Moving Onward

Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.”

Sir Winston Churchill

Dayton Days

We were in our apartment at Poplar Apartments in Durham, North Carolina, when Dad opted for the Air Force instead of waiting for his draft number to come up. Originally, we were to be heading to San Antonio, which I thought was cool since I’d been learning all about the Alamo, in fact, we had just watched the John Wayne film classic. However, at the last minute the final verdict came in and it would be “Wright-Patt”, so it was off to Dayton, Ohio.

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Secrets of Gimghoul Castle

Some of our family’s happiest times were while living in North Carolina for the second time from 1969 to 1971. Our close friends, the Booth family, were instrumental in the creation of many of those fond memories. Bob Booth Sr., head of the Durham Chamber of Commerce, his wife Barbara, a native Tarheel, their intellectually gifted elder child Susan, and Bobby Jr., who was my age, were extremely knowledgeable of the region which included neighboring Orange County to the west, the location of Chapel Hill. One of the enigmas of Chapel Hill, the college town home of one of the three oldest public universities in the country, the University of North Carolina, was a place known as Gimghoul Castle.

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Stark Reality

Throughout my life I’ve made the unmistakeable observance that I’m just not particularly too well liked by some. I always just blew it off not really caring, thinking that I’m probably better off without their camaraderie, but as I grow older it seems to be gaining importance, and with the metrics on my Facebook page clearly showing that I’m not the most popular guy on the planet, I decided to just Google it. Here’s the best article I found on the topic:

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Greatest Rock & Roll Band Ever. Period.

Anyone who’s really known me, would certainly be aware that I’ve always been a die hard “Led Head” for over four decades. There are other great ones of course, Aerosmith, Doobie Brothers, The Allmans, Pink Floyd, Lynyrd Skynyd, Blue Oyster Cult, Rush, but none have superceded, in my mind, and don’t hold a candle to, what originally began as the New Yardbirds.

Through the 1980s and 1990s, fusion jazz, new age and ambient music were my choices airing throughout the day, but now in hindsight, I realize my heart is still in the music of the 1970s.

Will add more on this topic later – it’s bedtime for Bonzo!

Open Letter to Mr. J. Barleycorn

Through all of these years you’ve been there right by my side. Early
on, I considered you a trusted friend, a confidant – through all sorts of experiences. You were present at my graduations, my weddings, and funerals, each and every major life-changing event I’ve ever known. Did you make things better? No! You put a fog over my eyes where I could not even recognize the importance of the event.

You’ve put to ruin each and every asset that I had been blessed with. Thanks to you, I can no longer hold down employment for any substantial length of time. More resources have been expended on your account in a matter of a few years than most people ever obtain in a lifetime. You’ve broken up relationships with the dearest of friends and my beloved family members, not to mention a couple of wives. You’ve downtrodden any form of quality of life for the pure sake of your want of power, control and your insatiable appetite for more and more dollars, only for a brief respite. You are the biggest of lies.

And I’m most certainly not the only victim of your curse.

You are the most destructive phenomenon in the history of this planet, far more dangerous than any of your cohorts, Henry Heroin, Cranston Crack, Marty Meth, and so on and so forth, mainly because you are condoned by society. It’s all about money and nothing else, pure capitalism. You used your influence to shit on the native Americans, keeping them so inebriated that they were handily coerced into signing over their sacred lands with the scrawl of an “x” on a flimsy bill of sale which was deemed adequate proof of agreement. And there was the Whiskey Rebellion over taxes imposed upon the evil sauce. Hell, you almost tore this country apart before it was even firmly established.

You are hereby discharged of your duties.

It’s been a real pleasure knowing you John, but it is most definitely high time for you to remove yourself from my presence forever.

You and “Spuds MacKenzie” can kiss my entire ass!

Very sincerely,

Stephen A. Dowell

Back to Reality

Following the celebrated end to 2016, as evidenced by my previous post, I sank into a rut. A really deep one. I believe it was a combination of factors, but having a few days off for the Holidays after weeks of daily toil threw me off of my game. Especially when told that the end of the year is the “slow season” and to expect 12 hour days, 7 days a week from then on out! The Holiday season has been a tough time of the year for me anyway, as it has been for decades.

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