It was the crazy 70s era of the Vietnam war. Greg was among his fellow draftees days before their Aptitude Exams to properly match their skill to their position in the military. There he got a word of wisdom that changed the course of his life. “Be sure to fail all the mechanical and physical questions … anything that had to do with outdoorsmanship and guns” said some of the guys, “… but get all those clerical stuff right.”
On the day of the exam, Greg remembered a scrawny guy named Romo, who bragged about his Master’s degree. He was the envy of the batch because his impressive credentials would surely place him at some strategic division away from harm’s reach. Off the draftees went for 3 weeks worth of testing to seal their fate. Gregg remembered the early advice.
When the results came in, poor College Educated Romo was sent to the “Gulag” Infantry front lines where death was sure to follow while Street Smart Greg was relegated to desk duty. Greg didn’t know a thing about working in the office. He typed with one finger feeding the punch card computer.
A Charmed Life
Greg was stationed in the “Beverly Hills” (comparatively speaking) barracks where the Colonels lounged. It came complete with a mini-golf course and an outside theater. It wasn’t all that great because they would poop on a can and they would flush it with jet fuel and the stench with engulf the camp. He was nervous the whole time he was there because (surely) this would be a prime target for the enemy. He managed to squirm out of this rat hole just in time because a month after he left to go home, the enemy launched a bomb which killed 25 of his friends who were watching a movie at that time. He should have been among them.
When he returned as a civilian, with no career plans, he decided to help a friend rebuild cars in an auto body shop. That was start of his 47 years in the industry. Today he owns 2 shops and his 4 daughters run the show for him.
Death Comes Knocking
A few years ago, his health went downhill despite his diligent exercise program. “Are you sure there’s nothing wrong with me?” he asked his doctor from Kaiser (reputably one of the top hospitals in America), “… because I have a hard time breathing.” The doctors gave some lame excuse. It was only after it was too late that they discovered there was a problem with his heart and his kidneys. No one saw it coming. A big “Ooops!” for the doctors and a major recalculation of Greg’s life expectancy. So they sliced him up and gave him a portable pump to filter his blood. He carried that sucker for a year waiting in line for a proper donor. Greg’s health deteriorated but he would advertise his shop at business meetings and his tag line was “I’m still looking for parts” which always brought some chuckles mixed with concern.
Prayers poured in and, miraculously, a few months ago, the doctors found a match and they replaced his heart and kidney from a 32 year old donor. Today he looks healthier by the day and he says he’s never been more content.
He gave me permission to share his story. And I told him I would entitle this article “Lucky Greg” but he corrected me: “Not ‘LUCKY’ … but BLESSED Greg.”
Songwriter, Rod Stewart wrote these secular lyrics in the mid 70s:
“Some guys have all the luck.
Some guys have all the pain.
Some guys get all the breaks.
Some guys do nothing but complain.”
To some people life is a matter of luck. Good for Greg, in his senior years, he knows where all that good stuff comes from — he knows they’re blessings from above.
Contributed by Mel of Washington. D.C.
“Lexophile” describes those who have a love for words, such as “you can tune a piano, but you can’t tuna fish”, or “To write with a broken pencil is pointless.” An annual competition is held by the New York Times to see who can create the best original lexophile.
No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.
If you don’t pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.
I’m reading a book about anti-gravity. I just can’t put it down.
I didn’t like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.
Did you hear about the crossed-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn’t control her pupils?
When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.
When chemists die, they barium.
I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.
I changed my iPod’s name to Titanic. It’s syncing now.
England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.
Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes.
This girl today said she recognized me from the Vegetarians Club, but I’d swear I’ve never met herbivore.
I know a guy who’s addicted to drinking brake fluid, but he says he can stop any time.
A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.
When the smog lifts in Los Angeles U.C.L.A.
I got some batteries that were given out free of charge.
A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail.
A will is a dead giveaway.
With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
Police were summoned to a daycare center where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.
Did you hear about the fellow whose entire left side was cut off? He’s all right now.
A bicycle can’t stand alone; it’s just two tired.
The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine last week is now fully recovered.
He had a photographic memory but it was never fully developed.
When she saw her first strands of gray hair she thought she’d dye.
Acupuncture is a jab well done. That’s the point of it.
Those who get too big for their pants will be totally exposed in the end.
Extreme Winter Olympics
Sent by Ernie of Northern California
Now I’ve seen everything.
Dance At Your Own Risk
Sent by Sent by Art of Sierra Madre, CA
It’s OK to enjoy your music with your headphone when you’re out in public but try not to get carried away. And I mean that literally.
Thanks to Don of Kelowna, B.C. who shared this photo