still and yet!  I did not have enough food to eat going from 172 when I played football to 166 when I joined the Navy.

Yet, I had full freedom in my youth, some thing that few have.  Yes, I also had the full responsibility for my life that almost none had.  Although no one would ever know the difference, I never missed a day of school.  That being said, from time-to-time I fell asleep in class from playing rum all night with an older friend, a madam in a whore house.

IN YOUTH THE DAYS ARE SHORT AND THE YEARS ARE LONG.  IN OLD AGE THE YEARS ARE SHORT AND THE DAYS ARE LONG - Pope Paul VI


WALT AGE 17
In Boot Camp
ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN, ONE GIANT STEP FOR MANKIND!  Nah!  Probably not, but my youth took one giant step upward when I was 17.  I joined the Navy.  I graduated from high school on May 22, 1948 and wanted to go right in the Navy but at age 17, my parents had to sign for me and wouldn't.  Well, they wouldn't until they started being informed about the wild and rowdy life I was living.  I was sworn into the Navy on July 22, 1948.  I THOUGHT I WAS IN HEAVEN!  Sure the drill instructors were tough, but none as tough as my Dad.  I was a boxer and played football and boot camp was just another team.  I loved boot camp.  AND, FOOD, ALL YOU WANTED!  My weight jumped from 166 to 218, an not an ounce of fat.  I was the only guy who didn't complain about the baked beans and corn bread on Saturday morning, a  Navy tradition.

TO GET BACK MY YOUTH I'D DO ANYTHING IN THE WORLD, EXCEPT TAKE EXERCISE, GET UP EARLY, OR BE RESPECTABLE - Oscar Wilde


WALT AGE 18
Aboard The USS Yuma
From the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, Boot Camp, I went to a Class A Radio School in Norfolk, Va.  After learning to send and receive morse code at 18 words-a-minute, something I can still do, I was assigned to the USS YUMA ATF94 in Vallejo, California.  I was a "striker" to a Radioman Third Class, RM3, by the name of Wise.  Eventually, I was promoted to Third Class Petty Officer, RM3, and Wise was transferred.  I loved the YUMA, she was a feeder.  It was a sea going tug and a work ship.  On duty you wore jeans and a tee shirt, otherwise the most common uniform of the day was shorts and wooden shower shoes.  The best food in the world!  All you wanted!  And, being "the" radio man, I had no duty, and had far more liberty than I had money.

IN YOUTH WE LEARN, IN AGE WE UNDERSTAND - Marie von Ebner



WALT AGE 20
In The Hospital
I was in the Korean war zone when that war started and had to do a one year extension on my enlistment.  I broke my left wrist and had surgery.  I lost every thing I had as my ship sailed without me.  My greatest loss being my football varsity sweater.  Someone commented negatively about me wearing white sox in this picture.  I lost all my clothes,  which I had to pay to replace.  In the hospital, with a cast on my left arm in this picture, rules were pretty lax.  I hadn't been further north than Hawaii in three years.  Even in San Francisco, without a pea coat, I nearly froze.  When I got out of the hospital, I served a couple months on an aircraft carrier, USS INTREPID CV11 and about three months aboard the USS HEMMINGER DE746.


YOUTH IS A GIFT OF NATURE, BUT AGE IS A WORK OF ART - Jerzy LEE






I once had hundreds of employees and a large support staff in a Tire Plant.  Then, I became a Stock Broker and retired a Vice President at age 60.  What did I learn from a highly successful adult life?  That, in all truth, my greatest treasure is my family.  This picture was taken on my 80th Birthday Party with the entire family present.  

Everyone of my children and grandchildren, except the two youngest,  have graduated from college, many with Master's Degrees.  I've come a long ways from my youth.  I am truly blessed.

AGING IS NOT LOST YOUTH BUT A NEW STAGE OF OPPORTUNITY AND STRENGTH - Betty Friedan




GOD BLESS YOU AND YOURS

GOD BLESS AMERICA

2 comments:

Mark Pierce said...

Really enjoyed reading.

Cheryl said...

I enjoy reading about your life. Your life has been very full indeed, and you have a wonderful family who adores you.