General Bovine Excrement.

OK, Ratties, this is just a post about General Bovine Excrement.

How was your day, Mine was pretty much OK, just a little while ago I returned from a reunion of sorts with four more of my grammar school buddies that are living in the area. We originally had nine males to eighteen females in our grammar school class. As far as I know there are only six males remaining, five in this area, as to the females, well there are about fourteen remaining and how many in the area, I dunno. We get together about every six weeks for pizza, (2 trays), and beer, (3 pitchers). It’s pretty much a good thing and I like it.

I strongly doubt anyone else gets together with grammar school buddies, as wide spread and accomplished the rest of you Ratties are. But do any of you ever see any of your grammar schoolmates? Or a more interesting question, would you ever WANT to see them again?

Myself, we spent eight long years together. In a school with NUNS! It’s fun to get back together once in a while.

Easy 10 Cents, I think most of your schoolmates are in the U.S. and I’m not calling you out on this, I’m just being, how you might say, “nice”.

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Author: Gerry_D

I'm from Pensyltucky.

19 thoughts on “General Bovine Excrement.”

  1. G.D.:
    But do any of you ever see any of your grammar schoolmates?

    I see two gal pals – one from second grade and the other from sixth about once a year. Part of this is that the three sets of parents became friends as well and we’re all like family but you’re not wrong about the distance created by socio-economic- geographical differences.

    I do maintain very close contact with my high school friends however and to your point, that is probably because we’ve all lived, worked and traveled all over the world and that has created a special type of bond. In fact, my closest friend (male) has lived in London his entire adult life but I probably see him the most. (He’s a bond trader and always gets great company seats for every American sporting event you can imagine.) His wife hates sports so I happily fill in for her at Madison Square, Yankee stadium, Little Caesars and Comerica in Detroit. 🙂

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  2. I live over seven hours away from my grade school.   I keep up with a half dozen of the old gang (four guys and two girls) via Facebook.   I rarely get together with any of them.  I met up with one of the guys last summer; before that it was a couple of years.   I do think I will travel to catch up with them when I retire.   Two of the guys have retired now and one of the girls.

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  3. General comment; Don’t miss out! If you can, reestablish old acquaintances, friendships with old classmates,  it’s FUN to reminisce about old teachers!

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  4. As I’ve mentioned, I grew up in a small town in SE British Columbia.  Moved there after the first grade (called Grade 1 in Canada) and remained through HS graduation.

    I now live 10 hours driving from there but have maintained pretty close friendships with many of the people I grew up with.  The Best Man at my wedding is a guy that I met in Grade 5 and we remain close.  It’s one of those relationships where we can go 5 or 10 years without seeing each other but you’d never know it the second we do get back together.  I attend the HS reunions (last one was the 40th in 2017) and thoroughly enjoy catching up with many people.  There are at least 10 of them that were in my Grade 2 class that I still know and will connect with when I can.  I also get back up there about once every couple of years for gatherings of various folks at one of the local lakes or similar events.

    For a long time I lamented that on how rare it was for anyone from up there to come down to visit me.  Now that we’ve gotten older, however, folks are more freed up to travel, many are retired and so on so over the past 5 years I’ve had numerous visitors.

    While I’ve maintained many of those relationships ever since HS, several of them have become my “family” since around 2003.  That’s the last time I was able to communicate with my 2 sisters (they still live in the town up there) before they ostracized me and my parents.  So if I need to talk to my sister, I call S******.  If I need to talk to my brother it will be J** or S****.  They are fantastic people and I’m more than willing to say I love them.

    Thanks for bringing up the topic G.D.

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  5. In my life, I never spent two years in a row at the same school while living in the same neighborhood.

    Friends from Grade School: 0

    Friends from High School: 0

    Friends from College: 0, but a couple of text messages per decade.

    I have two friends: one from 2001 and one from 2009.  We’re all three of us thick as neutronium.

    Incidentally, that makes the friendly folks on the RAMU pretty high-ranking in my life.

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  6. Haakon Dahl:
    In my life, I never spent two years in a row at the same school while living in the same neighborhood.

    Friends from Grade School: 0

    Friends from High School: 0

    Friends from College: 0, but a couple of text messages per decade.

    I have two friends: one from 2001 and one from 2009.  We’re all three of us thick as neutronium.

    Incidentally, that makes the friendly folks on the RAMU pretty high-ranking in my life.

    Who is friendly on the RAMU? I want names.

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  7. I wrote about this at length in the comments to my post Class Dismissed,   won’t bore the Mischief  with my musings again here.

    But y’know, it is occurring to me lately that, just as infancy leveled any and all differences between us, so  will senescence.

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  8. I see one of my friends from grammar school when I go back home and go to church with my folks. Last Mother’s Day, the brother of another friend was preaching at their church (he’s a missionary in Africa) so she had come in from Arkansas to visit. I had not seen her since we graduated high school. It was nice to catch up. People complain about FB, but it is the lazy way to keep up with everybody. It is also nice to know that people I haven’t seen in 30 years lean the same way politically as I do. Guess our parents laid a strong foundation.

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  9. There were seven of us boys that hung around in grade school. I have been the only one left for more than thirty years. I often think about them and what they have missed. They all called me lucky and I know it. Cancer got four of them, one got a virus in his heart and died of a heart attack and one developed substance abuse and froze in an alley one winter night. He is the one I think of a lot. When I found out he was homeless I found him working in a tire shop. He would not talk to me or let on he knew me. I contacted the county social service but they didn’t get any where either. He froze that winter. There were some other guys that hung around the periphery of our group most are gone as well. One of that group now lives in Florida and visited me here in the Low Country. I get emails from him most days. Great jokes. He has survived open heart and prostrate cancer. Who knew?

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  10. PhCheese:
    There were seven of us boys that hung around in grade school. I have been the only one left for more than thirty years. I often think about them and what they have missed. They all called me lucky and I know it. Cancer got four of them, one got a virus in his heart and died of a heart attack and one developed substance abuse and froze in an alley one winter night. He is the one I think of a lot. When I found out he was homeless I found him working in a tire shop. He would not talk to me or let on he knew me. I contacted the county social service but they didn’t get any where either. He froze that winter.

    OMG, PH, that brought back an experience from a few years ago.  Horseback riding in a portion of our property right off a game land road, we encountered a man living in a  truck.  I aggressively approached  the vehicle, and—it was my brother’s best friend from grade school.  The son of my, and everybody’s, first grade teacher.

    As you have pointed out, some people are very difficult to help.  We found out that the guy had let his mon’s house go to tax sale, refusing all aid and not even trying to make a deal for installments or part-payment with the county,( to which it is very amenable) . For a while, unbeknownst to the non-resident purchasers, he lived in the garage there.  When that was over, he borrowed a truck from someone for whom he had worked briefly, and lived in that, parking wherever he thought he could be undisturbed for awhile.  We, of course,  said he could remain where he was on our property.  (Well? What would you  have done?) But soon,  he came striding up our lane to ask for our help:the guy wanted the truck back.

    We and various other concerned locals tried to help.  (Before the tax sale, local men who had known him in school noticed that his roof was falling in and offered  to re-roof the place for free, which he refused.)  The man would verbally-violently repel Social Services, reps from the Agency on Aging.

    I should also tell you that, during the periods I spent in his company at this time, he and I discussed, at length, the novels of Gore Vidal, as if we had met at a cocktail party.

    At long last, the minister of what had been his mom’s church long ago managed to convince him to sign something letting the social services people act for him. Apparently, everybody, even if they never worked much or  at all, has something coming to them when they get old.

    Today, the gent is living in a room in one of our old local motels.  I see him occasionally,  energetically striding along  the highway, on his way to or from grocery shopping.

    This sets me off on another question: we’ve discussed at length here in the mischief the question:  what is consciousness?   But your story and mine beg another question:

    what is sanity?

    these  men we’ve written about both refused accessible and needed assistance.  In the case of my acquaintance, he was and is in very good physical shape despite his years (late 70s now).  When I say I see him “striding” I mean exactly that—and in our still-rural area,  the distances to be covered are miles,  not mere city blocks.  I also mentioned our literary discussions.  In fact, he  is the only person I have ever talked with who knows and remembers Vidal’s novels so well.  And as for his political views, he’s definitely among the Rightly-Guided.  He wasn’t trying to destroy himself; as I said, he’s still going strong.
    But is he “sane”?  If so, why not try to keep his childhood home, both physically and by preventing tax  sale?   why refuse for so long to cooperate with obtaining any kind of governmental assistance?   Why did PH’s friend insist on remaining in the cold?  These are people who are by most criteria compos mentis,  and yet…there is something missing.  Something, I’ll venture to say, wrong.   What is it?

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  11. I haven’t seen anybody with whom I went to elementary or high school since I graduated, and I have never attended a class reunion of any kind.  Being about as gregarious as a moray eel, that kind of thing has never interested me.  The only person from then that I’ve ever heard of since is the only one who became famous, the composer Christopher Rouse, who won both a Pulitzer prize and Grammy, but I haven’t seen him since 1967 (he died last September).

    I do stay in touch with several people with whom I went to engineering school, almost all because we’ve worked together at various places over our careers and/or been in the same industry.  I used to edit a newsletter for former employees of the place many of us worked during and after college, but set that aside around 1974 due to other interests.

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  12. Hypatia, my buddy had a breakdown when his father died while we were in our freshman year of high school. He was adopted and his parents were older. His mother also had a breakdown. Looking back it’s now obvious that they were crushed financially. They moved to a low rent part of town and she struggled with low wage jobs. I went to a different high school and lost track until I got out of the service nearly 10 years later. I used to see him staggering down the street but never caught up with him until I had a flat tire and went to the tire shop. I knew the owner and he let him sleep in a shed out back until neighbors complained. I think the breakdown caused the substance abuse not the other way around. I think the final straw was when his mother died while I was away at college. Apparently he wasn’t self sufficient. I still wish I could have done more but I was having my own problems just starting out and all.

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  13. Mike LaRoche:
    I’ve not kept up with many people from my past, either. Reckon it’s ‘cause I was born a ramblin’ man.

    Don’t I know it? How many years did I have to badger you to post on our pal from Tech. 🙂 🙂

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  14. Hypatia:
    These are people who are by most criteria compos mentis,  and yet…there is something missing.  Something, I’ll venture to say, wrong.   What is it?

    There are all sorts of mystery mental ailments.  Some have long names but most do not.  Only a few have really good clinical explanations.  There is such a variety and the manifestations so different and also variable over time that the psychologists and psychiatrists spend a lot of time guessing.  This is one of the few sectors of modern medicine that can be truly described as “immature.”

    In my very limited experience, I have seen really smart people who struggled with depression, and then tried traditional medicine but hated the side effects of prescription medication.  In some cases such a patient can return to the doctor, who can try altering the dosage, switching medicine, or even trying medications in combination.  This is also frequently necessary if the problem is a hormone imbalance.

    But some patients won’t go back to the doctor, whether from distrust or financial constraints.  They just go off their meds.  Some self-medicate with alcohol, some self-medicate with weed, some self-medicate with pills, some end up strung out.

    One of my college pals was summa cum laude in economics, but ended up frying his brain on pills and working as a day laborer for a local contractor.  He is very confused.   His parents are gone now; they spent four decades leaning on his brother to pledge to step in and see to his care after they passed.

    Tough, tough cases.

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  15. MJBubba:
    In my very limited experience, I have seen really smart people who struggled with depression,

    As well, really smart people can in some cases suffer obsessive-compulsive disorders.  Both, in my own very limited experience, have trouble taking taking the results of their perfectly sound abstract thinking and translating those results into confident resolutions for practical action.

    For example, my friend could not become convinced that she had washed her hands clean, and so kept washing them again and again.  My other friend figured out intellectually how to solve, or at least attack, her problems, but could not translate that understanding into either personal conviction or action.

    These observations make me think that it is a brain thing.  The person is not convinced that the thing is done, complete; so, for seemingly sound reasons, keeps on doing it, or analyzing it,  so as to get it done. How wonderful if this could be figured out, and helped.

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  16. EThompson:

    Mike LaRoche:
    I’ve not kept up with many people from my past, either. Reckon it’s ‘cause I was born a ramblin’ man.

    Don’t I know it? How many years did I have to badger you to post on our pal from Tech. 🙂 🙂

    Almost two years, as I recall! But I got around to it. 😉

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  17. jzdro:
    trouble taking taking the results of their perfectly sound abstract thinking and translating those results into confident resolutions for practical action

    In the one case, it is as though there were a kind of traverse in the brain, and the person can not make it.

    In the other case, it is as though there were a kind of receiving antenna in the brain, to receive the signal “Task Complete,” but this receiver does not work for the person.

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