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The question I have is what is the end game of all this madness? I keep hearing this mantra from people I know, the media, celebrities and political figures say, ” Buildings and property and can be replaced, but lives cannot.” As I watched so many cities, local and across the nation, being destroyed, the depravity is unconscionable and feels beyond counterproductive to what this is all about. None of it makes sense.

For the first time in my lifetime, I saw a nation completely come together and condemn a heinous act of police officers towards another human being, a citizen, a black man. There was no debate. It was crystal clear the evil that is happening. The conversation of change was gaining momentum by leaps and bounds. People of all walks of life went out to support change through peaceful protesting. The leaders of communities even gave latitude to vent. Then it turned dark. All the momentum of unity was snuffed out and the narrative changed to this insane mantra of supporting the destruction of our communities in the name of protesting.

In just a matter of days we are back screaming at each other, afraid of each other and hating each other. I don’t agree with the idea that destroying a city or a community drives a point and will avenge a heinous history of unfair treatment of our citizens of color. It has not been productive and effective in the past, in fact it made things worse. It incites something so far from where this started. We are still in throws of a community economic nightmare of a pandemic and now our communities look like a war zone by the hands of our own citizens. These buildings and property were jobs, livelihoods, dreams and security. These action could be the final KO to so many.

So I ask those that keep saying that buildings and property can be rebuilt, what is the goal? Is it to completely bring the US to our knees with the hope when the smoke clears, all racism and hate is gone? Is it about making citizens pay for injustice or feel the pain of what people of color feel? What is the justification and support for this? Because before this happened we were on the track towards waking up and wiping the sleep of complacency from our eyes. There was a second of hope. There was this moment of thought that even though we could not bring back George Floyd, we could make his name be something powerfully good for our country and start the real healing. Now, I fear that moment has gone and I am not sure what our future brings.

 

*Apparently it took a pandemic and the US being destroyed due to racial injustice to bring me back to the Pie Hole.  Glad to be back writing, sad on the reasons. 

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As you all know it is gearing up to be another doozy of a campaign year.  This is the inspiration for my Top Ten Tuesday!

10. Heck yeah I inhaled and then I followed up with one of the best munchy binges I ever had!

9.   Look Mr. John King, I get you are tying to showcase us as “hip – not in the dark ages” GOP presidential candidates, but with what is going on in this country and the world right now, I think my take on pop culture is a bunch of (bleep)!

8.   Of course I am going to raise your taxes.

7.  Everything I say during my campaign is nothing but smoke and mirrors.

6.  I may not know how many states there are in the Union, but I am only really counting the ones that matter to my campaign or political party.

5.  To be honest with you, I have no idea what is like to be poor or middle class, but I am going to legislate like I do.

4.  Constitution-smonstituion!  Who really reads that old rag anyway?

3.  You bet I had sexual relations with that woman.  It is just one of the many perks of being the leader of the free world.

2.  Attention Media: No matter how many times or ways you ask me a question I will never answer it. And another thing, take this to your breaking news desk . . .(bleep) off!

1. Yes, that was my Oscar Mayer all over the internet.  You got a problem with that?

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The other day I was listening to the news while driving my kids to the doctor’s office.  Let’s not forget to mention that I was spiking a fever of over 101 and had not had a full night sleep in nearly a week and I had two sick kids in the car. I thought I was hallucinating what I was hearing until later that night I saw the same coverage. 

A school district in Oakland, California has just launched its first teaching curriculum of  “gender diversity” as early as Kindergarten.  I went online and reviewed the curriculum.  It was a bit puzzling the comparison of the animal kingdom (fish and reptiles) they used to make the point about “gender diversity”; none of it made sense to me.  The reason those species change gender and/or transgender  is to keep the species in existence.  I don’t see how teaching that concept really reinforces pro-tolerance and ” human gender diversity”.  That is like comparing apples to oranges.   The reason people are gay or transgender has nothing to do with saving a species.  

However, this segment is not about pro or against gender diversity; this is about our schools doing the jobs of what should be done at home and since it is not being done at home (by a very small minority),they are taking on the responsibility.  The problem is that not only are they doing a poor job at taking on the job, they are losing sight that the Chinese are passing us by in the science and math department.  So while they are going to space and forming new ground breaking patents we will be well versed in the ill-informed information on hermaphrodite amphibians.  

 Is spending the VERY limited resources we have on education, teaching “gender diversity” in the  early elementary years really going to solve our problem of bullying, lack of tolerance and hate?  The sad thing is we will never be able to eradicate that from the human race.  Is this in the early classroom really going to set up our kids for success in competing with the dog eat dog socio-economic world? 

As you know I am not a fan of the Chinese government, they are not the beacon of good will and humanity towards mankind, but the one thing they understand is that knowledge and discipline is power. We have such a cutting  edge on true balance of both discipline with good boundaries and good education, but we fail to no longer combine them and that is to our losing race to countries like China.

Kids no longer have a healthy respect and sovereign fear of their educators.  Not because the educators have grown soft, but the educators are govern by out of touch legislation and administration that no longer allow the educator to hold true and meaningful consequences. 

I have several friends that teach, and the number one complaint they all have is that they have a few in the class that are just rotten kids that make educating challenging and downright impossible. The good kids suffer, the bad kids win in ruling the classroom.   The administration does not back them to get those few bad apples out of the mix, hold those parents responsible and get on with teaching the core subjects.  Instead they throw a new “teaching curriculum” at them to try to intercept the ill-behavior of a few.

I will be teaching my children “gender diversity” when it is appropriate and I will be using a realistic approach instead of felt boards filled with hermaphrodite amphibians and reptiles to pled my case.   I know that 99.9% of my friends and circle of influence will be doing the same.  Early elementary years is not the place or forum.  I expect my kids to be taught reading, writing, and arithmetic and be in a setting that reinforces respect for authority figures. 

It appears my choice to be sending my kids to Catholic school (even if it means I have to work two jobs to do it) will be in the cards for our family and we are not even Catholic.   It is known the Catholic school system knows how to produce competing test scores, reinforce respect and moral code, and demand parent involvement on a budget grossly less than what the public schools require.

Come on America, let’s get involved on the future of our kid’s education and support the educators do what they went to school to do; teach these kids how to achieve academic greatness! Especially since we are paying for it greatly in both tax dollars and competing with the rest of the world for economic security.

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This morning my neighbor and I went on our walk and the subject of NPR’s big brouhaha of management shake down came up.  To bring up to speed about the current event, NPR fired contributing journalist Juan Williams for saying he was uncomfortable boarding a plane with a Muslim on it, when he was on FOX news.  James O’Keefe, a conservative activist, recently did an undercover sting on one of the execs, Schiller, no relation to the CEO Vivian Schiller,  said that the tea party are racists Christian fanatics and that NPR does not really need the federal funding it gets from the feds.  Vivian Schiller stepped down because the board pretty much told her either she was fired or she had to resign and executive Ron Schiller was fired. 

First off did they not  fire Juan Williams for “racist” comments on another network?   Isn’t it what is good for the goose is good for the gander?  I really don’t care what was said about the tea party or Juan’s issue with getting on a plane with Muslims.  What I care about, and what I think NPR cared about, was Ron Schiller getting caught with his pants down on tape saying that NPR does not need federal funding.   He is one of the faces of NPR and even if he believes that, he is accountable to the board of directors and those that sign his paycheck to have and edit button on his pie hole, he just had a huge wake up call.  I feel NPR did the right thing.

Now, let’s get real here.  Anyone that listens to NPR on a daily basis, knows that NPR leans more to the social left so being targeted by a conservative activists because it is funded by the tax payers on where they really stand on issues is not suprising and they should know that as well.

I don’t like shady operations, I like everything out on the table and seeing everyone’s cards.  However we live in a society where both sides of the political spectrum do pretty outrageous things to prove or make a point and the conservative activist group found their golden nugget of opportunity and now we are dealing with the emotional fall out of that act.

 I see that many are outraged that NPR fired these two executives and a journalist for saying and doing things that are not “socially/politically correct”.  I say good for NPR.  These people were representatives for NPR and getting paid very well to be that face of NPR and there should be consequences to be in that role stating extreme opinions and speaking off the record about financial standings of that company.  Luckily for NPR President Obama is going to protect its funding despite this hiccup of diarrhea of the executive pie hole.  Yet, I do ask the question if NPR can really afford to be on the air without the federal dollars, then why are we not taking the money back and applying it to other areas of need?  Just a thought to ponder on.

The question I have for you fellow bloggers is the what was asked me today.  Where is the line crossed when you are accountable of what you say and do even if it is off the record and in a casual environment? 

My answer is that if you have a level of authority or a face of a “thing” you are accountable for everything you say and do on and off the record.   You are being compensated accordingly to be that face and it is a 24 hour job.  If you don’t want that responsibility, then step down.  I think the consequences that NPR handed out were fair.

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There was this documentary I saw a while ago that disturbed me to the core.  It was on all the Burmese Pythons that are being released into the wild by their irresponsible owners here in the US.  Most of the offences are in the Florida and surrounding states, but it is expanding into the western states. 

Apparently, these snakes can pretty much adapt to any environments and they are at the very top of any ecological food chain destroying the balance of the natural habitat.  That was just one part of the documentary, the other part of the documentary is what shook me to the core and exposed the core to the problem of why these exotic monsters should be left where they belong.

People are dumping these snakes because when the 20 somethings buy them, they are a manageable baby snake and in a couple of years it is eating thier 3-year-old toddler while they are helplessly sleeping in their crib.  Really that has happen several times. 

First off, let’s just address that NO one should ever own something this insane and wild with small children.  I would go as far as to say that there should be legislation passed where if it is legal to have those types of “exotics” that you must meet certain criteria and responsibility levels and safe guards (like owning a gun) and if you don’t then no exotic for you.  

In each case I read about a snake of this magnitude killing a small child, it got out of its cage.  If you saw the people who owned these lethal animals, they barely could take care of themselves and their dental hygiene let alone take care of a snake that was 15 feet long and weighed more than they did. 

Personally, I think exotics being owned by uncertified personnel (meaning you need to be a zoo keeper in a zoo) should be outlawed completely and this is coming from someone who  has  libertarian view points.  But at the end of the day, it is the government agencies and taxpayer’s monies that have to clean up the mess and infestation of biting off more than one can chew owning animals like this so to me legislating heavy handed is fair.   

To conclude my segment of Soap Box Sundays, I feel animals, even the domesticated dog and cat don’t have fair legislation on protecting them from being placed into bad situations.  They have decent legislation of getting them out of horrific situations, but preventing it, is a whole beast in and of its self.  Owning an animal of any kind is a privilege, not a right and it is the owner’s fiduciary duty to be able to take care of it without putting the environment and people at risk.

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Bye-Bye Unions, Hello Jobs!

OK, before I get the boo-hiss from all my fellow blogging  buds that are part of some kind union, hear me out.  On light of what is happening in Wisconsin I am going to take my day I dedicate my soap boxes to this subject. 

I have to say I have never worked for a company that had a union, but I have worked in corporate America private and non-profit.  I have also been on the giving end of “no more work for you, we are sending your job overseas or to Mexico because it is cheaper to make and we can’t compete.”  I have seen the hard “back-room” numbers that come with strategic planning and how much it costs to run a company and the burden rate of employees and I have to say unionized companies have an exceptionally high burden rate and the only thing I see that unions do now for the country is driving up the costs and putting certain politicians from certain political parties in office, thus the very “invested” interest politicians are having on this whole issue.

I have studied employment and ERISA law more than I want to  recall and this country does not need the collective bargaining and union protection of working and wage conditions.  Labor Law is strong and can hold and has proven it can hold up on its own well.  Just ask Wal-Mart about that.  

I once did a study on the burden rate of Toyota vs. GM and it was staggering the difference. Notice, Japan was not bailing out Toyota even in the recent recall crisis they had on sticky throttles.   Once while I was doing a wage/benefit analysis on positions that were the same as county/state employees as those of the non-profit I was working for, we could not compete.  It was nearly 15k 25k more in benefits and wages per position for the county/state employee and we wonder why the state of California is broke?

Now don’t get me wrong, I think that if a company/agency has been promising a person that has invested more than 18 plus years to a company for a solid pension and retirement plan, that needs to be honored – they don’t have time to contribute to a 401(k), they counted on that promise to survive .  But moving backwards the further down in years of service you go, the less benefits you get until all new hires are promised a solid wage, good work conditions, state law and reasonable benefits.  That would give time for people to regroup retirement planning.   In doing this, would  encourage companies to compete with each other and if the employees don’t like how they are treated they go to a company that does treat them better which puts the heat on the companies that don’t to do better or they fail. 

Oh, yes good old capitalism and at its finest!  I hope that the unions are done away with and that we can get competitive again and be the great nation that we are known to be. 

On a caveat, those that are true service workers for our communities, the soldier, the fireman, the cop, the nurse, the doctor, and the teacher, they need to be compensated above and beyond since they go above and beyond each and everyday making a HUGE investments into the communities present and future and I have no problem my tax paying monies go to them. They deserve rich benefit plans, not the guy that is pushing a button on a machine putting out widgets or a clerk pushing paper.  

Unions had its place and was very needed, but we evolved from that time.  We are in a society that is natural litigious and very employee friendly that they are not needed.  And for you that work for the union based organizations, ask yourself when was the last time they really did something for you except take a chunk out of your paycheck?

And on another note, these young teachers that are trying to build their careers that walked off the job site of educating young minds, who are they picketing for?  It appears they are not picketing for the kids, they are picketing for themselves and doing nothing to help get those kids educated right now in the present.  Get back in the class room and quit worrying about your benefits and teach, that is what the taxpayers are paying you for!

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This is an inspired moment from a recent post from my blog buddy and dear friend The Idiot Speaketh’s, “Sarah Palin helps me yet again” .

Having a” relative” secure spot in the harem I dare go out in the ledge and say that since the Kate Gosselin and Sarah Palin TLC incident, I have a new-found respect for Palin!  She made that crazy and media obsessed, (even though she says she hates it) Kate Gosselin lay in the fetal position sucking her thumb in one of the most beautiful places in the world. 

I also watched her recent interview on FOX ( January 17, 2011).  Yes, I do cross over to the “dark side” and watch that network along with CNN  CYA (they will not use “targeted”, “cross hairs”, “sticking to your guns”, “point-blank” or any reference that could be construed as encouraging violent rhetoric.  Give me a friggin’ break!   I am a smart person who writes and that just insulted my intelligence and love for the use of metaphors.) I digress. . .

The next day after the interview I  heard all the media scuttlebutt on what she said.  I was really disappointed on how many of the sound bites taken were not at all what was really said or even within context.  I double checked that by replaying the interview and what was being reported. It actually disturbed me.   The bottom line is, she may play the victim well, but falsely reporting what someone says it what the media obviously does well on both sides. 

For example, last nights’ news cycle on FOX was stating that the Democratic side was calling the Republicans Nazi’s during the repeal debate of Health Care Reform on the House floor yesterday. I saw and heard what the gentleman said.  IT WAS A METAPHOR so he could make his point.  Was it a bad metaphor?  It sure was not one of the best ones I have heard, but there was passion behind it and passion can fuel bad judgement in choice of words.   I have fallen victim of that many times (I am the queen of open mouth insert foot).   There was NO need to run that and have a “taking head” commentator instruct the viewer on what was said between the lines.  All it caused was more hate mongering and getting off point to what matters.

What unnerves me is how all this false reporting and stirring the pot for a story just continues to egg on hate for someone who if they would just blow each other off and not comment they would shut up and actually work on getting this country back on its feet. 

To me this whole thing is just a big political game.  It is like both sides need each other.  The left needs characters like Palin for a good story to showcase how conservatives and Tea Party constituents are a threat and ignorant and the right needs the Palin character so she can say what they are all afraid to say;  total passive aggressive approaches and that boils my blood. 
The bottom line is, whether you like her or not she has balls.  Are they smart balls? Yes, I think she “dumbs”  down like the stupid blond in High School in math class so she gets the attention she wants.  The one thing I can give her credit is that she does stick to her guns (no pun intended) and you know where she stands regardless if you like the smell of what she is standing in.  You don’t see that often enough in politics and that is something that I can appreciate and it makes me angry that she was portrayed in saying things regardless if you like what she said or not in a very untruthful spin.  

Just to clear it up, I not a “I love Sarah Palin” fan, but there are things she says that I can understand where she is coming from and I find myself agreeing with.  There are also things she says that I feel she just crawled out from under a rock on.  However, it all comes back to the fact she was able to showcase Kate Gosselin’s amazing ability to birth a cow on national television (roughing it in the great outdoors is always a good way to bring out someone’s true character)!  This just proves my point that you can always find silver lining in anything, even when it comes to Sarah Palin.

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I have  a good friend that has humanitarian as part of her DNA.  She is a child psychologist that focuses on PTSD in children and young adults.  She has led teams to Shir Lanka 6 weeks post the devastating tsunami and then did follow-up six months later.  She has traveled the world working with oppressed and traumatized people.  Recently she headed off to South East Asia to work with orphanages and safe havens for those that are fighting to stay off the radar of human trafficking and sold into sex and other forms of slavery.   This developed a passion that she is taking on and doing something about.

Currently she is trying to raise around 40k to build a safe haven for those that have their mark on them to be sold into the sex industry of South East Asia.  This is a place where these kids will live, grow up and be educated and protected from those, mostly family members, from being auctioned off for pennies on the dollar to be prostituted out at young as the age of five. 

Unfortunately, it does not just stop in the remote parts of the world.  It is here in the US in a very serious way.  There is a big question of the millions of  illegals that are in the this nation, how many are here against their will with death threats to themselves and their families if they do not comply with those that they fell into the hand of for trafficking and slavery.  There have been several sting operations that have been successful in my county alone within “massage” parlors and drug houses that is clear evidence that this is happening here on our soil.  

It just does not stop there with the US and the world having some responsibility in this issue.  Companies that take their business overseas  or across the border for a higher profit are not holding up their end of the deal on ensuring a realistic work environment that ensures safety and humane working conditions. They are not holding up their end of the deal to ensure that children are not being born into indentured families and having to work in insane work environments as early as the age of five or seven years of age.  

Free 2 Work is an organization that is slowly setting up a resource for consumers to be able to make informed decisions on the products they are chosing to buy and be able to boycott the ones that are not holding up their end of the deal of ensuring safety and humane treatment of the people who make or are a part of the manufacturing of that product.  It is graded from A-F on the US standards of manufacturing.  Obviously we can’t hold other countries to our standards, we can’t even do that without killing the profits of a company (that why is we send a vast majority overseas or across the border to be manufactured).  However, this website seems to be realistic in the fact that an A to a C- rating are companies that we can still do business with.  Those lower than that, need to get their act together and stop looking away from crimes on humanity. 

They have developed an application for your smart phone where you can scan an item and get a rating, that can help with making informed choices and not being part of enabling companies being able to profit and get away with bad horrifing business practices. 

This is something we all should think about;  it is our fiduciary responsibility as consumers to think about it. If you knew for a fact that the shirt or sneakers you are wearing were made by a child that was 5 years old or anyone of any age for that matter,  working 16-18 hours a day, never seeing the light of day, beaten, on machinery that exposes to radiation and/or no safety guards in place where there are daily amputees and serious injuries would you really want to support a company’s profits and wear that? 

Learning about this has changed our household and how we look at products before we buy them.  I wanted to get a Leap Frog toy for my child, and I will not now that I know they have a D- rating.  I love Carter’s children’s clothing, especially their jammies, but they get an F because they will not respond or communicate their business practices (which means they don’t feel they have a responsibility to be transparent to the consumer providing them their profits).  

 Free 2 Work is a good starting point on trying to make a difference in how consumers of the world hold companies accountable to just being humane. 

 http://free2work.org/home

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Lately I have heard that  this past Congress has spent more than the fist 100 Congresses combined. Considering this past Congress is the 111th that seemed like a fairytale, and it was hard to believe.   I went to research this and the only place I could find that fact was on conservative news presses, there was nothing coming up on mainstream media.  So I went to the treasury site and started breaking it down for myself.  They are right!  Why is that not being reported? 

Regardless of what your political views are we all agree that living within your means is an absolute.  When you think about putting the national debt (which is not just this and the former administration’s fault, this has been decades of doing) in perspective with an  average individual that is making 100k a year, that person’s credit card debt would be around a million dollars.  We would think that person was insane and understand that they would never get out from underneath that kind of debt nor would his kids, grandkids, and great-grandchildren. 

Obviously the politicians have a serious spending problem!  Everyone of us would questions the judgement if an individual behaved like this with their own life, why are we not doing the same with politicians that are in charge of spending the taxpayer’s money to make this country a great place? 

Regardless if we need healthcare reform, extensions on unemployment, bail outs of companies, the first thing that the politicians should ask is can we afford it and if we can’t and it is important to us, then what do we have to get rid of or cut down in order to make that happen?  I know that is how I have to live. 

When an average person hears that the national debt is around 14 trillion dollars, it is a number that is so hard to conceive, that we just blow it off.  But when you put that number into perspective to someone who deals in just thousands, not billions or trillions, it changes its shape to having a great deal of concern. 

Today Congress changed hands, and there was  a lot of grand standing and show-boating of reading the Constitution like it was the first day of grammar school.   Politicians as a whole are not trust worthy and they should have been reading the Constitution decades ago.  It is like someone with their New Year’s Resolution diet plan; we all know how those work out in the end.   Unfortunately, it looks like we need Congressional Spending Gastric Bypass,  not Constitutional Weight Watchers.  Counting points to cut spending is not going to cut it, we need an extreme and invasive spending cuts that may be hard to digest to get us on the right track. 

It is time to wake up America, this is our future and it is in some seriously scary hands on both sides.  We are the ones that can change this, not Congress or any politician in Washington DC.  We need to start holding these overpaid, out of touch, on their own health care plans, guaranteed retirements and the “unlimited credit card” funded by us, the world and our future generations accountable and really see what is happening on the Hill.

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When I was  about six or seven we lived in California.  My dad was gone a lot, doing who knows what , and I was left with my first step mother her daughter that was six years older than me and my youngest half-sister that was just a baby. 

 Let me back up a little.  What I mean by who know where my father was, meant really that.  He would just disappear for weeks, not leave much money, we had no transportation, but could walk to the store if we needed food, again that is if we had enough  money.  As mentioned before my father was a Vietnam Vet that was still trying to adjust back into reality and was not doing that well (he is doing amazing now and has turned out to be a good dad to his adult daughter and a wonderful grandfather.  I would never call him a great father, because he was not that when I needed him to be and he owns that.  He has a strength that I admire so much in him.  He made tons of mistakes and big ones, but he owns them all, turned his life around and polished up his heart of gold and made himself a success story – there are still issues and he does like to push buttons, but he conquered his personal Everest!).  

During this time, my step mother would make these dolls, I called them Pee- Pee Dolls, because that was exactly what they were.  They were made out of nylon stockings and fluffy felt.  They were little cave men and when you would lift up their beards, their pee-pee’s would pop up.  I was part of the assembly line on those projects and I think that is why I abstained from sex until well into my twenties, those things scared the death out of me. Anyway, we had three next door neighbors in their late twenties and early thirties that always  participated in flea markets selling their art and willow furniture they made.  They would take bags of this Pee -Pee Dolls and sell them for her.  With that money we would have money for our daily needs.

If things were a bit tight and there were no cave men to sell, these next door neighbors would bring us bags of groceries and check up on us a couple of times a week and do odds and ends around the house if needed or just be a companion for my step-mother to smoke weed with and socialize.  They were very wonderful men, beautiful men, the kind you could stare at all day and never get bored doing it; they each looked like a member of an 80’s hair band. They had great patience with us and even took interest in our pictures we drew, stories we waned to be read, you know kid stuff.

One day my step mother explained to me that our neighbors were gay.  I responded to her, “I know they are happy, they are the nicest people on the street, why wouldn’t they be”.  She laughed and left it at that.  She realized that child like perception was the best way to look at life. 

We moved away a little while later leaving my father there and lost touch. Over the years I always wondered what happened to them and wished I could have thanked them for their kindness.  My grandmother told me that they moved to Wisconsin and opened a restaurant (since she owned that house we lived in).   A year ago, I was having a conversation with my Aunt (not related to my father) and somehow this story came up.  When I said Wisconsin she asked if their names were Jim, David, and Jessi.  I was floored! How did she know them?  Apparently, the world is a small one and when it comes to antique dealers and ex husband’s ex wives.   Turns out my aunt’s ex-husband and father of her son married a woman who was friends with them and they were all antique dealers (they are now divorced).  They all moved to Wisconsin and they started a restaurant and antique shop.  Within twenty-four hours of that conversation, I had a phone number and was calling these three angels from my childhood.  I could finally thank them!

The phone call was a bit of a shock to them and it was a bit of a shock to hear Jessi passed away about ten years ago.  It was a great conversation and I could tell that they were genuinely happy  “gay”  to hear from me. I was able to thank them and they were able to hear good reports on how it all turned out.  I could tell they were proud and honored that I made an effort to contact them just to say thank you.  We never exchanged information, we just left the conversation the way it was and hung up.  I feel that for some reason both of us needed to have that happen, not sure why, but it did.  

Those three men were my first introduction to the gay community and I was blessed to have them in my life.  With that experience, I could never hold prejudice or malic towards someone because of their sexual orientation.  What someone does in their bedroom is less concerning to me than what someone does out among society.  These young men were kind, caring, loving and thoughtful.  They showed compassion to a woman and three children, they were even kind to my father.  They understood that he was messed up from the war, and even though they did not like what he was doing, they were kind.   I cherish this piece of my history very much.  It was part of the molding process of understanding what being a kind and tolerant person is about.

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