My Tribute to My Cousin, Douglas Hines

My Tribute to My Cousin,

Douglas Hines

By Richard Mabey Jr.

My cousin, Douglas Hines, most recently went Home to be with the Lord. The news brought great sadness to my heart. Douglas was so much more than a cousin to me. He was my neighbor, when I lived in Lincoln Park. I could probably throw a stone from my backyard to his backyard. When I ran for Town Council, in Year 2000, Douglas was my Campaign Manager. And, Douglas and I loved to throw the frisbee around with his good son, Kenny.

Douglas had the gift of encouragement. I remember the evening of the big candidates’ debate. I was a nervous wreck. There were so many issues and situations that I had to show expertise on during the debate. The debate was held at the Lincoln Park Community Center. In the foyer, leading to the main room, before the debate started, Douglas could see that I was in a state of mind that made Don Knotts look calm and serene.

Douglas gave me a little pep talk in the far corner of the foyer in the Community Center. Douglas’ attaboy talk gave me the encouragement to face that big crowd and hit the ball our of the park, during the big debate.

It’s hard to explain, but Douglas’ home was very closely situated to the back field, Earl’s Meadow, of the old Mabey Homestead. I remember when I would go over to Douglas’ home to set up my campaign trifold, campaign posters, or other campaign literature. Douglas was a great help to me. And his lovely wife, Sandra, was always there with a glass of lemonade for the two of us.

I will never forget the great Saturday afternoon, when Douglas, his son Kenny and I threw the frisbee around on the quiet street in front Douglas’ house. Douglas and I were like kids again. It was just a great time and we all had a lot of fun. But that was Douglas. He could take something as simple as a frisbee and turn it into a medium for an afternoon of fun, kidding around, and returning to kiddom for a couple of hours.

Douglas was incredibly smart. I remember talking computers with Douglas. He taught me a lot of little shortcuts on so very many different computer packages. He knew all the tricks, to make computer life easier. What I liked so much about Douglas is that he could take some complex computer program and explain it in very understandable terms.

Douglas’ brother Art lives in The Villages, the very same town that I live in, down here in Central Florida. When Douglas came to visit his brother, Art called us up and invited us over. Art was just moving into his new home.

My Mom, Janet, my sister, Patti and myself sat around Art and Fran’s living room with Douglas. We sipped iced tea and lemonade and had a great old time remembering the good old days. It was just a very magical moment. Looking back, I cherish it now even more.

When I read of Douglas’ passing, my heart sank. I felt a great sadness. Douglas was a great man, a true gentleman. Even though, I no longer lived near Douglas, I felt he was still a neighbor of mine, even after I moved to Florida. I shall miss Douglas very much. He shall be missed very much, by a great many people.

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Posted in Acts of Kindness, Compassion, Divine Protection, Douglas Hines, Encouragement, Faith, Giving, Humility, Love one another, The Mourning Heart, Wisdom | Leave a comment

Perspectives on Dr. Chi’s book, Being Empowered

Perspectives on Dr. Chi’s book, Being Empowered

By Richard Mabey Jr.

I totally enjoyed reading Dr. Phoebe Chi’s book, Being Empowered …for a Healthy Heart. It is such a good read and I learned a lot from this book. It is a very well organized book and chock full of useful information, for one to maintain good health. This book is a must have and a must read for anyone interested in attaining maximum health.

As a chiropractor, I was very impressed with Dr. Chi’s chapter on back exercises. What I like so much about this chapter is that Dr. Chi writes to communicate with the reader, not to impress the reader. There is a kind of unique conversational tone in Dr. Chi’s writing style. Which is rather rare in self improvement books in the field of personal health.

The graphics and illustrations in Dr. Chi’s book are outstanding. Returning to the subject of Dr. Chi’s chapter on back exercises, I was very impressed with Dr. Chi’s emphasis on back extension. The beautiful thing about Dr. Chi’s back exercises is that you do not have to go out and get a back loan for special equipment to do these exercises.

Not only does Dr. Chi provide back exercises to maintain healthy flexion and extrension of the spinal column, Dr. Chi also provides exercises to strengthen one’s spine. Again, the directions for these exercises are written very plainly, in cookbook recipe style.

As an additional treat, Dr. Chi provides the reader with a scattering of poems, that she has penned, throughout the book. These poems are uplifting and inspiring. They add a touch of class to the book.

This book is 343 pages long. So bang for buck, it’s quite a bargain! This is a must read for anyone interested in having a healthy heart!

Posted in Accomplishment, Be Strong!, Believe in yourself!, Chiropractic, Creative Writing, Destiny, Determination, Dr. Phoebe Chi, Encouragement, Faith, Giving, Healing, Journey to Truth, Kindness, Spiritual Lesson, Stand Tall, Wisdom | 2 Comments

Remembering the Ad Agency

At my desk at the ad agency that I worked at from January 2000 till November 2004.

Remembering the Ad Agency

By Richard Mabey Jr.

From January 2000 till November 2004, I worked as a proofreader, then editor, then writer, then executive editor of Mind Control Advertising Agency in northern New Jersey. No doubt, you have figured out that I changed the name of this ad agency. Basically, so that I do not get sued.

I worked there for one month shy of five years. I like the idea of doing something for five years, then moving on to some line of work that is totally different. It keeps life exciting.

I started at the ad agency as a humble proofreader, I worked my fingers to the bone, broke my back, stayed late at night most of the time, to finally work myself up to the point where I was serving as Executive Editor, reporting directly to the Vice President, with six employees reporting directly to me. I was making decent money. It all seemed like I was riding on the gravy train. But was I?

As time passed, I dreaded going to work each morning. I had the worst case of the Sunday night blues that you could ever imagine. The pressure cooker at my job was getting hotter and hotter. The demands and deadlines were becoming more absurd, with the passing of each and every week. I was secretly popping antacid tablets, just to deal with the outrageous stress of my job.

So, one day, during my lunch hour in November of 2004, I typed up my resignation, complete with two weeks notice and handed it to my boss. He flipped a gasket. He went berserk on me.

Mabey, you can’t quit! We’ve got that big ad campaign to polish off for the post holiday season. No way! No! Absolutely not! I won’t let you quit, you hear me!” I remember my boss shouting at me. But I ignored him and quit any way.

It was at the end of April in 2005, that I left my hometown of Lincoln Park and took on a writing job at a big daily newspaper in Central Pennsylvania. It was a blast. I learned a lot. My editor gave me a lot of artistic and creative freedom. I wrote a few hundred articles and feature stories for that paper, while I lived in Central Pennsylvania from June of 2005 till June of 2008.

If you’re feeling stuck in a job that feels like a dead end, where you are simply not appreciated and treated like dirt; here’s an idea, quit! Trust your talents and abilities to land a better job. Trust your innate, inner self, to guide you to a better place where you’ll be much happier. Don’t put it off. Life is too short to be miserable in a job where people are treating you like dirt. Move on. You can do it. Yes, you really can do it!

 

Posted in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, Accomplishment, Ad Agency, Advice to the younger set, Be Strong!, Central Pennsylvania, Cold Hearted Ad Agency, Dangers of being too trusting, Destiny, Determination, Divine Protection, Eerie, Encouragement, Faith, Finding Your Purpose in Life, haunting feeling, Journey to Truth, Leadership, Modern Life, Moving On, Never give up!, Wisdom | 2 Comments

Senior 65 By Patrick McCarthy

This is a humorous essay that my good friend, Patrick McCarthy wrote. Patrick and I are old friends, going back to Mrs. Jacobchick’s fourth grade class at dear old Chapel Hill School. It is my honor to premier this great essay that Patrick most recently wrote.

Senior 65

By Patrick McCarthy

When I was young, 65 was old people territory. As I got closer to that number, I was starting to hear things like” 60 is the new 40” and “age is just a number”. Well, come folks, let’s face facts. 65 is the new 65.

For the last few years, I’ve been feeling all kinds of aches and pains that I never felt before: bones, muscles, knees, back etc. So I thought that perhaps it’s time to get a physical; it’s been 15 years since I had my last.

So, with my Medicare card in hand, off to the doctor I go. A series of tests follow: MRI, pet scan, cat scan, blood work, pee in a bottle and poop in well… you get the picture, as unsightly as it is.

Do you smoke? Do you exercise? Do you have feelings of doom and gloom”? This is just the beginning of a series of questions thrown at me. The list goes on and I’m afraid that if I answer some truthfully, I will either be arrested or institutionalized.

So, most of the results have come back and for the most part, I’m normal. Normal? Is this what normal is supposed to feel like? Now I know why old people don’t smile.

OK, enough of the doctor stuff. Now that I am retired, I need to find things to do to keep occupied and stay in shape. Does walking the dog twice a day count? How about taking out the trash?

So, off to the senior center I go. I explain I’m kinda new at this, where do I start? So the nice girl hands me a brochure and starts to tell me about all the programs available to senior citizens (wait, I’m a senior citizen?). There are all kinds of programs for us folks. There’s senior softball (have you ever seen me play softball?) There are pot lucks, music programs, including a kazoo orchestra. A kazoo orchestra, seriously? Let’s not forget quilting classes, pottery and pickle ball. I still don’t know what pickle ball is – I’m almost afraid to ask. Then there is bingo, how to grow your roses, and accordion concerts. Whatever happened to Grand Funk?

So I looked through the catalogue and decided on senior golf. I have played with friends for the last few years, and have always been bad, but what the heck.

Further on in the catalogue, I see that they offer bus tours including trips to the casinos. You know the kind, you’ve seen them. A bunch of old people going on a bus tour – I used to say “ look at that bus with old people going to the casino”. Guess what? That’s me! How did this happen?

Gotta go now. I’m about to book a cruise that will take me and 100 other old people to faraway places in other countries. Just hope I have all my meds.

Posted in Accomplishment, Believe in yourself!, Childhood Friend, Compassion, Creative Writing, Destiny, Determination, Encouragement, Faith, Finding Your Purpose in Life, Friendship, Humour, Life's Dreams, Modern Life, Patrick McCarthy, Stand Tall, To thine own self be true., Wisdom | Leave a comment

The Role Hickam Air Field Played Upon My Dad

The Role Hickam Air Field Played Upon My Dad

By Richard Mabey Jr.

My Dad was 18 years old when he arrived at Hickam Air Field in early 1944. Dad was now part of the great Seventh Army Air Corps. At that point in time, there was no telling how much longer the war with Japan would go on. Hickam Air Field would change my Dad’s perspective on life. In many ways, it gave him the opportunity, to come to know first hand the terrible evil that man can evoke upon man.

A rare aerial view of Hickam Air Field, taken during the time of World War II.

Hickam Air Field had been hit during the Japanese air attack of December seventh of 1941. Hickam Air Field is adjoined with Pearl Harbor. The Japanese did not want the United States Army Air Corps to follow their planes back to Japan, after their attack. So, they hit Hickam hard and mean, destroying scores of American fighter planes and bomber planes.

A photo of the back of a B-25 Bomber Plane at Hickam Air Field, during the time of World War II.

In my book, “I Remember Dad,” I’ve written over 80 typed pages about Dad’s stay at Hickam Air Field. I know that it was unnerving for Dad. Mainly because there were a lot of rumors, at the time, that the Japanese were planning to attack Pearl Harbor and Hickam Air Field again. Dad once told me that he and his fellow service men were always on full alert for another surprise attack to take place.

A photo of how the main entrance way to Hickam Air Field looked during World War II.

One of the things, that I have thought about a lot, in writing this particular chapter of my book, is how it must have been for Dad to fall asleep at night, each and every night, knowing that there could very well be another air strike that might take place in the midst of the night. My Dad said that things were very tense at Hickam Air Field, during the war. There was an unspoken uneasy feeling that was felt by both, the enlisted men and the officers at Hickam Air Field.

A photo showing the inside of the barracks of Hickam Air Field during World War II.

In writing this chapter of “I Remember Dad,” I thought it important to put emphasis upon what Dad endured during his time at Hickam Air Field. Now, with over 80 pages written, I realize that I have to cut a lot out. I worked on it a lot today. Still, it is so very difficult to decide what stays and what goes. Not easy at all.

Another rare photo of Hickam Air Field, taken during World War II. This photo shows the outside of one of the barracks.

In many ways, I wish I had the luxury to publish an entire book just about Dad’s time at Hickam Air Field, during World War II. But, alas, that is just not possible. So, I drudge on, doing my best to decide what to cut and what to keep for “I Remember Dad.” I never had any idea that the process of getting a book published was so incredibly difficult.

Posted in 1944, Be Strong!, Believe in yourself!, Creative Writing, Dad, Destiny, Determination, Divine Protection, Finding Your Purpose in Life, haunting feeling, Heroism, Hickam Air Field, Humility, I Remember Dad, Life's Dreams, Memory, Never give up!, Nostalgia, Pear Harbor, Pearl Harbor, Second World War, Spiritual Lesson, Stand Tall, To thine own self be true., Wisdom, World War II | Leave a comment

Never Surrender!

Never Surrender!

By Richard Mabey Jr.

There is a part of me that is overwhelmed by it all. I worked on my book, “I Remember Dad” today. Specifically the chapter about Dad’s stay at Hickam Air Field during World War II. It’s all a long story. But right now I have 80 pages written about things that Dad told me about what it was like, being at Hickam Air Field during the war.

Dad kneeling atop the wing of a P-51 Mustang Fighter Plane at Hickam Air Field.

I have to condense this particular chapter. Entire chunks of the story line need to be taken out. It all boils down to the economics of book publishing. Right now my book is typed on eight and a half by 11 inch margins. My book will have margins of six by nine inches. I will only be allowed to print 200 pages. It’s all pure economics.

My original plan was to begin my book, “I Remember Dad,” with Dad’s saga of his stay at Hickam Air Field.

Not to be boring with details, but my plan is to print 200 hard cover copies of my book, in a six by nine inch size. With each book being 200 pages in length. The bottom line price for the printing, when all the dust is settled, will be four thousand clams. It’s a lot of bread, at least for me. So, I need for this book to shine like a glowing diamond.

I look at a photo of my Dad and I think to myself, “I can’t let dear old Dad down. I just cannot let Dad down. Failure is not an option. I can never surrender. Never surrender.”

I am very, very aware that the clock is ticking and that in September, I’ll be 65. So there is the element of fighting against time. Aside from the Mount Everest factor of the price for self publishing my book. Still, a voice echoes in the chambers of my heart, “never surrender. Never surrender!”

Dad standing next to the propeller of a B-25 Bomber Plane. Again, at Hickam Air Field.

What most people do not know is that the men who were stationed at Hickam Air Field, were always on full alert of the very real possibility of another air attack from the Japanese. As most of you know, Hickam Air Field is right next to Pearl Harbor. Hickam itself suffered horrific damage from the Japanese air attack of December seventh of 1941.

An aerial view of Hickam Air Field during World War II.

In my hard work to capture that unyielding tension, that sense of fear, that feeling that today might be one’s last day of living; I may have been guilty of being too voluminous in my narrative. And, now, I must reel it all in. But for me, the big question is, which parts of this chapter stay, and which parts are tossed? It ain’t as easy as it sounds.

Dad in his Army Air Corps uniform.

Today, it all seemed overwhelming. I still am in mourning of the loss of my beloved cat, Figaro. But I am furiously determined to get back on the saddle and get back into the rodeo of writing my book. Tomorrow is Sunday. I generally take Sunday off from writing. But, I think I might get behind the plow tomorrow and chop down the Hickam Air Field chapter in half. I know that Sunday is the day of rest in the Christian faith. Somehow, I think the good Lord will forgive me.

Dad on a dock of what may have been part of Pearl Harbor itself.

In my wildest imagination, I never had any idea of all the factors that are involved in getting a book published. It’s as much hard work as digging a ditch, or moving furniture, or laying a foundation of cement blocks. It’s real work. But, something has a hold of me. I am furiously determined to see my book published. A flame burns brightly in the core of my heart. And, a gentle voice echoes in my mind, “never surrender. Never surrender!”

Posted in 1943, Accomplishment, Be Strong!, Believe in yourself!, Compassion, Creative Writing, Dad, Destiny, Determination, Divine Protection, Dreams, Encouragement, Faith, Finding Your Purpose in Life, Giving, haunting feeling, Heroism, Hickam Air Field, Humility, I Remember Dad, Journey to Truth, Kindness, Leadership, Life's Dreams, Little Figgy, Memory, Never give up!, Pear Harbor, Pearl Harbor, Sacrifice, Second World War, Spiritual Lesson, Stand Tall, The Unexplained, To thine own self be true., Wisdom, World War II | Leave a comment

Grief Be The Mirror Of Love

Grief Be The Mirror Of Love

By Richard Mabey Jr.

At times grief seems so unbearable. The pain makes it difficult to sleep. Grief is such an incredibly deep pain. Simply put, at times it feels like you just cannot take one more minute of the pain.

I think that grief is a reflection of the love a person had for another person or for a pet. It is just a tough, tough, tough emotion to get through. Sometimes a grieving heart never heals. It’s just the way it is.

I had the day off from work today. I found myself at my desk today, working on a chapter of my book, “I Remember Dad.” I was doing my utmost best to further condense what I had previously written about my Dad’s experience in World War II at Hickam Air Field. It was about eleven o’clock in the morning and I thought, “yikes, let me check to see if Little Figgy needs fresh water.” I stopped working on my book for a moment, ready to get up to walk to the kitchen area. Then it hit me, Little Figgy is gone. It hit me like a thundering tidal wave.

Little Figgy went Home to Rainbow Bridge, this past Monday morning. It’s now Friday evening. I am still deeply mourning Little Figgy’s passing. I haven’t slept well this week at all. Grief is an incredibly painful emotion. It invades the deepest chambers of your heart. It seeps into the deepest crevices of your mind. There is not escape from the pain of grief, not even in sleep.

Little Figgy would sleep at the foot of my bed, on the right hand side. I would fall asleep at night, telling myself to be careful not to move my feet so that I didn’t kick her out of bed. Sometimes, she would rest her head upon my ankles.

I think what makes it so sad and so painful, is that Little Figgy was such an innocent and trusting little cat. She was so very attached to me. Figgy would follow me around the house, wherever I went. And, when I went outside to do yard work, Little Figgy would jump onto my bed, then jump onto my desk and watch me from the front window. Yesterday, while I was cleaning the bird baths and putting fresh water in them, I looked up at my bedroom window. It seemed so strange not to see Little Figgy watching me.

I think that the pain of grief is but a reflection of the love that one had for another living being. And, if that is true, I know I truly loved that cute, black and white, little fur ball.

Posted in 2018, Acts of Kindness, Be Strong!, Broken Heart, Compassion, Destiny, Divine Protection, Dreams, Encouragement, Faith, Figaro, Finding Your Purpose in Life, Friendship, Giving, haunting feeling, Healing, Hickam Air Field, Humility, I Remember Dad, Journey to Truth, Kindness, Little Figgy, Love one another, Mourning, Spiritual Lesson, Stand Tall, The Mourning Heart, The Unexplained, To thine own self be true., Wisdom, Wisdom of Animals | Leave a comment