This blog will be filled with the word “I.” That is not to say that I have not done that before, but this tome will resound with that word. I believe that I am becoming a crank. This is not some idle comment about a change in my personality, I have always been less than even handed, but I find myself being swept up in the national malaise.

I should state that my best moments are when I am volunteering at a local rural high school or traveling around the state, with Carol, visiting rural school districts. However, the times in between appear to be approaching a negative norm.

I have been watching television since Uncle Milty, the Bunin Puppets and Captain Video. My evolution into manhood was co-terminus with the growth of pt. from three channels to the myriad number of channels that come to the screen these days. I am now less of a watcher of film, or comedic presentations, than the news. Maybe that accounts for the constant sour taste in my mouth.

I have, however, noticed that this feeling spills over into other corners of my life. For instance, I am now aware of the increasing bad driving techniques of others. I am constantly talking to myself or my passenger about how close other drivers are to the tail end of my car. They seem to enjoy my annoyance and move ever closer when I stop at a light. I think that the word has gotten out, all over SC, that I am an easy mark.

There is also a lack of signaling that crawls up and inspires my bile. Why  is it that all of these old farts with their brand new sports cars, zoom in and out of traffic whether on a local street or on an interstate highway?

Even in my own cubbyhole of a community, I am startled by drivers who pay no attention to crosswalks or drive with their brights on when they are driving in our closed community (not really closed). Am I first noticing these things, or am I developing negative traits that will have me picked up by the rubber truck on most Fridays.

Since I have always been too choosy about who I hang around with, I have become even more so as the years go by. It’s not that I don’t like people, but I like to spend my leisure time doing such esoteric things like going to the gym, reading, traveling around the state, communicating with educators via phone, internet, or in person. I also love to go to high school basketball games. Carol and I have figured out that we have gone to about 35 games over the last three years. A number of the players have been part of the guys that I have mentored.

As I approach my 80th birthday, I have become less optimistic about how the world is going. I am not a complete diehard negativist, but I seem to be going in that direction. I am constantly reminded by the conglomeration of age cohort people here in adult Disneyworld that things are going to hell in a handbasket (I have always wondered what that really means).

I really don’t want to believe that. However, arguing that point is like shoveling against the tide. Maybe that’s why Carol and I hang around mentoring the young people that we do. They may have the capacity to fix the broken things and create a whole new world. I hope that happens before the loonies take over completely.



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