Rowing my boat through Life;

At 74 years + I have rowed that boat a damn long way, and I am nearing the end of my journey…..I rowed through childhood in a Chicago Ghetto, you know that place, it was called “Mother Cabrini projects”, then I rowed my way through a Catholic Orphanage, a few years of that and I rowed away again, (But at least those Nuns taught me how to READ! I rowed my way into a public High School, with 3,000 plus students, gangs and all, I idled there for a year and a half, before I realized all they were doing was filling my head with Crap, Brainwashing, I think is the right word here…..So I got back in my little row boat, slipped the oars and rowed on, wound up in Philadelphia, learned how to find a job, had many jobs, many new Loves & Adventures…..Then I rowed my way to Texas, age 18, no jobs there, but whoa, I could join the ARMY and be a Warrior! The Army rowed me to Okinawa, and then on to Vietnam, wow….I was a real Warrior, M-60 Machine gunner in a Recon Platoon…..What is the purpose of the Bayonet? “To KILL.” Well, I survived that little mess and rowed my ass back to the good old USA, where the San Francisco Airport Bar would not even pour me a drink, because I was not yet 21 years old, but I was good to go to War, it was cool, I had a suitcase full of Scotch, $2.00 a bottle in the good old Nam……Well, I rowed my boat back to Chicago, got some good jobs & some not so good, and then I got restless again, Set off for South America, but here the Waves got big and mean, I stopped in North Carolina to see an old friend, who told me this Special forces boyfriend of hers was beating on her kids, so he showed up and I shot him dead, Uh Oh, bad move, the waves were driving me backwards, no matter how hard I pulled on those old oars….. On trial for my life, the Jury found me Guilty of Manslaughter, 15-20 years the old judge said, can’t have those damn Yankees coming here and killing our citizens…..So I really put the muscle into those Oars, Central Prison, a riot, a put down of that with two hundred shotguns blazing away, man I must have surely had an Angel on my shoulder to survive that, then on to the old prison farm, where I learned how to pick that cotton, sweet potatoes, peanuts, just like Cool Hand Luke, guard on horseback, I became the fastest cotton picker cause when I would get close to that guard I had to sit down and roll myself a cigarette. Onward I rowed, to a road gang, cutting brush for mile after mile, at night I got so good at playing poker a few guys would bankroll me, and I earned them and me some decent bucks…..An aside here; I got sent to the “HOLE” because I would not rat my buds out, funny how inventive men can become when the chips are down, how to pass the time? Sit-ups, push-ups one small meal a day, it just toughens one up. One day I peeked through the bars and here is this cock a roach crawling along with a string on his leg with a tiny cigarette, a match and a strike plate from the match book, is that cool or what? Then we learned how to pull string out of our sheets, tie it into a long string, put a piece of paper on the end, holler “Flush” and on the other side a guy would do the same thing, and we then had a connection we could pull tobacco & papers back and forth, is that cool or what? ~~~~~Well I got a parole to California, land of the free and the Hippies so I was rowing my way through Pot & LSD, what an eye-opener that drug is…..Had a gal chase me down and insist I marry Her, and adopt her two daughters, that was fun for awhile, so I climbed aboard my rowboat and set off for Idaho, no jobs there so I bought a garage and a mechanic shop, when I knew Jack-shit about repairing cars, but thank God I could read and there were plenty of books on auto repair, so I did pretty good after those first two years of struggle, and then my old lady got tired of me working my ass off all the time so I was too tired to listen to her drone on about the latest gossip, so I got fed up and packed my little bit of stuff into my faithful rowboat and rowed on up to Alaska, got here just in time for the Exxon-Valdez Oil spill, got jobs engineering on Barges and Tugboats, made good money for awhile and spent it all in the bars, because by then I was almost deaf and the only way I could hear any music was to sit in front of the Bar Bands, Had a grand old time, sometimes I would be the only customer, and I would have a six piece band stand up and play all night long for little old me! ~~~~~And then I met the goat lady, and rowed my boat into another Love, man I had to learn how to Love and care for Goats, Sheep, turkeys, chickens, ducks and geese, as well as learn how to make cheese, milk those goats, raise and slaughter pigs, well Love is like that, kind of blind, but a good blind, if you know what I am saying…..That Lady and I spent 30 + years together and then she up and died on me, so here I sit, my old rowboat parked, because here is where I have decided to live out whatever time I have left, and then be buried next to my faithful dog, my Lady, and her Dog, with a lilac bush over each of our graves, and then the final journey into Forever……I hope you enjoyed this story of the Rowing man……

7 thoughts on “Rowing my boat through Life;

    1. Hey Gifted 50 thank you for liking my last piece of writing, it warms my old heart when other writers/readers take the time out to comment on my thoughts. These are sad times, especially for the poor and the everyday working people, they are always the ones to suffer….This Virus is especially good at getting us old folks, and it is not a pretty death, drowning from pneumonia, My heart goes out to all those folks, I support my local food pantry with whatever few bucks I have to give as they are pretty much the only place people have to turn to for help these days…..You take care of Yourself, Gal, God Bless You…..George ________________________________


      1. Yes my friend. This virus is something else. You are correct in that the death is very very ugly. It has been taking on many younger ones. My brother in law was in his 50’s and died 3 days ago from it. No prior health issues. My co-worker’s daughter, a NICU nurse, yesterday had a newborn intubated due to COVID-19.
        This thing is evil. Please stay safe.


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