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In Retrospect: What Would You Tell Yourself At 16?

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Bloviating Zeppelin: In Retrospect: What Would You Tell Yourself At 16?

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

In Retrospect: What Would You Tell Yourself At 16?

For the New Year:

If you could go back to when you were 16, what would you tell yourself -- knowing what you know now?

Customarily, the new year is filled with anticipated resolutions that are nominally broken within the first month.

Given that, I'm suggesting we change things up a bit:

If you could go back to when you were 16, what would you tell yourself -- knowing what you know now?

You may either answer here or -- preferably -- take a larger amount of time to answer in full on your own site.

If you do this, please provide a link to your own site because, if nothing else, I'm all about promoting other sites.

Let me start and set the tempo, if I may:

Welcome to your Youth. You don't have a clue as to what value your youth means. That's fine. Just shake with me and, if nothing else, print this blogpost out and do what it says when it says.

First and foremost, you were stronger and sharper and more intelligent than you could ever have imagined. Go with your gut. You seldom trust it.

When Candy Cochrane asks you to dance at Howe Avenue School, your junior high, say yes. Try pushing the envelope a bit. She was hot and you knew it. Blown chance. This time, don't blow it.

That said, first and foremost, learn a musical instrument. Insist on it. Start, perhaps, with the piano. Try the guitar. One of the biggest regrets you'll have is not becoming competent on a musical instrument other than noodling around on the bass guitar.

When you kicked Nick Yahle's ass in high school wrestling, and he was on the wrestling team (you didn't go out for sports), that's called a clue. You were a new transplant from California to, now, Ohio in the 60s. You were foreign and uncomfortable and transferred because your Dad was in the Air Force. You have great physical potential as well. Start running. Start lifting weights.

When you pissed off Norm Bradfield playing flag football on Fairmont East's field, that's called a clue. You were efficient, strong and effective. You beat him, fair and square. He hated it because he was taller and was from Ohio. You were the interloper.

So when he and Matt Carpenter braced you on your own home turf near Chatham Village, on the railroad tracks when your friend Rick Back was visiting, you should have pulled your folding knife and held it to their necks. You needed to realize early -- and didn't realize until much later -- that Evil and Strength only respect Strength in return. An excellent lesson. Yet you didn't learn from it. Don't back down. You didn't trust your strength. This will become a much larger lesson to be later learned.

You had the Photo Gene even back then. Take the time to buy all the film you can and shoot everyone you can. Your Mom, your Dad, all of your friends. You'll later develop an interest in trains. Get yourself the best camera you can either afford or talk your parents into buying. Start taking photographs of Southern Pacific in Sacramento, at their locomotive shops, and over Donner Pass.

I would also say: for those numerous years you worked as a kid throwing newspapers, as a teenager working for your townehomes shoveling snow, mowing lawns, building fences, painting, replacing filters, as a higher teenager: save every damned dime you make.

Conserve. Scrimp. Save. With houses costing a pittance of what you'll later pay for one in the 80s, coupled with low interest rates, you could own your own home by the time you're 21. From there, you can buy and sell houses all the way up to your actual dream house. There will be lots of money to be made in 70s and 80s real estate.

Beware of drugs. You'll be offered cocaine, heroin and psychedelics by Jerry. You avoided him. Continue to do that. You were smarter than him and that led to his later death in his 20s.

Embrace Karl Kimball. He was the Real Deal at Wright State. Continue on that path with King Crimson and your musical expansion. Learn from him. You won't be sorry.

Accept your position in radio and let loose; have fun. Recognize that you have a gift with regard to radio and music -- either having supported music or played the artists you loved, or toured with them or flown with them -- as witness Status Quo on the Live Album in Glasgow, Scotland, or AC/DC with Bon Scott.

You had a great idea, once; it was this:

Take a photograph on your birthday, for every year. At the age of 60 you'll have a collage that no one else on the planet will have.

Take a few hints:

Buy stock in Microsoft whenever you first see that name.

Buy stock in Google whenever you first see that name.

Buy stock in Apple whenever you first see that name.

Buy stock in Yahoo whenever you first see that name.

Find the winning California Super Lotto number on March 18th of of 2007.

Listen to your inner recommendations.

And when it comes down to the vehicle stop in the 70s south of Watsonville on the border with Monterey County: empty your .357 stainless Smith revolver into the motherfucker. Then reload. Don't stop at four.

He will die and you will live. Be glad. Rejoice. The guilt will pass.

That will be a major pivotal point in your life.

You will join four LE agencies overall. Stick with the last one, but take the Sergeant's Test the first time it is offered to you. You could be at least a Captain or a Chief Deputy. You could have sold your soul or enjoyed your work.

With this intuition, you could have done both: an unbeatable combination.


Take photos of your parents. Document your parents. Ask them about their lives and their relatives and their families. Don't become as emotionally disengaged as your mother and father. Preserve their memories and their geneological history.

Treasure your family. Know this: your father will never once tell you he loves you.

Accept it. Move on. Tell him and your mother that you treasure them and you love them -- as much as you can.

Hug your mother. You didn't realize until -- too late -- that in those times and with a family of three boys and her husband, that she was adrift and on her own. She either became hard and tough or she drowned. The only person that finally took her down was her.

Hug your grandparents. Be good to your grandpa, and respect his wishes in their house at 2526 27th Street. He sacrificed for his wife and for your mother. Hug your grandmother again and again, for she surely was one of the kindest and sharpest people you'll ever encounter in your tumultuous life. Honor her and recognize that the time you spent at your grandparents' two story house, built in the 1800s, will generally be the most carefree of your entire life.

Hug your father some more. The only time you'll ever see him cry was when your mother dies with the marks of a nasal canula on her face. It shook you to your core that he unleashed his emotions, for about two minutes, in front of you. Appreciate his stoicism and recognize that they were the best of The Greatest Generation.

Hold your father close every time you meet since your mother passed, on May 14th of 2002. She lived to see her 80th birthday at least.

Your father's passing will affect you deeply: Wednesday, February 11th of 2009 at 0330 hrs. And when you leave your father's bedside the night before, kiss and hug him goodnight. You'll terribly regret not doing so for the rest of your life.

Finally: embrace God.

Push your parents to take you out of "Sunday School" at the Methodist Church off Del Paso Heights Boulevard and El Camino. You always told them you hated Sunday School and wanted to attend church. They didn't listen. You need to insist. And you need to embrace the Lord.

I left a few things out. But only a very few.

Let's see what you have to say.



Blogger Well Seasoned Fool said...

Sorry BZ, I survived and I never want to go back to those days.

Fri Dec 30, 07:50:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

You wouldn't want to give yourself some insight into those times -- ??


Fri Dec 30, 07:54:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bushwack said...

WOW, this might be one of the best Meme's I've ever heard of. It will require more thought than I can afford right now but I promise to comprise something. You sir are a bastid for making me think!

Fri Dec 30, 08:13:00 PM PST  
Blogger Well Seasoned Fool said...

BZ No, I've spent a lifetime running at redline. Rarely look back. My greatest strength and biggest weakness is fuck it, drive on.

Fri Dec 30, 09:04:00 PM PST  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Great question!

I'd tell myself, "Don't stress over every little thing."

At age 16, I was worrying myself into bad health. I finished high school a few months after I turned 16 and entered college -- all wound up that I wouldn't do well because I had graduated from a small private Christian school. However, I DID do well and even graduated summa cum laude. I could easily have graduated with that high honor even if I hadn't been so stressed about whether or not I would be successful in a university.

I was in my 30s by the time that I figured out how to live my life: Do the best that I can, then leave the rest to the Lord.

Oh, and one more thing....I'd tell myself, "Get into a regular exercise program." I was so busy pouring over the books and overlearning. On the plus side, all that studying did keep me out of trouble.

PS: I've always been a saver. As a consequence, I've never had any debt -- not even a mortgage. In fact, my mother used to have to get after me to spend a little bit on myself.


Happy New Year to you, BZ.

Sat Dec 31, 08:41:00 AM PST  
Blogger TexasFred said...

No thought required from me, WHY cry over spilled milk? If you COULD go back, your former self wouldn't listen anyway...

Sat Dec 31, 09:49:00 AM PST  
Blogger Z said...

I just wrote Ticker telling him I thought this was THE best blog post I've seen maybe EVER. WHat a great idea and what good insights you have.
I think I just might do this at my site....
but I'm like Well Seasoned Fool....not much desirous of going back. Still, I think it's an incredible lesson to OURSELVES.
Man, I just wish I wasn't so old now! :-)

Sat Dec 31, 12:13:00 PM PST  
Blogger Z said...

I did it...come by and look!

Sat Dec 31, 12:31:00 PM PST  
Blogger dmurray said...

Practice your faith, learn to sing, learn to dance.

Sat Dec 31, 02:13:00 PM PST  
Blogger Old NFO said...

I can't even come close to duplicating that Sir, and I'm not even going to try... It would only be a piss poor copy...

Sat Dec 31, 03:07:00 PM PST  
Blogger Leticia said...

There is one thing I would tell myself, "Study, study, study!"

May have to post this on tomorrow night and share some things.

This was a cool post, BZ.

God bless you and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Sat Dec 31, 06:34:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Thanks to all, hope you had a happy new year and a quiet new year's eve!


Sun Jan 01, 04:56:00 PM PST  

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