Rounding Third ………...

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A long time ago, somebody very smart (Ben Franklin?) said, “Youth is a blunder, manhood a struggle and old age a regret.” As the years roll on, I see exactly what he meant. Think about those words and remember that there is always time to deny some of that prophecy.

I’m hoping my old age won’t be a regret at all—or at least not as much as they predict. Staying young at heart—as in the Sinatra song—is primary to enjoying your later years as much as the circumstances allow. Don’t cave in to the regrets and stay as active as you can for as long as you can. I hope America bounces back from the lethargy that the pandemic left us. As the experts say—a perfect balance of work, play and rest are needed for a healthy life style. So—just because our government seems caught up in this giveaway mode, don’t let it stultify your work ethic. You need it AND it’s good for you. This poem is one I wrote a while ago that reflects a lot of my life and why I’ll always be a blue-collar guy. It’s called:

Give me a man

Give me a man who has grown up poor, for he puts a value on things.

Give me a man who cuts no corners and never tries to pull strings.

Give me the man with no silver spoon to feed from when things get tough.

I want the guy who will forge ahead when others find it too rough..

I used to know where to find that man. He’d be bending his back to the wheel.

But, now I find that a lot of folks are just seeking their next free meal.

Too many giveaways; too many perks, too many riding the train.

The problem is—when the sunshine leaves—they just can’t deal with the rain.

Once I was poor, and now I’m not, but, I’d survive poor again.

Now I’m afraid we’re filled with folks who couldn’t have made it back then .

The world is cruel as we struggle through and nobody cuts you much slack.

You’d better be ready to stand and fight or you’ll end up flat on your back.

The privilege that everyone talks about must have slipped right past our town.

We worked from the time we were 12 years-old and didn’t know up from down.

The roads were dirty, the mills were hot, we came home all sweaty and grime.

We learned what it takes to make our lives better, but we had to put in the time.

So, give me a man who’s fought through it all and came out the other side.

You know that man will have your back when life brings a bumpier ride.

Yeah-give me the man whose hands got dirty picking himself off the ground,

Who hitched up those old black bootstraps and turned his life around.

You know he’s not afraid to do whatever keeps him on track,

He likes the life he’s toiled to get and he never wants to go back.— JDF

Joke: So you think you know stress? Check this out! You pick up a beautiful female hitchhiker and then she faints in your car. That’s stressful. But, when you get her to the hospital, they say she’s pregnant and names you as the father, so they congratulate you. That’s more stressful. You decide to get a DNA test to prove you’re not. The test results come in and say that you have been infertile since birth and you are exonerated. That relieves some stress. Then, as you drive home, you remember the three kids you have waiting there –and now you really know stress.

Favorite one-liners: *If you never try to do anything, you’ll never make any mistakes. *Men are like bank accounts: without money they don’t generate much interest.*Life is like a hot bath: the longer you stay in it, the more wrinkled you become. *Politicians greet every problem with an open mouth…and wallet. *If you don’t have a sense of humor, you probably don’t have any sense at all. Historical oddities: Local—In the winter of 1923-24, the Oriskany basketball team did not have a gym, so the team practiced in Cole’s Ice House—but it only had room for one basket. Later on, they were permitted to use the basketball court in the Whitestown Town Hall.

Since transportation was scarce, they ice-skated down the abandoned Erie Canal during the winter carrying their basketball in a sack. One final thought: They are predicting that by the year 2050, the world’s elderly will outnumber youth for the first time. Hope I live to see it. What? Think positively—I’ll only be 109. JDF

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