Friday, November 4, 2011

I am so grateful to all of you who continue to read this blog despite my sometimes extended periods of absence

This time, my lame excuse is that I couldn't get my computer connected to the internet.

WELL, of COURSE not, fool, you hadn't plugged the cable connecting the modem to the computer back in after you jiggled all the little wire guys and turned off the computer for 10 seconds at a time - wow, modern technology - ain't it the greatest?

Strolling down memory lane, here's a letter I sent to one of my Streator, Illinois classmates from grade school and junior high school days - Peggy (Moore) Horton, on whom, OF COURSE, I had a crush at the time.

Fortunately, she was able to do far better in the life time partner department than with me, and thus is living happily, I am most pleased to report.

Here is my message to her (receiving a message, or an e-mail, or a snail mail from a long time friend, or even acquaintance is a WONEERFUL thrilling gift, the likes of which can hardly be descrbied.

Go ahead, ALL OF YOU, take that chance, and reach out and touch some one you once knew and cared for. PLEASE ... don't do it for me ... do it for THEM .... do it for YOU!

You probably won't remember me, but I sure remember you, always so sweet, and so lovely. It was probably because I was such a Streator Basketball Junkie, and I think it was your brother who played the last year we lived in Streator, school year 1963-64, when my dad, who was the varsity wrestling coach and varsity golf coach took a job teaching mathematics at Barrington consolidated HS in, of course, Barrington, Illinois.

Moving here was mildly traumatic, because dad, in addition to being for a while, the only winning varsity coach at Streator, was also the Golf Professional at Streator Country Club, a full time job in the summer, and full ltime on the weekends in the spring and Fall, so, as a result, he was accorded a decent measure of respect, both amongst his fellow teachers, and from his students (we used to play some basketball with some of the "older" kids - Terry Whalen, for one, and Tony(?) Lazzarius - we being Greg Williams, Bill Cox, and me - the three mouseketters! (And I most surely DO remembe watching the MIckey Mouse Club!

It was heart warming to read your story, meeintg the love of your life at college, getting married, settling into a town smaller than Streator, and the three wonderful children you were blessed with. I was so saddened to learn about your youngest daughter. My mom died this year, July 31, just two days shy of her 80th birthday. I was with her in the car when she had her stroke, but it was the congenitive heart failure that killed her -- she should have been far more diligent in following up on that - she had double pneumonia, and no matter how much I tried, I couldn't get any breath into her lungs. But i was very lucky, because I got to spend the last hour and a half of her life with her - and did we ever have a great time - SHOPPING AT ALDI's, of all things! Racking up $178.00 and change, and getting through the checkout line, bagged, and groceries loaded in less than 7 minutes - laughing like lunatics all the way ...

“Now, mother dearest, explain to me once again why it is we shop at Jewel in Barrington?”

“Oh, yes, of course, because the food is so much more expensive, it is obviously of high quality and nutritional value.”

“And, oh, yes, too, because it takes so long to be processed throught the check out line, get the groceries bagged, and loaded into the car ... that is MOST excellent for helping to teach us PATIENCE!!”

“But, praise the Lord, at least we do not go there simply because of the convenience ... no, no, no no no! That would never do, what with you being a child of the depression and all, and me being the child orf oa child of the depression ... it would be almost as if . ... we never learnt the value of a $$$$$$!!!”

May the Lord's Peace and Blessing always be found in your house, and in your family, and in the lives of all your friends.

Mark Raymond Ganzer

ps - I'm a recording musician now - you can actually hear a couple of my songs on YouTube: (St James Infirmary - sad, melancholy, old tune)

Motherless Child / Freedom - the song Richies improvised to open the concert at Woodstock, in upstate NY in 1969 -- except, whereas my beloved Richie sang it as a hymn of priase and thanksgiving, I take a most 60's perspective, and even more aught's and teens, and make it sound almost a desperate plea -- I have become an extremely political creature and I do not approave of the road my country has been led down, nor do I approve of the leaders who have led us there ...

Oh, I have but one son - and I am so blessed - although my marriage was a disaster (pregnant girl friend and all, at the ripe young age of 33) Adam James Ganzer was and remains the best thing that ever happened for both his mother and for me, and in fact, for our respective families who have come a long, long, long, long way together, and can legitimately say, we have come to love one another -- my son, the youth leader, chatechism teacher, 1st degree black belt in tae kwon do, mixed martial artist, paid drummer for Holy Family Roman Catholic church in Inverness, and he also drums at my parents' church - the Lutheran church of the Atonement, in Barrington. After a terribly rocky academic start - he found his niche around the age o 24, and only spent 3 months in HS, eventually getting his GEDs in all four subjects, including .. .gasp, a 99 in Science (“Adam, how in the world did you do THAT? Science was my 2nd worst subject, behind philosophy?”

“Oh, Markus, it's easy, you just have to watch the Discovery Channel”)

So he trained for and get registered and certified as a phlebotomist, but could only get about 18 hours / week, and so started working part time as a food server at one of the exclusive country clubs in the area (there are many - their numbers are legion), and began making SO mnuch money there that he "retired" from phlebotomy, and works full time as a server ... but he is young ... he'll be 27 on 11-11-11 and the whole world awaits for him to reach out, grasp it and give back to it (all of which he has done and continues to do). sorry about braggin' on my kid - although ... he does NOT return phone calls, and I only see him twice a year, although he lives now with my sister and bother (intentional misspelling) -in-law but a mere 8 miles away ... ah, youth, so much to do and so little time to do it in ... and my, oh my, how quickly it recedes!

Be well.