Thursday, August 21, 2014

WHEN DID "LIBERAL" BECOME A DIRTY WORD?

"..Jesus was the ultimate liberal progressive revolutionary of all history. The conservative religious and social structure that He defied hated and crucified Him. They examined His life
and did not like what they saw. He aligned Himself with the poor and the oppressed. He challenged the religious orthodoxy of His day. He advocated pacifism and loving our enemies. He liberated women and minorities from oppression. He healed on the Sabbath and forgave adulterers and prostitutes. He associated with drunks and other social outcasts. He rebuked the religious right of His day because they embraced the letter of the law instead of the Spirit. He loved sinners and called them to Himself. Jesus was the original Liberal. He was a progressive, and He was judged and hated for it. It was the self-righteous religionists that He rebuked and He called them hypocrites.." This is an excerpt from an article on The Christian Left blog written by Gary Vance, (a Christian evangelical minister): Wasn't Jesus A Liberal?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpt from Bishop John Shelby Spong's (a retired Bishop of the American Episcopal
(2006)
Church) Manifesto:

.."I do not debate any longer with members of the "Flat Earth Society" either. I do not debate with people who think we should treat epilepsy by casting demons out of the epileptic person; I do not waste time engaging those medical opinions that suggest that bleeding the patient might release the infection. I do not converse with people who think that Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans as punishment for the sin of being the birthplace of Ellen DeGeneres or that the terrorists hit the United Sates on 9/11 because we tolerated homosexual people, abortions, feminism or the American Civil Liberties Union. I am tired of being embarrassed by so much of my church's participation in causes that are quite unworthy of the Christ I serve or the God whose mystery and wonder I appreciate more each day. Indeed I feel the Christian Church should not only apologize, but do public penance for the way we have treated people of color, women, adherents of other religions and those we designated heretics, as well as gay and lesbian people."..
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Some of the words and actions of my fellow Christians make me ashamed. I am not the only one. I hope more of my LIBERAL friends will step up to the ballot box and change the face of this country. We no longer act like a "Nation Under God".

Proud to be called a liberal (I am in good company),
Marilyn

Saturday, August 16, 2014

ARE THERE BOOTS ON THE GROUND IN YOUR STATE?

I have always been supportive of law enforcement wherever I've lived. It goes without saying, I am supportive of our military as well. Growing up, I was an Army brat for awhile. For so many years, with a few exceptions, they each had their own place in our society. In very recent times, it seems the lines are blurred. And that can be scary. 

The Cliven Bundy so-called "civil disobedience" standoff in Nevada this past April, and now the Ferguson, Missouri protests and riots, have brought the assault rifles out in great numbers. Scenes from both incidents caused flashbacks in my memories. The armed protesters in Nevada dragged up images of the Ruby Ridge standoff in Idaho in 1992, and the David Koresh Branch Davidian siege in Waco, Texas in 1993. In all of these cases, the civilian combatants were heavily armed.


The riots of the past few days in Ferguson, Missouri have dredged up different memories -- the first images I remembered were of the 1970 Ohio Kent State University shooting of unarmed students who were protesting against the U.S. Cambodia Campaign announced by President Nixon. The Ohio National Guard was called out for that incident. Farther back in my memory were the 1965 Watts "civil rights" riots and again in 1992, the Rodney King Watts riots in Los Angeles. These riots all started as protests by unarmed citizens. 


I certainly agree that our law enforcement must be as well-armed as the criminals they confront. But, honestly, some of the scenes from SWAT team drug busts, where 20 or 30 officers in riot gear descend upon a residence don't make sense to me. Even a hostage situation by a single individual now presents a reason for local police departments to call out the same, heavily armed forces.

I have been appalled at the photos on television and the Internet of what our law enforcement agencies across the country now have at their command, thanks to the government's deep cuts in military spending. As the wars the U.S. has been involved in wind down, and our troops come home, there has been a surplus of arms and equipment. The Pentagon has been able to add dollars to its budget by selling these to municipalities across the country.

Is it any wonder that the sale of assault weapons to individuals has gone up dramatically in this country? Can you imagine being faced with this in the United States? Maybe at the Boston bomb scene, but at an unarmed peaceful protest?
N.C. State Police - 2014

Or this?
Ferguson, Missouri - August 2014

Tiananmen Square - 1989

Pima County, AZ - 2014

Russian Troops in Crimea

Is it any wonder that the conspiracy theorists are going wild and stating that the government will seize all of your guns, and take control of your personal life? Many of them see the military arming of our police forces as a prelude to losing all of their freedoms. Thus, many para-military groups are increasingly being heavily armed as their "defense" against this happening. History is filled with police states and their treatment of civilians.

Nazis Arresting Jews - Warsaw 1943

Peaceful Student Protest - Beijing, China1989

"Hands Up, Don't Shoot" - Ferguson, Missouri - August 2014

There has got to be a better way for law enforcement's handling of volatile situations than calling out what appears to the average citizen as a military group - or army, armed with military tanks and weapons! Training police to have a "warrior mentality" in use of these arms only adds to the fear factor of ordinary citizens. We can look at and learn from the mistakes made by governments in the past and present, that often end with civil war or even worse. It couldn't happen here -- or could it?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The following brief story was sent to me by an acquaintance who is writing about her husband's experience as a child in Nazi Germany. I have changed his name, and the name of the small village he lived in, as he is truly reluctant to talk about those times.

"Konrad was 13 when World War II ended in May, 1945. Had the war not ended, he would have been sent to the front after his birthday in July.

His family were terrified of Hitler and all that was occurring in Germany. The SS came to his home in the middle of the night and took his father, who was a bookkeeper for a leather factory. He refused to carry a gun so they put him in care of the horses. He was allergic to horses and developed hives almost immediately. The ones in command thought he had some horrible disease and were afraid of him, so they sent him home. He was fortunate that they didn't kill him.

Many of the people in small villages such as Linden where Konrad lived did not know of all the camps and what was taking place there. They never owned a car or a telephone and were pretty isolated in their small village.

Hitler_Youth.png

The children were required to be in Hitler's Youth and wore uniforms and hob-nailed boots for parades. They were required to memorize many songs declaring Germany the 'Wonderful' and  praising Hitler as the 'Ruler of the World'.

When he was 10 the German army sent trucks throughout rural Germany picking up undernourished children and took them to farms to 'fatten' and strengthen them, as they would be needed at the front in the future. He was there 6 months and gained approximately 20 pounds. He felt guilty because there was so much food on the farm and he knew his family didn't have enough in their village.

Konrad has many stories to tell, but only to a small group of family members. We have been so blessed not to have had to go through a war on our soil."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Let us pray for not only peaceful resolutions to the world's crises, but also to the troubling problems being witnessed in the United States of America.

Peace and Love,
Marilyn


Saturday, August 2, 2014

DOESN'T EVERYONE LOVE GRANDCHILDREN?

Summer is well under way. Indeed, for a lot of kids it's almost over! My grandchildren have been super busy this summer. The oldest, Cameron and Audrey, have worked most of the summer.

Cameron has been working at the Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch in Colorado as head youth counselor, with music and entertainment duties at night. You can tell by the photos that the kids love him. 

He recently wrote the following:
"All is well here on the ranch. Riding horses and getting out in the mountains quite a bit. It's absolutely gorgeous, but it's also one of the most exhausting jobs I've ever worked! I'm missing Texas and ready to get home. Hope you are well. I will be seeing you in September!"

Audrey's mom Carajean wrote me back in April that Audrey is thinking of staying a  year in Chapel Hill to attend NCSU and get another master's degree in environmental planning (I believe that is what she calls it).  She has been working on her Master's in Environmental Management at Duke University (see Is It In The Genes?) This summer she has enjoyed working for the City of Austin Urban Forestry Department days, and taking in the many events going on around the city in the evenings. In one of her visits with me, she showed me a paper she wrote for one of her courses at Duke this past year. It is "An analysis of the relationship between land surface temperatures and land use/cover over time in Travis County, Texas" This is complete with tables and graphs that make it discernible to even this aging brain! The Forestry Department asked her to consider publishing it, but Audrey said she doesn't feel it is ready for publication. She returns to Duke to finish work on her first Master's Degree after an upcoming camping trip to Devil's River with her mom and two of their good friends from Amarillo. She's such an excellent photographer, I'm looking forward to some great pictures!

She's made many new friends, as well as touching base with old friends from Amarillo. I got to meet a couple of the new ones at our recent gathering at the lake.
(Audrey with new friends Emily and Ryan)

Youngest grandchildren, Travis and Kelly, have also had some great fun this summer. Baseball season seemed to go on and on (to me, that is). Unfortunately, Travis had to miss some of it due to a torn achilles heel tendon. It healed nicely and he got to go to a church camp in Colorado. He also got to play in a PGA Junior Golf Tournament last month. He is a good young golfer that we expect to go places in the future!

The whole family returned yesterday from the Gulf Coast -- their second trip there this summer. I'm sorry they didn't bring home a bunch of fish, but dad Matthew sent some cute photos. They spent one day on a deep sea fishing boat.

Miss Kelly has already started her cheerleading classes getting ready for football season! I cannot believe they start so young these days! By the time she gets to middle school or high school, she'll be a pro - ready for the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders!
Tanner was going to a tennis clinic at UT when the family was here for the recent gathering at Lake Austin. He did manage to get in some water fun though. He's been a regular competitor in tournaments in Texas, going to one each month. In the spring, his mom wrote the following (she knows how this grandmommy likes to beam at her grandchildren's accomplishments):

"Thought you might be interested to know that Tanner came in 2nd in State at last weekend's TAPPS (Texas Academy of Parochial and Private Schools) Tennis Tournament in Waco.  He won the semi-finals to last year's state champ, a senior, twice his weight.  However, he lost the finals to another freshman, same size.  They will probably be playing yearly throughout high school."   

Tanner keeps playing and getting better. He turns sixteen next week, and will then be just another one of my grandkids to worry about! He's getting his driver's license!  

Ashlyn leaves for her first year of college at Oklahoma State University in a couple of weeks. She will arrive in time for sorority bid day. Whichever one she joins will be lucky to have her. Besides being smart and talented, she's our social butterfly!

Granddaughter Hannah will be visiting this month with her dad, Craig. I know she will be excited as school draws near. She will be a freshman at Booker T. Washington Performing Arts High School. I don't have a photo of her from this summer, but will take some when they visit. In the meantime, Craig loves playing "step-granddad" to little Paisley.

Some of you know that last December the number of my grandchildren grew by two. I am now "surrogate grandmother" to Bruce and Annie, who live with Carajean and Branch in Amarillo. I will write about them in a future blog, as we are just getting to know each other. I met them for the first time this summer since they were 3 and 4 years of age.

Until next time, hug your own children and grandchildren. They are our future!

Peace and love,
Marilyn

P.S.
I read where Bill Murray will be the voice for the bear in the new Disney version of The Jungle Book due out next year! I think it is such a happy reminder to all of us that "The Bare Necessities" are all that's really needed to be happy! Here's the 1967 version with Phil Harris singing the song:


Saturday, July 26, 2014

YOUR CHILDREN, MY CHILDREN, CHILDREN OF THE WORLD

While having my morning coffee, I watched a father with his children teaching them how to fly a kite in the park across the street. Then I saw another father teaching his young son how to ride a dirt bike in the grassy meadow behind my house. A little later, while it was still cool enough for such activity, there were teenage boys playing basketball in the court in the park. I reflected upon the joy these children were experiencing, and then thought of the fun some of my own children and grandchildren had last week playing and boating on Lake Austin. You can see by the slideshow on the right that there was no shortage of good times. Family and friends spent several days at the lake -- some even staying in the RV (air conditioned) and popup camper. 


Sadly, there are children all over the world suffering right now from wars, poverty, and violence of all kinds. How can our hearts not be touched when we hear about and view such images of these precious children? The ongoing conflict in Syria has left many children dead, homeless, and refugees. We have all but forgotten their plight as so many new atrocities are being inflicted on children in other parts of the world. The fighting between Hamas and Israel has killed or injured over 400 children in Gaza so far. Today I read somewhere that Israeli children have also been killed. 

What are these children doing for fun? Even when they are sent to a supposedly "safe" location like the U.N. shelters, many have been injured and killed. Some entire families have been destroyed. Do they dare play games outdoors? Is there room for basketball? Will they ever get to fly a kite again? Will they ever laugh and play again after all the bloodshed they have witnessed?

*********************************************

Here in Texas, uppermost in our minds are the children who are crossing the border from Mexico after a long, perilous journey
from their homes in Central America. Our Congress refuses to pass legislation that will assist in relocation or deportation of the thousands who have come here since last October. Texas Governor Rick Perry -- wanting to appear "tough" in lieu of a second presidential run -- has called up the National Guard to help on the border. During his last presidential run he was seen by most conservatives as too "soft" on the immigration issue. Especially when he said those who wanted to send the children home didn't "have a heart". My question is, what is the Guard supposed to do? Most of these immigrants are turning themselves in to the first Border Agent or other official that they see.


These young people beginning their trek across the Rio Grande are not looking for summertime fun like our family recently enjoyed on the lake. Most just want to escape the extreme poverty and violence they are experiencing in their own countries. Many wish to join with parents or other family members who are already here in the States.

The hate groups are having a field day. Someone forwarded a video made by a former border patrol agent that made some of the most ridiculous claims ever about the surge of Central American immigrants. He even suggests that they have been sent here as some kind of insurgency conspiracy... filled with diseases to infect the population of the U.S. One disease he mentions is the Ebola virus! When one discovers there has never been a case of Ebola in Central or North America -- only in Africa, and that the three countries, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala have higher rates of vaccinations than even we have here in the U.S., you can see where this is going! To suggest that it is all a deliberate plot is far-fetched, even for the right-wing extremists.

I agree that something has to be done to alleviate the over-stretched resources in the states these children are being sent to. I don't have an answer, but in my opinion, sending them back to the violent areas they came from is akin to sending children back into a war zone. 

If our government cannot pass legislation to help this situation, at least they can keep from doing harm to the innocent children. The overwhelming majority of both the House and the Senate profess to be Christians. How then do they rationalize when it comes to the teachings of Jesus Christ in regards to "love thy neighbor"? When asked "who is my neighbor", Jesus replied with the parable of the good Samaritan. "Jesus refuses to define who a neighbor is. Instead He asks a question proving something greater than the exact answer anticipated. Being a neighbor to someone is not limited to family relations or proximity. It is showing the love of God to all who are in need: whoever they may be -- wherever they may be."  This quote is from a Christian ministry site. For those of you unfamiliar with this parable, you can read it in the New Testament, Luke 10:25-37.


“…but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.’” – Matthew 19:14 (NRSV)

I am ever grateful that I was born in America, therefore, so were my children. I am even more grateful that my children and grandchildren not only are blessed with freedom and good health, but also with many of life's luxuries, even in these difficult economic times. And we each are blessed with an abundance of love. Most of the children in this essay are not so blessed. What can we do to help them? What are we doing to help?

Peace, love, and blessings,
Marilyn

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Whatever happened to Separation of Church and State..

and freedom of religion? In regards to the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby decision, who's religion are they siding with? What about the religious beliefs of their employees they are trampling on? Surely the employees of Hobby Lobby all don't belong to the same religion as their corporate owners! 
You know, everytime I read (and use) the acronym SCOTUS, the first thought that hits my brain is SCROTUM! It's not something I consciously think, but maybe my brain is interpreting what enters, analyzing, then spitting out the proper term. After all, the majority on this court have one of these. Sometimes I feel the male justices are thinking with their scrotums rather than their brains when it comes to women's issues.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissent says it best. Justice Ginsburg's Dissent One key quote from her decision reads thus: "Approving some religious claims while deeming others unworthy of accommodation could be 'perceived as favoring one religion over another,' the very 'risk the [Constitution's] Establishment Clause was designed to preclude." She went on to say, "The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield."

I fear she is correct! How many employers will now use this decision to opt out of anything in the Affordable Care Act that goes against their religious beliefs? Such as blood transfusions, many different medications and vaccinations, as well as some who believe in no medical treatment at all? In a sense, these corporations -- or "people" -- will force their employees to abide by their personal religious beliefs.

And then, there is the issue of the hypocrisy of the Hobby Lobby owners and their retirement fund investments in numerous companies that sell the very contraceptive devices they claim to object to on religious grounds. This has been known for a long time. Why was it not known to the Supreme Court? Forbes online magazine had a damning article with backup for these claims, which go back to 2012. You may read about it here: HOBBY LOBBY HYPROCRISY .

The scariest part of this decision to me is the way that the fundamental Christian religion, i.e., a subset of the Evangelicals (which make up about 40% of the U.S. population), has been gradually taking over so much of the governing in our local, state, and federal legislatures. The fundamentalists are very politically conservative, take a literal view of the Bible, and tend to be more judgmental and intolerant than others. The states where they are more prevalent tend to have Republican Governors and Legislatures.

One example is our Texas Governor (who openly claims to be a Christian), Rick Perry's view in his controversial interview recently on homosexuality (which struck me as pretty ironic, as he has been dogged with a personal homosexual scandal for several years), wherein he compared homosexuality with alcoholism. He stated that an alcoholic can "choose" to abstain, and therefore, so can one with same-sex attraction! The so-called "conversion therapy" clinics to assist in a ridiculous attempt at "curing" homosexuality are legal in all but two states, now that the Supreme Court rejected the challenge to a recent ban on these clinics in California. The other state where the clinics are banned is New Jersey, but it also has had several legal challenges. One only has to read of the disgusting means that these clinics employ to "cure" one of same sex attraction, which are never effective by the way, to see why the psychological and medical professions as a whole condemn the practices. Governor Perry and the Republican legislature have effectively implemented their beliefs on many laws in the State of Texas -- most importantly, the anti-abortion legislation that closed so many of the Planned Parenthood clinics that were so essential to the poor. I feel certain they would never ban the conversion therapy clinics in Texas.

Most of the fundamental churches believe that homosexuality is a "sin". And that this type of "sin" will send one straight to hell. What happened to "judge not"? It appears to me that many religions today pick and choose the parts of the Bible they wish to "believe" as literal! Sounds to me like the radical factions of Islam who still stone women to death for what they believe are sexual improprieties. Our Bible also tells of stoning in the Old Testament!

How can one religion dictate the beliefs of a whole country? It appears that the fundamental right wing Christians are attempting to do just that. Which leads me to my biggest fear. What major world religion is in the news most these days? Islam, of course. Particularly in Iraq and Syria. There are differing factions in Islam as there are in Christianity.
(The regions may have changed as the militants take control of more parts of Iraq.)
What is happening in Iraq is really a religion fighting among its differing factions. If the militants do take over the entire country, they plan to impose strict Islamic Law -- their version. Goodbye, any type of democracy. I know this is much more complicated than what I am saying, but watching what Islamic militants are doing in every country they battle, this is how it appears. They hate anything to do with the West, its politics, culture, and religions. 
**************************************
I watched a 2006 documentary on Netflix recently titled "Jesus Camp" that was very, very disturbing. It is about a Pentecostal youth minister, Becky Fischer, and a camp in North Dakota at the time, where she trains a group of pre-teen children.. some very young.. to be "God's Army" and go out into the world equipped to change everything from worship to politics to the Pentecostal (fundamental) view. It was scary watching how such a charismatic pastor could manipulate these vulnerable children, 9- and 10- year olds, working them into a frenzy with tears streaming down their faces. The hate speech she preached to them about the evils of movies and books such as Harry Potter, (she said that in Biblical times Harry Potter would be killed!) had them wide-eyed with fear. The scenes in the beginning and at the end of this movie of children with camouflage and painted faces, wielding sword-like "weapons" dancing in hypnotic rhythms while exciting their congregation were unbelievable. 
I could go on and on about the movie, but I urge you to see it yourself. It was so controversial, that they closed the camp shortly after the movie was released. That didn't stop Becky Fischer. 

She now is the "founder and director of The School of Supernatural Children's Ministry (aka SSCM). SSCM is a 45 hour training course which teaches parents and children's ministers the basics of great children's ministry. It also shows them how to teach children to hear God's voice, become worshipers, prayer warriors, prophetic spokesmen. It also teaches them to heal the sick, operate in the gifts of the Spirit (one of which is speaking in tongues), be led by the Spirit of God, and do signs and wonders. The goal of SSCM is to help kids become active members in the body of Christ while they are still children." This is taken directly from their website.
Statistics show that 75% of home-schooled children today are Evangelicals. Are they being taught basics from the above ministry? 

The Islamic militants in the mid-East start training their children at young ages as well, some as young as five. Besides the religious training they also receive military training that teaches them how to use weapons and to die for Allah. Could that happen to these children in the U.S. being trained for "God's Army"? 

Now, what if we view the United States broken down into three main religious factions (as well as other religions and nonbelievers)? Granted, they are not all Christian religions, but the effects might be the same. Say we have Protestants, Catholics, and Jews desiring their own brand of religion be enforced as the "law of the land". To hear what the fundamentalists are espousing, a Nation Under God means a Nation Under Christianity. The laws being passed from state to state as well as on the federal level are insidious in their function as religious beliefs. They are being implemented in ways that, as Justice Ginsberg says, "the (Constitution's) Establishment Clause was designed to preclude." Favoring one religion over another. 

How many laws must be passed enforcing the beliefs of the religious right? How much longer before the other religious and nonreligious bodies in our nation rise up in rebellion? How many of our freedoms must be taken away before we realize what has happened? Will there be Christian militias formed to enforce the laws? Will the law of the land be Fundamental Christian Law?

I have no answers, but am deeply saddened. I have been a Christian since my early childhood, but rejected the notions this type of Christianity teaches. Hate and intolerance are not a part of my belief system.

I want to close by referring you to read what "my type" of Christian has to say about the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision. Beth is not only a Presbyterian minister, but she was an attorney before entering the ministry. She has three blog posts since the decision was made, but the first will amaze you!  If Beth Had a Blog  She states it so clearly.

Peace and love,
Marilyn

Monday, May 26, 2014

BLT


Last week I saw a video on the news about the above animals living in an animal sanctuary, Noah's Ark. I have not been able to stop thinking of them since that newscast. What an amazing example of peaceful coexistence. Different species no less! And from different parts of the world - the North American bear, the African lion, and the Asian tiger. Loving one another and living side by side.. even sleeping together. (Talk about "sleeping with the enemy"!) It truly has affected me profoundly.

While remembering and honoring all of our veterans the past few days, my thoughts kept straying to visions of peace on earth that would eventually put an end to war and eliminate the necessity for the growing number of graves holding our loved ones killed in combat. One day will we live peacefully with all the countries of the world? Again, I suggest, as we honor our vets, let us not forget those who have always -- and are still engaged in peacemaking of all kinds. 
(by Reuters/Jason Reed)
I was moved to hear of Pope Francis's visit to the "separation wall" dividing Israel and Palestine and placing his hand upon the wall to show his disapproval of the division. When they announced that the Pope had invited the Palestinian President Abbas and the Israeli President Peres to meet with him in Rome so they could all pray together for peace, I immediately thought of the BLT (bear-lion-tiger) trio in Noah's Ark. When the three of them are together, it will be a Catholic, a Muslim, and a Jew. When they meet in Rome to pray for peace, I hope we are made aware of the time so all people may join in prayer for a long-lasting peace between those two nations who have been bitter enemies for so long. Maybe this will start a journey for peace among all nations.

May God continue to bless America, and comfort those whose losses we honor today.

Peace and love,
Marilyn

Friday, May 9, 2014

A TOUCH OF PHILOSOPHY by Dr. Bob

Last year I published a couple of posts (the first one was DR. BOB) about an inspirational member of my son Matthew's group of friends, who has become like a member of our family. Dr. Bob's humor and sly wit is often sprinkled with philosophical lessons. Here is a brief piece about his family upbringing that influenced his life. He and his late brother Al had been living with his mother and a wealthy stepfather when he was thrust back into a life with his father and stepmother. The following is his take on that time. 
****************************************************************
A Touch of Philosophy
 Bob Roberts, DDS, Ret.

"Looking back, after 8 years of living the life of the idyll rich and almost famous, I had lapsed into quite a snot. I had no sense of the words Work or Responsibility. 

My priorities were to drive cars fast, score with the girls, drink beer, and maintain an image. I ran with a crowd with like priorities. Fortunately, fate intervened at age 16 when I left for college and all that went away permanently.


I lasted one semester at TCU living with Pop and his wife Lora. He had said we would be pals and have a blast if I came and lived with him. Wrong! He wanted to rub my nose in it and get even for all the years that I was living rich and he wasn’t. He made my life as unpleasant as he could. I did not realize at the time that he was in a terminal downward spiral from drug addiction, uppers and downers, and was paranoid as Hell. His practice of Plastic Surgery was falling apart, malpractice suits were filed, and he was in danger of losing his license. When I left in January for the University of Texas [Editor: See COMING TO AUSTIN], he packed Lora and all his cash in his Lincoln Continental and fled Ft Worth never to return. They lived on the run for a year or so sleeping in cheap motels and sometimes the car until the heat was off.

Pop had made a ton of money, which he kept in cash, and was rich for the first time, and I believe this was a tipping point to a ruined life. He was a paranoid, broke old man tied to an oxygen tank at age 60, and died at 70.

Mr. Moroney, Pater, was seriously rich. Short version; he lost it all, was divorced from Mother, and committed suicide at age 56 by jumping off the Santa Fe building in Dallas. Al was interning at the Parkland Hospital E.R. and was present to identify the body. My conclusions: I have seen that great wealth does not necessarily lead to happiness or peace of mind, and is frequently debilitating emotionally. My lifetime goal became to achieve and maintain a middle-class status. In this I have, at least, been successful."
********************************************
The current generation does not have a monopoly on broken marriages, alcoholism, or even drug abuse. It seems these afflictions have been around too many years. If only more products of those families turned out as well as Dr. Bob! 

Peace, love, and wisdom,
Marilyn