Reflections of My Solar Revolutions

memomI made it around the Sun…again

It’s the same trip I’ve been taking since Truman was President yet each circuit is different from the last. Oh, there was the one where my friends and I got very upset because New York State started taxing food and we had to cough up 6 cents for a Clark Bar instead of a nickel. I mean, really? A penny? What’s that gonna get the government except bushels of nuisance spare change you can’t buy anything with anyway.

6thgradeThere was the orbit where my 6th grade teacher vetoed the class vote for me as its Student Council rep because I was generally disruptive. Isn’t that what gets results? I wrote her a strongly-worded note deriding her for negating the “will of the people.” and she wrote my mother an equally blunt missive ordering her to appear for an important meeting regarding my lack of respect for authority. My wonderful mother, who was equally as recalcitrant, listened to my teacher’s complaints and feigned sympathy, then came home, rolled her eyes and begged me not to bust the teacher’s chops so much

During one circuit of the Sun I had a summer job in an engineering office where the draftsmen and designers were working up blue prints for piping at a nuclear power plant in Michigan. My job, as clerk, was to send the blue prints out to the construction site so they’d know how to put the plant together. Ooops. I sent blue prints for pipes that hadn’t yet been fabricated. Sad face from boss. And people wonder why we have problems with nuke plants. Might just be ferhoodled summer clerks.

youngreporterThere was the year my boss didn’t think I’d looked like I took enough trips around the big ball of gas. That’s when I worked at CNN. I was 34 but unfortunately looked about 14. That’s not good when you’re a correspondent. So they said I could still report, but not show my juvenile face. I figured that “problem” would serve me well after many more solar orbits, but by then the news business went to hell and no one wants reporters with any experience because they’re expensive.

Some of my trips involved professional triumph as well as abject disappointment, great personal joy and mourning, acting incredibly stupid and surprisingly ingenious. I’ve been lucky and unfortunate, responsible and foolish, angry and joyful.

My one constant has been my family, which keeps me on my toes. Never allowing me too much modestly or conceit, while keeping me focused and grounded.

I don’t know how many more trips around the Sun I will have the privilege to make, but I know one thing, in the end, I will have come full circle…searching for that nickel Clark Bar.




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