ALS Warrior PoetALS WARRIOR POET
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BLAZEMAN'S  WORDS  OF HOPE...

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Holiday
In 2005
Speech 1
Westward Bound
Me & You
Me & You
I Am
I Am
Sept. 11th
Sept. 11th

"The bold don't live forever, but the timid don't live at all."

Unknown

THE GREEN BUS PLAT

‘In Memory Of All Those Who Lived It’

Neighborhood Boundries are set by Bullies
Only created to try and regulate Childhood Fears
With no regard for a Kid’s unalienable Rights.

Among those to…

Treat neighboring Fences as they were intended
As rules for targets, home runs and ground rule doubles
To be jumped, destroyed… to get the fuckin’ ball back.

Even be a Landing Pad from the Moon...

Not that Neighborhood Boundries have no place here
They do… but they were never meant to be Barriers that kept Kids from
Only starting points that suggest how much further Kids could go out.

We Did It.

-blazeman

Poem Dedication…

From: The Blazeman

To: the Self Proclaimed ‘’Crazy Irishman’’ Mr. Brian Breen

NAMCHEE BAZAAR
"The Invitation by Orion Mountain Dreamer"
"Copyright (c) 1995 by Oriah House. All rights reserved.
For information address HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022."

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your hearts longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams or for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your sorrow. If you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and close from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fit it. I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with the wildness and let the "Meatheadedness" fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you're telling is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself, if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. I want to know if you can be faithful and trustworthy. I want to know if you can see beauty even when it is not there everyday, and if you can source your life from its presence. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still shout stand on the edges of a lake, river or mountain and shout to the silver of the full moon. Yes! I'm a Meathead...

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after a night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for someone you love.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself, and truly like the company you keep in the empty moments of your life and still remember me...

Your friend, Blazeman - King of all "Meatheads" 2004.

Why Do I Teach?

My Educational Philosophy
By: Jonathan S. Blais

Parents… Students… Teachers…
Too often we are scared.
Scared of what we might not be able to do.
Scared of what people might think if we tried.
We let our fears stand in the way of our hopes.
We say yes when we want to say no.
We sit quietly when we want to scream.
And we shout at others, when we should keep our mouths shut.
Why?
After all, we only go around once.
There's really no time to be afraid.
So stop.
Try something you've never tried.
Teach it… Do it… Risk it…
My educational philosophy is simple.
Be original…
Idealistically, Pragmatically, Humanistically, and behave yourself.
In the real word,
Problems solvers keep their hands out of their pockets.
Walk the walk, not the talk and learn from your mistakes.
Follow a leader or lead the followers.
Have a goal, make a plan, and just do it.
Share a global view and find a way to communicate.
Think big and start small.
Finish what you start and always stay the course.
Listen and hear… don't just do one or the other.
Think of your students first and always be true to the cause.
Remembering that…
Wiping your hands clean is a good thing
As long as it isn't with someone else's blood, sweat and tears.
Share your ideas with every student you meet.
Shake their hand, hold it, and remember it for life.
After all,
You have nothing to lose except your fear.
Only everything,
Everything… to gain.

-blazeman



"The difference between great people and everyone else
is that great people create their lives actively,
while everyone else is created by their lives,
passively waiting to see where life takes them next.
The difference between the two
is the difference between living fully and just existing."

Michael E. Gerber

"For a split second time stood still.
A steady gaze that took me back to my yesteryear.
The explosive laugh that totally consumes
A pain that runs so deep it is indescribable.
Privileged that our steps ran stride for stride and
Blessed to have been touched… it's not the heart of the
Matter but a matter of the heart."

Granola Girl

WHAT WOULD PRE… DO ?

“Boundaries are set by dictators
Created to regulate people grazing
And employ border patrol personnel…
With no regard for mankind’s unalienable rights…
Among those to… treat the world as it was intended
As a place of curiosity and chance…
To be walked… scaled and by all means trodden.
Not that limits have no place here…
They do… but they were never meant to be barriers that keep you in.
Only starting points that suggest how much further you could go out.”

Just Do It.
Nike

THE BLAZEY WAY

You know it…
You know it now when you see it.
For five summer years…
It worked every time.
Hiking - Climbing & Playing in the sun.
A little "Blazeman Therapy" would get them,
Yapidy Yappin' on the way out,
Yapidy Yappin' all along the way,
Fading Yapidy Yap on the way in,
And then Bam…
As I would check the rear view…
It's just a blazeman at the wheel.
I was once asked, why should we go?
What are the risks in it facing our institution?
What's the worst thing that could happen out there?
Somebody could die, I said.
But it never happened… not on my watch.
Thanks for making those moments happen you guys.

-blazeman

"Do what you love.
Know your own bone;
gnaw at it, bury it,
unearth it, and
gnaw at it still."

-Thoreau

"No… no, Number-One, time is not our enemy…
but rather think of time as our companion that travels with us on our journey through life.
It reminds us to cherish every moment because when they're gone, they'll never come again.
What we leave behind is not as important as how we lived."

Captian Picard

A long life may not be good enough but a good life is long enough.
Wish not so much to live long as to live well.

Ben Franklin

Hey Mr. Tough Guy,

        Or should I say Dr. Mr. Tough Guy? Still lookin' sharp these days… suspenders in all I bet in 2005. But I remember you best back in the day teachin' the Meatheads like myself their two-bi-two's. I don't know what you know, but Kevin and I use to talk shit about you. I remember you flinging books, chalk, overheads, crackin' yardsticks… some memorable times on Newman Ave. I kept in touch with Kevin over the years via the phone, e-mails and stopping in on my winter pilgrimage at the red Bossman's house leaving him a Holiday Hello! When I got lucky, I warmed a bench with him a time or two at Eats. It was an honor to finally have earned his respect. The shit you guys pulled off back in the day, of course the camping trip, the dances, "We are the world", the slideshows, but the authentic teacher involvement… I've yet to see anything like it, never mind, come close to it. Times have changed. I often wonder, what we have become? You can't go back. That's what I think makes memories what they are and good ones worth longing for. I visited Kevin back in August and I hope to see him again soon. You think he had something to do with the Bo Sox's making history? (I was chanting Kevin, Kevin, Kevin… that whole week.) I 'd like to think so. Anyway Big Dennis, I'm looking to have this $500.00 donation make its way to the Dr. Kevin Hurley Fund. As for me, I own a condo minutes from the Pacific. I'm almost finished with my masters program. I will be done in June. I'm still teaching… almost a decade now, they call me "CONRAC". Do you know of the movie? Then I've got Ironman plans to make happen, sub 10 hours…we will see? When the day comes that I find myself back on the eastern seaboard. I was wondering what kind of pull you still might have down at my old stomping ground, Barrington Beach… (nobody ever touched me 5 years straight at that beach). I'll be looking for that summer job. Nothing beats a Del's and a New England summer breeze on the Narragansett Bay my friend. Not even San Diego…

P.S. Please give my best to Mr. T. and Mad Man Martin.
I've enclosed some junk mail as I was thinning out my stash over the holidays.
Warmest Regards in 2005!!!
-blazeman

SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL…

I would like to think of our friendship
As being like that of two rivers…
Which one-day…within the fleeting moments of time…
Met and suffused…
Two rivers that arose from different valleys…
And flowed together to the sea…
Stirring and breaking to curve separate courses…
Towards destiny's distant… alas… uncharted waters.
No longer will the rivers together flow.
Time and space will be between them.
But as friends who together flowed
Through the valley of knowledge…
Each will retain a part of the other.
Sometimes rivers meet again… if only for a span.
So perhaps somewhere with the eternity of time…
Our lives again will converge. But…
If even for a moment… we can relive together
The friendship we have had…
I will cherish until death the mere fact
That I have known you.

Heather Cyr

BY RIGHTS…

"Sometimes shit just gotta be done the way it gotta be done."

Tommy Clegg Four Town Farm University

CRITICS
They speak only of winning vs. losing…
Tounge talkers… strategy makers… expert babblers…
Usually… it’s from a comfortable place called a couch.
I hear it’s the place to be every weekend come ball season.
Like they know what it takes to put their shit on the line beyond high school.
Hey honey… can you bring me some chips and beer?
Pay your dues and let time do its thing.
For whatever the reason… win or lose.
I’ve come to battle.
So when the gun goes off…
Get off your couch.
Come bring what you got.
CAUSE…
I’ll be looking for a good beating.

-blazeman

Music to My Ears

Sometimes you hear tunes that take you back to the days of answering to the call,
finding your way,
learning about what you are made of,
and what matters most…
late nights among fire and friends in places where over the years…
sun shined, rain dropped, snow fell, and memories were made.

Hurley & Company gave me the gift of the outdoors.

In good memory…

-blazeman

Would you tell us Billy?
What it feels like when you're dancing?

"I don't know.
Sort of feels good.
Sort of stiffen up.
But once I get going,
I like, forget everything
And, sort of disappear.
Yeah, disappear…
Like, I feel a change in me whole body.
Like, there's fire in me body.
I'm just there… flying… like a bird.
Like electricity… yeah, electricity."

Billy Elliot

"There is no finish line."

"Just Do It."

Nike

"I want to know the thoughts of God.
All the rest are details."

Albert Einstein

"Have a dream… make a plan… go for it.
You'll get there I promise."

Zoe Koplowitz
Achilles Track Club Member with M.S.
Who finished the New Youk City Marathon Using crutches in 24 hours.

"If you push the human body, it will respond."

NHL Hockey Player
Bobby Clark

"IF YOU BELIEVE…
YOU'RE TECHNICALLY
CREATING SOMETHING."

ISAAC MOLINA

"If you're too busy to run, then you're too busy."

Walt Stack

"The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare."

Juma Ikangaa

"On Saturday night, I said to myself,
'Are you ready to deal with victory?'
I decided I was."

Joan Benoit on her thoughts prior to the 1984 Olympic Marathon

"At the two-thirds mark,
I think of those who are still with me.
Who might make a break?
Should I?
Then I give it all I've got."

Ibrahim Hussein

"If you want to set a P.R.
you'll have to go a little berserk."

Boston Billy

"Believe in yourself, know yourself, and be humble."

John Treacy Los Angeles 84'

"The difference between a jogger and a runner is an entry blank."

Dr. George Sheehan

"Pain is to be embraced, not feared.
The mind is the most powerful muscle of them all.
Through hardship,
we learn the secrets of our greatness.
A grip on our mind.
A grip on our game.
A death grip on all comers."

Competitor Magazine

"When ever it wants to, the past can come kicking the door down
and you never know where it's gonna take you.
All you can do is hope it’s a place you'll wanna go."

Bobby Garfield

Scream Dream 5.10c
"The deepest satisfaction we can get from chasing a goal,
is to wire ourselves into the daily rituals of practicing our chosen activity
and focusing on the quality of the process.
When the discipline itself becomes the reason we do something,
then the key events, no longer dictate our enjoyment of what we do.
While it's a good thing to test the boundaries of our performance,
how it turns out neither makes us nor destroys us."

Zen

-blazeman

Bobby,

Your son… emerging from the water like it’s nobody’s business but his own…focused to task like a Blais… but knowing your son the way you do, you know I’ve got some uncontrollable out of my seat, too talkative ADHD bullshit behavior going on in the back of my mind… yeah, you know it… that little league baseball shit still pissing me off after all these years…not being a coach’s son - the Bubba riding the pine. Funny, these things… how they come around once in a while like a tap on the shoulder…a Parkah, a Garahdini, a Nittahraowah, etc. never was one too good at greenhouse terminology anyway… bunch a flowers.

Big Kahuna Half Ironman
Santa Cruz, CA
Black Hawk Down on the run…still dealing with my inflamed IT band…up until then running top 25 overall and top 3 age group.
It’s been a great year! Race #20 on October 5th Mission Bay Tri. The oldest triathlon… circa 1974

Love you both,
Johnny b.

Invictus
William Ernest Henley

1849-1903

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

"All right you little skunk's,
Turn it off.
Everybody shut up.
Outside every Men's Room in the world,
Is the word "Gentleman".
And I'll tell you what it means...
A man treats his persons with respect and dignity.
He doesn't slander his religion, his color, and his pecker."

"I've been in many locker rooms in my time.
And son, for your age and stature,
What you've got there is a baseball bat."

CONRAC

"There's something happening out here on this island Mr.
And compare to that…
You're nothing and neither am I."

CONRAC

"I wish I could put your heart in some of my players bodies."

RUDY

"Why don't you just quit?
I guess a part of me is under the delusion
That I might someday run out of that tunnel."

RUDY

In 2005

Answer to the call, like those…
A Fighting Bum who found his the Eye of the Tiger in a Meat Freezer.
A Farmer who became a Warrior Poet and Freed a Country.
A Thelma and Louise who out ran the Law in a Blaze of Glory.
A General who became a Gladiator and gave back Rome it's True Self.
A Kid who Learned to Dance Against all Odds.
A Friend who became a Long Distance Friend even after all these Years.
Who is at it again…

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

With Tough Love,

-blazeman

"The rules of conduct,
The maxims of action,
And the tactical instincts
That serve to gain small victories
May always be expanded into the
Winning of great ones with suitable opportunity;
Because in human affairs
The sources of success are ever to be found
In the fountains of quick resolve and swift stroke;
And it seems to be a law inflexible and inexorable
That those who will not risk cannot win."

John Paul Jones

The Three Questions…

When is the best time to do things?
Who are the most important ones? What is the right thing to do?
Please know that there is only one important time,
and that time is now.
The most important ones are always the ones you are with.
And the most important thing to do is to do good for those who are standing at your side.
For these, my dear friend, are the answers to what is most important in this world…
this is why we are here.

Leo Tolstoy

"Tomorrow is the most important thing in life.
It comes into us at midnight very clean.
It's perfect when it arrives, and it puts itself in our hands.
It hopes we've learned something from yesterday."

-blazeman on ALS

Gentleman of Aseltine…

I invite you to become students of your events.
Too often we are scared of what we might not be able to do.
Scared of what people might think if we tried.
We let our fears stand in the way of our hopes.
We say “no” when we want to say “yes”.
We sit quietly when we want to scream.
And we shout at others, when we should keep our mouths shut.
Why?
After all, we do only go around once.
There’s really no time to be afraid.
So stop.
Risk it…
make summer school plans for yourself…
and leave your BOS score at the door.
Take this time we have together to your core…
go here and there and come back for more.
Leave your set and come and get all wet.
Know this if nothing else…
there is a warrior that lives within you.
Find him.
Face your fears until you do.
Swim, hike, climb and get dirty every day.
I’ve got coupons!
Burgers and dogs and ice cream cones…
forget the diet and be a kid today.
Make friends, be friends, stay friends
and go home hungry and tired.
And always remember the teacher who got you on film.

Gone Campin'
I am
In memory
of:
Kevin M. Hurley

Do not remember about me at night and weep.
For I am, not there,
I do not sleep.
I am, the spring season of all things that grow.
I know of a place in the woods…
Make plans with me, so you and I can go.
When you awake in the morning sunrise,
I am, the camera that catches you opening those early morning eyes.
Later on… listening to the call as you allemande right.
Square Dancin' at Camp Yawgoo…
I am, glad you are here with me tonight.
See all the stars and how they light up nights' sky.
I am, the newest one among them whose time was to say… goodbye.
So, do not remember about me at night and weep
For I am, not there,
I do not sleep.
For I am, the feeling of those three days that live within you,
Long after your time here camping with me is everything but new.
And if you can, do come again…
Visit Hurley & Company.
Make it year after year or whenever you can.
For I am, there…
And always will be… forever.
Gone Campin'
I am.

It’s been twelve years now…
Twelve years, since I’ve heard the Man.
His beard is gone… long gone.
So are the days of company cars, UPS deliveries
And paper routes, his second time around.
Funny how I remember the Man,
That big knuckle ring,
His undone tie around the neck
After a 10:00 to 2:00 day,
Ah, make it 9:30 on a bad solar day.
Yeah, the Man leaning in his snack corner,
Laid out with a dishtowel and the TV remote.
Thank God report card days are over.
I hear the Man talks to dog(s) now.

Now…
The rest of the story.
This Passing Summer
It’s been twelve years.
No one ever cheered as loud, no one.
This passing summer, I began anew.
I spent the months' prior planning my moments.
“I want to hear the Man shouting at his son again.”
Who knows if I’ll ever again get to hear the man?
I can only hope.
So for now, Ironman bound…
I’ll make my best do for as long as I can.
I’ll go forth steadfast on a course.
A course that the Man told me to never forget where home is.
So, when the two-bi-four mile marker
Hits me over the head with its road map.
It will read… homeward bound.

And so it was on this day,
Like it has been on many days this passing summer.
A race day ended with a five-hour shift at R.E.I.
The shop door opens…
Blazeman, how was your race?
How did you do, how was Bobby?
Awh, I had the Man screamin'…

Love Ya Dad,
Bubba

This year, like every year,
You were invited to become students of your events.
When we challenge you with this,
Too often you are scared of what you might not be able to do.
Scared of what people might think if you tried.
You let your fears stand in the way of your hopes.
You say “no” when you want to say “yes”.
You sit quietly when you want to scream.
And you shout at others, when you should be keeping your mouth shut.
Why?
After all, you do only go around once.
There’s really no time to be afraid.
So stop.
Risk something that just might.
Because according to him,
"Technically if you believe… you're creating something."
Next year…
Let the wonder of it all get to you.
Write a letter, call a meeting, be remindful, beat the system.
Be the one who pulls your teacher aside and says…
What's up with my dual enrollment?
Then be patient and let it come to you.
That's what he did… and it came to him.
He started it…
He's doing it…
He will finish it…
The best way he knows how… this is "his" journey.
Isaac, you've earned this…
Ladies and Gentleman,
Folks and Friends,
May you stand and applaud
Student of the year.

Mr. Issac Molina

Showing Up and Bringing Homework
A Story About the Most Improved Student of the Year.

The deepest satisfaction one can get from chasing a goal,
is to wire themselves into the daily rituals of practicing
their chosen activity and focusing on the quality of the process.
When the discipline itself becomes the reason they do something,
then the key events, no longer dictate their only enjoyment of what they do.
While it is a good thing to test the boundaries of their performance,
how it turns out neither makes them nor destroys them.
That's what I've watched…
a man who has built a foundation on chasing a goal.
I see that he is building something.
I'm pretty sure he knows what it is.
When you engage him, you see his strength.
He is the strong silent type.
That is what I believe… and this will be his secret to success.
He appears to be a long way from being tired.
Since his I.E.P. meeting… his process has been relentless.
His homework… became his daily ritual.
His improvement… appears to have no boundaries.
His chosen activity… to be seminar material.
Marcus Patterson… Sir, I have learned to respect you with all I've got.
And I believe that next year, dual enrollment is yours for the taking my
friend.
I see you someday… flying, soaring, being Marcus Patterson.
This year…
You have stopped at nothing
And I hope you never will.
Ladies and Gentleman,
Folks and Friends,
May you stand up and applaud
Most Improved Student of the Year.

Marcus Patterson

“Come to the edge, we said.
He said, but I am afraid.
Come to the edge, we said.
He came.
We pushed him and he flew.”
That is how I would best describe the development
Of presence in the individual you are about to meet.
Flying… soaring… pushing the envelope.
Year after year this individual has stayed the course.
A pilot flying the plane… that he built.
He has developed an ability to lead the way,
So that others will follow.
He is selfless, patient… and a true friend.
A team player… on and off the field.
A smile, a handshake, a pat on the back…
A thumbs up all the way.
He’s been there. He’s done that. He still wants to go.
Who’s going with him?
Take your time, build your plane, come to the edge…
He’ll be waiting.
Ladies and gentleman… students.
It is with great pleasure and honor
That I present to you…
Student of the year.

Justin Kinzer

"Far better it is to dare
mighty things,
to win glorious triumphs,
even though
checkered by failure...
than to rank with those
poor spirits
who neither enjoy much
nor suffer much,
because they live
in a gray twilight
that knows not
victory nor defeat."

Theodore Roosevelt

Dear Mom & Dad,

I know…
I must becoming more like a distant memory to you,
Which is probably a good thing.
It has been a long time,
You have missed seeing and watching me grow,
You have missed me crying, laughing and shouting.
You have missed out on telling me off,
Well… except for Bobby San Diego.
But please know,
That I always know,
You have been there for me through everything,
And always will be.
I am proud to know you,
And I'm proud that you are my Mom & Dad.
Always be yourselves,
September 1968-2005
I love you forever.

Bubba

"Tis better to die by the sword own your own two feet.
Than to live from the sword on your hands and knees."

Centuries ago…

Les Pieds
“these feet”

To: My Mom
Happy Mother's Day!

They grew…
As they entered the world
kicking and screaming being held in your arms.
They hung and swung…
with arms reaching for snacks from ALMACS shopping carts.
They crawled…
into its first pair of own tied shoes on Duncan Road.
They spent…
endless sandbox TONKA time
with the other apple that didn’t fall far from the tree.
They climbed…
stood with imagination atop trees where great forts were built.
They got wet…
flying with laughter through summer skies
launched from Dad's shoulders into the Seekonk swim and tennis club pool.
They ran…
homeward bound at supper time
with hunger through back yards at the sound of…
“JON-A-THAN”
They co- piloted…
with the likes of FIAT’S company cars and A.M. talk radio.
They ran…
earning a Varsity spot their first year as a Warrior.
They achieved…
stood and walked isles of graduation that were not promised to them.
They tri-d…
swimming & biking & running with the best of them.
They conquered…
new territory westward in search of an IRONMAN.
They trodden…
atop mountains and foreign lands and
through places where no Blais had set feet before.
These feet…
named “BUBBA”
want you to know
what you mean to them… always.

Love, xoxo
Jonathan Sethers
Size: 10

My Amazing Dad
June 2004

 I was sitting shotgun in a brown Ford van somewhere between Green River and Moab. My arm is hanging out the window; I’m trying to stay cool. I’m looking out into the vast landscape and wondering if it really gets any better than this! All I can think about is how much I want to get out and wander, look under rocks, climb over them, squeeze between them, and wander some more. What creatures live here? Can anything live here? What is in that cave? My dad is sitting next to me, amused by me and the new love he just introduced to me… the desert.

 This was just one thing my father has introduced me to over the years. This particular summer was the summer of discovery. I learned about the desert, the animals that live there, and the native people that once did. I think the most important thing I learned that summer (unknowingly at the time) was what kind of a person I wanted to be, a person like my dad.

 On these long drives we listened to music, joked around, and talked about the things that helped shape me into the person I am today. I learned about integrity, what it meant to do an honest day of work, to do a job that you could be proud of, and the importance of family. He taught me through his example how important it is to treat everyone with respect. He taught me to be a gentleman; he always had flowers for my mom, was always kind, and never raised his voice or hand against her. He loved her very much, and still does.

 Looking back now I realize that my dad was miserable on these long trips away from my mom and family, he missed them terribly. We would leave Salt Lake City on Sunday night after dinner and drive as far as Moab before stopping to spend the night in a motel. The next morning it was on the road to the job three hours to the southeast just outside the town of Dove Creek Colorado. They were building an irrigation canal to bring water to the parched fields of pinto beans that cover the region. We stayed in the nearby town of Dolores during the work week and than hit the pavement Friday after work bound for Salt Lake City and a waiting family. It was a long week for him.

 We made the best of the time we spent away from our family. In the morning we would drive to the job sites, which where in the middle of nowhere, my dad would work with “Scooter” and Andy and I would take off to explore the landscape. I would hunt snakes, lizards, explore canyons, and search out Native American ruins and artifacts. It was like I was Indiana Jones or something. After work we would go back to the motel and work on our model airplane (a Japanese zero), grill a steak, and rest up for the next day. Once a week or so we would take an outing in the evening to explore ruins, hunt arrow points or go fishing. It was the best of times for a 13 year old boy.

 The years following this “summer of all summers” we were able to spend more and more time together as he took a job in town at the University of Utah. At the time I didn’t really get why anyone would rather be in Salt Lake City than in a bean field. What I didn’t realize then is that if I had been there without my dad I don’t think it would have been the same. That is the boat he was in. He was in the middle of nowhere without his family. I’m glad now that he made the decisions he did.

 That summer was just the start of the long standing friendship my father built with me. We really got to know each other well. In the years that followed my friends were always amazed at how incredibly “cool” my folks were. They had a way of making everyone feel welcome and important. There was always an open door policy at the Parkin house. I used to really enjoy coming home from school at the University and sitting in the shade in the back yard just talking with my dad about whatever was going on at the time.

I miss those times.
I want to come home and spend time doing nothing with my mom and dad.
I want to listen to him play guitar.
I want to hold her hand.
I want to “dance at the zombie zoo!”
And I want to say ‘thanks!”
Happy Fathers day! I love you!

Your boy,
Albert

American History X

Hate is baggage.
Life is too short to be pissed off all the time.
It’s just not worth it.
It’s been said that it’s always good to end a paper with a quote.
Someone else has already said it best, so if you can’t top them,
steal from them and go out strong…
"We are not enemies, but friends.
We must not be enemies.
Though passion may have strain.
We must not break our bonds of affection.
The mystic chords of memory will swell and again; touched…
as surly they will be by the better angels of our nature."

Faces & Places     I     II     III     IV     V     VI     VII
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