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June 15, 2007 [ More archived home pages here ]

Summer 1967: A Time Of Transformation

The above image, Half Ansel, Half Don Swirl is also available as a Desktop

Today's song is To Sir, With Love by Lulu, released in 1967.

Forty years ago this month, I began one of the best summers of my life. I was seventeen, my future seemed wide open. Well, at least my eyes were wide-open.

I was working at Andy's Tastee-Freez and having a good time there. I often worked the afternoon shift and needed to find a way to occupy my nights. Since I had a car to drive, my range of opportunities was increased.

I decided that I would catch many of the movies released that year from that point on, in the first week of their opening. I would do this at almost all the downtown movie theaters in Chicago. I had my favorite seat in each theater.

The very first movie I went to see was, To Sir, With Love. That movie changed my life. That movie was released on June 14, 1967. I saw it shortly after it's opening.

To Sir, With Love set me on a course I continue to this day, teaching people, often high-school students. I wanted to be a formal teacher then, but I never finished college to do that. Instead, I found other ways to teach over the years and still made that dream come true.

Some of the other many movies I saw during 1967 that impacted me were:

I was really enjoying my life as a Chicagoan that summer. Too bad my Dad wasn't there to help shape me and teach me about life. Unknowingly, I could have used his advice then and over the next few years in particular. That was not an option for me.

The next year and most of 1969 would bring about a catalytic stream of events for me. But in the Summer of 1967, I could never have envisioned such things. I was feelin' good, working, and learning from Andy. It was great!


I started scuba diving 40 years ago this month after being urged to take it up as a hobby by my friend, Scott Soti. I spent about $150 then to purchase fins, mask, snorkel, tank, single-hose regulator, and backpack. Nowadays those items would easily total over $1,000.

I was a certified scuba diver after completing lessons in July 1968. It was a great sport and hobby. I introduced other people to it in the next several years, including my late brother, Charlie, friends Bill Artus, and Lenny Clark.

I tried to get my other brother, Rusty interested, but he told me "It doesn't make sense to put on lead weights and jump into deep water." I did manage one time later to get him to try it out in the bathroom sink at our Mom's house, but that's another story. :-)

Occasionally, a large group of my diver friends would go to Devil's Lake State Park. Those were some of the best dives for me. Often a smaller group, or just two of us would dive in smaller lakes.

I have several funny stories from those experiences. Maybe during my upcoming speeches at my Twin Oaks Toastmasters club, I'll tell some of them.

I last scuba-dived in 1984 at Patrick's Lake in Grand Marsh, Wisconsin. It was as much fun that day as my first. By then, no one else I knew was diving anymore, so I stopped too. I sold my remaining equipment off in 1988.


This weekend is Father's Day. A wonderful time to celebrate and reflect about the many years of being a father. I already received one Father's Day gift. I look forward to using it very soon. :-)

This is my first year as a Grandfather. I really like that too! Soon I will see my granddaughter again, she's ten months old now.

She changes all the time, I'm told. I guess my family could say the same about me! ;-)


I published a new short story, When You Are Near.

As of today, there are over 2,000 page views in total for all the short stories published on this site. On one of the other sites where I publish (clip shown below), there's another 1,300 page views for them from that report of earlier today.

Short stories are very popular and people seem to like the ones I write. All of it is helpful to me as a writer and hopefully in the spirit of teaching and reaching out, to others.


I found this article on Guy Kawasaki's site, Speaking as a Performing Art. We teach much of what is discussed in that article in our Twin Oaks Toastmasters club.


Apple, Inc., wins on it's own. Ancillary assistance is appreciated too.


For those interested, as I am, in project management, here are three links that may be of value to you:


It's a great summer day here as I finish this message with the following Digital Insight.

Half Ansel, Half Don (Created in May 2004)

At most, I think of myself as an average artist. Ansel Adams was a true and revered artist.

Ansel inspired me when I read his autobiography. He must have been a powerful influence in-person. He was a genius, in my humble opinion.

This image is partly in gray and the remaining part in color. As Ansel would say, I leave it to the viewer to interpret instead of hearing what I had in mind for it.

Using my own words, I quote a portion from that page's narration:

"I don't wish for too many things in my life. I normally either make my wishes come true or I let them pass me over. There are a few wishes I would like to have. One of them would have been to meet Ansel and study under his wisdom."


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