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She likes my journal !!

At the old Rip Off Ranch.
December 31st, 1999

Happy New Year To All
So, the New Year approaches, one every hour on the hour, arriving over the airwaves each in its turn, the stroke of midnight booming from every country around the world. And I'm sitting here watching it on TV from my small apartment located thousands of miles distant. It's getting closer.

I went out this morning and had breakfast. I went out again around noon to have the oil changed in my car. I removed the last Oil Changer coupon from my book and saw that it expired tomorrow. A bit of luck. My car, which I was informed one year ago in 1998 would not last another 30 days, is still running. The oil was black when I brought it in and the new oil was black after they changed it, but the car started as it has always started and took me home. Mechanics of good heart and skill have informed me repeatedly over the last years that my '78 Toyota Corona will not live for another month. There was a time when I said that about myself: 2000 is an interesting concept, but one I will never experience. Curious.

My grandfather died at the age of 39 on my father's side and my father died at the age of 56, so the first time I thought about such things I assumed I'd be required to maintain the family tradition and tucked it back down into my subconscious. 2000. Shit. A date out there somewhere. Now I'm my father's age when he died and although I share most of the mechanical defects that killed him and his own father at an early age, I also share advances in medicine they could only dream about. Blood pressure normal. No more sleep apnea kicking me to death. No sign of diabetes. Don't smoke. Don't really drink very much. Anymore. So I'm alive. So what to do now, Mr. Smarty Pants? Mr. Not Dead Before the Millenium?

And, in answer to that, I don't have a clue. I have never had a clue. I've lived a good life these Seattle, a long time ago. first 56 years. I have no wife, I have no children and although I thought once maybe a wife would be nice, I don't seem to have missed either. This makes you an outsider, an observer in a world made for participants. If I can't say I've satisfied all my wants over these years, I can at least say I've satisfied most of my needs. I've been lucky, I guess. Some might say stupid, too stupid to see what the world had to offer, too stupid to grasp at what might have been with a little gumption. Well, gumption can be had with chicken or shrimp. I've always preferred chicken gumption, myself. Really. I don't know what's happened these first 56 years, whether the story is a comedy or a tragedy or one that was never read or published. I don't consider that bad. I don't consider that good.

Who knows for the future. A life spottily chronicled with memories and snapshots, whole decades missing, some decent paragraphs written, friends met and friends left, a new day dawning tomorrow. After that, who knows? Happy New Year, everybody, Happy New Year to us all.

The banner photograph was taken at the Rip Off Ranch in San Francisco in the 1970's. My friends and downstairs neighbors. I hope they are well. The photograph of the kid on the horse was taken in Seattle in the 1940's. I vaguely remember the horse and the photograph. I think the photographer went from house to house to shoot these and every little kid of a certain age has one tucked away in someone's scrap book.