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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I have become an angry old man

I have come to the conclusion that I am glad I will not live too many more years. At 72, I have had a full life that started out wonderfully. Two loving parents, doting grandparents, and a slew of aunts, uncles and cousins nearby. Then came WWII and my father's departure for the Marine Corps. Iwo Jima changed him and my relationship with him. He was no longer the gentle person he had been before. That, and the fact that my mother made him the one who passed out discipline for my misdeeds. I began to fear him more than love him. Still there were good times together. Happy times. I remember times spent at my cousin's waterfront home on Chesapeake Bay where one could look into the water under the pier and see sunfish or bluegills guarding their nests in the shallow water. Not so, now. That same water is clouded with pollutants. In my neighborhood, glistening white marble steps shone in the sun. The ladies of the houses there made sure they were kept immaculate. Not so, now. The neighborhood has been taken over by whores and drug dealers. Those white steps are filthy with car exhaust residue, spilled soft drinks and beer. I have seen the America I love being slowly dismantled by the greed of its people on all levels, the corruption at highest offices of government, and the lopsided reporting of events in the press and on TV. I have seen its industrial might that enabled it to defeat terrible enemies during WWII allowed to crumble and fall into disrepair. There is no longer the kind of pride and patriotism that once existed in our cities. It still exists in middle America, but has been lost in the cities. There, the tenets of citizenship and patriotism have been cast aside for corporate profits and personal greed. Those subjects are no longer taught in the schools. I see my country dying of a lack of morals and general apathy. I only hope I die before it does.

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