Letters To Myself

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, History by chamblee54 on November 28, 2020














Three years ago, PG saw a writers prompt. The suggestion was to write a letter to yourself when you were fourteen years old. A few days later, another one said to write a letter to yourself in twenty years. The result was Letter To Fourteen Year Old PG , and Letter To Seventy Eight Year Old PG. These two letters are reproduced here. They still read as though it were 2012, and an election is eminent. Out of a spirit of doing things the unconventional way, the letter to the seventy eight year old will come first. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

There was a suggestion at WordPress to write a letter to yourself as a fourteen year old, and another letter to yourself in twenty years. PG thought this was a cool idea. If the trackback went up on the WordPress site, then it might generate some traffic for this blog. It might even get the attention of Freshly Pressed , which has never featured Chamblee54.

It is like General Halftrack and the Pentagon. The Daily Post did not post a link to friday’s letter. The traffic went below one hundred hits on saturday. Now it is sunday, the clocks are set back an hour, and it is trying to rain. The letter to a seventy eight year old PG is a good idea, so here it goes. Once again, it is in first person.

Ok, so you are twenty years older. Or maybe you are not. The three main older people in this life were Mom, Dad, and Gran. They all died when they were seventy five, except for Mom, who made it to seventy six. Seventy eight might be pushing things a bit, considering the way things sometimes feel at fifty eight. The idea is to write this letter, and not worry about whether the destination will have an internet connection. You will change planes in Atlanta either way.

This is the sunday before the Presidential election, aka the day when a dictatorship doesn’t sound so bad. People in Georgia have their votes stolen from them by the electoral college, so we don’t have to choose between a war criminal and a liar.

There is a saying about holding your nose when you vote. The neighborhood precinct is the cafetorium of a school. Unless you are blocking the memory, you might recall going to classes in that building. Tuesday will not be the first time I have held my nose in that cafetorium.

This is the first year of the City of Brookhaven. I find myself choosing people on the basis of personalities, rather than issues. When it comes to the so called issues, the candidates seem to say the same things. This is true for the State House race, which is the other choice I will have. The repub is just plain gross. Mr. Bahhumbug has a bright future if he doesn’t get caught again.

There is no telling what the election choices will be in 2032. Assuming that the electoral college continues to facilitate the two party duopoly, you probably won’t have much of a choice. The takeover by the moneylenders should be complete by that point.

Since we are doing this in twenty year cycles, lets look back to some other elections. The first time I got to vote was 1972. Tricky Dick was a thief, and a war criminal, but George McGovern was a dummy. The problem for Tricky Dick was the second term syndrome. Most Presidents who are reelected for a second full term have horrible problems. While Mr. Nixon’s second term was not as bad as those of Abraham Lincoln or William McKinley, he did have his problems.

In 1992, it looked like Daddy Bush was sailing to victory. He won a war, and the Democratic candidate was Slick Willie Clinton. (From Tricky Dick to Slick Willie, Bebe Rebozo to Monica Lewinsky.) Ross Perot threw a monkey wrench in the electoral works by running as a third party candidate. This is a feature of the duopoly… when one party wins too many times, something strange happens.

It happened in 1912, when Theodore Roosevelt ran as a third party candidate, and Woodrow Wilson got elected. Within a year, the Federal Reserve Bank was set up. After the re-election of Mr. Wilson, we got mixed up in World War One. We can ignore the elections of 1932 and 1952.

There is one more election that should be discussed here, even though it is not part of the twenty year cycle. I was listening to a chat before the 2000 election. One person thought it was important to vote for Al Gore. This had been a dull election. George W. Bush was sort of an unknown quality, while Al Gore was not a terribly inspiring figure.

That is not how things turned out. W was allowed to serve, after Mr. Gore won the popular vote. Seven months after the inauguration, 911 kick started the twenty first century. The response of W was to start two self destructive wars. With the help of the demoze, there was a tax cut before the start of the second war. The economy may never recover.

So, it is good form to write a last paragraph to these things. It is an act of optimism to assume you will be here in twenty years. Living in the WMD age, the idea of thermonuclear catastrophe has always been present. The possibility of man making the planet unlivable is also very real. Maybe a dependable source of non destructive energy will be found in the next twenty years, to go with a dependable source of water for Atlanta. The future has always been dim, but continues to happen.













WordPress has this feature, the Daily Post. The idea is to get people to post more to their blog. PG already puts up material almost every day, but is generally open to new ideas. Today, the “daily prompt” is “Write a letter to your 14-year-old self.” It doesn’t say what part of your fifteenth year this should be, so PG is going for the weekend before the Presidential election. Yes, Forty Four years ago PG was fourteen. This will be written in first person.

Hey. It was suggested that I write a letter to myself when I was fourteen. The idea was to get people to write more. The thing is, I am already writing all the time. I post something to my “blog” every day. This can be suggestion number one… you don’t have to be part of a group effort to achieve something. Sometimes, you can do very well on your own. For a socially retarded person like me/you, that is not always an option.

December 31, 1988, was my last day as a beer drinker. Growing up in a teetotaling Baptist household, I never learned how to drink in good taste. When I did pick up the habit, I drank more than I should. After a while, I decided it was time to quit. I did it on my own, without going to AA. I never made a promise not to drink, I just did. That may be the one thing I have gotten right in my life. If I had not quit drinking when I did, there is a good chance I would not be here today.

I mentioned writing a blog. This is a one man operation, putting up stories and pictures in a magazine format. People look at it on machines that run through phone lines. There is more to it than that, but you will see this in about thirty years.

The 1968 Presidential election is on tuesday. This was between Hubert Humphrey, Richard Nixon, and George Wallace. People said it was the worst choice they could remember. You will hear that phrase every four years, and it is always the truth. It is more truth than either candidate says. Every four years, the choices get worse. This year, the incumbent President was half white, half African, and that the Republican challenger is a Mormon. Neither one is very impressive.

There was a state senator running for Governor two years ago named Jimmy Carter. You voted for him in the seventh grade straw poll. Well, smiling Jimmy was elected Governor in 1970. When his four years was over, he ran for President, and won.

You are in ninth grade now, and it is a bit better than eighth. Cross Keys is a stinky, dangerous place. They closed down Lynwood Park High before you were in the eighth grade, and the first year was wild. This is the first time you have to deal with Black people, but it will not be the last. Sometimes you get along with them, and sometimes you don’t. It is a part of life.

Puberty has not kicked in yet, and you are wondering if it ever will. Eventually, your body will grow some hair, but not nearly as much as most other men. After a while, you will learn to enjoy your body.

It is difficult to make and keep friends. It was true in 1968, and it is true forty four years later. After a while, you get used to being by yourself, but do wish you could have more close relationships. Well, it is better than having no friends at all, and there are people in that boat.

There is a war going on, and you think it is going to go on until you are old enough to fight. The good news is that the troops will come home from Vietnam in 1973. President Nixon dragged the war out as long as he could, and finally made a deal with the communists.

Advice from an old person is usually ignored by the young, so I will not even try. Even with all the disappointments, it is good to be alive in 2012. There were a few close calls. I somehow wonder how, and why, I made it this far. Some would not be happy with this life, and there are days when I am not. This is the only choice. There is speculation about other lives, but this is the only one to be certain of. Even though it might not be what some would want, this is a good life.

One more thing about living and dying before we go. You are still going to church. That lasts a couple of more years, and then you have the rest of your life. Don’t worry about the stuff they teach at church about life after death. It isn’t the truth. People will use religion as another reason to hate you. Deal with it as best you can. Just try to make yourself happier, don’t hurt anyone unless you have to, and things will be either all right, or not all right.














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