Those Dear Hearts & Gentle People who ….

Dear Hearts ...
April05/ 2024
BL Rimshots

April 05, 2024


WHAT??? Don’t look so surprised. I told you I’d be back.

It’s been 8+ weeks since my diagnosis with Hodgkins Lymphoma and beginning a journey of 8 or so months … destination still unknown.

It finally dawned on me that contemplating training for an Iron Man Triathalon is probably not the best use of my time and efforts these days since some days walking across the room to find the remote is a chore. Chronic Fatigue is not as pleasant as it might seem. But, by golly, I can still generate a few incredible insights so lets get bck to doing that … OK?



CONGRATULATIONS to all my Wolfpack readers .... truly “A March To Remember” regardless of the outcome of this weekend’s games.  Forget those jealous “hated rivals” and just enjoy the games.

I’d like to think you won’t get all upset when that Purdue center draws a lot of fouls … he will and it is NOT because the NCAA Hates NC State nor is it Johnny Swofford’s fault.   

HAVE FUN and Enjoy The Experience.  It might not happen again for another 40 years.



Today’s main topic is NOT intended to be “about me” and “my hometown”.  A topic I have discussed on several occasions over the years.  It is intended to cause you to reflect on your “growing up” in similar circumstances … and hopefully to be as appreciative as I am.  For those of you who share my socio-cultural demographic.

In the week or so following my diagnosis, I harbored all the crazy thoughts any “normal person” might.  One item in particular was on my mind.   Several life-long friends had planned a special sports reunion of our high school days for March 22-23.  I was determined to “be there”.   …. and I was.

The event had expanded beyond its original theme to include any/all Grainger High School alumni from the 1960s.  100+ had RSVPed.  Not bad for a group whose overall numbers seem to decrease weekly.

Kinston, in the late 50s / late 60s , had a population of 20,000 with a 4-year high school (segregated of course) of 1,000 or so students with “our class” around 220 or so.   How does that compare to yours?

That “Golden Era of Post WWII in America” was idyllic in many ways.allowing that I, and my chums, were (and still are) “white” in the decade leading up to Civil Rights Act in the late 60s … and the insuing 60+ years of socio-political upheaval that continues today.

For “us kids” in small town America all across America … Life was Good! … Very Very Good!  HAPPY DAYS Was Us …

As I looked around the room on March 23 … allowing for out-of-town spouses – I “knew” pretty much everyone of the 100 or so in attendance …. granted some much more so than others …. and, that after 60+ years  I harbored no ill feelings towards anyone in the room.   I had come to that realization some years earlier at prior reunions.

It was indeed a room full of …. “Dear Hearts & Gentle People”.

With Blondie and I approaching our 40th Anniverary in May …. there are at least a dozen “classmate couples” who have passed their 50th together…

Many of my Kinston friends of 60 years consider Kinston in the early-mid 60s to have been The Best Place on Earth to have grown up.   For 95% of us, of course, it was The Only Place we “grew up” so there was no comparisons to make.

Most of you know how I feel about “Best” whether its BBQ joints, Bond girls or anything.    Having one’s favorite Anything is good and celebrating “good” is always good …. but dogmatically declaring “Best” with no real basis for comparison ?????

I prefer to “hope” that 100s of you who grew up during that era in “your home towns” share the same appreciation I do for my fortunate circumstance.  I know Blondie does for her Cape Girardeau, Missouri. 

Sharing a “small town in the 60s” upbringing was a commonality that we have shared for these 40 years.

Kid and “Danny The Vicar” also share somewhat similar “growing ups” which, I like to think, contributes to the awesome family they are building in Richmond.

Their Four Little Munchkins are growing up in a very different era … DUH! … but some of Grandma and Grandpa is already imbedded in them..

I am not the same person who left my Home Town 60 years ago.  My Home Town is certainly not the same place I left 60 years ago …. But “My Home Town” will forever be part of Who I Am …

Again … I hope you can say the same ….. but I am not so naive that such is always the case.


For The Best of BobLee GO HERE ….


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