I was born in 1956. Before my first birthday I contracted cerbro-spinal meningitis. An infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord.. The symptoms of meningitis included spasms of the muscles in the neck and back. They say my spine was bent till my head almost touched my heels, Fear
has twisted effect on our fears and. Meningitis was a fearful and often deadly disease. To a certain effect it still is, Although a mere infant, I’ve been told we received threatening calls from those fearful of a meningitis outbreak in the little rural community of Alva Oklahoma.There were even some nurses who opted out of taking care of baby John (me) But through the skill and tenacity of some good ‘ol country doctors, I survived
I am still among the living, and 12 years later I would be treated by one of the same doctors again for another life-threatening condition At the age of 12 , while helping my father work, I fell through a floor that covered a large extremely sharp spiral blade used to carry wheat grain from one location to another. My right leg, wrapped around the spiral blade and was mutilated from thigh to the soul of my foot. Now it looks like I have a monkeys paw on my right ankle. And a mass of scars the length of my leg as each spiral took a bite and sliced deep into the meat of my thigh and calf, The fuses blew when my leg wrapped around the augar for a the third time…………THANK GOD!
PTSD, unknown at the time; haunted me and drove me as a 12 and 13 year old boy.. The mental, as well as physical pain took me places I never thought I would go…….. burglarizing drug dealers that almost got me shot ! Coming to my senses at about age 27 I returned to collage and attempted to complete my degrees. Got a Bachelors, then Masters degree.
My quiet father, abstinent through the first years of my life, resumed drinking heavily after my accident. He blamed himself for my injuries. He started drinking and didn’t stop till he was dead.
Living in the Shadow of Annihilation
\Several thousand ICBM’s had been pre-sighted on both sides of the Atlantic. Total annihilation or the slow death of a nuclear winter lurked in the shadows of our fears as disaster drills played out in grade schools with children lining the halls, crouched into little balls head in in their hands. Of course such exorcises were of no use…….. If nuclear war broke out, crouching in the hall would do no good at all. Everyone dies,.. Excavating a bomb shelter in your back yard was a sign of intelligence, not the sign of a nut case, as it is thought when we see a “prepper” with a spade. With a country split over a war that was a no-winner for all sides. And proxy wars popping up where ever someone felt they could benefit, Every day was a roll of the dice,
My father carried us best as he could during the great depression, He even left hearth ahd home to work building kroads for the WPA in the Kiamichi Mts. in southern Okla, The men lived big tents like some kind of military bivouac. Then WWII broke out and the men of America saved the world. FOR FREE!
An enemy with enough clout to kill everyone on the planet,, and a generation born and reared with the sneaking suspicion they that they may have to die in a nuclear war, Iife seemed fragile and oh so precious..
I see NORAD from my yard. The days of the shroud of fear seem far away. My generation t least endured a great travail in fighting the Viet Nam War while the nation, split and near fracturing, welded the union together again. Take inventory, of our inner selves as the very validity of the war was debated,fought and for a few, (Kent State), died for.
Now that the bats near the Wuhan market; Southern China have poisoned the planet with the CORONA VIRUS. Deb and I are into the second week of isolating together in an attempt to assist it’s demise through strategic positioning. In other words, staying far enougah from others to prevent transition of the disease. Homeless but comfortable, we are sitting out our plague time with the rest of the infected ones.
I pray the younger generation have learned something of themselves through this crisis.
ANGRY SNOW FLAKES
When I see the genrations od Americans. I see that each generation has some great commision, some existential crisis that defines that gneration. I feel the last two generations, having no great depression, cold war, or Viet Nam Conflict have abeen deprived of the crucible of character. The crucible is always the same. Struggle, for something greater than ourselves…