Remembering Tumultuous Times…

3. Martin Luther King, Jr., a civil rights act...

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In July my husband will be drawing Medicare, in addition to the Social Security he now receives. He was born in 1946, one of the first year tide of “baby boomers.”  I was born in 1947, during the second year of “baby booming” in post-war America.  While drinking coffee and reading the paper–a rather old-fashioned notion in my children’s household (not the coffee, just the newspaper!)–I read that the sixties are going to trend in television next season.   The sixties are cool again, thanks to Mad Menit’s the style, not the substance, however.  Don’t get me wrong.  We love Mad Men too, but we watch it with more irony than the generations that follow us.

Don’t get me wrong!  I remember the sixties and the late fifties as well.  My sister and I used to play “apartments” in the new fifties ranch house suburban neighborhood we moved to in 1954.   Lots of slamming of doors and a drinks cart always played prominently in our games, as did smoking.  My parents both quit smoking early in the fifties, so we copied the elegance of TV starlets.  Apartments, drinks carts and cigarettes were all the height of sophistication we didn’t actually see anywhere except on television. My parents didn’t have a drinks cart or a bar, so we used my mother’s glass tea cart with water glasses.  My parents hid a lot of their true selves when we were growing up.   They secreted their liquor in the master bedroom so my tee-totaling grandmothers never knew they imbibed.  Just for the record, they also kept it a secret that they were Democrats, since The Grandmothers were rabid Republicans and would have disapproved.

My sister and I were in junior high and high school during the first half of the sixties.  Fear was in the air then, with the Cuban missile crisis, the Cold War, the construction of the Berlin Wall, the glow of President Kennedy and then his assassination.  Civil rights conflicts raged in the southern states,  filling the TV news and the headlines–Freedom Riders, lunch counter sit-ins, peaceful marches ending with police batons and fire hoses.  The angry faces and hate-filled quotes from angry white southerners amazed me, although one of my grandmother’s said the same kind of thing when she visited us.   I graduated from high school in 1965, just on the cusp of more turbulent times.  The Vietnam conflict ramped up and both Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated.   I attended a quiet teaching college, but MLK’s assassination prompted class closures and protests.  No one could have escaped the clear message: The times they are a-changing…

This is how I remember my childhood and adolescence–sophistication, strictly defined gender roles, frightening upheavals, fear, threats of war and war.  Television messages: cowboys and Indians, pointy bras and ruffly aprons, housewives concerned with their dish and clothes detergents, wise dads and well-intentioned kids.   My own life included a working mom torn between her home, family and huge ambition;  a father whose dreams were never the same after World War II–all he wanted was his home, family and a steady, 9-5 dullish job.  My grandmothers who remembered a past without cars, telephones, washing machines, played a prominent part in my life.

The fifties AND the sixties were iconic times for me, as are the times for anyone remembering the 18-21 years of  growing up.  Both my sister and I married early, within six months of each other.  Our weddings were almost identical since we each wore our mother’s circa 1942 satin wedding dress.   Boy friends, engagement rings and weddings were expectations when we were very young women.  We had church weddings and receptions in the church basement.  Do people do that anymore?  Church basements?  No chocolate fountains or champagne at our weddings!

The new retro television shows coming this fall resurrect the overt sexualization of women that many women, as well as men, bought into.  They are titled The Playboy Club  and Pan Am.  The Playboy Club  needs little explaining, butPan Am does.  Fifty years ago, flight attendants were good looking women only.  No men were allowed, no married or older women were allowed, no overweight or unattractive women were allowed.  Stewardesses were sexualized by innuendo, but that was seen as a plus.  So, these programs will romanticize the style over the substance, once again.  We will tune in for Mad Men on AMCenjoying our blast from the past, but give the network shows a miss.  I don’t really want to be reminded of Playboy or stewardesses.

My sister, my father and I near the beach in Southern California, 08/1960

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We have met the enemy, and he is us…

This quote is parody on a message sent by an American commodore to an American admiral in 1813, “We have met the enemy, and they are ours.”  It was used several times by Walt Kelly, an American cartoonist, most famously in a poster for the first Earth Day in 1971.  Kelly draws his raccoon looking over pollution and trash in his swamp, with the words, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

These words pop into my mind often, especially now, in the face of nuclear radiation permeating the atmosphere in Japan.  How ironic that Japan, the “times two” victim of the atomic bomb, should be facing this horrific dilemma again, after falling victim to the peaceful, and apparently efficient, use of nuclear energy.  I am not going into a meditation on nuclear energy in this blog entry.  Suffice it to say that we need to think long and hard about the impacts of its use in an unstable world–geologically and politically.

From my early teenage years on I have been fascinated by World War II.  My dad was a veteran of that war, spending 36 uninterrupted months in the Mediterranean Theater.  He served in the Army Air Corps, later becoming a new branch of military service, the United States Air Force.  He spent his tour of duty as a Bombardment Officer–supervising the loading of bombs onto light bombers that flew in support of British and American forces in Europe.  From November 1942 until June 1945, my dad was in England, Scotland, North Africa, Sicily, Corsica, Italy and France.  I have written a memoir about those times and the impact of war on his later life and the life of our family, so the war has become a focus of reading and research throughout my adult life.

After my father returned to the Denver in July of 1945, he was on leave, waiting to be sent to the Pacific front in the second week in August, 1945.  If it had not been for the invention of the atomic bomb, resulting in the dropping of two bombs on Japan on August 6th and 9th, 1945, he might never have returned to my mother, and my sister and I would not have been born.  The devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had significant impact on the decision of the Japanese to surrender, thus ending World War II.  Instead of receiving new orders, he was sent home a civilian.  As cruel as it sounds, I believe I owe my existence to the detonations of Little Boy and Fat Man in 1945.

As a child growing up in post-World War II America, I could not escape hearing about the bomb.  Duck and cover drills, bomb shelters and mushroom clouds, as well as the threats the Cold War and Communism, kept us ever alert to the dangers we faced.  Later on, as a teenager i read about the victims of World War II–the Jews and concentration camps as well as the horrors of nuclear radiation, and by extension, the victims of the atomic bombs.

Little did I know that there were victims of bombs in our own country until I met one in the late eighties when I was teaching.  She was my paraprofessional (teaching aide), a very bright woman who had been an Air Force nurse.  During the years we worked together, she told me that she had been born in Nevada and that after a high school class reunion, she learned that a high number of her classmates had died from cancer or were diagnosed with it.  They attributed it to bomb testing at Nellis Air Force Base during the 1950s.  She was somewhat older than I, so she had been in junior high and high school during the testing, which began in 1951.   My friend was terrified that she would become another victim, adding herself to the statistics.  Over time I believed she was paranoid, but changed my mind upon hearing that she had developed stomach cancer.  She died one week after my mother, in January, 1990.

During our conversations before her diagnosis, my friend told me about several movie stars who had died of cancer after the making of a movie, The Conqueror, in 1953.  Among those were the stars John Wayne, Susan Hayward, Dick Powell and Agnes Moorehead. When I researched this, I discovered that 91 out of 220 people suffered from cancer, 46 dying from the disease. This is a high percentage of percentage of people, despite the fact that a few of them were heavy smokers.  The death rate is attributable to the “downwinder” effect. The film was shot near St. George, Utah, downwind from the Nevada test site.   On top of that, Howard Hughes, the producer/director, shipped 60 tons of the Utah dirt to Hollywood, so that studio scenes would match those shot on location.

Besides the recent news, what reminded me of the dangers of radioactive poisoning is an underlying current in the book I’m reading right now, The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall.  Set in the 1970s, in the southwestern corner of Utah, the story follows the ups and downs of the husband of four wives in a fundamentalist polygamist family.  I’m intrigued by the book and enjoy the subtle humor as well as the hint of pathos and tragedy that hang over the main characters.   Last night I came across a remarkable description of radioactive fallout from a bomb test that took place in 1951 at the Nevada test site.  Ironically, Udall names the bomb Roy–my father’s name.  This test actually happened, impacting several characters in the book many years later in the story.

Excerpted from the book, these are among the best descriptions of radioactive fallout that I have ever read.

The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall, W.H. Norton, New York, 2010
excerpts from pp. 305-312

Exactly two hours and twenty minutes earlier, two hundred thirty miles to the west, a bomb named Roy had waited for the radio signal that would bring it to glorious fruition.  Roy was an atomic bomb, a seventy-kiloton device five times more powerful than the sorry little firecracker that obliterated Hiroshima.  He waited in a corrugated steel cab at the top of a heavily lightly four-hundred-foot tower that looked, in the predawn dark, as cheery as a Christmas tree…

…The scientists, miles away behind bombproof glass, knew immediately they had severely miscalculated; Roy was more awful, more viciously destructive than any of their most liberal predictions.  They didn’t cheer—they were scientists—but one of them called out, “Raises all around!” and another stepped behind a file cabinet and did a weird little feet-shuffling dance.

…Roy, meanwhile, was just getting started.  The crest of his robust cloud, still lit from within by pink and amber nuclear fires, had ascended to thirty thousand feet—five and a half miles—into the atmosphere.  He moved quickly west across the lunar hills of the great desert, borne aloft by warm air currents, spreading in slow-bloom like a drop of ink in tap water, blocking out the light of dawn.  Over the flat-pan playas and crumbling cinder cones burning orange with the new sun, the cloud flattened out as it butted against a rogue cross-wind that sent it diving into the canyons and sand washes where wiry free-range called smelled something foul on the air and went bucking crazily into the brush.  Over Ely and Buck Valley, across the broad Lincoln County Range laced with its ancient, wandering game trails that had been appropriated by humans and their livestock, ever-deepening grooves that crisscrossed the surface of the land like the creases in the palm of an old sheepherder’s hand…

…Of course, he wasn’t going to waste all his charm on these rocky backwaters; Roy had places to go.  Salt Lake City, Fort Collins, Rock Springs, Gillette, and over the border into Alberta, where he would drop a nice dose of fallout on the Fort Defiance Weiner Roast and founders Day Parade.  Apparently unimpressed with Canada, he would circle back, buzzing the outskirts of greater Duluth, taking on moisture on his tour down the Mississippi River and releasing a thunder burst of irradiated rain over Chicago’s south side.  Nearly two days after his detonation, Roy would leave the continent with one last gift; in an irony that would be lost on history, he would unload three minutes’ worth of radioactive hail on Washington, D.C.

J. Robert Oppenheimer, director of the Manhattan Project: “I am become become death, the destroyer of worlds.”

Who do you think you are?

Last year I was so excited to follow two genealogy shows on prime time local stations.  Since genealogy is one of my hobbies, I tuned in regularly to both shows.

The first show I watched was Faces of America, hosted by Dr. Henry Louis Gates.  It  featured a variety of well-known guests,  including Meryl Streep, Stephen ColbertDr. Mehmet Oz and Yo Yo Ma, to name just a few. and other genealogy researchers presented the information to the guests in a studio setting.  It was quite interesting, especially when they included very expensive genomic DNA testing.  These tests were able to find the major geographical locations of each of the guests long ago ancestors, right to  region on a specific continent!   Most fascinating was who in the group shared the same ancestor.  Of course, the producers of the show had to have chosen the guests based on prior knowledge.  I cannot imagine how expensive the production of this show had to have been!

Wouldn’t I love to have genomic testing done, or even DNA testing–but the cost does not fit into my budget. Another problem is that I don’t have male relatives that I am in contact with, except for nephews or grandsons. I need to have direct descendants to be included in a DNA groups for specific family lines.  Women’s genes can trace matriarchal/regional ancestors, but not the specifics needed to narrow relations down to specific familial lines.  My birth family “daughtered out.”  Without brothers or male cousins, I have to rely on my research.  I do that with the wonderful help of, whose ads you can’t miss if you watch television!  What a boon that site has been for me, especially since it keeps collating and adding records that were almost impossible to tap into without expensive travel, even up to ten years ago.

The other genealogy show I watch regularly is Who Do You Think You Are?  This show has been on television in Britain and Australia for several years.  It just started in the U.S. last year.  Once again, it features celebrity guests, but the searches conducted are more along the lines of what the ordinary person would do.  I’m sure the writers, directors and researchers have to prescreen the guests  and gather some of the information ahead of time,  as well as make contacts.  However, the time spent traveling, and the reactions of the guests, as well as the impact of the discoveries, are real.  The episodes focus on a problematic ancestor of the guest celebrity, the search for the origins of that ancestor, and the outcomes of that ancestor’s life.  Most of the stories are quite compelling.  What I find intriguing is how ordinary the celebrity is, once he/she is on the search and meeting with his/her family.  It is a revealing look at the guest outside of the hoopla of celebrity.

I have made my own interesting discoveries about several ancestors through the years.  One of them involves my maternal grandmother, Mary Egan Horne Rockfield.  I will be sharing pictures and insights in my next blog entry.  Stay tuned!

An old wedding dress…

Julia with her fancy "up do"

I have been involved in “e-tailing” for almost four years now.   I own and operate three virtual stores.  One of these stores markets antique and vintage items.   While checking out the competition recently, I focused on the category of used wedding gowns.  The ones that sold fetched good prices.

Vintage clothing is not a category in my shop.  I have an “accessories section” for leather gloves from my mother and aunt and some vintage scarves I’ve collected over the years.  I wore scarves wrapped around my head as headbands or ponytail adornments in the 1970s and tied in fancy bows or knots around my neck in the 1980s.   Otherwise, I never keep clothing, except for the lovely satin wedding gown up in our attic.  It has been in the family since 1942.

My mother chose this dress it for her wartime wedding that year, and my sister and I chose it for our weddings in 1968.   However, my niece and daughters did not want to wear it for their 1990, 1999 and 2000 weddings.

My 8-yr old granddaughter, Julia, spent the day at our house this past Monday because her school had a “non-pupil contact day.”  I told her about the dress while I looked through old pictures to use in listing the item.   She looked at wedding pictures of my mother, my sister and me in the dress, and then pictures of her mother and her aunt in their wedding gowns.

She wondered aloud why her mother and her aunt did not want to wear the shiny satin gown with a sweetheart neckline, rucked  (fabric sewn into folds) bodice, long tight sleeves and a cathedral train.   I explained that they wanted different kinds of weddings than the older generations did.   “Oh, I can see that,” as she explained the differences she had noticed between our formal church weddings and  the smaller gatherings in an old historic home for her mother and a city park for her aunt.

After a pause, she wistfully commented that it was nice when things were passed down.  I asked her if she wanted the dress and she softly answered, “Yes.”  I quickly replied, “I will save the dress for you. It is yours.  Do you want to see it?”  Oh yes, she did!   I took her up to the bedroom and flipped opened the window of the “acid free chamber” in the box where the gown has been stored since I had it cleaned and  preserved.  I explained the fabric was called a “blush” satin because it was originally white, but turned a cream color over time.

When I said, “Grandpa will put this right back in storage,” she smiled a big smile, then added,  “I won’t be getting married for a long, long time.”

So, I’m not selling the dress, for all the right reasons!

“Do the thing you think you cannot do.”

(June, 1970) This photo shows me at the summit of Mt. Vesuvius.  The guide is demonstrating the steam against my leg.  I wouldn’t be on Vesuvius if I hadn’t conquered my fear of riding the ski lift to the top.  I had to ask myself, “How can I NOT ride in this chair lift?  When will I ever again get the chance to be on Mt. Vesuvius?”  I was shaking the whole way up, and jubilant the whole way down.

Looking back over my life, several of  Eleanor Roosevelt‘s quotes have defined me.  The one  that applies most to my personal development is the following:

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face… do the thing you think you cannot do.”

As a child and young adult I was somewhat withdrawn and shy around strangers.  I didn’t do well when thrown into an unknown situation.  I didn’t recognize my strengths and I had low self-esteem.  Only when I really, really wanted something for myself did I achieve.  Achievement required that I swallow my fear and put myself in a place where I might suffer failure.

I was a good student in junior high and high school because I was interested in history, writing and anything involving literature.  Those were my strengths and I could count on them.  My skills in these academic areas gave me the opportunity to go to an excellent selective small liberal arts college about an hour away from home.

Even though the school was small, the challenge of the social scene there, as well as  being away from home took away all my confidence and focus.  I spent two years in that school and then transferred to another school where the social pressure was less.  However,  it wasn’t until I heard graduation practice at the end of my junior year that I faced down my fears.  I can still remember sitting in the library and saying to myself, “No matter what it takes, I am going to graduate from college!”  I made up my mind, swallowed my fears and did it.  (The fact that I struggled with severe depression during this time will be discussed below.)  I applied myself, completed every class in my minor of English by carrying an accelerated load of classes, graduating in December, 1969.

This has continued to be a pattern throughout my life.  When I lived abroad during my first marriage, I was often afraid.  Sometimes I would say to my husband or a friend, “This really scares me,” and that individual person would help.  Or, I would hear someone say, “It scares me to go off the base into town,” and I would think, “Wow, she is missing so many wonderful experiences.”  Slowly, through the years, I found that grit and determination were a requirement for success. Facing down my fears…

Throughout my working years as a teacher, I  had to swallow down my natural fears as a reserved, quiet person, in order to meet new students, parents and faculty members.  Grit, determination, facing the necessity of the moment have all played a part in my growth as an individual.

That doesn’t mean life has been rosy.  It hasn’t.  Sadness and grief come and go.  I have lost people in my life and gained others.  All of us have to endure in order to survive.

The greatest failures in my life have led to the greatest successes.  My first and second marriages failed.  Each time I have had to pick up the pieces and rebuild my life.  I remember a wonderful poem I read when my first marriage collapsed.  The poet imagined building a wind chime out of mud–which definitely seemed to be where I was.  My second marriage was making lemonade out of lemons.  Rebuilding my life, patching the wounds–they were all important to me.  Living alone while my daughters were in college was a wonderful life passage–missing them, being on my own, discovering that I could enjoy my own company…and then finally meeting my soul mate, were all acts of courage as I swallowed down my fears.  I knew I deserved more and was determined to get it.

The last big achievement in my life so far has been the ability to stand up for myself in the face of jealousy or disapproval.  When I remarried for the the third time, I overheard people commenting on my remarriage–some people saying I was brave, others saying “how could she?” I had to learn to accept that I was going to do what I knew was best for me, no matter what anyone else thought.  I learned to depend on my own judgment.  Other women would ask me  why I didn’t find someone younger, or richer.  I had learned, thought, that I had to trust myself and  live by my own rules.  I knew what was right for me by confronting my mistakes, correcting them and knowing what was right for me.

Late in my teaching career, a rather naive teacher  made a rude comment about people taking antidepressants (which have been a saving grace for me).  In the past I would have just been quietly angry, but this time I turned to her and said, “I have taken Prozac since it first came on the market and it has changed my life.  It has saved so many people who are depressed.  You have NO idea what a difference antidepressants make.”  (You go girl, I thought to myself.)

On that same faculty, I finally learned how to face down “the mean girls”–you know, those women who never do grow up!?  They just go on spinning their webs.  When someone was mean to me, usually through sarcasm, or treacly sweetness,  or a wink and a nod, I threw kindness in her face. I discovered I was never going to win them over, but I wasn’t going to allow them to make me feel bad about myself.

Other recent accomplishments that came about because I faced down my fears and doubts have been finishing a memoir about my parents (300 pages), winning two poetry contests, teaching myself to knit, teaching myself to felt,  and now I am ready to begin some other new project–and I’m ONLY 64!  Woo hoo!

Waxing philosophical on a snowy day…

This is a cozy kind of day, watching the snow drift down, knowing that I don’t have to go anywhere.  It reminds me of my childhood in Denver when it seemed to snow more, although as soon as the sun came out, the melting started.  The melting part is the same, but we don’t have as many heavy snow storms.  However, this snow has continued for two days now.

Back when I was a teacher, snowy days like this always put me on a wait and watch for “Snow Day!”  As a child I only remember one snow day–or maybe it was two days long.  It happened in April no less!  Otherwise we slogged on to school no matter what.  It probably would have stayed that way if Denver hadn’t grown into a much larger city.  Now a heavy snow causes problems for the city’s snow removal and emergency responders to the point that we are advised to keep off the streets when we have heavy snow.  Still, the wait and watch begins for teachers, wondering if  a snow day will be called.

Another reason I have been enjoying the snow has been the book I’m reading about Darwin and his family life.  It is the basis for the new movie, “Creation.”  The book was written by Darwin’s great-great-grandson, Randal Keynes, who is also the great-grandnephew of the British economist John Maynard Keynes.  His also related to the composer Ralph Vaughn Williams.  Pretty good credentials!  The book is titled Darwin, His Daughter and Human Evolution (originally called Annie’s Box). The box referred to is his daughter’s writing box, an essential item for the well-equipped young lady of the 19th century.  After finding this box in amongst the attic items of his family, he was compelled to research his contents and the relationship between Darwin and his daughter, Annie.

The book is like a window into life in mid-19th century Britain as well as the family life of Darwin.  He was essentially a family man and enjoyed his children immensely.  The death of his 10-year-old daughter, Annie, due to tuberculosis, caused him to rethink his views on religion and an unbridgeable philosophical break with his wife, Emma.

Even before Annie’s death, Darwin wrestled with his belief in God and religious dogma.  He was a doubter from his youth and this was reinforced as he pondered his scientific discoveries.  He could not retain his belief in God as a master designer after tracing the evolution of several animal groups.  Even more, he could not reconcile illness, tragedy and the suffering death of a child with the so-called comforting words, “It is God’s will.”  He found nature to be both beautiful and cruel.

In my own life, these have been the same questions I have pondered.  For a long time I felt a traitor to my childhood and family faith.  I tried very hard to hold on to it, but both life and experience have destroyed any comfort I could find in religious platitudes.   In Darwin’s time, the religious community in Britain was in an uproar–what was termed rational thinking vs church and religious leaders.  Charles and Emma had grown up in Dissenter families, but Emma never abandoned her faith.  She wanted the assurance she would see her loved ones in the next life and believed that she would never see Charles because his separation from God was a sin.

I look forward to snuggling down to read on a snowy night–becoming a fly on the wall of a 19th century family and their universal struggles.  Much is different, but even more is universal.


The most prevalent flavor of life is bittersweet. ~Anonymous~

I finished writing the memoir about my parents on Sunday.  I can hardly believe it.  I am stunned.  I am at the place I have longed for, after working on this project for over eleven years.  Shouldn’t I be jumping up and down and shouting hooray?  But I’m not.

As long as I was writing about their lives, I was recreating them as living creatures once again.  Then all last week I was rewriting every moment of their fading away, including their deaths and scattering their ashes.  Now I am numb.

Where do I turn next?  When I finish a large project that I have been pouring so much of my conscious and unconscious energy into, how do I turn it off?  Is it good enough?  What else can be tweaked?  My husband advises me:  at some point you have to let it go.  You have to decide that it is done.

The irony is I have wanted to be done for such a long time.  I have abandoned this work two or three times, but it has nibbled at me, then yelled at me, then discouraged me.  I have rolled my chair around the office, sorted paper clips, cruised eBay and Facebook, even balanced the checkbook, rather than work on the book.

Now I am finally done, and I can’t let it go.  My brain is clicking, waking me up in the middle of the night.  What do I work on next,  now  that I can do all those things I’ve been longing to do, everything that I’ve been putting off until the book is done?

I know I feel this urgency because I’m at the fast end of the hour glass.  There is so much less sand now and it moves so much quicker.  I don’t want to waste a minute, even though I remember all those moments I have wasted when I thought I had so much.

Remembering November 9th, 1968…

Six days ago was the 41st anniversary of my first wedding.  The sunny weather was the same, but other than that, things could not be more different!  The groom died two years ago, but we were long divorced.  My parents are both gone now.  His father died many years ago, though his mother is still alive, although she is nearly blind and hard of hearing.  I’m older now than any of the parents were at that wedding…

We were so young, never even considering what love and commitment really meant.  I suppose that is no different than a lot of young people when they marry, although our children were much wiser in their choices.  Their marriages have lasted a lot longer than ours did, thank goodness.  I hope they continue “’til death do us part.”   I look at myself now and look at myself then, and I’m so startled at what I’ve become–a senior citizen!   That is better than the fate of my first husband…

Now I realize that all the things I worried about then were really nothing much, other than the terrible war my young husband experienced.  It changed him profoundly, to the point that he was never the same.  I doubt that our marriage would have lasted anyway, but I will always be sad that he didn’t have a happier life, although he did find true love with someone else.  We were never meant to be, except for our two daughters and the wonderful children they have given to the world.


I looked at my Facebook page tonight and decided that I have been wasting my words there.  No one cares about what I say or even that I am there.  I didn’t care about it at all until recently, when I started checking people’s friend status compare to mine and decided that it is too much like high school always was for me. This is obviously not good for my psyche.  Lose the link–if anyone cares to comment, the message will come to my email!