Cameron and David

I have already written a blog about Scott Cameron Sasser and gotten into trouble for calling him “my first love.” Those who didn’t understand our friendship would say that I denied tribute to my wife of twenty years. My relationship with Scott was not intimate in a sexual way; it was intimate in a friend way. When I met Cameron, I had just come out of the closet to myself and only to a few other gay people who attended a group entitled “Straight Ahead,” a religious group that was supposed to deliver someone homosexuality. Scott and I both attended regularly, having been taught that homosexuality was a sin. He was working at a discount drug store. I was considerably older than he and was working in an educational position with the county. I urged him to think positive about himself and aim high. I encouraged him to apply for a job with an airline, and that’s what he did. I took him to the airport when he flew off to Minneapolis to be interviewed by Northwest Airlines. He made it. I don’t know how he and David met, but it was a positive relation-ship from the beginning. Over the years, I wrote e-mails; Cameron called on the phone, not wanting to write to an English teacher. When I learned of his illness on Facebook, I wrote several times encouraging him. I will miss my friend and am so happy that he aimed high and accomplished many things, including a beautiful 25-year relationship with David.

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From My Journal (1961)

October 11, 1961 (Wednesday) – There is no need to follow international news these days for it is the kind of situation that is hair-raising. There is nothing we can do about it so why worry? — JFK says that the Berlin situation is in its most crucial stage. Berlin is boiling; the UN is seething; and General Maxwell Taylor is being sent to assess the crisis in Vietnam. How could things get any worse? In times like these, it is hard to accept the status quo. What is going to happen? Someone will fire one shot, and the whole bloody situation will erupt. It is a strange and savage world in which we live. We might as well live in a jungle with all its heat and grasping foliage. Huxley wrote of a strange, brave, new world, at the turn of this century, but will there even be human life on this planet to fulfill his sinister plot? I used to wish that I would live to see the year 2000, but that was back when WWII had just ended, and the world was facing a new sunrise. How terrible that that same sun must be shaded again so soon by the clouds of Communism. 

Good morning/day. May I remind you that “the only fear we have to fear is fear itself.” We have survived so far.

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Bad Launch

One morning this week, Dimitris was ready to head out the door for his morning walk. However, he didn’t make it out the door before realizing his keys were missing. What a bad way to begin one’s day. After searching the house, he checked the car and found the keys beside the passenger seat in the car. After he did his walk, we headed to Lexus of Clearwater to have them determine why the automatic door-opener and car-starter were working only with the remote and did not respond to touch, as they always had before. When we arrived at the Lexus dealership (after missing a couple of directions), I could tell that the mechanic who was to work on our car was puzzled by the situation. Anyhow, he agreed to check out the car ($89.00) and hopefully to discover the reason for the malfunction. We were directed to the lounge and told that it would be at least one hour. A moment later, the mechanic walked into the lounge and declared, “You’re ready to go.” Another mechanic at the dealership had heard our conversation and knew of some under-the-dash button that had caused the malfunction. On the way home, I decided to detour and show Dimitris the little village of Safety Harbor. What had started badly had turned into a very positive day.

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Working Beyond Retirement

Although I am a retired teacher, I still enjoy working. I don’t want to work every day but an occasional return to the classroom energizes me. I am fortunate to be linked to St. Petersburg College where I was, for a while, employed as an adjunct teacher. I now am able to work there as a substitute teacher when the need arises. As a “sub,” I can be called on to teach a class or sometimes just to proctor during testing. I prefer actively teaching as the time passes more quickly. There are several advantages to being able to “sub”: (1) the college pays me; (2) I am not required to make lesson plans; and (3) I grade no compositions or tests. So, as long as I’m physically able and enjoy being in the classroom, I will continue to come in and work at the college, when I’m not traveling.

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Boo Who!

“Be afraid! Be scared! No, the boogie man isn’t going to get you but something is: either global warming, terrorists, gangs, the next hurricane season, avian flu, plastic bottles, your cell phone, etc. That’s what we are overdosed with these days. I don’t understand why the weather prognosticators frighten us with the prediction of as many as fifteen tropical storms every season. That prediction is almost certainly speculative. When a catastrophe happens, the reporting is always the worst. I remember when 9/11 occurred, the first report was that more people may have been killed than were killed in the Vietnam War. What happened to the bird flu, the pandemic that we were supposed to fear so much? I remember my brother telling me that he stopped at Wendy’s and didn’t know whether to opt for the bird flu or mad cow disease. I refuse to be afraid but enjoy every day of my life to the fullest. Along with the Biblical peace that passes understanding, I operate on Franklin Roosevelt’s axiom, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” I have a healthy respect for safety, but I refuse to live my life fearing the unknown. Yes, I do believe we will survive President Trump.

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The Repository

As many of my readers know, I am a diarist. I have blogged about my journals in which I have been writing since 1954. My greatest concern has been the ultimate repository of my life story via the journals. Recently, when reading a biography about the life of James Merrill, an American poet, I read that the Getty institute in Los Angels accepted diaries. However, when I contacted that institute, I was informed that, although they do not accept diaries, a British group entitled “The Great Diary Project” does accept journals. Next, I contacted this organization, which is part of the Bishopsgate Institute, and received a response almost immediately, stating that they would enthusiastically receive my diaries. This is answered prayer.

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OTC Medications

As a senior citizen, I take four prescription medicines each day. They deal with my blood pressure and my cholesterol. I also take senior vitamins. In the past, I dealt with headaches that occurred rather often. I tried many over-the-counter medications: Bayer aspirin, Panadol, Aleve, Tylenol, etc. All worked to some degree, but they proved to be not effective enough for me to feel taking the medications was the answer to the problem. Over the years, I have discovered two OTC medications that definitely work for me. One is Advil which will relieve pains for me and will prevent a return of symptoms for several days. I understand that Advil could adversely affect my liver so I take it sparingly. The other very effective medication is cold and sinus tablets, either the Walgreen brand or Advil. This medication will eradicate a headache usually within one hour. It is almost miraculously effective. I also realize that this medication elevates my blood pressure. When I checked with my primary care physician, I was told not to overuse it. Fortunately, I don’t have headaches nearly so often as I did in the past. I am convinced that most pain killers are somewhat effective, but each individual must find which ones work for them. I am so grateful for both of these medicines that work for me and give me relief when needed.

Reader, if you are not a follower of my blog, I hope you will become one. Go to and on the bottom of the right hand corner you will see the opportunity to sign up so that you receive this blog every time it is published. Click on the word FOLLOW and enter your e-mail address. Thank you.

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