Hell of a Guy
Freedom of Press is limited to those who own one - H.L. Mencken

Sunday, January 13, 2013



As I lay snuggled under the warm covers of my bed early this January morning in one of those “half-awake, half asleep” modes, I got to enjoy a Technicolor flashback to 1978.

The 70’s was a scary, almost weird decade for this boy.  Except for my Air Force enlistment days I had lived in Baltimore, Maryland all of my life where I was employed by a small oil company and took a transfer to Richmond, Virginia in 1971.  Crown Petroleum provided me with an adequate income, a jerk for a boss (more a nuisance than a jerk) and all in a not-so-glorious job as boredom and monotony were regular features of my daily routine. During my time there I got to work with a number of people in real estate, and all of them seemed to be happier in their profession than I was in mine, and all fomented the impression they were almost effortlessly making loads of mulla.  I made the move to real estate in 1973, and I will have to say next to my decision to enlist in the Air Force in 1963, it may have been the dumbest move I ever made, and I soon realized the majority of real estate agents I had emulated drove nice cars they could not afford and while talking a good game really did not make a lot of money or live a life any better than my own.  I sold real estate for seven years and regretted the move to that “storied” profession for at least six and a half of them.  My best days in the real estate business were my first day and my last day. 

In 1978, with my income in more than a serious decline, it became critically evident I had to do something ASAP to pay my bills.  A house in a nearby neighborhood came on the market.  Slightly larger than the one I owned at the time, with a payment twice what I was paying, but with an assumable VA loan for a mere $2000, so I talked my wife into the move and bought it.  The house I sold offered up enough money to pay off a lot of my bills, got me and my family in the new house and provided a little extra cash for living…it didn’t last long, nor did I in that crazy business.

The flashback I had this morning was me and my family getting ready to move into the new house.  In vivid color I went back to that time and to that house to do some cleaning and painting and prepare the house for our move-in.  It was mid-summer and it was sticky hot.  The house had one air conditioner and it hardly cooled the house to 80 degrees.  In my dream I got to enjoy (not) painting the walls in the living room of the house off-white and the trim in a soft Williamsburg antique gold and putting wall paper up in the dining room, all over again.  It seemed so real.  I even had the smell of fresh paint and wallpaper paste in my nostrils.

I have read about quantum physicists saying time is vertical and not horizontal.  In other words, the past, present and future are all happening now, and that often times when we have dreams such as this one, we are merely skipping from one dimension to another – time travel.  Whether this is what happened or not, I enjoyed the trip but not so much the memory.  It was a tough time in my life, but as I have often said, if I could go back and start all over again, I would do it in a heartbeat and live every moment just as it occurred without changing a darn thing – the good, the bad, the ugly.  Whether this was time travel or merely a really good mid-winter night’s dream, I had a great time.

It’s kind of funny how the past comes back to visit us every once in a while.  I am just really glad to be here and able to take the trip.

And that is all I to say about that…