Wasn't it 'Just Yesterday'?



My brothers, sisters, the dog (her name was Cleo, and me (I'm the tall guy, second from the right) in our Easter finery - Sanford, NC around 1960.

A last photo with some of the Commander, US 3rd Fleet staff just before my retirement. We're on the forward gun deck of the USS Coronado (AGF-11) in Pearl Harbor, HI, August, 1989.

    Upstate/Central New York is where I live but I'm a Southerner by birth. The Piedmont of North Carolina is where I was born and grew up - small farming communities like Dunn, Sanford, Benson, Newton Grove, Louisburg. All of them are still pretty small and still depend on farming for their livelihood. Memories of growing up: Oldest of 6 - always being blamed for something; climbing a tree to get away from the siblings; heat; the creek; snakes; the scent of beeswax, starch, and incense in the sacristy of the Church where I served Mass; weekly religion classes (they were Protestant, I was excused) but imagine - a public school teaching religion - gasp!; riding the tractor with my grandfather as he plowed and the smell of newly turned earth; sliding off the hay loft in the barn - my grandfather was the farmer, bus driver, and all around handyman for the Diocese of Raleigh's Catholic orphanage at Nazareth Station, Raleigh, NC.
    When I was at N.C. State University I recall several events that still stand out in my mind - President Lyndon Johnson's announcement that he would not seek nomination for a second term as President; the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the subsequent violence (I could see fires burning from our 9th floor dorm walkway); the realization that my grades would no longer support a student draft deferrment and that I was most likely bound for Viet Nam!

What's with the blog name? Well honestly I wanted to use a phrase from my altar server days - "Ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam."{"To God the joy of my youth") but then I thought that while the phrase was meaningful in my life that in fact God had become more a joy to me now than in the past! So I simply went down a few phrases in the text and selected something I believed more appropriate. The bottom line is that I desired a Latin phrase, one from the Holy Mass. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.