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Old 12-19-11, 06:34 AM   #1
bruce19
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In retropect, I wish....

I was thinking about my high school years a few days ago. So much has changed since I was there in 1961-1964. The one thing that jumped out at me is how we all dealt with the issue of "race." In my town and HS there just wasn't a lot of social mixing aside from having teammates who were not of your own race. I'm really glad to see our society moving forward but I do regret the friendships that never happened. Just thinking and wondering if others have things that they wish had been different.
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Old 12-19-11, 07:26 AM   #2
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I've had a strict policy since I was very young: I never wish things had been different.
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Old 12-19-11, 10:28 AM   #3
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I've made a lot of choices in my life both good and bad. Changing any of them could have sent me down a different path. That path may have been better or it may have been worse but definately would have been different. I like where I am at and have a great wife and two awesome sons. Why would I take a chance on messing that up by trying a different path?
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Old 12-19-11, 11:17 AM   #4
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Well, one thing for sure, the future isn't what it used to be.
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Old 12-19-11, 11:38 AM   #5
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Well, one thing for sure, the future isn't what it used to be.

Yeah - In high school I had maybe 70 years of "future" - now I have maybe 15 or 20, if I am lucky.

No sense regretting the past. Today is the first day of the rest of my life. Make the best of it.

I've got way too many high school buddies whose future has ended already.
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Old 12-19-11, 12:35 PM   #6
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I've made a lot of choices in my life both good and bad. Changing any of them could have sent me down a different path. That path may have been better or it may have been worse but definately would have been different. I like where I am at and have a great wife and two awesome sons. Why would I take a chance on messing that up by trying a different path?
EXACTLY!

All of the experiences of my past life, both good and bad, were necessary for me to reach the point that I'm at today. I don't have words to describe how contented I am today so, it's all been good.
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Old 12-19-11, 12:43 PM   #7
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Sometimes its fun to wonder, what would have happened if...
I have some regrets as do us all but over all I am very happy with the way things turned out. Thank God we had a large family and its still growing. Soon to have a new granddaughter, our youngest child (40) is due in April. That will make an even 24 grandchildren and with 6 great grandchildren we are truly blessed.
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Old 12-19-11, 12:49 PM   #8
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If I went to Sweden when the Draft was voracious for bodies to put in Uniform and have them Go
overseas to shoot people defending their own country.. I'd be Fluent in another language, at least .
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Old 12-19-11, 02:01 PM   #9
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Yeah. I wish I'd asked out Halle Berry when I had the chance...
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Old 12-19-11, 04:17 PM   #10
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I hadn't thought about race in general, but there's just a lot of specific instances of dealing with people and situations (not race related) where I could have done better. And when I reflect on it, I'm more inclined to take it easy on other people, since they're been willing to overlook my shortcomings through the years. I don't sit around and worry about it, though, and haven't finished making mistakes, either.
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Old 12-19-11, 04:26 PM   #11
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I try to treat people the same. Sometimes that gets you labeled as a racist though. It really does.
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Old 12-19-11, 06:28 PM   #12
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Yeah. I wish I'd asked out Halle Berry when I had the chance...
Me Too!!!

Somehow, I'm not really sure how, I managed to survive high school in the early 70s.
Who hasn't had the fantasy about "quantum leaping" back in time, into your younger self, and fixing a few things you screwed up? Heh, could you imagine going back but knowing what you know now?

Back then, we had your hippies, your tough guys ("Greasers" was what we called them, as they all had juiced up cars.) your geeks, (I fit in there somewhere) and of course, jocks. Oh yeah,,, We did have that one very old teacher my freshman year, who actually walked around with a ruler, measuring girls' skirts. More than two inches above the knee, and you were sent home. The old battleaxe taught history. Made sense, since she probably lived most of it. She retired at the end of that year. So, starting next year,,, Miniskirt heaven. It was a great time to be a young male!
Of course, my math grades suffered, but it was for a good cause.

Not sure what I would have done differently. That would require some serious thought.
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Old 12-19-11, 06:53 PM   #13
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I was thinking about my high school years a few days ago. So much has changed since I was there in 1961-1964. The one thing that jumped out at me is how we all dealt with the issue of "race." In my town and HS there just wasn't a lot of social mixing aside from having teammates who were not of your own race. I'm really glad to see our society moving forward but I do regret the friendships that never happened. Just thinking and wondering if others have things that they wish had been different.
Just one thing I would change if I could, I would have never studied computers as a career, I would have taken something important like plumbing. Then again, if you change one decision you go down a completely different path and everything else changes.
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Old 12-19-11, 09:13 PM   #14
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Yeah. I wish I'd asked out Halle Berry when I had the chance...
I wish I'd asked out Winnie Cooper

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXHWsY5uVbE
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Old 12-19-11, 09:15 PM   #15
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I hadn't thought about race in general, but there's just a lot of specific instances of dealing with people and situations (not race related) where I could have done better. And when I reflect on it, I'm more inclined to take it easy on other people, since they're been willing to overlook my shortcomings through the years. I don't sit around and worry about it, though, and haven't finished making mistakes, either.
Words to live by.
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Old 12-19-11, 09:41 PM   #16
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My father grew up in Hawaii, my mother, my brother, and I, in Los Angeles, so race has never been a big deal to any of us. Of course, it would fair enough to ask whether I would feel the same if I were 97% black, instead 3% -- I do not know the answer.
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Old 12-20-11, 06:44 AM   #17
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When I posted this thread I wasn't so much thinking about what I personally would have done differently. Not sure I would have had the "vision" to see things differently or the courage to act. I was more thinking about how where we were as a culture affected me. As it turns out as my life unfolded I was very involved in social issues like racism and sexism in society. I was just thinking of some of the really good people who never became a part of my HS life thanks to the times. Back then people that I knew and loved were racists because that was what they had been taught to be. One of the great accomplishments of the '60's was that there were "radicals" who initiated change and many who were open to change. As a result the vast majority of our children and grand-children don't see race and gender in the same stifling way some of us were taught to see it.
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Old 12-20-11, 09:28 AM   #18
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Being born and raised in Florida, I went through the segregation years where blacks and whites didn't do anything together, period. That was until the beginning of my junior year in high school (1963) when they put the first black student, as a pilot program, in a white school and it happened to be mine. Our school was mostly Spanish and Italian (myself included) students whose parents and grandparents may have had some questionable dealings in their past. On the day that he came to school with a police escort, we were waiting with pipes and brass knuckles for the rest of his "gang" to show up because we knew that all blacks were in gangs. Nobody came!

At first, many of us had a hard time getting to know him because none of us had any dealings with blacks or their culture. I had Willie (yes, that was his real name) in a couple of my classes and came to find out that this kid was about one point shy of being a genius. He was very soft spoken and one of the nicest guys you ever wanted to meet. By the end of the year, he was actually one of the most popular kids in school. Sort of shot to hell all we thought we knew about "all" blacks. The last I heard, Willie was head of neurosurgery in some hospital in Atlanta.

After high school, I went into the military serving my time in VietNam. Getting along and getting to like each other wasn't an option as you didn't know who it was that was going to save your ass at any given point. After the military, I got back into construction for a while but then entered into the fire service where, again, you had to depend on everyone on your team. Becoming a SWAT Medic meant even closer bonding with your peers as there was only a hand full of people to rely on when it came down to it.

Since my military days, some of my closet friends have been black, gays and other minorities. I may have changed the way I related to blacks and other nationalities before my junior year, but that was the way the world was for us back then. But, like everything else, it all works out in the end.
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Old 12-20-11, 06:04 PM   #19
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I wish I'd asked out Winnie Cooper

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXHWsY5uVbE
D'Oh! I think a lot of guys had a "winnie cooper" back then. If you are interested, the entire series run of the wonder years is available for streaming at Netflix. Not a bad way to spend 23 minutes.
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Old 12-20-11, 11:39 PM   #20
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D'Oh! I think a lot of guys had a "winnie cooper" back then.
Linda Mitchell. I sat behind her in class when I was 8. She smelled of soap. Sigh.

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If you are interested, the entire series run of the wonder years is available for streaming at Netflix. Not a bad way to spend 23 minutes.
You can watch the entire series in 23 minutes? Dang.
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Old 12-21-11, 07:38 AM   #21
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I see your point Bruce, I dated a girl in HS for a while, she turned out to be the single most racist person I have ever known. I got away from her and I am married to a wonderful, understanding and caring woman that has not a racist or mean bone in her body. I guess I don't want to change anything. I was in the deep south but went to an inner city high school and had friends of every race, religion and possible make up (well almost every.....) Sure there were bad days and some riots but I seemed to have walked through this somehow, even had the honor of serving on the Human Relations Committee my Senior year. I was lucky and I suppose blessed.

If I was to change something I wouldn't have what I have today, probably, so I am content and just try to be a better person each day as I grow.

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Old 12-21-11, 11:36 AM   #22
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Race won't be an issue the day when a person who is 50% white and 50% black won't be designated black, for whatever reason. It will become a historical note when every inequality for all causes involving multiple races isn't automatically blamed on racism.

Oh yes, my introduction to racism was when my buddy and I, he of a different race and both in military uniform, were not allowed to eat and drink in the same place. Education was completed when I was not allowed entry into a restaurant due to my race and that action was the accepted practice.
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Old 12-21-11, 01:43 PM   #23
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Race won't be an issue the day when a person who is 50% white and 50% black won't be designated black, for whatever reason.
So true. I always tell people I am descended from the Bushmen of the Kalahari by way of Italy and Germany. There's one race it's called Human.
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Old 12-21-11, 09:13 PM   #24
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So true. I always tell people I am descended from the Bushmen of the Kalahari by way of Italy and Germany. There's one race it's called Human.
That was the point made at Arthur Ashe's funeral.

Anymore, my experiences tell me that 'race' is more about cultural upbringing than it is skin color; it's not CANCELLED OUT, but it does hinge more on how you were raised. For instance, there's a 'quiet minority' in black communities, referred to as the "Soul Patrol", who will exert peer pressure on 'their own' who don't conform to a certain way of life that is, essentially, anti-white. In their eyes, you HAVE to accept unfettered reproduction, single mother families, a rejection of education, and a wholehearted embrace of rap and thuggism, just because it's 'black'. I see it daily, anyone from 4-year-olds to 40-somethings sagging their jeans, displaying a complete lack of education in speech and attitude; white folks have to PROVE they're not "crackas". A diploma will apparently turn a Soul Patrol disciple white....

Overall, though, racism is a looooonng way from dead; in fact, middle-class white folks are about the only group on the planet who don't feel justification in their feelings. Colors look down on each other, as do nationalities. It starts with the idea that "different=less".

There was one boy in my first grade class who was black; his name was Darrell Dennis, and he was my first school friend. That year, I was first confronted with racism, and it stopped me in my tracks. Some other boy jumped on my friend, Darrell put him on his ass, and another boy hollered, "HEY, lay off, blackie!" He got chased across the playground. That was 1966.

I lost touch with Darrell after second grade; until ninth grade, when I entered public school, there was ONE other black child in our classes (a cute and fun girl!). Once again, though -- this time from the other direction -- racism stopped me short. Documentary films of the riots brought out a lot of aggression....

My personal awareness wasn't too expanded, until after my first divorce (I was 34). I'll sum up my awakening after that by simply saying, my second wife was (in order of %), Native American, black, and white.

Don't quite see things like a lot of people do.................
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Old 12-22-11, 06:47 AM   #25
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Race won't be an issue the day when a person who is 50% white and 50% black won't be designated black, for whatever reason. It will become a historical note when every inequality for all causes involving multiple races isn't automatically blamed on racism.

Oh yes, my introduction to racism was when my buddy and I, he of a different race and both in military uniform, were not allowed to eat and drink in the same place. Education was completed when I was not allowed entry into a restaurant due to my race and that action was the accepted practice.
I quit thinking about classing people by skin colour, when I looked at two friends, one Jamaican and one Italian, and realized that my so-called white Italian friend was actually darker, then my so-called black friend from Jamaica, at the end of one summer.....
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