Saturday, October 29, 2005

Buying bricks to help future SWCS students

SWCS brick graphic
Originally uploaded by Brite Lights photos.
JAMESTOWN, N.Y. - Tom Priester sent along an order form several days ago - which I in turn sent to members of the Class of '66 - for purchase of an engraved brick to be placed at the school. A portion of it is posted here, the graphic of the area where the bricks will be placed.

The money raised will go for various schools things, all of which Tom Priester can explain in great detail.

I'm going to buy several I think, though I'm vacillating about what to put on the inscription.

Think about it: To Mrs. McKay, for letting me hide out from Algebra Class for most of a year, or To Ed Stupka, for telling me arguably the most filthy joke I ever heard, or Gene Munson, for telling me I'd be lucky to get a job driving a garbage truck.

I've been off the blogging circuit mostly for weeks, moving the boat, and now (God-help-me!) moving again to a new house. A friend has offered to let us house sit his casa for a year, maybe longer, and by the time that gig is up we may be at a point where we can actually retire from the university and grab Sabbatical and head south again.

I don't know that we will do that, but it sounds nice as I look at the window at a cold gray day here in Northern California.

I'll bet quite of few of the class are retired already or getting very close to it. I never really planned for retirement, given that males in my family traditional pack it in around 45. What a shock to be 57 and the only thing wrong with me (physically anyway) is a knee that will require some minor surgery. The rest of me has been abused, of course, but the genetics that took my father and grandfather seem to have skipped me, my doc tells me.

By sheer accident, I am a member of the California Public Employees Retirement system, arguably the best in the nation, which will be taking care of me for many years when I leave teaching. I remember my mother's New York State Teachers' retirement would have been ok (had she lived to collect it) but she needed to hit around 62 or older to collect I think.

In CalPERS, we can bail anytime after 50, with 55 being the magic number (2 percent times your salary times your years of service equals your paycheck).

It seems odd to think that at this reunion, instead of swapping tales about adventures, we will more likely be talking about our retirement plans, how many grandchildren we have (and what great things they are doing and how perfect they are), and scratching our collect head about how we suddenly got to this age.

I went to a reunion for one of the newspapers of which I was an editor back in the 1970s and was startled when I walked in to see a woman who had been the "society editor" when I was there. The last time I saw her she was probably in her 40s, and now, well, she's in her 70s.

My editor from that era, who retired 20 years ago when he hit 65, didn't make the reunion and although I want to see him, I wonder about him at 85 and if the image I have of him from years past is the one I want to keep.

It must be time to read "You Can't Go Home Again," by Thomas Wolfe.

Is it obvious that I am writing and writing to avoid packing my condo? Sorry.

Instead of more rambling, here's a song for today, one that has nothing exactly to do with bricks or retirement or going home, but one that reminds me of the year or so after graduation.

Happy Together
by The Turtles
If I should call you up, invest a dime
And you say you belong to me and ease my mind
Imagine how the world could be, so very fine
So happy together

I can't see me lovin' nobody but you
For all my life
When you're with me, baby the skies'll be blue
For all my life

Me and you and you and me
No matter how they toss the dice, it has to be
The only one for me is you, and you for me
So happy together