The Stand – Teaching My Paperboy an Important Life Lesson

We learn Karate so we don't have to fight

We learn Karate so we don’t have to fight

As I wrote about in (this story) we boys need to pay attention and learn when and when not to fight.  It’s one of our more important lessons to learn.  There are times when it becomes very important to stand your ground.  By that, I don’t mean that you should go looking for fights or even that arguments should result in battles.  Those of you who’ve hung in there with me for many stories know that I’m not a fighter.  If I have to fight, I have to feel threatened or perhaps someone I care about is being threatened.  And if I do fight, look out because I will not fight fair. Continue reading

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Everybody Loves Tim – Part Two

Our Little Man

Our Little Man

And now, the exciting conclusion to Everybody Loves Tim Part One.

And here we are, some 20 years later.

For awhile, during high school and a few months after, I was doing the ‘normal Dad thing’ with Tim.  You know, coaching him to go to college, offering him up with various alternatives for the future, etc.  I kept running into a brick wall until I finally realized – “Tim” needs to push himself.  Tim needs to be the one to figure out what it is he wants to be, what he wants to do to earn money enough to finance whatever lifestyle he wants to live.

Let’s do a big flashback and go back to the beginning.  Continue reading

Agent Orange is the New Black – I Like You, I’ll Kill You Last

Nasty Stuff - not a WMD?

Nasty Stuff – not a WMD?

There are of course many qualities and behaviors which should be nurtured as we’re trying to learn to be good leaders; aspects like integrity, trust, mutual respect and several others.  I’ve always tried to lead and manage by applying The Golden Rule.  I understand what it means to have the ‘luck of birth’.  We don’t get a choice as to our fathers and mothers or how they choose to raise us.  No one likes to follow, (or even be around), people who think they are better than others.  Humility is an important aspect to display when you’re trying to gain the respect of, and lead others.  Nowhere is this perhaps more important than in dangerous areas – whether it is in a militaristic situation or, in my case, working for 8 years in a foundry where perhaps 20% of our population had criminal records. Continue reading

My Sister is a Fighter – Challenging the Household Pecking Order

The Clan

The Clan

In Bucking the Pecking Order (read me) I wrote about how there existed a natural kid pecking order in ‘The Alley’ – dictated by grade level or age.  It was one of the great natural existing rules created by Alley Ancestors; a rule which aided the survival of the entire Alley Tribe because it eliminated internal Alley Prison Riots and ensured our numbers remained large and strong.  Within the families though was a different story.  Normally age level dictated a natural pecking order, but occasionally one larger, younger sibling challenged the ranks.  I saw this happen amongst almost all of our families in The Alley – usually it was the larger families where tensions ran high due to our being imprisoned together in cramped quarters.  Today, there are laws against such cruelty against children.

Continue reading

Prytania Boys will be Boys – Learning When and when NOT to Fight

I'm certain we were better looking than this motley crew

I’m certain we were better looking than this motley crew

This week’s “Remember the Time” writing theme is about rivalries – a time when I was involved in a sibling or some other type of rivalries.  So I got to thinking about this topic and decided that for the most part, girls have rivalries and boys take more assertive action.  We like order and we like knowing what our place is in the pecking order (read me).  Whether it be a display of superiority on the basketball court or football field or in war, we seem to have a natural tendency towards “settling the matter”.  I’m not saying it’s the best policy – in fact the world would be a much safer place if we all just learned to be a little more introspective like my buddy Emily  (read her) or more ‘live and let live’ like my buddy Kelly, (read her) but we boys are just wired differently than girls.  In the following story I attempt to share a slice of my own experiences with rivalries and fighting while growing up.  Continue reading