or unknowingly, we plant seeds all of our lives. We are whoever we are
and whoever we are leaves its indelible imprint on the entirety of our
world. Each of us have entered life, entered this world, to be who we
are. We sometimes wonder who this self really is. We can take a moment
in this warm September weather to think back over the imprint we have
made on our lives. As we look, do we find we knew our program or do we
find it was all helter skelter leading us nowhere? I always felt I
knew where I was going. I like the story of my life. It was fun.
A Teen Ager
are lots of fun. I remember so many times I was a seed planter, but at
the time I did not realize that. I have always been a nonviolent
being. It showed in how I responded to life more than what I openly,
intelligently or knowingly taught to others. It is more what I did for
myself and to myself.
remember the times I wanted to go with my dad whenever I could but
there were all too few opportunities. My dad would take me deer
hunting with him and his cronies, but I had to be the cook as a reason
for this teenager to come along. Mother quickly showed me the things I
had to know to cook for the hunters and I studied what was expected of
me. I learned quickly so I could be with my dad.
the tall forests of northern Wisconsin my dad set me up on a
"stand" a low tree stump where I could sit where the deer
would parade by and I could shoot one. He gave me a shotgun filled
with slugs. Freezing cold but eagerly alert I sat on my
"stand" and watched a parade of bucks with their glorious
antlers, the proud does followed by their gangly fawns, tramping
through the snow not 20 feet from where I silently sat holding my
camera taking some terrific pictures.
when my dad came by to see what I had accomplished, he admonished me
saying, "Where did you have your head? Look at these tracks,
whole families of deer marched right in front of you. This track is of
a big buck who must have had a rack as big as all out of doors."
I did not bag a deer, the rest of our party brought home more than
enough and to share. I was happy not to shoot any animals. I was also
happy not to be in a position during the war to have to shoot another
being. All my choice our choice I guarantee you.
school in Wauwatosa Wisconsin was a quick experience for me. It was
the time of World War II and my graduation year in 1945. It was an
early Tosa graduation in March for me having completed three years in
two. Immediately after finishing school on my 18th birthday
April 2, 1945, I enlisted in the U S Navy. The war was heavy on all
fronts. I wanted to do my part. I had no interest in violence or
killing, but to be in service was THE thing to do.
Kuhn and I are shown in this picture as I am home on leave from the U
S Navy. We worked together in high school on our physics class
projects. Her father was a top physicist in Milwaukee, a highly
skilled engineer who was eager to see his genius daughter excel
school. Fortunately, he allowed me to sit in on his creatively taught
and illustrated advanced discussions on the higher physics and
mathematics assisting me to achieve skill in the subject.
served in the South Pacific aboard an aircraft carrier CVE 80 Petrof
Bay. There my happy spirit was often pushed down by the reality of the
guns, the planes strafing our deck, the battles on every hand, but not
one siege it was not my assignment to be on duty since there
were only so many battle stations. I did not want to remain below
decks. So, in the sunlight streaming through the open port next to the
20mm guns aiming out of the side port, I laid out a mattress from my
hammock, where I could relax in the sun. There I lay reading from my
personal library of books on positive thinking and philosophy I always
had with me.
the shooting lulls, the duty men wiping sweat from their foreheads
after manning the guns, looked over at me and questioned my sanity.
Why did I want to be there on deck with a battle raging on and off
throughout the day.
told my shipmates that since I was not on duty I still did not
want to be below decks. "It is boring down there." Actually,
I am never bored. I found too much excitement in life. I was 18 and
came over to see what engaged my attention. Soon I was reading to all
of the gun crew from Plato, Emerson, Filmore and many others. As they
allowed me to read, the war seemed distant for all of us. Time stood
still while we were drifting off into the discussions of Socrates,
Marcus Aurelius, Goethe and the like. Most of them had never heard of
these great minds that I had come to delight in studying and were
fascinated as I made them come alive talking about them from the mind
of an 18-year-old. They too, for the most part, were but 18. We were
indeed peers. Planting seeds!
Navy was a great experience for me.
day I will write more of the experiences I had with my shipmates, the
weather and the attitudes, which developed in that time and how a new
direction overcame all of us by one tidal wave.
As A Father
picture here is of me without a beard, my son Mark, 13-years-old and
my wife Faith in our home in Corona del Mar California in 1966. Mark
was sitting at his desk the same one the Chairman of the Board uses
today in the Citadel creating and designing his model airplanes. The
selfmade Polaroid picture endured through the years.
worked as a professional organist and pianist. She loved playing in
the various churches and was always in demand.
was forever on the lookout for something for Mark to do; I thought it
was one of my responsibilities as his father. It was difficult for me
to find something that he really liked. Faith often joined us, but
mostly it was father and son. We sailed, surfed, water skied, went
scuba diving, skin diving, and more. Very little interested him until
one day he was inspired by one of his junior high school teachers to
be a pilot and take up flying. This was the turning point in his life
and he was never the same again, he had a purpose and a direction for
his entire life. We did not recognize it at the time, but soon he
would be designing, building and selling ultra light airplanes around
the world and his designs are considered the top of the line.
was a great day for me when he came home from school with the biggest
most satisfied smile I had ever seen.
said, "Dad, I want to learn to fly."
was happier than I ever thought possible. Immediately I said, "Go
for it son excellent!" We jumped into the car and headed out to
Meadowlark Airport in Huntington Beach to start taking flying lessons
and ground school. The field was ripe for seed planting and I had a
bag full of seed ready to be sown. I had to drive him to the classes
so naturally we both took the program.
three years, he studied and flew. He became an ace pilot always
improving his flying skills. Easily he soloed and for three years he
was able to fly alone or with a licensed pilot. He could not get his
license to fly others until he was 16. He flew. He flew. And he flew.
He was an exquisite pilot. Every year he gained more skilled until
when he got his license, the FAA check pilot told him he was one of
the most natural pilots he had ever checked out.
believed in himself. I believed in him. Taking flying lessons with him
I got my license too, but happily right away. We bought a 1947 fabric
covered Taylorcraft. He flew this high wing side-by-side tail dragger
solidly throughout the three years he waited for his pilotís license
and for many years after that. We also bought a 1947 Swift for me, an
aluminum side-by-side low wing airplane, tail dragger with retractable
all this he also built his own EAA Biplane in the dining room of our
Corona del Mar home. He was very active in the Experimental Aircraft
Association of Milwaukee, now Oshkosh Wisconsin that began the year of
Corona del Mar carport housed the Taylorcraft from time to time when
he was remodeling it.
are happy remembrances. These are happy times. Lovely seed planting
my positive attitudes I make my life the haven heaven it is.
I think of these incidents in my life, I think of them in the first
person, present tense, positive. All of the beneficial things that
took place are brought to my attention right now just as though I were
experiencing the incidents now in this moment, not 33 years ago.
all time is now.
What we put into life has a way of
returning to us abundantly. As we put positive thinking into our
world, our experiences turn out beneficial and joyous. We plant
wondrous seeds. As we speak our word of happiness and joy, these
return to us overwhelmingly. It is all a matter of our choice. I like
the choices I have made.