The Things I’ve Lost
On February 24, 1969 almost 6 inches of rain fell in Orange County, CA, overflowing dams and flooding parks and nearby canyons. Storm drains and flood control channels were unable to handle the extreme water flow. Rides in Cousin Jim’s big old Hudson ended that day, when he donated his car to shore up the rapidly collapsing riverbank in an attempt to save the houses built along Santiago Creek. My friend Bob Dischner took his little brother Billy rafting on the swollen Santa Ana River, just for fun. Bob Michaels took pictures for the school newspaper. Despite repeated attempts to get him back in the raft Billy was lost in the river that day.
On the 4th of July the next year I lost my glasses amongst the rocks when our baby Cindy was smacked by a huge wave. I lost hold of her hand and she went under, being pulled out into the sea. At 11 months it was her first beach camping trip at the campground in San Onofre. John drove home to get my spare pair of glasses, so we wouldn’t lose our reserved camping space.
At age five I lost a winning ticket at the Del Mar Race Track when I tripped and dropped it on the stairs where people had dropped hundreds of losing tickets. The race track was one of my father’s favorite places to go when he wasn’t working at one of his three jobs. Between races we made airplanes out of all our losing tickets and tried to land them in the holes cut around the sprinkler heads. We spent two weeks each year nearby at the Big Tree Lodge in Escondido. My brother was a summer lifeguard at the YMCA camp up in the mountains near Temecula.
Race racism and society What do you consider the most convincing theoretical explanation for racism in society today? Whilst there are many theories for why racism exists in society today, in my essay I will be discussing what theories have emerged to explain racism in society today and what reasons sociologists put forward for this. Racism: what does this word mean? Where did this word come from, ...
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Walt Disney died in 1966. Roy Disney changed the rules about employee’s families getting in free, halting the weekly trips to Disneyland we’d enjoyed since they’d opened in 1955. My brother Ed went away to college in Oregon when I was six. We moved across town later that year. He never came home to live with us again. Grandma Adele lived just around the corner from Santiago Elementary school. I had lunch with her every Friday until I had to walk the opposite way to Willard Junior High.
The summer I turned fifteen I started working inside the Newport Pier café instead of selling popcorn. The dress code for popcorn sales was a bikini. The gold coin necklace Aunt Ethel gave me was lost one day while I was filling the big coke box cooler. We emptied the whole thing, but we never found it. John and I were dating that summer.
My cat was put to sleep in the spring of 1966 the same day my Great Aunt Ethel died. At the time the surprise of losing the cat felt like a tragedy. Ethel provided my mother and Uncle Charles with something resembling a stable home, ensuring that they went to church and stayed in school. She was more like my grandmother that my mother’s mother, always overly dressed in her hat and gloves. Ethel made her money running a speakeasy and brothel during prohibition. Her brothers never did work much; she took care of the whole family and many others. It wasn’t until years later that I came to appreciate what a good business women she was.
The first house John and I bought burned down in 1976 when the water heater malfunctioned. Our son, Jeff, had just started first grade. Snake, Jeff’s snake, survived, but we lost most of our furniture and clothing, and all the kid’s books and toys. Around the same time our Volvo threw a rod and while driving our old Olds we were broadsided in the Montgomery Wards parking lot. We borrowed my father’s Chevette and a truck
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backed into it. John spent so much time trying to resolve all of the insurance claims, he lost his job. We lost a lot that year, but it was just stuff.
Sometime in my mid-twenties I lost the ability to just sit down and play the piano. I couldn’t find a way to fit in time to practice with work and school and kids. Although we moved the piano to every house we’ve lived, no one has played it for years. In 1988 I lost my father and I found that he wasn’t the only one who could motivate me to excel, I could be proud of myself. On October 10, 1990, we lost Cindy, at that time a junior in college at Mizzou. None of us knew that houses could be deadly.
Critical Essay - Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull-House The argument Addams makes that "educational matters are more democratic in their political than in their social aspect" (197), I believe she is referring to the long struggle between the teachers and the Chicago School Board. The Chicago School Board was politically corrupt. Many of the teachers and custodial engineers were friends of ...
Ten years later, John was still lost. He could not forget the words not said, actions not taken. In 1999 I gave up the big corporate VP job at Sprint, it just wasn’t fun anymore. I didn’t so much lose the big house that John built after Cindy died, but rather gave it up. It didn’t make sense any more after everything else was lost. When my mother died unexpectedly in April 2000, I became an orphan. It was another year of loss. John left, but came back five years later.
Just after the New Year in 2006 a friend called with an opportunity to make a difference on the other side of the world in Ethiopia. I had made a trip to Kenya in 2001 to celebrate the first graduating class at Kenya Methodist University. In 2002 we opened Mission Medical Free Clinic in Colorado. Here was the opportunity to return to Africa. John arrived five weeks after I left. The new Razor cell phone that he brought me was stolen from my pocket while walking to lunch at the Italian place across from the bus depot. While in Africa we gained more than we had ever lost.