Wednesday, October 31, 1973

It's Halloween 1973

It's Halloween, 1973---Wednesday, October 31st--about 5PM.

It's dark, as we have set our clocks back the previous Sunday.

I have driven to college today, and about 10 miles down the road is Fitzgerald Mercy Hospital. That's where my father is. He has had surgery to remove his Prostate.

Its's dark--I enter his room and he is heavily sedated and sleeping peacefully---with a tube of some kind coming out of him.

He doesn't waken, and I don't try to wake him.

When I return home, the house is like a morgue.

Sunday, October 28, 1973

Bob and Pat Smiley marry

My brother Bob and his fiance, Patricia just got married---congratulations!

Friday, October 5, 1973

My mother tells me my father has cancer

Sometime after dinner, my mother and I were sitting at the kitchen table, and she asked me to walk down to the Pharmacy on Orthodox street and pick up a prescription.

I guess I was a little puzzled as my father does all the errands---at that point, she told me my father had prostate cancer.

I didn't really know what to think---I didn't even know how to spell it (prostrate, prostate) and there was no Internet.

As I walked the two blocks to the Pharmacy and the two blocks back, I sensed that my childhood had just ended.

A little less than 2 years later, my hero, the man to this day I still refer to as the most saintly person I ever met (my mother is saintly too, but her temper and language are a bit stronger), was gone.

Monday, October 1, 1973

Everyone is here for dinner

It's a Monday, and everyone (mother, father, Joe and Annette, Bob and Pat are here for dinner).

What's going on?

Wednesday, September 19, 1973

Bought a calculator

It was 1973---these devices called 'Calculators' were introduced---they allowed you to do calculations quickly, and they weren't mechanical, they were electronic.
My father took me to Bundy Typewriter in the Roosevelt Mall, and after evaluating the two leading models, Texas Instruments or Summit, I bought a Summit Calculator for $99---$105.95 including Tax.

By the way, my ability to pick companies that would later go bankrupt over companies that would later go on to make billions was evident even at the age of 18!

I was very happy with the calculator---in fact, I have it even today, although it no longer charges.

I used it in my Chemistry classes and loved it---one thing I didn't love (and still hate today) was the sound of those stinking Texas Instrument Calculators clicking away.

Poor students (I was a good one) would be clicking away at those things in hopes of obtaining a correct answer--the sounds drove me crazy, and even today, I hate the sounds of clicking keyboards and keypads.

Wednesday, September 5, 1973

First day of College at St. Joseph's University

It's my first day of College at St. Joseph's---I'm very excited.

Of course, this was in the old days, where most students commuted---I took the 73 bus to the 'El' at Bridge and Pratt. The El to 15th and Market, and the 44 bus to 54th and City Line Avenue. Took me about an hour and 15 minutes one way.

For most of my first year, I would take public transportation.

Once in a while, my friend John Szcepanski and his father would give me a ride. John's father would later show me a shortcut that I still use to this day.

In my 2nd year, I would drive occasionally, and then when tragedy struck after my second year, I drove every day in my junior and senior years.

Sunday, August 12, 1973

Orientation at College

Just returned from a 2 night orientation at St. Joseph's University---met some nice people that I would see around the campus over the next four years, but that was about it.

Group building exercises, some ball playing, a party that I skipped (I'm not much of a partyer).

Monday, June 18, 1973

It was a good start

The same day I started my first summer job, I began the summer bowling league (Erie Lanes I believe) by starting with 4 strikes in a row, and finishing with a score of about 100.

I didn't record another strike or a spare for the rest of the game, and I was using some stupid yellow ball.

I do remember Paul Simon's Kodachrome song being played.

Action Manufactuing

I started my first summer job on Monday, June 18th, at Action Manufacturing in Bridesburg, making $2.10 per hour. Many of my friends were at the shore for Senior week.

It was hot, sticky, and required some skills that I don't think I possessed (namely, some mechanical ability and the ability not to get hurt).

Before the summer was over, I had nearly cut my thumb off, shot a lathe wrench between my legs, and sprayed acetone in my eyes.

Things were so bad that my first pay check (and stub, which I still have) had blood on it.

I did get better---I finished the summer making $2.35 per hour, as I recall.

I was particularly good at glueing.

My first supervisor, Mr. Chris (can't remember his last name) was a very nice man.

Friday, June 15, 1973

Just graduated from High School--June 15, 1973

I just graduated from Northeast Catholic!

I won the Religion prize (the Cardinal gave me that), along with Honorable mention in English and History.

I was disappointed in not winning the Physics prize---I thought I did well on the exam, although I was far from the best student in the class.

Sunday, May 20, 1973

Thanks Ruly

I received a real nice reply to a letter I wrote Ruly Carpenter, the owner of the Phillies.

I could tell it was personally written---it was hand written---I really appreciated it.

That was quite a thrill to receive the latter.

May goodness and mercy follow you all the days of your life!

Monday, April 16, 1973

My first 200 game!

I bowled my first 200 game tonight (actually, it was a 204) at Cottman lanes--the 3rd game.

I needed a 10 pin spare in the 10th to get it--I got it, then struck with the final ball.