Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Jimmy Bradley--FBI agent

OK, so I found my ID card from first grade from the Anawalt City Schools. About 480 people lived in Anawalt, so it was hardly a 'city'. But students were drawn from other areas so there were about 20 kids in each of the classes.

I have a crew cut in the picture (imagine me with a crew cut!) and a tee shirt that is so busy and silly my parents should have been ashamed to dress me in it for a school picture. And my eyes look weirdly out of focus because, the truth be known, I couldn't see worth a damn. I had 250/20 vision in one eye and 270/20 vision in the other. I don't remember which was which, but it didn't matter, in some way I was almost legally blind and no one knew until I went to school and couldn't see the black board (and they were 'black' back then) and I thought I wasn't cut out for school and my parents took me to an optometrist who was amazed I hadn't walked in front of a car or something--though there weren't that many cars in Anawalt back then. (The same thing happened to our son, Josh, though Bern {who was blind as me as a child} and I figured out he couldn't see shit and had him tested by the time he was five.)

It's from 1953-54, those wondrous Eisenhower years when not much happened to threaten us and the Interstates were beginning to be built. God bless Ike, wherever he is. He's part of that small cadre of Republicans, mostly from his era, that I have warm feelings about. Everitt Dirkson, Margaret Chase Smith, Ed Brooke, folks like that. Good folks. God bless them all.

I wrote my name on the name line in first grade cursive as 'Jimmy Bradley' though the 'l-e-y' ran over onto my picture. On the 'Issued by" line (about as mysterious a term as calling Anawalt a 'city') I wrote in capital letters ".F.B.I." with that odd period before the F.

I stare at that picture and that torturous cursive writing (though it is at least as good as my handwriting today thought I never write in cursive--Zaner/Blosser you were never kind to me!) and wonder how I was ever that young. And how I got so old.

I'm 66 years old. I've outlived my mother by 3 years though I still have 17 to go to catch my father. I have a son who is 38 and a daughter who is 35. I have three granddaughters 7, 7 and 4: what the hell happened between that budding FBI agent and me today.

Maybe I should get a crew cut--which would be solid white--and some gel and try to get in touch with my FBI inner child.

Who knew I'd live this long. Oh, I'm glad I have and look forward to catching and passing my father. Seeing those girls graduate from college or get married or even have me a great-grand-child. I feel about 37, I think. But when I look in the mirror I simply am astonished.

"Who is this old guy in my body?" I wonder.

Yet I love who I am right now. I wouldn't trade it for any of the years before.

But I sit and ponder all the 'me's' I've been and know I love the 'me' I am right now better than any of the previous 'me's'.

That's good, right?

I think so. And I rejoice every day I wake up into the 'me' I am right now.....

Hope you do as well.....

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About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.