July 4, 2022
Hey, pappy, I’m glad you showed me the lil motto thingy about not letting anyone else hold the pen when writing the story of your life. As you well know, I embraced that wise advice every day. Ho boy, did I ever! Well, I think you should scribble a few words about your time here on old Momma Earth.
OK, Bus, keeping in mind that brevity is golden, I’ll say a word or two on that subject:
First, I might have been known as George Christian Appel, ain’t that a winner! You see, I had a brother by that name, but he died very young, a terribly traumatic event for my old Mom. So, when I came along a couple years later, my Mom, naturally, was very protective of me, and when I was 5 years old, she came out to the yard and yelled at the kids I was playing with. She was just worried I could be hurt, but I realized that I had to play somewhere else, or I’d have no friends. From that point on, I went up to Henny Dumbrowski’s house to play, which was a good idea, since Henny had the best black-heart cherry tree in the world.
Now, my dear sis, who was 13 years older than I, gave me just enough of a mean streak to negotiate the obstacles one encounters in dealing with one’s peers. She managed this feat by drawing a tiny mustache on my baby photo for which my poor parents had spent some of their very limited cash. I guess I should mention that I got even with her when I was old enough to scribble on her mirror with her lipstick. She wanted me to be properly punished, but Mom simply said, “He’s only a little boy.” My Sis, for the rest of her life, always reminded me of that assessment, “He’s only a little boy!”
Oh, before I forget, I’ve always had an attraction to pretty girls, all the way back to when we boys near Southern Avenue could be found sniffing around Patty Quinn’s house. The Quinns lived a few doors from Henny’s cherry tree. Of course, now I’m too old for romance. Howsomever, I must say, that lil lady who testified so brilliantly about the January Six insurrection was tugging at my worn out old heart strings.
Anyway, I have never lost my passionate desire for independence! I flunked out of my first high school, Baltimore Polytechnic, and, after a rather tense conversation with my father, went to Baltimore City College H.S., graduating with honors. Ya see, at City, my bookkeeping teacher, Pop Harris, inspired me to become a Bean-Counter, eventually a Certified Public Accountant. Then, after a 5-year stint in the US Air Force, during which I learned that people with other skin shades than mine were good guys, as well (in those days, people were segregated by race, except in the military), ! worked a few jobs (once, briefly as a Rice’s Breadman), and eventually went back to night college at the University of Baltimore (thinking a tad more education couldn’t hurt too much).
I was hired into my 30-year career at the Martin Marietta Company by my accounting teacher, whose day job was there. I suppose I worked (hard, as they said in those days), and eventually became president of the Magnesia Chemicals business unit. I don’t think I have any special management abilities, except knowing that I don’t know a bloody thing about manufacturing or marketing, I just allowed our people who did, to do their jobs. Our business was very successful, mainly due to our technical director and his tiny staff (we once made a shipment of magnesium oxide of 40 thousand tons to South Africa (still don’t know what in the world they used it for)! That business is still going strong (despite upper management assistance), and the workers are covering the world, competing favorably with cheap Chinese material.
Well, pap, it sounds as though you’ve hung around down there so long that your two wonderful wives are already up here in the people section. You should probably be considering moving on up, too, and leave things to your great kids, their terrific spouses, and the grand monsters!
You have a splendid plan there, Bus.
I loved getting to read a few pages out of the book of Walt! Thanks, Buster, for encouraging him to share.
Thanks, guys. Iforgot to send a lil message regarding “writing,” which I’ll do (soon?)
I enjoyed hearing a bit more about your life, Walt.
Thanks, Tim. I always was, and still am, a very lucky old fool. Well, I was a bit younger once upon a time.
Buster and Walt, I always look forward to your words of wisdom! xo
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