It is once again my duty to step forward in my adopted role as Firehouse.com's resident curmudgeon. Although I am no where near as old as the Andy Rooney of 60 Minutes' fame, I am old enough to collect Social Security (although I do not). For that reason I feel that I have lived long enough to have finally reached the age at which it is no longer mandatory for me to suffer fools gladly. I will listen, but I will not listen passively. So on with the show.
During the week just past, I was given a rare privilege within the confines of the winter solstice. Thanks to a temporary (but most welcome) shift in the jet stream, my friends and I in New Jersey were granted the opportunity to spend two days enjoying warm weather. Of course I spent my magical moments out on my front porch in my "thinking place."
As the gentle breezes moved the 65-degree weather past my porch, I was able to spend a few moments puffing on a cigar and pondering the problems of the world. Puffing and pondering are two of my favorite pastimes, along with eating. >p>Many were the thoughts which ran trippingly through my mind's eye. However, rather then leave them to happenstance, as supplemented by a bad memory I paused to pull out my trusty pocket memo pad.
As the smoke spiraled upward I began to jot down a number of diverse and divergent thoughts. Some were about highway safety. You will soon be able to see them on the ResponderSafety.com web site where I am the editor.
Other thoughts referred to the FIRE Act, which is once again under siege. I will save them for another column in our run up to the annual fire service pilgrimage to Washington, DC in April. I have only missed making the trip on a couple of occasions since it all began many moons ago. This, my friends, is an event which I have taken to calling the annual "kissing of the ring" ceremony, although others with whom I have spoken thought that something else was usually being kissed there. I am just saying.
There were also some stray thoughts about that cute Miller girl from Adelphia. She was the lovely young lady that I was fortunate enough to meet in Mr. Ugrovic's Western civilization class back at good old Southern Freehold High School in the fall of 1964. Of course, those of you who really know me might better think of her as the charming, and long-suffering Mrs. Carter.
However, there were also some other thoughts that came to me. These are the ones which I am going to share with you in the commentary. Let me first define the terms of my visit with you. This is critical for a researcher like me. Just what is an anachronism? A quick trip to the Internet came up with a number of different definitions. Let me share the one which holds the greatest meaning for my visit here with you today.
An anachronism is defined as a chronological misplacing of persons, events, objects, or customs in regard to each other. An anachronism could be considered a representation of something as existing or occurring at other than its proper time in the normal course of events in history.
Sometimes I think that I should have lived at an earlier time. However, in this visit with you I will be writing about my feelings of how I perceive myself as being out of synch with many of the accepted values and practices of our current times. It seems to me as though many things which I believe to have been central to my growth and development have somehow seemed to lose a bit of their luster over the years and fall out of favor with the world in general.
Let me share with you a bit about the world in which I grew to manhood. Let me set the stage by speaking of the two primary influences on my life: my Mom and my Dad. In the Carter household, hard work, service, and devotion to our nation were an accepted part of life. In fact, they seemed mandatory to my brother Bob and me.