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The class of '65

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Material Information

Title:
The class of '65 boomers at sixty recall turning points that shaped their lives
Physical Description:
Book
Language:
English
Creator:
Poole, Mary C
Publisher:
University of South Florida
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Identity
Life Course
Aging
Loss
Autoethnography
Dissertations, Academic -- Communication -- Doctoral -- USF   ( lcsh )
Genre:
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Abstract:
ABSTRACT: This dissertation explores the lives of baby boomers turning sixty as they use narrative to review their past by focusing on turning points. They reflect upon their present, and anticipate their future. The story begins at the St. Pius X High School Class of 1965's fortieth reunion, and proceeds to a class sixtieth birthday celebration and focus group. In addition, five members of the class record their life stories retrospectively. This research explores issues of identity, both personal and generational; the social construction of aging; grief, loss and death; and resilience, meaning, and spirituality. Methods used are autoethnography, narrative, participant observation, and writing as inquiry.
Thesis:
Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2008.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
System Details:
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
System Details:
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Mary C. Poole.
General Note:
Title from PDF of title page.
General Note:
Document formatted into pages; contains 230 pages.
General Note:
Includes vita.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 002006042
oclc - 370961211
usfldc doi - E14-SFE0002715
usfldc handle - e14.2715
System ID:
SFS0027032:00001


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T he C l a s s of 65: B oom e r s a t S i xt y R e c a l l T ur ni ng P oi nt s T ha t S ha p e d T he i r L i ve s A N a r r a t i ve A ppr oa c h by M a r y C P ool e A di s s e r t a t i on s ubm i t t e d i n pa r t i a l f u l f i l l m e nt of t he r e qui r e m e nt s f or t he de g r e e of D oc t or of P hi l os ophy D e pa r t m e nt of C om m uni c a t i ons C ol l e ge of A r t s a nd S c i e nc e s U ni ve r s i t y of S ou t h F l o r i da M a j or P r of e s s or : C a r ol i ne E l l i s P h. D A r t B oc hne r P h. D E r i c E i s e nbe r g, P h. D D a r r e l l F a s c hi ng, P h. D D a t e of A ppr ova l : S e pt e m be r 23, 2008 K e yw or ds : I de nt i t y, L i f e C our s e A gi ng L os s A ut oe t hnogr a phy, R e uni ons S oc i a l C ons t r uc t i on, M e a ni ng, G e ne r a t i on C opyr i ght 2008 M a r y C P ool e

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D e di c a t i on W r i t i ng t hi s di s s e r t a t i on ha s be e n a r e w a r di ng, a r d uous a nd r e f l e c t i ve e xpe r i e nc e I w oul d ha ve gi ve n up a l ong t i m e a go w e r e i t n ot f or t he i ns pi r a t i on s uppor t a nd l ove gi ve n t o m e by m y f a m i l y; m y a dvi s or a nd c om m i t t e e ; m y c ol l e a gue s ; a nd m y c l a s s m a t e s M y c hi l d r e n, M e gha n a nd J e s s e ha ve be e n m y he a r t a nd ha ve ke pt m e m ot i va t e d t o ke e p l e a r n i ng a nd t o be t he be s t I c a n be s i nc e t he i r bi r t h. T he y de s e r ve not hi ng l e s s M e gha n ha s r e a d e ve r y pa ge ( s e ve r a l t i m e s ) a nd s he ha s m a de i ns i ght f ul a nd he l pf ul s ugge s t i ons a l ong t he w a y. B ot h ha ve e nc our a ge d m e not t o qui t w he n t he pr os pe c t s e e m e d ve r y a ppe a l i ng. M y hus ba nd, P a ul ha s be e n t he r e w i t h hi s t e c hni c a l pr ow e s s he l pi ng m e t o e di t f or m a t a nd f i x c om p ut e r gl i t c he s t ha t t h r e a t e ne d t o ungl ue m e M y g r a ndc hi l dr e n, L oga n a nd A va ( a nd B e c ke t t s t i l l i n ut e r o) i ns pi r e m e t o w o r k f o r a m or e hum a ne s us t a i na bl e a nd s a ne pl a ne t ( a nd t he y gi ve m e hugs a nd ki s s e s w he n not hi ng e l s e c om f or t s m e ) M y br o t he r B i l l a nd s i s t e r i n l a w B a r ba r a ha ve s uppor t e d m e i n s o m a ny w a ys : t a ngi bl e r e s our c e s e nc our a g e m e nt e di t i ng a nd t he us e of t he i r hom e i n A t l a nt a a s I di d m y r e s e a r c h. C a r ol yn E l l i s m y f r i e nd a nd c om m i t t e e c ha i r ha s be e n t he pe r f e c t a dvi s or f or m e S he kne w e xa c t l y w he n t o put on t he p r e s s ur e a nd w he n t o ba c k of f M os t l y t hough I a dm i r e C a r ol yn f o r he r c our a ge t o do t he ki nd o f a c a de m i c w or k s he doe s a nd f or he r c om pl e t e a n d c om pa s s i ona t e hum a ni t y. S he a nd A r t a nd E r i c a nd D a r r e l l ha ve a l l i ns pi r e d a nd m ove d m e i n s o m a ny w a ys A l l of t h e m l i ve i n m e now a nd i n m y he a r t a nd br a i n a nd w o r k, a nd i n t he s t ude nt s I t e a c h. ( B e l i e ve m e you do. I c ha nne l A r t w i t h

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m y obs e s s i on w i t h s oc i a l c ons t r uc t i on; E r i c w i t h t h e s ur r ound a nd a m bi gu i t y; a nd D a r r e l l w i t h e t hi c s a nd hi s w or k on pos t ho l oc a us t s e ns e m a ki ng. ) I a m s o l uc ky t o ha ve t he he a r t a nd s pi r i t a nd b r i l l i a nc e o f s uc h a n a m a z i ng gr oup of pe opl e on m y di s s e r t a t i on c om m i t t e e O ne ot he r c ol l e a gue de m a nds not i ng he r e J i l l i a n T ul l i s O w e n. S he i s a good f r i e nd, a n a m a z i ng w om a n, a nd a br i l l i a nt s c hol a r w ho ha s pr ovi de d a he l pf u l a nd s uppor t i ve e a r a l ong t he w a y. J ul i e L i nn, a good f r i e nd f or s e ve r a l de c a de s ha s be e n a va l ue d m e m be r of m y c he e r i ng s qua d. L a s t l y, I w oul d l i ke t o t ha nk m y c l a s s m a t e s of t he 1965 c l a s s of S t P i us X hi gh s c hool I n pa r t i c ul a r I w a nt t o r e c ogni z e N o r e ne a nd J e r om e f or t he i r hos pi t a l i t y a s I di d m y r e s e a r c h; t he i r f r i e nds hi p; a nd t he i r i ns pi r i ng l i ve s I n a ddi t i on, D a r l e ne a nd M i c ha e l w e r e i nc r e di bl y ope n a nd ge ne r ous w i t h t he i r s t or i e s w hi c h I w i l l a l w a ys honor a nd c a r r y w i t h m e T o G r e g a nd J ohn a nd P a m a nd L a ur e nt h i a a nd a l l ot he r s you ha ve m y gr a t i t ude a nd r e s pe c t I a m p r oud t o be pa r t of t hi s i ns pi r a t i ona l r e s i l i e nt a nd c ou r a ge ous c ohor t T o a l l of you I a m s o gr a t e f ul I don t know w ha t t he r e s t of t he s i xt i e s a nd on w i l l be l i ke but I a m gl a d t o be t r a ve r s i ng t he t e r r a i n w i t h you.

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T he C l a s s of 65 B oom e r s a t S i xt y R e c a l l T ur ni n g P oi nt T ha t S ha pe d T he i r L i ve s A N a r r a t i ve A ppr oa c h M a r y C P ool e A B S T R A C T T hi s di s s e r t a t i on e xpl or e s t he l i ve s of ba by boo m e r s t ur ni ng s i xt y a s t he y us e na r r a t i ve t o r e vi e w t he i r pa s t by f oc us i ng on t u r ni ng po i nt s T he y r e f l e c t upon t he i r pr e s e nt a nd a nt i c i pa t e t he i r f u t ur e T he s t or y be gi ns a t t he S t P i us X H i gh S c hool C l a s s of 1965 s f or t i e t h r e uni on, a nd pr oc e e ds t o a c l a s s s i xt i e t h bi r t hda y c e l e br a t i on a nd f oc us gr oup. I n a ddi t i on, f i ve m e m be r s o f t he c l a s s r e c or d t he i r l i f e s t or i e s r e t r os p e c t i ve l y. T h i s r e s e a r c h e xpl or e s i s s ue s of i de nt i t y, bot h pe r s ona l a nd ge ne r a t i ona l ; t he s oc i a l c ons t r uc t i on of a gi ng; gr i e f l os s a nd de a t h; a nd r e s i l i e nc e m e a ni n g, a nd s pi r i t ua l i t y. M e t hods us e d a r e a ut oe t hnogr a phy, na r r a t i ve pa r t i c i pa nt obs e r va t i on a nd w r i t i ng a s i nqu i r y.

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F ou r Q u ar t e t s B ur nt N or t on T S E l l i o t T i m e pr e s e nt a nd t i m e pa s t A r e bot h pe r ha ps p r e s e nt i n t i m e f ut ur e A nd t i m e f ut ur e c ont a i ne d i n t i m e pa s t I f a l l t i m e i s e t e r na l l y p r e s e nt

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i T a bl e of C ont e nt s C ha pt e r O ne T he F or t i e t h R e uni on N ove m be r 2005 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 C ha pt e r T w o P r e l ude : A pp r oa c hi ng S i xt y . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 C ha pt e r T hr e e I nt r oduc t i on . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 C ha pt e r F our L i t e r a t ur e R e vi e w . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 A gi ng A S oc i a l C ons t r uc t i oni s t V i e w . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 N a r r a t i ve s of A gi ng L os s a nd D e a t h . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 B a by B oom e r s P a s t P r e s e nt a nd F u t ur e . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 T he S t or y of B oom e r s P a s t . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 T he S t or y of B oom e r s P r e s e nt W e B e gi n t o T ur n S i xt y . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 T he S t or y of B oom e r s F ut ur e T he E l de r Y e a r s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 D e s c r i pt i on of t he S t P i us X C l a s s of 1965 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 C ha pt e r F i ve M e t hodol ogi c a l A ppr oa c h . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 C ha pt e r S i x D a r l e ne s S t or y T he R os e . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 C ha pt e r S e ve n J e r om e s S t or y T o L i ve i s t o F l y . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 C ha pt e r E i ght N or e ne s S t or y: G i ve Y our s e l f t o L ove . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 C ha pt e r N i ne M i c ha e l s S t or y S he l t e r F r om t he S t or m . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107 C ha pt e r T e n M a r y s S t or y T he r e s a C r a c k i n E ve r yt hi ng . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126 C ha pt e r E l e ve n T he C l a s s of 65 S i xt i e t h B i r t hda y C e l e br a t i on . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143 B i r t hda y C e l e br a t i on D i nne r N ove m be r 3, 2008 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147 F oc us G r oup N a r r a t i ve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162 C ha pt e r T w e l ve I n t he E nd i s m y B e gi nni ng T S E l l i ot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194 C onc l us i on . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 208

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i i E pi l ogue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 211 B i bl i ogr a phy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 217

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1 C ha pt e r O ne T he F or t i e t h R e uni on N ove m be r 2005 W a l ki ng i nt o t he da r k, r e s t a ur a nt pa r t y r oom i s l i k e w a l ki ng i nt o a t i m e m a c hi ne t ha t w e nt a m uc k. D a ngl i ng a m i d t he ba l l oons a r e s i gns t ha t pr oc l a i m T he C l a s s of 65. O n t he w a l l s a r e vi nt a ge pi c t u r e s of J F K t he B e a t l e s a nd a dve r t i s e m e nt s f or V i l l a ge r dr e s s e s a nd B a s s pe nny l oa f e r s A l t hough i t i s now f o r t y y e a r s l a t e r t he P l a t t e r s s t i l l be l t out S m oke G e t s i n Y our E ye s I c a n r e m e m be r da nc i ng t o t hi s a t m y f i r s t boy/ gi r l pa r t y w he n I w a s t hi r t e e n. T he l i ght s a r e l ow now a s t he y w e r e t he n. B ut i ns t e a d of pr e a dol e s c e nt l us t w a ve s of nos t a l gi a a nd di s or i e n t a t i on c r a s h ove r m y a gi ng body H a s i t r e a l l y be e n f or t y ye a r s s i nc e I ha ve s e e n m os t of t he s e pe opl e ? C oul d w e r e a l l y be a l m os t s i xt y? N or e ne a bubbl y e ve r r e a dy bunny, c ha r ge s m e a s I c r os s t he t hr e s hol d w i t h m y hus ba nd, P a ul a t m y s i de S he c r us he s m e i n a n e nt hus i a s t i c be a r hug. H e r hus ba nd, J e r om e f ol l ow s w i t h a w a r m but m or e r e s t r a i ne d e m br a c e N or e ne a nd I ha ve know n e a c h ot he r s i nc e ki nde r ga r t e n, a nd s he a nd J e r om e a nd I w e r e pa r t o f t he ne r dy/ i nt e l l e c t ua l gr oup i n hi gh s c hool W e s t a nd t oge t h e r t he f i r s t t o a r r i ve a nd l ook a t c l a s s pi c t ur e s T he y i nc l ude o l d ye a r books a nd c a m pa i g n f l ye r s p r om ot i ng t he ha r d f ought c a m pa i gn f or p r e s i de nt of s t ude nt gove r nm e nt be t w e e n N or e ne a nd m e O t he r s be gi n t o a r r i ve I a m gr a t e f ul f or na m e t a gs a s I w onde r w ho t he s e ol d pe opl e a r e I n m y m i nds e ye w e a r e s t i l l t he young i de a l i s t i c e i ght e e n ye a r ol ds w e w e r e w he n

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2 w e c r os s e d t he F ox T he a t r e s t a ge f or gr a dua t i on, n ot t he m a t r on l y a nd ba l di ng m a t ur e pe opl e w ho m e a nde r a r ound m e t oni gh t A t a l l e l e ga nt l ooki ng J e a n L uc P i c c a r d l ook a l i ke s m i l e s a s he w a l ks up t o m e a nd gi ve s m e a hug. I t t a ke s a m i nut e be f or e I r e c ogni z e t he s m i l e a nd t w i nkl e i n t he e ye s of t he onc e s ha ggy, br ow n ha i r e d G r e g. O u r c l a s s pr e s i de nt he w a s t a l l l a nky a nd f unny I n j us t a f e w s hor t m i nut e s w e de m ons t r a t e a t e c h ni que of t e l l i ng a bbr e vi a t e d l i f e s t or i e s t ha t i s t he dom i na nt e ve ni ng a c t i vi t y H e r e c a l l s h ow he gr a dua t e d f r om B r ow n a nd t he n w e nt i m m e di a t e l y t o V i e t N a m onl y t o r e t u r n t o f i nd hi s w i f e w a i t i ng w i t h d i vor c e pa pe r s A f t e r s t r uggl i ng f or a f e w ye a r s he r e ga i n e d hi s f oot i ng a nd he ha s ha d a l ong a nd s uc c e s s f ul m i l i t a r y c a r e e r C ur r e nt l y he w or k s a t t he P e nt a gon, a nd w a s a hund r e d ya r ds f r om t he c r a s h s i t e on 9/ 11. H i s e ye s f i l l w i t h t e a r s a s he c onf i de s how he pul l e d bodi e s f r om t he w r e c k t ha t hor r e ndous da y A f t e r a m om e nt he pe r ks up a s he br a gs a bout hi s t w o s ons a nd w i f e D r e s s e d i n a bl ue H a w a i i a n s hi r t S t e ve j oi ns our s m a l l gr oup H e j us t f l e w i n t oda y a f t e r doi ng r e l i e f w or k i n N e w O r l e a ns i n t he hur r i c a ne K a t r i na a f t e r m a t h. I a m e xha us t e d, he s a ys but I c oul dn t m i s s t hi s H e l ooks m uc h t he s a m e a s he di d i n h i gh s c hool s t i l l f l a unt i ng a f ul l he a d o f ha i r a l t hough now gr a yi ng I i nt r oduc e hi m t o m y hus ba nd. M y w i f e di e d a f e w ye a r s a go, he r e por t s a s i f e xpl a i ni ng he r a bs e nc e D o you r e m e m be r w he n w e w e nt t o s e e M y F a i r L a dy t oge t he r ? he a s ks I don t r e a l l y but I pr e t e nd I do. H e l ooks s a d, o r t i r e d, o r bot h S ur pr i s i ngl y, he bl u r t s out I w onde r i f I c oul d ha ve a c c om pl i s he d m or e w i t h m y l i f e

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3 I a m t a ke n a ba c k by t hi s s udde n, hone s t c onf e s s i on be t w e e n pe opl e w ho ha ve n t s e e n e a c h ot he r f or de c a de s I f e e l a ne e d s om e ho w t o c om f o r t hi m I hone s t l y r e pl y Y e a h, I f e e l t ha t w a y s om e t i m e s t oo M a ybe t ha t i s j us t w ha t ge t t i ng o l de r i s a bout A nd t he s t or y t e l l i ng da nc e c ont i nue s a s w e unbos om t he s uc c e s s e s l os s e s a nd r e gr e t s of ou r l i ve s I m ove on a nd s a y he l l o t o P e ggy, w ho ha s be e n a nun s i nc e hi gh s c hool I m a r ve l a t he r pur pl e f l ow e r e d d r e s s a nd r e d t oe na i l s T hi ngs ha ve c ha nge d f o r nuns s i nc e our hi gh s c hool da ys T he r e qui r e d d r e s s a ppa r e nt l y i s no l onge r gr e y or bl a c k ba ggy f l oor l e ngt h ha bi t s w i t h w e i r d he a d c ont r a pt i ons t ha t c ove r e d a ny s i gn o f ha i r D e t e r m i ne d t o m a ke i t t o a l l o f m y c l a s s m a t e s I a m bl e ove r a nd i nt r oduc e m ys e l f t o t hr e e K a t hys s i t t i ng t oge t he r a t a t a bl e i n t he ba c k. I don t r e m e m be r a ny of t he m T he y t e l l m e t he y w e r e t he c l a s s bl a c k s he e p. F or bl a c k s he e p, t he y l ook g r e a t a nd t he y s e e m t o be ha vi ng m o r e f un t ha n a nyone I s i l e nt l y r e gr e t m y ye a r s of c ol or i ng be t w e e n t he l i ne s I di dn t ha ve t he c our a ge t o be a bl a c k s he e p i n hi gh s c hool I w a s t oo bu s y w r i t i ng a w a y t o c onve nt s a nd goi ng t o da i l y M a s s W ha t a w a s t e d yout h! A t l e a s t I t r i e d t o m a ke up f or i t i n c ol l e ge a f t e r I t h r e w a w a y t he m a nt l e of m y r a bi d C a t hol i c i s m L a ur e nt hi a m e a nde r s up t o t he g r oup. S he l ooks s e xy w i t h he r s l e e k bl ond ha i r a nd w e a r i ng a l ong d c ol l e t bl a c k dr e s s W ow I t hi nk t o m ys e l f She l ook s gr e at S he m us t ha ve be e n r e a di ng m y m i nd, a s s he c onf e s s e s I ve ha d pl a s t i c s ur ge r y. W ow I s a y out l oud t hi s t i m e Y ou l ook w onde r f u l I l ook up a nd not i c e a n e l e ga nt w om a n d r e s s e d i n a c hi c bl ue s he a t h s t a ndi ng a t t he e nt r a nc e t o t he r oom S he qui e t l y a nd w i t h a c om m a ndi ng pr e s e nc e pe r us e s t he pa r t y. W ho i s s he ? I w onde r T he r e i s s om e t hi ng f a m i l i a r a bout he r but I c a n t r e c a l l he r na m e A s N or e ne hugs he r t he m ys t e r y w om a n s m i l e s H e r di m pl e s gi ve he r a w a y. I t ha s t o be

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4 D a r l e ne M y s i s t e r i n l a w a s ke d a bout he r t oni gh t I r e m e m be r a m ul t i t ude o f he r br ot he r s a nd s i s t e r s a l s o a t t e ndi ng P i us R um or ha s i t t ha t s he i s now a r e s pe c t e d A t l a nt a ps yc hol ogi s t I w a l k up t o gr e e t he r D a r l e ne hi I t s M a r y P ool e O f c our s e s he r e s ponds A f t e r a f e w m i nut e s of c ha t t e r w e di s c ove r t ha t w e s ha r e a n i nt e r e s t i n na r r a t i ve m e t hodol ogy a nd s he s e e m s ge nui ne l y i nt e r e s t e d i n m y doc t or a l s t udi e s S he ha s a f a c e a n d e ye s t ha t pul l m e i n a nd I f i nd m ys e l f d r a w n i n t o he r s t or y. B ut t ha t w i l l ha ve t o be a not he r da y, a s s e ve r a l c l a s s m a t e s s ur r ound us L ooki ng up I not i c e a f a m i l i a r f a c e s t a ndi ng ne xt t o m e I s c our t he r e c e s s e s of m y br a i n t o c om e up w i t h he r na m e but s he s a ve s m e t he t r oubl e M a r y i t s m e S us a n. W e of t e n s pe nt t he ni gh t a t e a c h o t he r s hom e s bu t I ha ve n t s e e n he r s i nc e s he e nt e r e d t he c onve nt a f t e r hi gh s c hool H e r a ppe a r a nc e s hoc ks m e I ns t e a d of t he m ous y, pl a i n gi r l I kne w s he pr e s e n t s i n a gol d s l i nky bl ous e w i t h dr a m a t i c m a ke up a nd bl ond hi ghl i ght e d ha i r I w onde r i f s he i s s t i l l a nun. S h e a ns w e r s m y que s t i on be f or e I ge t a c ha nc e t o a s k. I l e f t t he c onve nt t w e nt y ye a r s a go I a m now m a r r i e d, t e a c hi ng a nd l i vi ng i n V i r gi ni a s he r e c a l l s W i t h t ha t w e s i t d ow n, a nd I pr e pa r e m ys e l f t o he a r he r t a l e Y ou know I ha d t o l e a ve t he c onve nt t o be c om e s obe r N ow t hat s a s t or y I hav e n t he ar d be f or e I t hi nk A s he r t a l e u nr a ve l s s he r e c ount s how t he e nt i r e t i m e I kne w he r ; s he w a s be i ng t yr a nni z e d by he r f a t he r s a l c ohol i s m a nd a bus i ve be ha vi or H ow c oul d I hav e not not i c e d any t hi ng I w onde r I r e m e m be r hi m a s qui e t a nd s ul l e n, but I ne ve r obs e r ve d a bus e I w i s h I ha d know n a nd c oul d ha ve be e n t he r e f or he r I t a s t ou nds m e how m a ny o f us ha d de va s t a t i ng s e c r e t s t ha t w e ke pt f r om ou r be s t f r i e nds I know I di d.

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5 S e ve r a l of us s i t a t a t a bl e a nd t e l l f r a gm e nt s o f s t o r i e s c hr oni c l i ng t he l a s t f our de c a de s of our l i ve s O ur c onve r s a t i on m ove s e f f o r t l e s s l y f r om t he pr e s e nt t o s t or i e s of t he pa s t t o hope s a nd dr e a m s of t he f u t ur e J us t f o r t hi s ni ght w e e xi s t s om e w he r e be t w e e n t he pa s t a nd t he pr e s e nt w i t h one f oot i n t he f ut ur e N o one s e e m s t o w a nt t hi s ni ght t o e nd A t t he s a m e t i m e I f e e l a l i ve a nd di s or i e nt e d. E ve nt ua l l y, w e ha ve t o c om e up f o r a i r I l ook a r o und a nd not i c e t ha t t he c r ow d i s t hi nni ng out a nd i t i s t i m e t o go I w a s t he f i r s t t o c om e a nd I a m one of t he l a s t t o go L i nge r i ng, I pa us e t o s a y good by t o t hos e f e w pe o pl e r e m a i ni ng. O n t he w a y out G r e g a nd M i c ha e l one of t he r e uni on or ga ni z e r s s ugge s t w e s t a r t pl a nni ng a c l a s s s i xt i e t h bi r t hda y c e l e br a t i on. W e a l l m a r ve l a t how qui c kl y t he t i m e ha s gone a nd a gr e e t ha t w e s houl d ge t t oge t he r a ga i n s oon. T he ne xt da y dr i vi ng dow n I 75 he a di ng s out h on m y e i ght hour d r i ve hom e I m ul l ove r t he e ve nt s of t he ni ght be f or e O ve r a nd ove r I r e pl a y t he c onve r s a t i ons of l a s t ni ght a nd r e vi e w t he c ha nge d f a c e s of m y c l a s s m a t e s I t oc c ur s t o m e t ha t a c l a s s r e uni on i s a uni que oppor t un i t y t o s ur ve y one s l i f e I t pr o vi de s a n oppor t uni t y t o c ons t i t ut e a n i de nt i t y, t o l a y c l a i m t o one s ow n l i f e t o t he r i ght t o t e l l one s ow n s t or y ( V i ni t z ky S e r ous s i 2000, p. 57 58) R e uni ons a r e a ut obi og r a phi c a l oc c a s i ons w hi c h bot h r e f l e c t our l i f e na r r a t i ve s a nd he l p t o c r e a t e t he m ( Z us s m a n, p. 5) C ur i os i t y a bout t he l i f e s t or i e s of m y c l a s s m a t e s a nd t he ne e d t o m a ke s e ns e of m y ow n na r r a t i ve i gni t e m y de s i r e t o f i nd out m o r e M y i nt e r e s t i n a gi ng, pe r s ona l a nd ge ne r a t i ona l i de nt i t y a nd que s t i ons a bou t how w e c ons t r uc t l i ve s of m e a ni ng a nd s i gni f i c a nc e a dd f ue l t o t he f i r e I t i s a pr opi t i ous r e c i pe f o r a di s s e r t a t i on. I ns pi r e d by t hi s r e uni on a nd w a nt i ng t o know m or e a bout m y c l a s s m a t e s I s e t out on a n a l m os t t w o ye a r r e s e a r c h pr oj e c t e xpl o r i ng t he c l a s s

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6 of 65 s l i f e na r r a t i ve s T he r e s ul t of m y e f f or t s h a r ve s t e d m or e t ha n I c oul d ha ve i m a gi ne d a nd ha d a n i m pa c t on m y l i f e t ha t I c oul d ne ve r ha ve pr e di c t e d

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7 C ha pt e r T w o P r e l ude : A pp r oa c hi ng S i xt y I t i s e a r l y m or ni ng J a nua r y 1 2007 I dr i ve t o t he pi e r a bout a m i l e f r om m y hom e on a w a r m br e e z y a nd ove r c a s t m or ni ng i n S a f e t y H a r bor F l or i da I t i s 82 de gr e e s uns e a s ona bl y hot f or F l o r i da i n J a nua r y. I a m s i c k of s w e a t i ng. I pul l m y c a r i nt o a ha ndi c a ppe d pa r ki ng s pa c e t ha nks t o t he pr i vi l e ge s of m y R he um a t oi d A r t hr i t i s P a r ki ng s pa c e s a r e ha r d t o c om e by he r e T hi s i s a popul a r pl a c e f or c ont e m pl a t i on I ha ve a n unobs t r uc t e d vi e w of t he pi e r a nd t he w hi t e c a ps c hur ni ng i n T a m pa B a y. I a m r e f l e c t i ve t oda y I t i s t he t i m e t o t hi nk of ol d a c qua i nt a n c e s l e f t be hi nd: m y pa r e nt s l ong gone ; m y l ove ki l l e d t hi r t y e i ght ye a r s a go i n V i e t N a m ; m y c ol l e ge r oom m a t e l os t t o br e a s t c a nc e r ; a nd m y be l ove d dog, B a r r a c us w ho di e d l a s t s um m e r N ot onl y i s i t t he f i r s t da y of t he N e w Y e a r but a l s o t oda y, m y f e l l ow boom e r s bo r n i n 1947 ha ve be gun t ur ni ng s i xt y. I a m not f a r be h i nd. M y s i xt i e t h bi r t hda y l oom s j us t ove r a m ont h a w a y. L a s t ni ght a s m y da ught e r w i s he d m e ha ppy N e w Y e a r s he s a i d, I c a n t w a i t t o s e e w ha t your s i xt i e t h ye a r w i l l br i ng S om e t i m e s I w i s h I ha dn t e nc our a ge d m y of f s pr i ng t o be s uc h pos i t i ve t hi nk e r s I a m n ot f e e l i ng qui t e s o pos i t i ve a bout m y s i xt i e t h ye a r A s I t a ke i nve nt or y on m y l i f e t oda y, m y o ve r r i di n g f e e l i ngs a r e o f di s a ppoi nt m e nt a nd s a dne s s P e r ha ps i t i s j us t a n a gi ng m e l a nc hol y, but I ha d hi gh hope s f or m y l i f e S o di d e ve r yone e l s e A s m y hi gh s c hool c l a s s m a t e s a i d a t m y f or t i e t h r e uni on W ha t a r e

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8 you pr e s i de nt of now ? T ha t w a s w ha t w a s e xpe c t e d of m e I w a s a c l a s s l e a de r c l a s s pr e s i de nt pr e s i de nt of s t ude nt gove r nm e nt na t i on a l m e r i t s e m i f i na l i s t G r e a t t hi ngs w e r e e xpe c t e d of m e A l l of t he f our or de r s of nun s be l i e ve d i n m y p r om i s e w he n I gr a dua t e d f r om hi gh s c hool E a c h ga ve m e a f ul l s c hol a r s hi p t o t he i r or de r s c ol l e ge M y s i xt i e t h ye a r f i nds m e une m pl oye d ( un l e s s you c ount a g r a dua t e t e a c hi ng a s s i s t a nt s hi p) f i na nc i a l l y i ns e c ur e i n a c ha l l e ngi ng t hi r d m a r r i a ge a nd w i t h t w o young a dul t c hi l dr e n w ho s t r uggl e w i t h f i ndi ng t he i r pl a c e T he pos i t i ve ha l f f ul l s i de of m e t ha t i s l os i ng t he ba t t l e a t t h i s m om e nt a t t e m pt s t o br e a k t hr ough: C om e on, M a r y. Y ou a r e a l s o f i n i s hi ng a P hD t e a c hi ng c l a s s e s ha ve m a de m a ny c ont r i but i ons by your pr e vi ous w or k a nd your t e a c hi ng now a nd ha ve t w o l ovi ng c hi l dr e n a nd t w o be a ut i f u l gr a ndc hi l dr e n w i t h w hom you a r e c l os e Y e a h, s ur e bl e a k M a r y r e s ponds B ut I ha ve l i t t l e m one y i n t he ba nk; s t r uggl e t o be ha ppi l y m a r r i e d; a nd a m t r yi ng a t t h i s l a t e a ge t o r e c ons t r uc t a c a r e e r W ho a m I ki dd i ng? T hi s c onve r s a t i on goe s on f o r a w hi l e w i t h no c l e a r w i nne r S i x t y s c r e a m s out t o m e de m a ndi ng a n a c c ount i ng f o r m y l i f e a nd i t s c a r e s t he he l l ou t of m e I c a n t r e a l l y pi c t ur e m ys e l f s i xt y. I don t f e e l ol d; I don t t h i nk ol d; t hough I f e e l I do l ook ol d. L ooki ng a t m ys e l f i n t he m i r r or s hoc ks a nd a s t ounds m e J us t t hi s m or ni ng a s I w a s put t i ng f o r t h a n e f f or t t o a ppl y m a ke up a nd c onc e a l e r t o t he c i r c l e s unde r m y e ye s I s t a r e d a t m y r e f l e c t i on. M y ha i r i s s t yl i s hl y c oi f e d s hor t a nd hi gh l i ght e d r e d M y r e a di ng gl a s s e s t ha t I ne ve r r e m ove a r e c ol o r f ul a nd you ng l ooki ng A s I s m i l e a t m y r e f l e c t i on, I s t i l l c a n s e e m y yout h f ul di m pl e s i n m y a ppl e c he e ks but da r k c i r c l e s

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9 s ur r ound m y e ye s a nd t he l i ds a r e dr oop i ng a nd c r e a s e d. S m i l i ng he l ps I t l i f t s m y s a ggi ng j ow l s I s uppos e I c oul d ha ve pl a s t i c s ur g e r y, but m y f e m i ni s t s e l f ba l ks a t t he i de a a nd m y ba nk a c c ount l a ughs a t t he a bs ur di t y. W ha t s hoc ks m e m os t of a l l i s t ha t I a m s t r uggl i ng t o f e e l t ha t t he r e i s a nyt h i ng l e f t f or m e t o l ook f o r w a r d t o a m e a ni ngf ul pr oduc t i ve f ut ur e t ha t I c a n s t i l l c r e a t e I w or r y t ha t no one w i l l hi r e m e be c a us e of m y a ge a nd t h a t I w i l l s l i p de e pe r a nd de e pe r i nt o i r r e l e va nc y. I f e a r t ha t I w i l l t ur n i nt o a n o l de r pe r s on w hom pe opl e s m i l e a t p l e a s a nt l y a nd i ndul ge out o f good m a nne r s A nd t he n t he r e i s t he phys i c a l a g i ng a nd de c l i ne J us t l a s t w e e k ( 12/ 28/ 2006) t he St P e t e r s bur g T i m e s pr i nt e d a n a r t i c l e S c hw a r z e ne gge r s t r uggl e s w i t h he a l t h i s s ue s a s he t ur ns s i xt y. I c ons i de r i f t hi s c a n ha ppe n t o t he T e r m i na t or s ur e l y i t c a n ha ppe n t o out of s ha pe m e I c om f or t m ys e l f t hi nki ng t ha t m a ybe i t i s be c a us e he di d s t e r oi ds N one t he l e s s I w or r y a bout r ou t i ne t e s t s w onde r i n g w ha t di s e a s e w i l l e ve nt ua l l y ge t m e A nd, I s e c r e t l y r e a d obi t ua r i e s i n t he ne w s pa pe r l o oki ng a t t he a ge s of t he pe opl e w ho ha ve di e d. E ve r y t i m e I s e e s om e one m y a ge o r yo unge r I s hudde r E ve r y t i m e I r e a d a bout t he de a t h of s om e one i n t he e i ght i e s or l a t e r I c a l c ul a t e how m uc h m or e t i m e t ha t a l l ow s m e F or C hr i s t m a s m y f a m i l y ga ve m e a N i nt e ndo D S w i t h a br a i n a ge ga m e T he y t e l l m e i t i s s o I c a n ke e p m y br a i n a c t i ve ( a s i f w r i t i ng a di s s e r t a t i on i s n t e nough) I be l i e ve t he i r s t or y but I a l s o t hi nk t he y a r e a l s o w a t c hi ng out f o r t he m s e l ve s not w a nt i ng t o c a r e f or a s e ni l e ol de r pe r s on. M y f i r s t pa s s t hr ough t he ga m e m y b r a i n w a s e s t i m a t e d t o be 78. I t ol d C a r ol yn E l l i s m y a dvi s o r t h i s a nd s he l a ughe d. I w a s n t

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1 0 l a ughi ng. I ha ve be e n w or ki ng a t i t ni ght a nd da y, a nd I now ha ve m y b r a i n a ge dow n t o 37. I w onde r how m y h i gh s c hool c l a s s m a t e s w ho a l s o w e r e bor n i n 47 a r e doi ng. I r e m e m be r t he m a s young a nd pa s s i ona t e a nd f ul l o f pot e nt i a l A c c or di ng t o t he S t P i us X A l um ni A s s oc i a t i on, 95% of m y c l a s s m a t e s w e nt t o c ol l e ge s om e t o P r i nc e t on, H a r va r d, a nd t he N a va l A c a de m y. A l t hough I s ha r e d a br i e f c onve r s a t i on w i t h s om e l a s t ye a r a t our f or t i e t h hi gh s c hool r e uni on, I f i nd m ys e l f w a nt i ng t o know m o r e I w a nt t o a s k how t he y a r e f e e l i ng a s t he y t u r n s i xt y; how t h e i r l i f e s t or i e s a r e de ve l opi ng; a nd w ha t do t he y a nt i c i pa t e f o r t he i r s i xt i e s a nd a f t e r ? I w a nt t o f i n d a w a y t o ge t hone s t a ns w e r s s o t ha t I c a n t e l l t he i r s t or i e s of l i vi ng, a nd a gi ng a l ong w i t h m i ne I t hi nk pe r ha ps i f I a m hone s t a nd s how t he m m y s t or y c om pl e t e w i t h di s a ppoi nt m e nt s a nd l os s e s t he y w i l l s how m e t he i r s I a m hope f ul t ha t t he y a nd ot he r s c a n f i nd c om f o r t a nd c om pa ni ons hi p, a nd t ha t t oge t he r w e c a n a dd t o t he body of know l e dge a va i l a bl e a bout l i vi ng c r e a t i ng a l i f e a nd a gi ng f o r t hi s boo m e r ge ne r a t i on a nd ot he r ge ne r a t i ons t o f ol l ow

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11 C ha pt e r T hr e e I nt r oduc t i on T hi s di s s e r t a t i on e xpl or e s how t h e boom e r ge ne r a t i on i s c onf r ont i ng t he l a s t de c a de s of l i f e a nd m a ki ng s e ns e of t he na r r a t i ve s t ha t t he y ha ve l i ve d. T he C l a s s of 65 i s a t t he c ut t i ng e dge of t he boom e r c ohor t B or n i n 1947 t he y a r e onl y t he s e c ond ye a r t o t ur n s i xt y. A da y doe s n t g o by t ha t w e don t he a r a bout a not he r boom e r be c om i ng a s e xa ge na r i a n. I n 2006 i t w a s B i l l C l i nt on a nd G e or ge W B us h. L a s t ye a r i t w a s m e A r nol d S w a r t z ne gge r a nd I ggy P op. E i ght t hous a nd of us t ur n s i xt y a da y. H undr e ds of books a r t i c l e s a nd c om m e r c i a l s di s c us s t he l i ve s o f boom e r s a nd pr e di c t how w e w i l l a ge I t i s t i m e f o r us t o t e l l ou r ow n s t or y. M a ny of us a r e de a l i ng w i t h t he i ne s c a pa bl e l os s e s a nd di s a ppoi nt m e nt s of l i vi ng, a nd a r e r e vi e w i ng ou r l i ve s a nd t r yi ng t o m a ke s e ns e of t he m P e opl e do not l i ve t o be ol d w i t hout a l s o e xpe r i e nc i ng l os s C e r t a i nl y t he r e a r e gi f t s of a gi ng w i s dom c ont e nt m e nt a nd f ul f i l l m e nt bui l di ng a l e ga c y t o na m e a f e w B ut by t he t i m e a nyone r e a c he s s i xt y, w e ha ve us ua l l y l os t our pa r e nt s ot h e r l ove d one s ou r yout h a nd pos s i bi l i t i e s a nd dr e a m s t ha t ne ve r w i l l c om e t o f r ui t i on. I n a ddi t i on w e f a c e t he i ne vi t a bl e l os s of our ow n l i ve s l oo m i ng not t oo f a r a r ound t he c or ne r W e r e a c h ou r s i xt i e t h ye a r w i t h a l i f e t i m e of a c c um ul a t e d l os s e s a nd t he a w a r e n e s s of t he i ne vi t a bi l i t y of ot he r l os s e s t o c om e A t t he l e a s t m os t of us r e a c h s i xt y w i t h e nough ye a r s be hi nd us t o t e l l a s t or y I t s one t ha t be ga n a t t he e nd of W or l d W a r I I A s s ol di e r s r e t ur ne d f r om t he w a r t he y

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12 pr oduc e d ba bi e s l ot s a nd l o t s o f ba bi e s 76 m i l l i on of t he m i n t he ye a r s f r om 1946 t o 1964. T hi s t r e nd w a s bol s t e r e d by V A l oa ns f or h om e s a nd c ol l e ge s T h i s ge ne r a t i on w a s t he l a s t bor n be f o r e t he i n t r oduc t i on of bi r t h c ont r ol pi l l s i n t he m i d ni ne t e e n s i xt i e s A l t hough r e s e a r c he r s us ua l l y c ons i de r t hi s boom t o be gi n i n 1946 a nd e xt e nd unt i l 1964 t he f i r s t g r oup, t he l e a di ng e dge of t he boom e r s bo r n be t w e e n 1946 a nd 1957, m a de m os t of t he c ul t u r a l w a ve s ( G ul l e t t e 2004) T hi s ge ne r a t i on of m a ny va r i ous l y r e f e r r e d t o a s boom e r s bul ge i n t he pyt hon m e ge ne r a t i on, a ge w a ve yuppi e s w i e l ds a pow e r i n num be r s T he s e num be r s m a ni f e s t i n pol i t i c a l c ul t u r a l a nd e c onom i c a l i m pa c t B oom e r s ha ve be e n a nd c ont i nue t o be a huge a nd pow e r f ul m a r ke t B e s i de s t he i r num e r i c a l do m i na n c e boom e r s know w ho t he y a r e a s a ge ne r a t i on, a nd t he y know t ha t t he y a r e di f f e r e nt f r om pr e vi ous a nd s ubs e que nt ge ne r a t i ons W e a r e t he f i r s t a ge c ohor t t o ha ve a g e ne r a t i ona l i de nt i t y f ol l ow t he m t hr ough t he i r l i f e c our s e ( G ul l e t t e 2004) T hi s i de nt i t y w a s s ha pe d pa r t i a l l y by hi s t or i c a l e v e nt s W e a r e t he f i r s t pos t W or l d W a r I I pos t hol oc a us t pos t a t om i c bo m b ge ne r a t i on. W e a l w a ys ha ve be e n a w a r e of pe opl e s pot e nt i a l i nhum a ni t y a nd a bi l i t y t o i n f l i c t t r e m e ndous s uf f e r i ng upon one a not he r W e a r e b r a nde d by t he de a t h i m pr i nt ( L i f t on 1999 p 81 82 ) l i vi ng f r om t he be gi nni ng of ou r l i ve s w i t h t he a w a r e ne s s of m i l l i o ns of i ndi vi dua l s l os t i n de a t h c a m ps a nd a t H i r os hi m a a nd N a ga s a ki a nd i n f e a r o f m a s s de s t r uc t i on of hum a ni t y due t o t e c hnol og i c a l a dva nc e s i n w e a ponr y. W e a l s o a r e t he f i r s t ge ne r a t i on bor n i n pos t m ode r ni t y, c opi ng w i t h a l l of i t s a m bi gui t i e s a nd m ul t i phr e ni a a s G e r ge n ( 1991 ) de s c r i be s our f r e ne t i c s t a t e

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13 T he pa r t i c i pa nt s i n m y e t hnog r a phi c a nd a ut oe t hno gr a phi c r e s e a r c h pr oj e c t g r a dua t e d f r om hi gh s c hool i n 1965. O ur c l a s s i s on t he c ut t i ng e dge of t he boom e r ge ne r a t i on. W e w e r e m a r i na t e d i n t he j ui c e s of t he c i vi l r i ght s m ov e m e nt t he f e m i ni s t r e vol ut i on t he a nt i w a r m ove m e nt s a nd s e a s one d by t he i de a l i s m of C a m e l ot a nd T he N e w F r ont i e r J ohn K e nne dy w a s t he f i r s t C a t hol i c p r e s i de nt a nd be c a us e w e w e r e a l l C a t hol i c s he w a s our pr e s i de nt H e s poke t o our i de a l i s m a nd c ha l l e nge d us t o j oi n t he P e a c e C or ps a nd t o a s k not w ha t your c ount r y c a n do f o r you but w h a t you c a n do f or your c ount r y. F r om t he t i m e o f our bi r t h, c ul t ur a l c r i t i c s hi s t or i a ns a nd m e di a r e pr e s e nt a t i ve s ha ve c hr oni c l e d our e ve r y m ove G i l l on, i n hi s book B o om e r N at i on s a ys A l m os t f r om t he t i m e w e w e r e bo r n, boom e r s w e r e di s s e c t e d, a na l y z e d, a nd pi t c he d t o by m ode r n m a r ke t e r s w ho r e i nf or c e d a s e ns e of ge ne r a t i ona l di s t i nc t i ve ne s s ( G i l l on, 2005, p. 5) T ha t ha s not c ha nge d a s w e a ge I n t he ye a r 2006 da i l y ne w s pa pe r a r t i c l e s m ovi e s a nd T V s how s r e ga l e d us w i t h t he a nt i c s of boom e r s t ur ni n g s i xt y a nd c ont i nue t o do s o t oda y. P e r ha ps be c a us e of t he s he e r num be r of boo m e r s a nd pos s i bl y be c a us e of our ge ne r a t i ona l r e put a t i on t o a l t e r a nd c ha l l e nge pe r s ona l a nd i ns t i t ut i ona l p r a c t i c e s t he r e i s i nt e r e s t i n how t h i s l a r ge c ohor t i s goi ng t o a g e a n d t he i m pa c t w e w i l l ha ve on i ns t i t ut i ons r e s our c e s a nd c ul t ur e W i l l w e a s w e ha ve s i nc e 1946, s t r e t c h t he l i m i t s of A m e r i c a s pos s i bi l i t i e s a nd i t s r e s our c e s ( Z e i t z 20 05, p 8) ? E ve r y a s pe c t of our l i ve s f r om ou r c ont i nue d s e a r c h f or s a t i s f a c t i on; l i f e l on g e duc a t i on ( P a l a z e s i 2004 ) ; t e c hnol ogy ne e ds ( C oughl i n, 1999 ) ; m a r ke t i ng ( G r e e n, 2006) ; c i vi c e nga ge m e nt ( S i m s on, 2006) ; r e l i gi ous a f f i l i a t i on a nd e xpr e s s i on ( R oof 1 994, 1999; P or t e r f i e l d, 2001; S he r ka t 2006; Z i nnba ue r a nd P a r ga m e t 1999 ) ; i s e xa m i ne d a nd put unde r t he m i c r os c ope

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14 I n a ddi t i on t he qua l i t y of how boom e r s a r e a gi ng i s of i nt e r e s t a s i s e vi de nc e d i n t he f ol l ow i ng l i t e r a t ur e : a r e w e s e a r c hi ng f or ne w m e a ni ng i n a dul t hood ( M ont a gni m o G e nz a 2005) ; l ook i ng f o r ou r e i ght i e s t o be l i ke o ur f i f t i e s ( M e l l or 2005) ; r e f us i ng t o r e t i r e ; a nd de c l i ni ng t o de c l i ne ( G ul l e t t e 2004; P ogr e bi n, 19 94) ? S i nc e w e a r e t he ge ne r a t i on t ha t que s t i one d e ve r yt hi ng a nd he l pe d t o c ha nge t he l a nds c a pe of our c ul t ur e a r e w e goi ng t o c ha nge t he f a c e of a gi ng a l s o? T he C l as s of 65 C e l e br at e s I t s F or t i e t h R e uni on G i ve n a l l t hi s i nt e r e s t i n boom e r s i t i s s om e w ha t s ur pr i s i ng t ha t l i t t l e ha s be e n w r i t t e n a bout boom e r l i f e t ur n i ng poi nt s a nd how boom e r s de a l w i t h a c c um ul a t e d a nd a nt i c i pa t or y l os s P e r ha ps i t ha s onl y now a s t he f i r s t boom e r s t ur n s i xt y, be c om e a s a l i e nt t opi c R e c e nt l y, a s I a t t e nde d a f i ve hour f o r t i e t h hi gh s c hool r e uni on o f t he gr a dua t i ng c l a s s of 1965 o f S t P i us X C a t hol i c H i gh S c hool i n A t l a nt a G e or gi a I w a s s t r uc k w i t h t he s t or i e s of l os s I he a r d f r om c l a s s m a t e s m a ny I ha dn t s e e n i n f o r t y ye a r s U nl i ke t he t w e nt y f i f t h r e uni on ( t he onl y ot he r r e u ni on w e ha d) m os t c l a s s m a t e s w e r e n t t r yi ng t o i m pr e s s e a c h ot he r w i t h t he i r s t a t us a nd s uc c e s s e s but r a t he r w a nt e d t o t a l k a bou t t hi ngs t ha t m a t t e r e d a t t h i s poi nt i n our l i ve s M os t a ppe a r e d hum bl e d by t he e xpe r i e nc e s of l i f e t ha t a c c um ul a t e d i n s i xt y ye a r s A s I he a r d s t or y a f t e r s t or y o f t he de a t h of pa r e nt s s pous e s a nd c hi l dr e n, i l l ne s s e s l os s of j obs a nd he a l t h, a nd oc c a s i ona l l y r e c ove r y f r om a d di c t i ons i t s e e m e d t ha t m os t ha d be e n l e ve l e d by t he t r a um a s a nd i ne s c a pa bl e l os s e s of l i f e a nd w e r e s t r uggl i ng t o m a ke s e ns e of t he m M y di s s e r t a t i on na r r a t i ve be gi ns w i t h t he s t or y o f m y f or t i e t h hi gh s c hool r e uni on. A s I m a de m y w a y a r ound t he 56 t h F i ght e r S qua dr on s pa r t y r oom j us t dow n t he r oa d

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15 f r om ou r hi gh s c hool m y i nt e r a c t i ons w i t h m y c l a s s m a t e s us ua l l y be ga n w i t h a f e w m i nut e s of s m a l l t a l k a nd t he n qui c kl y pr ogr e s s e d t o l i f e h i ghl i ght s t ha t of t e n c e nt e r e d upon l os s T opi c s of de a t h a nd l os s e m e r ge d i n a l m os t e ve r y c onve r s a t i on. I t w a s a s i f gi ve n a s hor t t i m e t o t e l l ou r l i f e s t or i e s c onve r s a t i ona l l y, w e a l l c hos e t o f oc us pr e dom i na nt l y on l os s e s a nd t ur ni ng poi nt s t ha t c h a nge d our l i ve s I us e a n e t hnogr a phi c a nd a u t oe t hnogr a phi c a pp r oa c h i n m y s t udy of t ur ni ng poi nt s a nd a c c um ul a t e d l os s e s i n t hi s gr oup of boom e r s I a m a pa r t i c i pa nt obs e r ve r i n t he s ha r e d c l a s s e ve nt s i nc l udi ng t he f or t i e t h r e uni on, t he c l a s s s i xt i e t h bi r t hda y ba s h, a nd t he s t r uc t ur e d f oc us gr oup A nd I m ove m y na r r a t i ve a nd e t hnogr a phi c l e ns bot h i nw a r d a nd out w a r d, r e c ount i ng m y s t or y a m ong t he s t or i e s of m ys e l f a nd f our ot he r c l a s s m a t e s L i ke t he m m y poi nt s of l os s ha ve s ha pe d m y l i f e a nd m y s t or y i s i m pa c t e d by t he hi s t or i c a l e ve nt s a f t e r W o r l d W a r I I a nd by g r ow i n g up i n t he f i f t i e s a nd s i xt i e s i n A t l a nt a G e or gi a M y di s s e r t a t i on e nds w i t h a n a na l ys i s c ha pt e r t ha t t i e s ba c k i nt o t he l i t e r a t ur e a nd t ha t de t a i l s w ha t I ha ve di s c ove r e d a bout t hi s gr ou p of a gi ng boom e r s t he t u r ni ng poi nt s of t he i r l i ve s a nd how t he y f i nd m e a ni ng i n a nd c o pe w i t h a gi ng, de a t h, a nd a c c um ul a t e d l os s I hope t ha t m y di s s e r t a t i on a dds t o t he c onve r s a t i on a bout t he l i ve s a nd c ul t ur a l i nf l ue nc e s of boom e r s a nd pr ovi de s c om pa ni ons hi p t o ot he r s a s w e pr oc e e d t hr ough t he l i f e c yc l e A l s o, m y goa l i s t o s he d l i gh t on t he qu e s t i on of w he t he r w e w i l l a s s om e ha ve pr e di c t e d, us e t he pow e r of our ge ne r a t i on t o s ha pe a gi ng a nd c ha nge t he w a y t ha t i ndi vi dua l s a ppr oa c h, l i ve a nd f i nd m e a ni ng i n t he f i na l c yc l e of l i f e

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16 C ha pt e r F our L i t e r a t ur e R e vi e w A gi ng A Soc i al C ons t r uc t i oni s t V i e w T he a gi ng e xpe r i e nc e l i ke e ve r y ot he r l i ve d e xpe r i e nc e i s c ons t r uc t e d by c ul t u r e M a r ga r e t G ul l e t t e a c ul t ur a l c r i t i c w ho s t udi e s a g e i s s ue s de s c r i be s a m us e um e xhi bi t a t t he B os t on M us e um of S c i e nc e : A c c e s s t o t he ope n boot h w a s f or bi dde n t o pe opl e ove r f i f t e e n. A f t e r s t a ndi ng f or l ong pe r i ods w i t h r e m a r ka bl e pa t i e nc e t he youngs t e r s s a t dow n i ns i de unde r b r i ght i l l um i na t i on, f a c e d f o r w a r d t r us t i ngl y a nd ha d t he i r por t r a i t s t a ke n by a n a u t om a t i c c a m e r a A f t e r a not he r w a i t t he i r di gi t i z e d bus t s a ppe a r e d on a T V m oni t o r T he n t a ppi ng a but t on l i ke a V C R r e m ot e e a c h c hi l d c oul d r a pi dl y c a l l up s i m ul a t i ons of w ha t s he o r he w oul d l ook l i ke a t one ye a r i nt e r va l s up t o a ge s i xt y ni ne . I n s e c onds t he c om put e r a dde d gr ot e s que pouc he s r e ddi s h s ki n, a nd bl ot c he s t o t he i r f a m i l i a r f e a t ur e s ( 1997, p. 11) G ul l e t t e a nd ot he r s a r e di s t ur be d by t he r e pr e s e nt a t i on of a gi ng i n t hi s e xhi bi t a nd i n our c ul t ur e be c a us e i t r e f l e c t s t he c ul t ur a l na r r a t i v e of a gi ng a s a c ont i nua l p r oc e s s of i ne vi t a bl e a nd ugl y de c l i ne D e c l i ne i s a m e t a pho r a s ha r d t o c ont a i n a s dye O nc e i t ha s t i nge d our e xpe c t a t i ons of t he f ut ur e w i t h pe r i l i t t e nds t o s t a i n our e xpe r i e nc e s our

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17 vi e w s of ot he r s our e xpl a na t or y s y s t e m s a nd t he n our r e t r os pe c t i ve j udgm e nt s ( G ul l e t t e 1997 p 11 ) T he m e a ni ng of a ge a nd a gi ng i s t r a ns m i t t e d i n l a r ge pa r t by t he na r r a t i ve i de a s w e ha ve a bs or be d i nt o our c ons c i ous ne s s A s G ul l e t t e s ugge s t s : I t m a t t e r s w he t he r a gi ve n s oc i e t y . pe r m i t s de ns e i nt e r e s t i ng, e nc our a gi ng na r r a t i ve s a bout a gi ng . C e r t a i nl y, w hi c he ve r a c c ount s you a nd I f i nd our s e l ve s l i vi ng w i t h a nd s e e i ng t he w or l d t hr ough m a ke a f unda m e nt a l di f f e r e nc e t o t he qua l i t y of ou r l i ve s s t a r t i ng w i t h our w i l l i ngne s s o r r e l uc t a nc e t o, a t a ny a ge gr ow o l de r ( G ul l e t t e 19 97, p 11) S i nc e a gi ng i s s oc i a l l y a nd c ul t u r a l l y c ons t r uc t e d, K e nne t h a nd M a r y G e r ge n ( 2000) s ugge s t t ha t w e a r e m ovi ng i nt o a t i m e o f ne w pos i t i ve a gi ng us he r e d i n by t he boom e r s w ho c ont i nue t h r ough t he i r l i f e c our s e t o t r a ns f or m a nd r e de f i ne t he na r r a t i ve s a nd i ns t i t ut i ons t hr ough w hi c h t he y pa s s T hi s e l de r e xpl os i on a l l ow s f or a ne w pe r i od of e l de r pow e r w hi c h f os t e r s a ne w a gi ng t ha t i s t o r e e m pow e r : r e c l a i m i ng a ge nc y a nd pr oduc t i vi t y ( G e r ge n, K e nne t h a nd M a r y, 200 0, p 9) T he G e r ge ns s uppor t t hi s vi e w by t he i r P os i t i ve A gi ng N e w s l e t t e r a nd ot h e r e f f or t s t o t e l l a n a l t e r na t i ve na r r a t i ve t o a gi ng T he f ol l ow i ng i s a n e xc e r pt f r o m t he ne w s l e t t e r t ha t t he y be ga n: T he ne w s l e t t e r br i ngs t o l i ght r e s our c e s f r om s c i e nt i f i c r e s e a r c h on a gi ng, ge r ont ol ogy pr a c t i c e s a nd da i l y l i f e t ha t c ont r i but e t o a n a ppr e c i a t i on of t he a gi ng pr oc e s s C ha l l e ngi ng t he l ongs t a ndi ng vi e w of a gi ng a s de c l i ne t he ne w s l e t t e r p r ovi de s r e s our c e s f or unde r s t a ndi ng a gi ng a s a n unpr e c e de nt e d pe r i od o f hum a n de ve l opm e nt B y f oc us i ng on t he pos i t i ve a s pe c t s of a gi ng, a nd t he a va i l a bi l i t y o f r e s our c e s s ki l l s a nd r e s i l i e nc i e s r e s e a r c h not onl y b r i ngs us e f ul i ns i ght s i nt o t he r e a l m of

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18 pr a c t i c e but c r e a t e s hope a nd e m pow e r s a c t i on a m ong ol de r pe opl e B y m ovi ng be yond pr a c t i c e s of r e pa i r a nd pr e ve nt i on t o e m pha s i z e gr ow t h e nha nc i ng a c t i vi t i e s pr a c t i t i one r s a l s o c ont r i but e m or e e f f e c t i ve l y t o t he s oc i e t a l r e c ons t r uc t i on of a gi ng ( 2006 p 10 11) A gi ng a nd t he l os s a s s oc i a t e d w i t h i t a r e pa r t of t h e e xpe r i e nc e of g r ow i ng ol de r but t he i de a of a gi ng a nd t he va l ue t ha t w e gi ve i t i s c o ns t r uc t e d by c ul t ur e a nd s i nc e i t i s a s o c ons t r uc t e d, t he i de a a nd e xpe r i e nc e of i t c a n be c ha nge d. S oc i a l c ons t r uc t i on i s t he c onc e pt t ha t t he i de a s w e ha ve a bout a nyt hi ng a r i s e out of t he l a ngua ge s t or i e s a nd va l ue s t ha t a c ul t ur e a s c r i be s t o i t T hi s t he or y gr o w s out of t hi nki ng t ha t s e e s r e a l i t y a s r e l a t i ona l a nd e m e r ge nt r a t he r t ha n a n obj e c t i ve r e a l i t y w a i t i ng t o be di s c ove r e d A s D w i ght C onque r good r e m i nds us i de nt i t y a nd c u l t ur e a r e c ons t r uc t e d a nd r e l a t i ona l i ns t e a d of e s s e nt i a l a nd ont ol ogi c a l ( C onque r goo d, 1985 p 184) H a c ki ng s uppor t s t he i de a t ha t m uc h o f ou r w or l d i s s oc i a l l y c ons t r uc t e d, m e a ni ng t ha t a gr e a t de a l of our l i ve d e xpe r i e nc e a nd of t he w or l d w e i nha bi t i s t o be c onc e i ve d of a s s oc i a l l y c ons t r uc t e d. A p r i m a r y f unc t i on o f t he c ons t r uc t i oni s t vi e w ha s be e n t o r a i s e c ons c i ous ne s s S oc i a l c ons t r uc t i on i s by i t s na t ur e a c r i t i que of t he s t a t us quo ( H a c ki ng, 1999 p 6) C ons t r uc t i oni s t s c ont e nd t ha t our i de a s of a nyt hi ng ge nde r r a c e a ge a r e f o r m e d w i t hi n a m a t r i x t ha t i s a c o m pl e x of i ns t i t ut i ons a dvoc a t e s i m a ge s ne w s pa pe r a r t i c l e s l a w ye r s c ou r t de c i s i o ns m e di a r e pr e s e nt a t i ons a nd na r r a t i ve s C e nt r a l t o a c ons t r uc t i oni s t v i e w poi nt i s t he i de a of t he s oc i a l c ons t r uc t i on o f t he s e l f ( B e c ke r 1973; G e r ge n a nd G e r ge n 2003; H a c ki ng, 1999) a nd t he na t ur e of t he r e l a t i ons hi p of t ha t s e l f t o ot he r s ( G e r ge n, 1991; P e a r c e 1989) T he r e i s a r o m a nt i c

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19 m ode r ni s t a nd pos t m ode r n c onc e pt of t he s e l f a s G e r ge n t e l l s us i n Sat ur at e d Se l f ( G e r ge n, 1991 ) a nd t he s e s e l ve s r e f l e c t t he hi s t o r i c a l m om e nt i n w hi c h t he y w e r e f or m e d, a nd t he i m pa c t of t he c ul t ur e a t t ha t t i m e I n t hi s m om e nt w e a r e i nf l ue nc e d by a l l of t he s e i de a s of t he s e l f but i n pos t m ode r n t i m e s w i t h t he que s t i oni ng of m e t a na r r a t i ve s t he r e i s a br e a kdow n o f t he c onc e pt of t he s e pa r a t e know a bl e s e l f a nd a n unde r s t a ndi ng t ha t t he s e l f e m e r ge s i n t he pr oc e s s of t i m e a nd r e l a t i ons hi p. J ohn U pdi ke i n hi s s t or y O l i ve r s E vol ut i on, pr e di c t s w ha t w e e xpe c t of ot he r s t he y t r y t o pr ovi de ( U pdi ke 1998 p 67 ) I n ot h e r w or ds w e a l l a ge but a gi ng i s r e l a t i ona l a nd i t i s di f f i c ul t t o r un c ount e r t o t he e x pe c t a t i ons a nd c ul t ur a l a t t i t ude s a bout a gi ng. O ur s e l f p r e s e nt a t i on a nd s e l f i m a ge r e f l e c t l a ngua ge c a noni c a l na r r a t i ve s a nd c ul t ur a l va l ue s a nd be l i e f s A s P e a r c e ( 1989 ) r e m i nds us hum a n be i ngs e xi s t on t w o l e ve l s O n one pl a ne hum a n be i ngs a r e phys i c a l e nt i t i e s j us t l i ke r oc ks a nd t r e e s H um a n bodi e s a ge a nd s how phys i c a l e f f e c t s of a gi ng t ha t e ve nt ua l l y l e a d t o de a t h B ut on a not he r pl a ne hum a n be i ngs l i ve l i ve s of m or a l s i gni f i c a nc e i n w or l ds o f hono r di gni t y, a nd va l ue W he n a pe r s on di e s i t m a y be a t r a ge dy, r e l i e f or a c r i m e W he n t he y a r e bor n i t i s ne ve r s i m pl y a bi o l ogi c a l e ve nt ( P e a r c e 1989 p 24 ) A w or l d o f obj e c t s a nd c r e a t u r e s e xi s t i n a c onc r e t e or f i ni t e s e ns e but t he s i gni f i c a nc e t ha t w e gi ve t hi s w o r l d i s w ha t i s s oc i a l l y c ons t r uc t e d. T hi s c ons t r uc t i on of m e a ni ng c om e s a bout t hr ough l a ngua ge a nd t hr ou gh r e l a t i ons hi p. G e r ge n a nd G e r ge n ( 2000) t e l l us t ha t a pi vot a l a s s um pt i on a r ound w hi c h t he c ons t r uc t i oni s t di a l ogue r e vol ve s i s t ha t w ha t w e t a ke t o be know l e dge of t he w or l d a nd s e l f f i nds i t s or i gi ns i n c om m una l i nt e r c ha nge ( G e r ge n a nd G e r ge n, 200 3, p 7) W ha t w e t a ke t o be t r ue i s br ought i nt o be i ng by hi s t or i c a l l y a nd c ul t ur a l l y l o c a t e d gr oups of pe opl e T hi s i s a

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20 r e vol ut i ona r y t hought be c a us e i t r uns c ont r a r y t o t he pos i t i vi s t i c i d e a t ha t t he r e i s a n obj e c t i ve r e a l i t y t ha t c a n be know n, a nd i t c r e a t e s t he pos s i bi l i t y of c ha ngi ng t he na r r a t i ve of a gi ng a nd de c l i ne I n ot he r w or ds t he e ve nt s a nd obj e c t s of t he s oc i a l w or l d a r e not w ha t t he y a ppe a r T he y a r e not e xt e r na l f ound t h i ngs R a t he r t he y a r e t he p r oduc t o f s oc i a l a c t i on w hos e c ont i nue d e xi s t e nc e de pe nds on t he i r r e c ons t r uc t i o n i n pa t t e r ns o f c om m uni c a t i on ( P e a r c e p 19 ) I ndi v i dua l s a nd c ul t ur e s s w i m a r o und i n s e a s of s i gni f i c a nc e a nd m e a ni ng. H ow w e know a nyt hi ng p r e c e de s f r om a n i m m e r s i on i n a pa r a di gm a w a y of s e e i ng, know i ng a nd gi vi ng m e a ni ng. A nd t hi s pa r a di gm c r e a t e s r e a l i t i e s r e a l i t i e s a nd know l e dge t ha t c om e s not f r om i ndi vi dua l s but f r om c om m uni t i e s pe opl e i n r e l a t i ons hi p ( G e r ge n a nd G e r ge n 2000 p 84 ) B e r ge r a nd L uc km a n ( 1966) i n t he i r book T he Soc i al C ons t r uc t i on of R e al i t y de t a i l t he i r vi e w o f t he p r oc e s s by w hi c h r e a l i t y i s s oc i a l l y c ons t r uc t e d. T he y e xpl a i n t ha t r e a l i t y i s de f i ne d a s a qua l i t y a ppe r t a i ni ng t o ph e nom e na t ha t w e r e c ogn i z e a s ha vi ng a be i ng i nde pe nde nt of our ow n vol i t i on ( B e r ge r a nd L uc km a n, 1966, p. 1) T he y e xpl a i n how t he w or l d of e ve r yda y l i f e i s t a ke n f or gr a nt e d a s r e a l i t y by m os t m e m be r s of s oc i e t y i n t he s ubj e c t i ve l y m e a ni ngf ul c onduc t of t he i r l i ve s I t i s a w o r l d t ha t or i gi na t e s i n t he i r t hought s a nd a c t i ons a nd i s m a i nt a i ne d a s r e a l by t he s e ( B e r ge r a nd L uc km a n 1966, p 20) T hi s r e a l i t y a w a y of know i ng a nd s e e i ng, i s l e a r ne d by a p r oc e s s of pr i m a r y a nd s e c onda r y s oc i a l i z a t i on, t he y s ugge s t t ha t i n t u r n obj e c t i f i e s t hi s r e a l i t y, a nd c r e a t e s a s oc i e t y i n w hi c h w e pe r pe t ua t e a n ongoi ng di a l e c t i c a l pr oc e s s of t hr e e m om e nt s e xt e r na l i z a t i on, obj e c t i f i c a t i on, a nd i nt e r na l i z a t i on . W ha t r e m a i ns

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21 s oc i ol ogi c a l l y e s s e nt i a l i s t he r e c ogni t i on t ha t a l l s ym bo l i c uni ve r s e s a nd a l l l e gi t i m a t i ons a r e hum a n pr oduc t s ( B e r ge r a nd L uc km a n, 1966 p. 128) T hi s i s a pr o f ound r e c ogni t i on, be c a us e w i t h t hi s u nde r s t a ndi ng c om e s t he a w a r e ne s s t ha t w ha t w e e xpe r i e nc e a s m e a ni ng a nd va l ue i s n ot f i xe d. T hi s c om e s a bout t h r ough t he ongoi ng c ons t i t ut i ve pr oc e s s of c om m uni c a t i on P e a r c e ( 1989) s um s t he r ol e o f c om m uni c a t i on i n t he c ons t i t ut i on of s oc i e t y i n t hi s w a y: W e c ons i s t of a c l us t e r of s oc i a l c onve r s a t i ons a nd t ha t t he s e pa t t e r ns of c om m uni c a t i on c ons t i t ut e t he w or l d a s w e know i t I n t hi s vi e w c om m uni c a t i on i s a pr i m a r y s oc i a l pr oc e s s t he m a t e r i a l s ubs t a nc e of t hos e t hi ngs w hos e r e a l i t y w e of t e n t a ke f o r g r a nt e d, s uc h a s our s e l ve s m ot i ve s r e l a t i ons hi ps w ha t w e w oul d ot he r w i s e de s c r i be a s f a c t s a nd s o f or t h. T he f o r m s of c om m uni c a t i on i n w hi c h w e pa r t i c i pa t e e i t he r l i be r a t e or e ns l a ve us ; t he y f a c i l i t a t e o r s ubve r t hu m a n va l ue s T he c ha r a c t e r i s t i c s of t he m a t e r i a l uni ve r s e a nd t he p r o pe r t i e s of m i nd a r e s uf f i c i e nt l y di f f e r e nt t ha t a ny num be r of s t or i e s m a y be t ol d t ha t a de qua t e l y a c c ount f or t he f a c t ( P e a r c e 1989, p. 11) H ow w e vi e w a nd e xpe r i e nc e a gi ng i s c ul t ur a l l y c ons t i t ut e d by t he s t or i e s w e s e e he a r a nd l i ve a nd by t he l a ngua ge t ha t w e us e t o e xpe r i e nc e a nd de s c r i be i t I t ha s ye t t o be de t e r m i ne d how boom e r s w i l l e xpe r i e nc e t he i r e l de r ye a r s M uc h ha s be e n s pe c ul a t e d a bout how w e w i l l c ha nge r e t i r e m e nt a nd ol d a ge but s i nc e t he f i r s t boom e r s ha ve j us t t ur ne d s i xt y, a t t hi s poi nt i t i s j us t s pe c ul a t i on. A s t he l i t e r a t ur e on boom e r s s ugge s t s t he r e i s not one t ypi c a l boom e r I t i s m y de s i r e t ha t t hi s di s s e r t a t i on s he ds l i ght on t he a t t i t ude s a nd s t or i e s of a t l e a s t s om e boom e r s a s t h e y c ons t r uc t l i ve s a ge a nd a bs or b a nd

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22 m a ke s e ns e of t he s hoc ks a nd l os s e s i nhe r e nt w i t hi n t he hum a n e xpe r i e nc e S i nc e boom e r s a r e s e e n a s t he ge ne r a t i on t o que s t i on i ns t i t ut i ons a nd e s t a bl i s he d pr a c t i c e s t hi s r e s e a r c h t e l l s a s t or y a bout how boom e r s a r e l i vi ng a nd c r e a t i ng na r r a t i ve s of a gi ng a nd l os s N ar r at i v e s of A gi ng, L os s and D e at h N a r r a t i ve s a bout a gi ng, l os s a nd de a t h a r e pl e nt i f u l O ne of t he qui nt e s s e nt i a l w or ks i s t ha t of S t uds T e r ke l I n t he i nt r oduc t i on t o hi s b ook, W i l l t he C i r c l e B e U nbr ok e n R e f l e c t i ons on D e at h, R e bi r t h, and H unge r f or a F ai t h ( 2001) he r e f l e c t s upon a l i f e t i m e c onc e r ne d w i t h hi s m or t a l i t y. H e w a s a n a s t hm a t i c c hi l d a nd, a s he t e l l s t he s t or y, hi s di f f i c ul t y b r e a t hi ng ga ve hi m a s e ns e of f r a gi l i t y i n t he f a c e o f de a t h. A t e i ght y e i ght he r e c ount s how he goe s t o be d l i s t i ng t hos e he ha s l o s t i n hi s m i nd a nd t hi nki ng o f t he m a nd s t or i e s a bout t he m W he n he a w a ke s he s a ys he t hi nks of t he poe m by C ol e r i dge : I w a ke up e a c h m o r ni ng a nd ga t he r m y w i t s I pi c k up t he pa pe r a nd r e a d t he obi t s I f m y na m e i s not i n i t I know I m not de a d. S o I e a t a good br e a kf a s t a nd go ba c k t o be d ( T e r k e l 2001, p. xi x) H e r e c ount s how he w a s r e l uc t a nt t o w r i t e a bout d e a t h, but w he n he be ga n a s ki ng or di na r y pe opl e a bout i t he di s c ove r e d t ha t w e r e f l e c t on de a t h l i ke c r a z y m uc h of our l i ve s T he s t or yt e l l e r s he r e onc e s t a r t e d on t he s ubj e c t c a n t s t op T he y w a nt t o t a l k a bout i t ; w he t he r i t be gr i e f or gui l t or a f us i ng o f b ot h on t he pa r t o f t he s ur vi vor s ; or t hought s a bout t he he r e a f t e r ( T e r ke l 2001, p. xi x) H e que s t i ons W e a s a m a t t e r o f c our s e r e f l e c t on de a t h, voi c e hope a nd f e a r onl y w he n a de a r one i s ne a r de a t h, or out o f

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23 i t W hy not s pe a k of i t w hi l e w e r e i n t he f l ow e r o f good he a l t h? H ow c a n w e e nvi s i on our l i f e t he one w e now e xpe r i e nc e unl e s s w e r e c ogni z e t ha t i t i s f i ni t e ( T e r ke l 2001 p. xx) ? H e i nt e r vi e w s s i xt y s i x i ndi vi dua l s a bout de a t h, a nd a bout l i vi ng i n t he f a c e of i t a nd he t e l l s t he i r s t or i e s O t he r s s ha r e t he i r e xpe r i e nc e o f f a c i ng a t e r m i na l di s e a s e a nd know i ng t ha t de a t h i s i m m i ne nt P e t e r B a r t on, t he f ounde r of M T V a nd a ba by boom e r i n hi s book, N ot F ade A w ay ( 2005) w r i t e s a bout hi s s e a r c h f o r m e a ni ng, s ol a c e a nd l i f e a s he c onf r on t s hi s ow n de a t h, a nd r e vi e w s hi s l i f e i n t he f a c e o f i t D ue t o hi s i l l ne s s he w a s no l onge r a bl e t o be t he w he e l e r de a l e r a nd s uc c e s s f ul bus i ne s s m a n he ha d be c om e s o he s t a ye d c l os e t o hom e hopi ng t o s t i l l m a ke a di f f e r e nc e t he r e w i t h hi s f a m i l y, f i ndi ng be a ut y a nd m e a ni ng i n t he e ve r yda y. C ons c i ous of hi s ge ne r a t i ona l i de nt i t y, he t e l l s a bout t he i r ony a t t he e nd of hi s l i f e w he n a s a boom e r he c a n now ha ve a l l t he dr ugs I w a nt ; t he y r e l e ga l l y de l i ve r e d t o m y hous e ; I m ur ge d t o t a ke t he m i n e ve r gr e a t e r qua nt i t i e s a nd o f c our s e I don t w a nt t he m a t a l l ( B a r t on, 2005, p. 182) R e c e nt l y, t he s t or y o f t he i l l ne s s a nd dyi ng o f t he C a r ne gi e M e l l on c ol l e ge pr of e s s or R a ndy P a us c h, ha s r e ve r be r a t e d a r ound t he w or l d H i s na r r a t i ve i s i nf e c t i ous H e ga ve T he L as t L e c t ur e ( P a us c h a nd Z a s l ow 2008) t ha t m i l l i ons ha ve vi e w e d on O p r a h a nd Y ou T ube T he y ha ve r e a d a bout hi m i n t he book of t he s a m e na m e H e c hr oni c l e s hi s s t r uggl e w i t h pa nc r e a t i c c a nc e r a nd l i vi ng w i t h t he know l e dge of h i s de a t h l ur ki ng j us t a r ound t he c or ne r N ot s i nc e T ue s day s w i t h M or r i e ( A l bom 1997) ha s a s t or y of a dyi ng pe r s on be e n s o w a t c he d a nd obs e r ve d a r ound t he w or l d. T he r e s p ons e of s o m a ny pe opl e t o R a ndy P a us c h s s t or y r e i nf o r c e s t he a w a r e ne s s t ha t a l l of us ha ve a t l e a s t a c ur i os i t y a bout de a t h a nd m a ny w a nt gui de s t o t e a c h t he m h ow t o di e w he n t he t i m e c om e s

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24 O t he r s s uc h a s A na t ol e B r oya r d i n I nt ox i c at e d by M y I l l ne s s ( 1 992) a nd S a nd r a B ut l e r a nd B a r ba r a R os e nbl um i n C anc e r i n T w o V oi c e s ( 1991) s ha r e t he j our ne y t hr ough t he pa s s a ge f r om he a l t h t o i l l ne s s a nd l i f e t o de a t h. I n t he s e na r r a t i ve s a nd ot he r s l i ke t he m w r i t e r s t e l l t he i r s t or y o f l e t t i ng go o f l i f e a nd a c c e pt i ng t he i r ow n de a t hs O t he r s t e l l of w a t c hi ng t he de a t h of t he i r l ove d one s a nd c hr oni c l e t he i r g r i e f a t t he i r l os s J oa n D i di on s A Y e ar of M agi c al T hi nk i ng ( 2 005) i s a m a gni f i c e nt l y gut w r e nc hi ng e xa m pl e a s i s K e n W i l bur s G r ac e and G r i t ( 1997 ) a n d C a r ol yn E l l i s s F i na l N e got i at i on ( 1995) I a m d r a w n t o s t or i e s of i l l ne s s a nd de a t h l i ke m ot hs t o a f l a m e I t i s l i ke w a t c hi ng a t r a i n w r e c k pa i nf ul but gr i ppi ng a nd I a m t or n b y t he t e ns i on of not w a nt i ng t o go t he r e a nd c om pe l l e d t o a t t he s a m e t i m e I a nd ot h e r s l i ke m e know t ha t t hi s i s a j our ne y t ha t w e w i l l e ve nt ua l l y t a ke a nd w e w a nt t o know how t o do i t a nd f i nd c om f or t a nd pe a c e w he n t ha t m om e nt ha ppe ns T he s e s t or i e s a l s o i nf or m how w e l i ve our l i ve s a ppr e c i a t i ng t he t e nuous na t ur e o f l i f e a nd r e ve l i ng i n t he m om e nt B aby B oom e r s P as t P r e s e nt and F u t ur e T he B aby B oom e r s T ur n Si x t y I t i s a l a t e M onda y e ve ni ng, a nd I ha ve j us t r e t u r ne d f r om t e a c hi ng. I pl op dow n on m y c ouc h t o t a ke i n s om e m i nd l e s s T V t o unw i nd f r om t he da y. O n m y m i nd i s t he di s s e r t a t i on pr opos a l a nd l i t e r a t ur e r e vi e w t ha t I ha ve be e n l a bor i ng ove r a nd t he c om m i t m e nt I m a de t o t ur n i t i n a f t e r t he hol i da y b r e a k. I i n t e nd t o ge t ba c k t o t he c om put e r but I ne e d a br e a k f r om t hi nki ng a bout a nd r e s e a r c hi ng boo m e r s U nf or t una t e l y, t ha t i s not t o be t oni ght P e r ha ps i t i s t he s a m e phe nom e non t ha t m a ke s i t

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25 s e e m l i ke e ve r yone e l s e i s pr e gna nt w he n you a r e but t oni ght e ve r y c om m e r c i a l s e e m s t o be t out i ng s om e one t ur ni ng s i xt y or r e t i r i ng. F i r s t t he r e i s a n a dv e r t i s e m e nt f o r D i a ne K e a t on s ne w m ovi e B e c a us e I S a i d S o a bout a w om a n t ur ni ng s i xt y. T he n t he r e i s a n i ns i pi d c om m e r c i a l t out i ng t he be ne f i t s of s om e f a c e c r e a m a t a bi r t hda y pa r t y f or a w om a n t ur ni ng s i xt y A pa r t y a t t e nde e e xc l a i m s Y ou c a n t b e s i xt y! T he ne xt c om m e r c i a l s how s a n a gi ng D e nni s H oppe r o f E a s y R i de r f a m e s a yi ng, W e ha ve ne ve r done a nyt hi ng l i ke ot he r s di d don t e xpe c t m e a nd m y ge ne r a t i on t o r e t i r e l i ke ot he r s di d e i t he r ( T hi s i s a c om m e r c i a l f or A m e r i pr i s e f i na nc i a l pl a nni ng ) I t ur n of f t he T V a nd ge t ba c k t o m y r e s e a r c h. T he uni ve r s e i s c ons pi r i ng t o ge t m e ba c k t o w or k A l l you ha ve t o do i s r e a d t he ne w s pa pe r o r pul l up G oogl e S c hol a r a nd a r t i c l e s a nd books a t t e m pt i ng t o de f i ne t he boom e r ge ne r a t i on a bound. T h e ye a r 2006 i n pa r t i c ul a r w a s a ba nne r ye a r f o r s t or i e s a bout boom e r s a s t he f i r s t of t he c ohor t t ur ne d s i xt y. O n J a nua r y 1, 2006 t he S t P e t e r s bur g T i m e s pr e s e nt e d na r r a t i ve s of s e ve r a l boom e r s r e a c hi ng t hi s l a ndm a r k a ge ; t w i c e t he a ge t ha t t he boom e r s w e r e quot e d a s not t r us t i ng a nyone ove r L a t e r i n t he ye a r ( 8/ 26/ 06) i n t he s a m e ne w s pa pe r Se ni or i t y M agaz i ne s how c a s e d a n a r t i c l e t e l l i ng t he s t or i e s of s e ve r a l l oc a l a gi ng boom e r m us i c i a ns a nd s e l f pr oc l a i m e d hi ppi e s T he St or y of B oom e r s P as t W ho a r e t he s e boom e r s ? F i r s t of a l l t he y a r e e s t i m a t e d t o be 76 m i l l i on s t r ong. T he y a r e t he f i r s t ge ne r a t i on t o w a t c h t hous a nds of hour s of T V i n t he i r f o r m a t i ve e a r l y ye a r s ; t he f i r s t t o go t o c ol l e ge i n l a r ge num be r s ; t h e f i r s t t o s e e hi s t or y a nd a w a r pl a ye d out i n f r ont of t he i r e ye s ; t he f i r s t t o l ook f or s e l f f ul f i l l m e nt r a t he r t ha n m e r e l y s ur vi va l a nd t he f i r s t ge ne r a t i on t o ha ve a de f i ne d s e ns e of s e l f a s a s i ngl e e nt i t y ( G i l l on p 4)

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26 B oom e r s w e r e c om i ng of a ge a t t he s a m e t i m e a c r os s t he w or l d T hi s w a s not j us t a phe nom e non oc c ur r i ng i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s B oom e r s w e r e de m ons t r a t i ng t he i r e f f e c t i n E ur ope w he r e boom e r s w e r e c a l l e d t he G e ne r a t i o n of 1968 i n C a na da I ndi a a nd M e xi c o. I n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s t he e a r l i e s t boom e r s t ur ne d t e n w i t h E i s e nhow e r a s t he i r pr e s i de nt W e g r e w up i n t he C ol d W a r f e a r i ng t h e a t om i c bom b a nd hi di ng unde r de s ks dur i ng A bo m b dr i l l s W e a l s o f e a r e d c om m uni s m a nd R us s i a w a s our a r c h e ne m y G oi ng out t o e a t w a s a bi g de a l t he n, a nd m os t o f u s c a n r e m e m be r t he f i r s t M c D ona l d s P i z z a H ut a nd t e l e vi s i on s e t M y c l a s s m a t e s a nd I e nt e r e d ou r t e e na ge ye a r s t he s a m e ye a r t ha t t he s i xt i e s be ga n. T he V i e t N a m W a r w a s a l r e a dy r a gi ng, bu t i t w a s n t w i de l y c ont r ove r s i a l ye t W e s w e a t e d out t he C uba n M i s s i l e C r i s i s a nd w e w e r e f i f t e e n w he n J ohn F K e nne dy w a s a s s a s s i na t e d. W e l i s t e ne d t o B uddy H ol l y t he B e a t l e s a nd H oot e na nny. A s t he de c a de w or e on a nd w e gr e w ol de r s o t oo e vol ve d t he m o ve m e nt s of t he t i m e : t he C i vi l R i ght s M ove m e nt t he A nt i W a r M ove m e nt ; a nd t he f e m i ni s t m ove m e nt of t he l a t e s i xt i e s a nd e a r l y s e ve nt i e s T hi s w a s t he c ont e xt i n w hi c h t he boom e r ge ne r a t i on c a m e of a ge I n hi s book B oom e r N at i on: T he L ar ge s t A nd R i c he s t G e ne r at i on E v e r A nd H ow I t C hange d A m e r i c a ( 2004) S t e ve G i l l on c on t e nds t ha t t he bo om e r s ha ve r e de f i ne d A m e r i c a s c ul t ur e f r om r e l i gi on a nd pol i t i c s t o c i vi l r i ght s w om e n s r i ght s a nd bus i ne s s T he boom e r s ha ve be e n di s m i s s e d by m a ny c om m e nt a t or s a s s e l f i s h or s e l f i ndul ge nt a ge ne r a t i on t ha t ne ve r ha d t o m a ke t he s a c r i f i c e s of i t s pr e de c e s s or s i n f i ght i ng a m a j o r w a r or ba t t l i ng a g r e a t de pr e s s i on; a ge ne r a t i on t ha t ha d t o o m uc h s e xua l f r e e dom t ha t i nve nt e d t he M e

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27 de c a de of t he 1970s a nd t ha t s pe nt a f or t une on t h e r a py a nd s e l f a c t ua l i z a t i on. B ut t hi s s t e r e ot y pe i s s hor t s i ght e d a nd m i s s e s ot he r ve r y di f f e r e nt t r e nds t ha t ha ve a l s o be e n boo m e r d r i ve n t he e xpl os i on of ne w r e l i gi ous de nom i na t i ons a nd s t e a dy r i s e i n c hur c hg oi ng; t he e xpl os i on o f c ha r i t a bl e gi vi ng; t he e xpl os i on of e nt r e pr e ne ur s hi p . T hough t he y pus he d t he c ount r y t ow a r d l i be r a l i s m w he n t he y w e r e young, t he y pus he d i t r i ght ba c k t o c ons e r va t i s m w he n t he y gr e w o l de r B e ne a t h a l l t he c ont r a di c t i ons t he r e i s a s t r ong s i gna l : t he y ha ve r e s ha pe d a n e nt i r e c ul t ur e a r ound t he i r ow n s i ngl e c ohor t ( G i l l on, 20 04, p 2) I n G i l l on s b ook, he t e l l s t he l i f e s t or i e s o f s i x boo m e r s a nd s i t ua t e s t he m i n t he br oa de r s oc i a l a nd pol i t i c a l de ve l opm e nt s of t he s e c ond ha l f of t he t w e nt i e t h c e nt ur y. G i l l on i s a hi s t or i a n a nd a na l yz e s t he hi s t or i c a l s i t ua t i on o f t h i s ge ne r a t i on, a nd how t he i r l i ve s r e f l e c t i t B e c a us e of boom e r s ove r pow e r i n g ge ne r a t i ona l s i z e G i l l on de c l a r e s t ha t i t w r a ppe d our c ul t ur e a r ound i t s e l f l i ke no ot he r ge ne r a t i on be f or e o r s i nc e ( G i l l on 2004, p 4) G i l l on br e a ks up t he hi s t or y o f t hi s ge ne r a t i on i nt o t hr e e s t a ge s : 1) T he C ul t of Y out h ( 1945 1978 ) 2) T he G r e a t S h i f t ( 1978 1991 ) 3) B oom e r N a t i on ( 1992 2004) T he boom e r t r a i t s t ha t c ha l l e nge d a ut hor i t y f oc us e d on s e l f f u l f i l l m e nt a l t e r i ng i ns t i t ut i ons a nd m a ki ng l ove not w a r e vol v e d a s w e a ge d i nt o s om e t hi ng e l s e G i l l on c ont e nds t ha t t he ge ne r a t i on t ha t pr oc l a i m e d t he A ge of A qua r i us i s now bus y buyi ng a nd s e l l i ng t he A ge of N os t a l gi a ( G i l l on 2004 p 290) H e s ugge s t s t ha t boom e r s l ook ba c k on a c hi l dhood t ha t e xi s t e d i n i d e a l s but pe r h a ps not r e a l i t y, a nd t ha t i nc l ude d a

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28 s e ns e of c om m uni t y a nd c l e a r l y de f i ne d c ode s of c onduc t Y e t G i l l o n e xpl a i ns t ha t t hi s ye a r ni ng f or s i m pl e r t i m e s i s i n c onf l i c t w i t h t he n a t ur a l boom e r i ndi vi dua l i s m a nd t he e m br a c e of t he c ons um e r c ul t u r e A r e s ul t o f t hi s c onf l i c t i s t he i nt e ns e s oc i a l di vi s i ons of t he 1990 s a nd w e r e a pr oduc t o f t he s e i nt e r na l boom e r c onf l i c t s ( G i l l on, 2004, p. 310) J oe Q ue e na n ( 2001) i n hi s book, B al s am i c D r e am s pr e s e nt s a l e s s f l a t t e r i ng pi c t ur e of t he boom e r s a l t hough he a gr e e s t ha t t h i s ge ne r a t i on ha s c ha nge d our c ul t u r e N ot onl y di d he s ugge s t t ha t w e s ol d out a f t e r our pr oc l a m a t i on t ha t w e w oul dn t but t ha t w e a r e gr e e dy, r ut h l e s s va l ue c onf or m i t y, a nd a r e m a d c o ns um e r s C l e a r l y t hi s r e f us a l t o ow n up t o t he i r a c qui s i t i ve n e s s i s not t he boom e r s onl y br oke n p r om i s e T he y s a i d t he y w oul dn t be c om e c r a s s a nd vul ga r B ut t he y a r e T he s a i d t he y w oul d ne ve r be c om e h or r i d c onf o r m i s t s B ut t he y a r e T he y s a i d t he y w oul d not be r ut hl e s s m a t e r i a l i s t s B u t t he y a r e I t w a s a ge ne r a t i on t ha t onc e p r i de d i t s e l f on que s t i oni ng a ut hor i t y N ow i t s onl y que s t i ons w e r e r e f e r r e d t o a ut hor i t i e s l i ke W i l l i a m s S onom a . T he i r ut opi a n vi s i ons of pe a c e l ove a nd unde r s t a ndi ng ha d be e n r e pl a c e d by ba l s a m i c dr e a m s I n t he e nd, boom e r s di dn t de l i ve r on a ny of t he i r pr om i s e s . T he y r e t r e a t e d i nt o t he de e pe s t r e c e s s e s of t he i r s ur pr i s i ngl y t i ny i nne r l i ve s T he y be c a m e f a ke s hypoc r i t e s c op out s a nd i n m a ny c a s e s out a nd out dor ks A nd t he w o r s t t hi ng w a s : M os t of t he m di dn t r e a l i z e i t ( Q ue e na n, 2001, p. 13 )

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29 W hi l e Q ue e na n s c r i t i que i s one s i de d a nd l a c ki ng i n hi s t or i c a l c ont e xt a nd c om pl e xi t y, he doe s b r i ng up c r i t i c i s m s t ha t r e s ona t e w i t hi n m e a nd ot he r c ul t ur a l c r i t i c s a s w e s e a r c h i nw a r d a nd out w a r d f or t hi s ge ne r a t i o n s i m pr i nt T he phi l os ophe r a nd w r i t e r K e n W i l bu r pr e s e nt s a not he r s c a t hi ng c r i t i que o f boom e r s i n hi s book B oom e r i t i s ( 2002) A c c or di n g t o W i l be r B oom e r i t i s i s s i m pl y pl ur a l i s m i nf e c t e d w i t h na r c i s s i s m I t i s t he c om bi na t i on of a l i be r a l e ga l i t a r i a n w or l dvi e w a nd a de e p a nd a bi di ng na r c i s s i s m H e c r e di t s t hi s ge ne r a t i on w i t h he l pi ng t o a c hi e ve s om e of t he gr e a t e s t a c hi e ve m e nt s i n s oc i a l j us t i c e H e w r i t e s : T he B oom e r s m ove d be yond t he pr e vi ous c ul t u r a l s t a ge s of t r a di t i ona l i s m a nd . s c i e nt i f i c m ode r ni s m . a nd p i one e r e d a pos t m ode r n, p l ur a l i s t i c m ul t i c ul t ur a l unde r s t a ndi ng . . A nd t ha t i s e xa c t l y w hy t he B oom e r s s pe a r he a de d c i vi l r i ght s e c ol ogi c a l c onc e r ns f e m i ni s m a nd m ul t i c ul t ur a l di ve r s i t y. T ha t i s t he 'hi gh' pa r t of t he m i xt u r e t he t r ul y i m p r e s s i ve pa r t of t he B oom e r ge ne r a t i on a nd t he e xpl os i ve r e vol ut i o ns of t he s i xt i e s ( W i l bur 2002, p. 35 36) T he s e r e vol ut i ons pa r t i a l a s t he y ha ve be e n c ha ng e d f or e ve r ou r s e ns e of hu m a n pos s i bi l i t y a nd r e f a s hi one d t he c ont our s of hum a n i de nt i t y. B ut t he l ow pa r t of boom e r s a c c or di ng t o W i l bur i s na r c i s s i s m a ge ne r a t i ona l hubr i s t ha t pr oudl y c a l l e d i t s e l f t he m e ge ne r a t i on. A c c or di ng t o W i l bur t hi s i s t he t r a gi c f l a w o f t he boom e r s a f l a w t ha t unde r m i ne s i t s c ont r i bu t i ons a nd put s i nt o j e o pa r dy t he c ul t ur e i t ha s s ha pe d. I n t he book A ge d by C ul t ur e ( 1997) M a r ga r e t G ul l e t t e s ugge s t s a m or e nua nc e d a nd c ont e xt ua l i z e d boom e r i de nt i t y one i n w hi c h w e s e r ve a s t he ot he r t o t he x ge ne r a t i on. S he s a ys t he boom e r s a r e m uc h t oo h e t e r oge ne ous t o ha ve a s i ngl e c ha r a c t e r

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30 or opi ni on ( p 44 ) Y e t now a c c or di ng t o G ul l e t t e boom e r s s e r ve a s t he ot he r i n di s c our s e w i t h x e r s s t e r e ot ype d a s gobbl i ng up j obs r e s our c e s a nd pow e r C ons e r va t i ve s us e t he w or d boom e r t o be l i t t l e t he ge ne r a t i on of 68 W he t he r t he y m e a n t he a nt i w a r pr ot e s t e r s c ount e r c ul t u r e or t he dr uggi e s ; t he s e w e r e s m a l l s ub c ohor t s not a ge ne r a t i on ( G ul l e t t e 1997 p 44 ) S he c ont i nue s N o pr e vi ous na m e d c ohor t ha s be e n s o dogge d t h r oughout l i f e by i t s l a be l a s boom e r s ha ve be e n, on s o t r i vi a l a f ounda t i on. S he quot e s K a r l M a nnhe i m s w or k on c ohor t s w ho a t t a c ke d t hos e w ho di s c ove r f i c t i t i ous ge ne r a t i ona l m ove m e nt s t o c or r e s pond t o t he c r uc i a l t ur ni ng poi nt s i n hi s t or i c a l c hr onol ogy. S uc h f i c t i ons a r e one s i de d, he w a r ne d, l i ke r a c e or na t i ona l c ha r a c t e r ( G ul l e t t e 1997, p. 57) G ul l e t t e t hi nks t ha t t he boom e r s t e r e ot ype s a r e ove r s i m pl i f i c a t i ons of t he i ndi vi dua l l i f e s t or i e s C ul t ur a l i nf l ue nc e s on a ge ne r a t i on a r e pa r t o f t he s t or y, but c e r t a i nl y not a l l of i t R a t he r t he t r ue hol y G r a i l o f t he s oc i a l s c i e nc e s i s t he e m bodi e d ps yc he i n c ul t ur e ove r t i m e ( G ul l e t t e 1997 p 141 ) T hi s i nc l ude s a n unde r s t a ndi ng of t he ps yc he a s w e l l a s e a c h i nt e r i or s e l f a nd t he f a m i l y i n f l ue nc e s t ha t bl e nd t o ge t he r t o c r e a t e a l i f e s t or y br i dgi ng t he i nt e r na l a nd t he e xt e r na l i nf l ue nc e s T om B r oka w i n hi s book B oom V oi c e s of t he Si x t i e s ( 2007) a gr e e s w i t h G ul l e t t e t ha t our un i que e xpe r i e nc e s r e s ul t i n d i f f e r e nt r e a l i t i e s a nd w or l d vi e w s t ha t gr e w out of t he s i xt i e s H e s a ys : E ve r yone w ho w e nt t hr ough t he S i x t i e s s e e s i t t hr o ugh hi s or he r ow n di s t i nc t pr i s m T he c onve nt i ona l vi e w i s t ha t i t w a s a t i m e m a i nl y of f l ow e r c hi l dr e n a nd a ngr y pr ot e s t or s of bl a c k pow e r a nd m i l i t a nt f e m i ni s m B ut i t w a s a l s o

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31 t he be gi nni ng of t he r e s ur r e c t i on of t he pol i t i c a l r i ght w hi c h ha d be e n s oundl y de f e a t e d i n 1964 ( B r oka w 2007, p. xx) O ne w a y t ha t t he s e di f f e r i ng w o r l d vi e w s a r e r e f l e c t e d i s i n our e xpr e s s i on of r e l i gi os i t y. W a de C l a r k R oof ( 1999) c onc l ude s i n Spi r i t ual M ar k e t pl ac e : B oom e r s and t he R e m ak i ng of A m e r i c an R e l i gi on t ha t t he boo m e r ge ne r a t i on i s s o pow e r f ul t ha t t he y ha ve t r a ns f or m e d t he r e l i gi ous t e r r a i n i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s a nd ha ve s t a r t e d t r e nds t ha t m a y be a l t e r i ng our m os t ba s i c c onc e pt i ons of r e l i gi on a nd s pi r i t ua l i t y ou r i nt e r pr e t a t i ons of hi s t or i c r e l i gi ous be l i e f s a nd s ym bol s a nd pe r ha ps e ve n our unde r s t a ndi ng o f t he s a c r e d i t s e l f ( R oof 1999 p 3) I n bot h o f hi s books A G e ne r at i on of Se e k e r s ( 199 4) a nd Spi r i t ual M ar k e t pl ac e ( 1999) R oof de s c r i be s t he boom e r ge ne r a t i on a s d r i ve n by a que s t not s o m uc h f or gr oup i de nt i t y a nd s oc i a l l oc a t i on a s f or a n a ut he nt i c i nne r l i f e a nd pe r s onhood ( R oof 1999, p 7) T hi s que s t ha s l e d t he boom e r s t o c ha l l e nge t he t r a di t i ona l f or m s o f r e l i gi os i t y, a nd out o f t hi s ha s e m e r ge d a r e m a ki n g of A m e r i c a n r e l i gi on T he boom e r r e l i gi ous que s t r e s ul t s i n r e s pons e s r a ngi ng f r om dogm a t i s m bor n a ga i n C hr i s t i a ns m a i ns t r e a m be l i e ve r s m e t a phys i c a l be l i e ve r s a nd s e e ke r s a nd s e c ul a r i s t s M a ny boom e r s s hop a r ound f o r r e l i gi on, a s t he y d o f or a nyt hi ng e l s e i n our c ons um e r dr i ve n c ul t ur e a nd e nd up w i t h a s ync r e t i c buf f e t of di f f e r e nt r e l i gi ous be l i e f s a nd pr a c t i c e s di f f e r e nt f r om t hos e o f p r e c e di ng ge ne r a t i ons T he r e i s a l s o a s e gm e nt of t he boom e r s a ppr ox i m a t e l y 20% ( P o r t e r f i e l d, 200 1; Z i nba ue r a nd P a r ga m e nt e t a l 1996; F ul l e r 2001) w ho de f i ne t he m s e l ve s a s s pi r i t ua l but not r e l i gi ous c hoos i ng t o di s c a r d i ns t i t ut i ona l de f i ni t i ons a nd l i m i t a t i ons o f t he i r ont ol ogi c a l gr oundi ng. I r e s e a r c he d a n d

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32 de s c r i be d t hi s phe nom e non i n m y M A t he s i s S pi r i t ua l but not R e l i gi ous f r om t he U ni ve r s i t y of S ou t h F l o r i da i n J une 2001 P e opl e i n t he U ni t e d S t a t e s ha ve a l w a ys be e n a nd c ont i nue t o be hi gh l y r e l i g i ous P ol l s i ndi c a t e t ha t 94% of A m e r i c a ns be l i e ve i n G od, 90% r e por t pr a yi ng t o G od on a r e gul a r ba s i s a nd ni ne out o f t e n c l a i m a r e l i gi ous a f f i l i a t i on ( P or t e r f i e l d, 2001, p. 3) T he s e s t a t i s t i c s ha ve not c ha nge d. W ha t ha s c ha ng e d, he s ugge s t s due t o t he boom e r s a r e t he s of t unde r c ur r e nt s : c h a nge s i n t he di s c our s e a bout G od, s e l f f a i t h, r e l i gi on a nd s pi r i t ua l i t y. F ur t he r m or e R oof s a ys t ha t r e l i gi on no l onge r e xi s t s a s w e onc e kne w i t B ounda r i e s s e pa r a t i ng one f a i t h t r a di t i on f r om a n ot he r t ha t onc e s e e m e d f i xe d a r e now bl ur r e d; r e l i gi ous i de nt i t i e s a r e m a l l e a bl e a nd m ul t i f a c e t e d, of t e n ove r l a ppi ng s e ve r a l t r a di t i ons T r e nds a nd e ve nt s s t r e t c h ou r i m a gi na t i on, e ve n a s w e t r y t o pr e di c t t he di r e c t i on of r e l i gi ous c ha nge ( R oof 1999 p. 4) I t i s not unc om m on f or i ndi vi dua l s t o s hop a r ound a s t he y w oul d f or a ny ot he r ne e d, a nd f or m t he i r ow n pa r t i c ul a r s ync r e t i c f or m o f r e l i gi os i t y m a de up of b i t s a nd pi e c e s f r om a r e l i gi on buf f e t T hi s s pi r i t ua l m a r ke t pl a c e i s pr e c e de d by t he boo m e r s a nd t he i r i de nt i f i a bl e t r a de m a r k que s t f or a n a ut he nt i c i nne r l i f e a nd pe r s onhood, a s w e l l a s bo om e r s m i s t r us t of i ns t i t ut i ons a nd f oc us on t he i ndi vi dua l a nd t he e m pha s i s on l i ve d r e l i gi on r e pl a c i ng r e l i g i ous pr a c t i c e s A s G i l l on s ugge s t e d t hough, boom e r s a r e f r a ught w i t h i nt e r na l c on f l i c t a nd t he r e s ul t s do n t t a ke a pr e di c t a bl e uni f i e d pa t h. R oof gi ve s t hi s e xa m pl e A f e w ye a r s a go a l oc a l ne w s pa pe r i n a M a s s a c hu s e t t s t ow n c a r r i e d t w o he a dl i ne s on r e l i gi ous t r e nds bot h on t he s a m e da y a nd on t he s a m e pa ge : S pi r i t ua l R e ne w a l F l our i s he s : P e opl e S e e k L e s s ons of U ni ve r s a l C hur c h

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33 a nd R e l i gi on I n f l ue nc e M a y B e F a di ng. M a ny b oom e r s e xpl or e va r i e t i e s of s pi r i t ua l i t y w hi l e ot he r s r e ve r t t o t he r e s ur ge nc e of c ons e r va t i ve f unda m e nt a l i s m a c c ount i ng f o r t he e m e r ge nc e of s e ve r a l t hous a nd m e m be r f unda m e nt a l i s t m e ga c hur c he s ( R oof 1999 p 4) A m a nda P or t e r f i e l d ( 2001 ) i n T he T r ans f or m at i on of A m e r i c an R e l i gi on a gr e e s w i t h R oof t ha t t he boo m e r ge ne r a t i on ha s r e s ha pe d t he f or m of r e l i gi on i n t he l a s t ye a r s of t he t w e nt i e t h c e nt ur y. M os t r e l i gi ous s c hol a r s pr e di c t e d a de c l i ne i n r e l i gi ons i n t he s e c ond ha l f of t he c e nt ur y ( C ox, 1969) T i m e M a ga z i ne que s t i one d I s G od D e ad? on i t s c ove r ( A pr i l 8 1966 ) C ox a nd ot he r s w e r e l a t e r t o r e c a nt t he i r pr e di c t i on i n t he f a c e of unde ni a bl e i nc r e a s i ng c hur c h m e m be r s hi p i n no nd e nom i na t i ona l f unda m e nt a l i s t c hur c he s I n hi s a r t i c l e C ount e r c ul t ur e or C ont i nui t y? C om pe t i ng I nf l ue nc e s on B oom e r s R e l i gi ous O r i e nt a t i ons a nd P a r t i c i pa t i on D a r r e n S he r ka t ( 2002 ) f ound t ha t t he r e w e r e t hr e e f a c t or s i nf l ue nc i ng boom e r s r e l i gi ous o r i e nt a t i ons a nd pa r t i c i pa t i on: 1. T r a di t i ona l a ge nt s o f s oc i a l i z a t i on ( de nom i na t i ons pa r e nt s s c hool s ) 2. L i f e c our s e f a c t or s ( m a r r i a ge d i vor c e c hi l dr e a r i ng ) 3. P a r t i c i pa t i on i n t he pr o t e s t m ove m e nt s of t he 1960 s a nd 1970 s H i s c onc l us i ons w e r e t ha t a l l of t h e s e f a c t or s ha d a n i m pa c t on r e l i gi ous or i e nt a t i on a nd c om m i t m e nt s but t ha t t r a di t i ona l s oc i a l i z a t i on f a c t or s ha ve a do m i na nt i n f l ue nc e on f ut ur e r e l i g i ous be l i e f s a nd pa r t i c i pa t i on. B oom e r s ha ve a va r i e d a nd c om pl e x s t or y l i ne de s c r i bi ng t he i r c om i ng i n t o m a t ur i t y a nd t he de c a de s s i nc e W he t he r w e a r e t he i de a l i s t i c ge ne r a t i on t ha t us he r e d i n a n e r a of c ha l l e ngi ng out da t e d i ns t i t ut i ons br i ng i ng i n a n e r a of s oc i a l j us t i c e a nd c ha nge t he

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34 na r c i s s i s t s de s c r i be d by W i l bur t he s e l l out ge ne r a t i on r a i l e d a g a i ns t by Q ue e na n, o r t he r i ght w i nge r s r e pr e s e nt e d by L i m ba ugh a nd H a nni t y, i t i s unque s t i ona bl e t ha t w e ha ve m a de our m a r k a nd t ha t our ge ne r a t i on i s m o r e c o m pl e x t ha n c a n be de s c r i be d i n a r e duc t i oni s t m onol i t h i c a na l ys i s

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35 C om i ng of A ge i n 1968 M y c ohor t of boom e r s t hos e bor n i n 1947, t ur ne d t w e nt y one i n 1968 T he Y e ar t hat R oc k e d t he W or l d ( K u r l a ns ky, 2004 ) K ur l a ns ky s t a t e s t ha t T he r e ha s ne ve r be e n a ye a r l i ke 1968 a nd i t i s unl i ke l y t ha t t he r e w i l l e ve r be one a ga i n A t a t i m e w he n na t i ons a nd c ul t ur e s w e r e s t i l l s e pa r a t e a nd ve r y di f f e r e nt . t he r e oc c ur r e d a s pont a ne ous c om bus t i on of r e be l l i ous s pi r i t s a r ound t he w or l d ( K ur l a ns ky, 2004 p xvi i i ) K u r l a ns ky s a ys t ha t f our hi s t or i c e ve nt s c onve r ge d i n 1968 t o i gni t e t he c om bus t i on: T he e xa m pl e of t he c i vi l r i ght s m ove m e nt ; a ge ne r a t i on t ha t f e l t s o a l i e na t e d a nd s o di f f e r e nt t ha t i t r e j e c t e d a l l f o r m s of a ut hor i t y; a w a r t ha t w a s s o ha t e d a r ound t he w or l d t ha t i t p r ovi de d a c a us e f or a l l of t he r e be l s s e e ki ng one ; a nd a l l of t hi s oc c u r r i ng a t t he m om e nt t ha t t e l e vi s i on w a s c om i ng of a ge but w a s s t i l l ne w e nough not t o be c om e di s t i l l e d, c ont r ol l e d a nd pa c ka ge d, l i ke i t i s t oda y ( K ur l a ns ky, 2004, p. xvi i i ) I t w a s dur i ng t hi s ye a r t ha t M a r t i n L ut he r K i ng a n d B obby K e nne dy w e r e a s s a s s i na t e d a nd hundr e ds of A m e r i c a n l i ve s w e r e l os t i n t he T e t O f f e ns i ve of t he V i e t na m W a r L ooki ng ba c k, t hi s ye a r s i gni f i c a nt l y a f f e c t e d t he pa t h m y l i f e t ook T he e ve nt s of 1968 s hook m e t o m y c or e a nd c ha l l e ng e d e ve r y be l i e f a nd l oya l t y t o G od a nd c ount r y t ha t I p r e vi ous l y he l d.

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36 T he St or y of B oom e r s P r e s e nt W e B e gi n t o T ur n Si x t y I n t he ye a r 2006, our c ur r e nt P r e s i de nt G e or ge W B us h t ur ne d s i xt y, a nd t hr e e w e e ks l a t e r our m os t r e c e nt pa s t p r e s i de nt B i l l C l i nt on, a l s o r e a c he d hi s s e ve nt h de c a de A c c or di ng t o r e po r t s he w a s not t oo t hr i l l e d w i t h t he e xpe r i e nc e I ha t e i t i t s t r ue F or m os t of m y w or ki ng l i f e I w a s t he younge s t pe r s o n doi ng w ha t e ve r I w a s doi ng t he n one da y I w oke up a nd I w a s t he ol de s t pe r s on i n t he r o om G a r r i s on K e i l l or o f A P r a i r i e H om e C om pa ni on f a m e s a i d: I t ur ne d s i xt y l a s t w e e k a nd i t s no p i c ni c a nd a nybody w ho s a ys s o i s w hi s t l i ng i n t he da r k ( R e ut e r s A ugus t 18, 2006 ) G a i l S he e hy a ut hor of P as s age s ( 1984 ) ha s a di f f e r e nt vi e w S he r e c ount s t ha t s he e nj oys t he f r e e dom o f be i ng i n he r s i xt i e s E a r l i e r on i n l i f e pe opl e a r e bound by r ol e s s uc h a s s t ude nt a ppr e nt i c e s pous e or pa r e nt B ut a f t e r 50, w e c a n f i na l l y be t r ul y our s e l ve s ( H e a l t h N e w s D i ge s t 2006, p 12 ) A l o ng w i t h G e or ge a nd B i l l a nd m ys e l f A r nol d S w a r z e ne gge r S uz a nne S om e r s D i a ne K e a t on, D ona l d T r um p a nd S t e ve n S pi e l be r g w i l l a l s o be c om e s e xa ge na r i a ns a l ong w i t h a bout 8 000 ot he r boom e r s a da y ( R e ut e r s A ugus t 18, 2006) S i xt y i s t out e d a s t he ne w f o r t y, a c c or di ng t o A A R P e xe c ut i ve di r e c t or S he r e e n R e m e z Y ou s e e boom e r s buyi ng H a r l e y D a vi ds ons a nd t a ki ng of f on a t r i p bu t boom e r s a r e a l s o c ont i nui ng t o w or k be c a us e t he y di dn t s a ve l i ke t he i r pa r e nt s T he y us e d c r e di t c a r ds ( A A R P J ul y 5, 2006) K e n D yc ht w a l d, a ut hor of s e ve r a l bo oks on a gi ng i nc l udi ng T he P ow e r Y e ar s : A U s e r s G ui de t o t he R e s t of Y our L i f e s a ys w e l l s e e huge di f f e r e nc e s i n t he w a y boom e r s a ppr oa c h t hi s m i l e s t one T he boom e r s w i l l ne ve r t hi nk of t he m s e l ve s a s s e ni or s T hi s gr oup i s de t e r m i ne d t o g r ow ol d you ng ( D yc ht w a l d, 2005 p i x )

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37 T he A m e r i c a n A s s oc i a t i on of R e t i r e d pe r s ons w e nt di r e c t l y t o boom e r s t o ge t t he i r t hought s on t ur ni ng s i xt y i n M a r c h a nd A pr i l of 20 06. T he y c om pl e t e d t e l e phone i nt e r vi e w s w i t h a na t i ona l l y r e pr e s e nt a t i ve s a m pl e of 800 r e s po nde nt s bor n i n 1946. T he r e s ul t s s how e d t ha t of t he s e boom e r s t u r ni ng 60 i n 2006: M os t r e m a i ne d s ubs t a nt i a l l y s a t i s f i e d w i t h t he i r l i v e s ( 77% ) w hi l e be i ng opt i m i s t i c f or a n e ve n be t t e r f ut u r e a nd m a ki ng pl a ns t o br i ng a bout t ha t r e s ul t ( onl y 1 % s a w a ge a s a ba r r i e r t o a c hi e vi ng t he i r goa l s ) ; vi r t ua l l y a l l r e s ponde nt s ha d s om e s ubs t a nt i a l l i f e c ha nge t he y w a nt e d t o m a ke ( 87 % w a nt e d t o t a ke be t t e r c a r e of t he i r phys i c a l he a l t h) 48% w e r e A A R P m e m be r s c om pa r e d w i t h 30% of a l l e l i gi bl e boom e r s ; a nd w or k w a s l i ke l y t o c ont i nue t o pl a y a m a j or r ol e i n t he i r l i ve s ( 54% w e r e s t i l l w or ki ng, c om pa r e d w i t h 74 % o f a l l boom e r s a nd 14% of t hos e not w or ki ng pl a nne d t o go ba c k t o w or k i n t he ne xt f e w ye a r s ) T hi r t y s e ve n pe r c e nt r e ga r de d t u r ni ng 60 a s m or e s i gni f i c a nt t ha n t ur ni ng 50. T w e nt y t w o pe r c e nt w a nt e d t o l i ve t o be c e nt e na r i a ns a nd 9% e xpe c t e d t o l i ve pa s t 100. R e s ponde nt s w ho w e r e w o r ki ng w e r e m or e l i ke l y t o be s a t i s f i e d w i t h t he i r l i ve s t ha n t hos e not w or ki ng ( 81% vs 6 0% ) ( A A R P J ul y 5 2006) T he A A R P a l s o a s ke d boom e r s i n t hi s s a m e i nt e r vi e w a bout t he i r w i s he s a nd dr e a m s O ne o f t he ge ne r a t i ona l s t e r e ot ype s a bout boom e r s i s t ha t t he y a r e i de a l i s t i c a nd c ha nge a ge nt s H ow e ve r w he n a s ke d i f t he y c oul d ha ve a nyt hi ng i n t he w or l d t he y w a nt e d f or t he i r s i xt i e t h bi r t hda y, onl y 1% a s ke d f or w or l d pe a c e M os t a s ke d f o r he a l t h, l ove c om pa ni ons hi p, a nd m one y.

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38 I n s um m a t i on, e ve r y da y ne w a r t i c l e s a nd books c om e out a na l yz i ng boom e r s t ur ni ng s i xt y a nd a s ki ng que s t i ons a bout t he m : ho w t he y s pe nd t he i r m one y; ho w t he y ha ve a ge d; w he t he r t he y a r e opt i m i s t s or pe s s i m i s t s ( R i ggs a nd T ur ne r 2000) ; t he i r de gr e e of c i vi c e nga ge m e nt ( W i l s on, 2006 ) ; e t c T hi s ge ne r a t i on s pow e r a nd c l ou t i s obvi ous f r om t he a m ount o f di s c us s i on ge ne r a t e d b y t he m D e s pi t e t he i r num be r s or m a ybe be c a us e of i t t he r e i s not j us t one m onol i t hi c w a y of be i ng a boom e r B oom e r s ha ve t a ke n a nd c ont i nue t o t a ke va r i e d pa t hs f o r v a r i e d r e a s ons W e c a n e xpe c t no t hi ng e l s e a s t he y a ge

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39 T he St or y of B oom e r s F ut ur e T he E l de r Y e ar s S ur e l y, t h e r e ha s ne ve r be e n a ge ne r a t i on w hos e r e t i r e m e nt ha s be e n s o di s c us s e d, a na l yz e d, f e a r e d, a nd a nt i c i pa t e d. T he boom e r s a r e c om i ng e c hoe d f r om t he ha l l s of C ongr e s s ( U ni t e d S t a t e s C ongr e s s S e na t e S pe c i a l C om m i t t e e on A gi ng ) T he S e na t e C om m i t t e e m e t i n 1999 t o a nt i c i pa t e w ha t t he y a nd ot he r s f e a r e d w oul d be a c r i s i s t o t he he a l t h c a r e s oc i a l s e c ur i t y a nd M e di c a r e s ys t e m s M a ny ot he r c ongr e s s i ona l he a r i ngs ha ve l ooke d a t t hi s i s s ue I n 2001 t he S e na t e c on duc t e d a he a r i ng be f o r e t he S pe c i a l C om m i t t e e on A gi ng t ha t a ddr e s s e d l ong t e r m c a r e a nd a s ke d t he que s t i on, W ho w i l l c a r e f or t he a gi ng boom e r s ? A ga i n, i n M a r c h 200 2, t he S e na t e C om m i t t e e on A gi ng a ddr e s s e d t he c os t c r i s i s of l ong t e r m c a r e f o r boo m e r s M a ny s e e t he a gi ng of boom e r s a s a pr obl e m t o be s ol ve d t ha t t hr e a t e ns o ur s ys t e m of he a l t h a nd c a r e a s w e l l a s t he f e de r a l budge t ( L e e a nd S ki nne r 1999; K ni c k m a n a nd S ne l l 2002; K os t e r l i t z 2005 ) B ut a l ong w i t h t he pos s i bl e f i na nc i a l c r i s i s of t hi s huge popul a t i on a gi ng, m a ny ha ve a nt i c i pa t e d bot h t he qua l i t y a s w e l l a s t he pos s i bi l i t y of how boom e r s m i ght r e de f i ne a nd r e c ons t r uc t a gi ng ( F r e e dm a n, 1999; G e r ge n, 2004; R e ynol ds 2003) E ve r yt hi ng f r om our pot e nt i a l d r ug us e bot h l e ga l a nd i l l e ga l ( C ol l i ve r e t a l 2006; P a t e r s on, 1999) ; o ur t r a ve l ha bi t s ( M ul l e r 2000; P e ddu, 2000) ; our t e c hnol ogy ne e ds ( C oughl i n, 2005) ; our hous i ng ne e ds ( W a xm a n, 2001) ; our de gr e e of c i vi c i nvol ve m e nt ( W i l s on, 2006) ; a nd ou r t a s t e i n m us i c ( B um s 1996 ) ; ha s be e n w r i t t e n a bo ut a nd di s s e c t e d. O n J a nua r y 6 2007 a s e a r c h on G oogl e f o r a gi ng o f t he boom e r ge ne r a t i on yi e l de d ove r 600, 000 r e s pons e s B e s i de s he a l t h a nd r e t i r e m e nt t he t opi c s w r i t t e n m os t a bout boom e r s a r e m a r ke t i ng t o t he m a nd how t he y w i l l s pe nd t he i r m one y. E ve r yone s e e m s t o w a nt a pi e c e o f t he t w o t r i l l i on do l l a r a nnua l s pe ndi ng a c t i on of t hi s ge ne r a t i on, t out e d a s t he r i c he s t a nd m os t

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40 pow e r f ul ge ne r a t i on ( G i l l on, 2004) I n t he St P e t e r s bur g T i m e s t w o ye a r s a go ( A ugus t 6, 2006 p 1) a n a r t i c l e p r oc l a i m e d: B a nk on i t : boom e r s a r e buye r s t ha t s t he t he or y be hi nd ne w m a ga z i ne s W e b s i t e s a nd ot he r m e di a a i m e d a t a ge ne r a t i on s t a r t i ng t o t ur n 60. T he a r t i c l e r e por t s t ha t t he f ounde r o f M ons t e r c om i s bu i l di ng a n on l i ne s oc i a l ne t w or k a na l ogous t o M ys pa c e c om f or t he boom e r ge ne r a t i on. E ve r yone w a nt s t o know w ha t t he buyi ng ha bi t s o f boom e r s w i l l be ( G i s t 1999 ; M os c hi s e t a l 2000) ( F u r no L a m udl e 1994 ; M or ga n, 2002; T ur ne r 2006 ) O ne a r t i c l e M a r ke t i ng t o l e a di ng a ge boom e r s : pe r c e pt i ons pr i nc i pl e s pr a c t i c e s p r e di c t i o ns ( G r e e n, 2006 p 4) s ugge s t s t ha t boom e r s w i l l not t ol e r a t e t ype c a s t i ng, s t e r e ot ype s pa nde r i ng, or a ge i s m T he a ut ho r s a ys t ha t boom e r s w i l l e xpe c t s t yl i s h pr oduc t s a nd w i l l w a nt t he s e pr oduc t s t o s pe a k t o e nvi r onm e nt a l a nd s us t a i na bi l i t y va l ue s a m ong ot he r s A not he r a r e a of c onc e r n a bout boom e r s i s w ha t t he i m pa c t w i l l be a s t he y l e a ve t he w or kf or c e C onve r s e l y, s om e a r e c onc e r ne d t ha t t he y w i l l ne ve r l e a ve t he w or k f or c e I f a nd w he n t he y do, be c a us e of t he i r l a r ge num be r s m a ny a nt i c i pa t e a s h or t a ge of w or ke r s a nd e xpe r t i s e S om e hope t o t ur n B oom e r s i nt o B oom e r a ngs ( T he E c onom i s t F e br ua r y 16 2006) S om e pr ogr e s s i ve c om pa ni e s l i ke T oyot a a r e a da pt i ng t he i r w or ks t a t i ons t o ol de r w o r ke r s I n t he ye a r 2008, m a ny boom e r s w ho c ons i de r e d r e t i r i ng or w ho ha ve r e t i r e d a r e a f f e c t e d by t he e c onom i c dow nt ur n a nd a r e c ons i de r i ng pos t poni ng r e t i r e m e nt o r r e t ur ni ng t o w or k I n a ddi t i on m a ny of t he ove r s i xt y c r ow d a r e s t i l l vi b r a nt a nd he a l t hy a nd w a nt i ng t o m a ke a c ont r i but i on. S om e a r e pos t poni ng r e t i r e m e nt ; s a yi ng t he y w i l l ne ve r r e t i r e or be gi nni ng w ha t M a r c F r e e dm a n r e c e nt l y c a l l e d e nc or e c a r e e r s

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41 de s c r i be d i n a book o f t he s a m e na m e ( F r e e dm a n, 2007) A n e nc or e c a r e e r c om bi ne s c ont i nue d i nc om e m e a ni ng a nd pur pos e a nd s oc i a l i m pa c t A c c or di n g t o J ohn G om pe r t s pr e s i de nt of C i vi c V e nt ur e s a t hi nk t a n k on a gi ng a nd w or k a l m os t t e n pe r c e nt of t hos e be t w e e n 44 70 a r e e nga ge d i n e nc or e c a r e e r s ( N a t i ona l P ubl i c R a di o, A l l T hi ngs C ons i de r e d, J ul y 24 2008) w i t h t he pr oj e c t i on t ha t m o r e boom e r s w i l l e m br a c e t he s e c a r e e r s pa s t s i xt y. T hough t he r e a r e m a ny a r t i c l e s a nd r e f e r e nc e s t o b oom e r s a gi ng, I ha ve f ound not hi ng a bout boom e r s s pe c i f i c a l l y de a l i ng w i t h t h e a c c um ul a t e d l os s e s of a l i f e t i m e ; how t he s e l os s e s ha ve a f f e c t e d t he i r l i f e t r a j e c t or i e s ; a nd how t he y a r e t hi nki ng a bout a nd f e e l i ng a bout t he i r ow n de a t hs I ha ve f ound a f e w r e f e r e nc e s a bout t he pr oc e s s of c om pl e t i ng a l i f e r e vi e w ( B ut l e r 1974; H a l e vi 19 80; M e r r i a m 1993) but m os t of t ha t r e s e a r c h w a s c om pl e t e d pr i or t o t he a gi ng of t he b oom e r s A n a r t i c l e w a s w r i t t e n on T he I m pa c t o f M ul t i pl e L os s e s on t he G r i e vi ng P r oc e s s ( M e r c e r 2006) c onc l udi ng t ha t t he gr i e vi ng p r oc e s s m a y be e ve n m or e di f f i c ul t i n c i r c um s t a nc e s w he r e t he r e a r e a n a c c um ul a t i on of l os s e s B oom e r s c a n t do a nyt hi n g w i t hout a n a udi e nc e a nd a gi ng i s no e xc e pt i on. W hi l e t hous a nds of a r t i c l e s a nd books ha ve be e n w r i t t e n a bout t he gr a yi ng of t he boom e r s i t s e e m s a ppr opr i a t e t ha t w e de f i ne our ow n a gi ng, a s w e ha ve done e ve r yt hi ng e l s e T hi s s t or y i s onl y now be gi nni ng t o unr a ve l T he m i dd l e a nd e ndi ng c ha pt e r s ha ve ye t t o be w r i t t e n. A s I r e f l e c t upon m y l i f e t he l os s e s ha ve pi l e d on ove r t he ye a r s L os s e s due t o t he de a t h of f r i e nds l ove d one s pa r e nt s be l ove d pe t s ; a s w e l l a s l os s e s of j obs yout h m obi l i t y, s t a t us a nd pe r s ona l pow e r de c or a t e t he l a nds c a pe of m y l i f e A nd, t he ol de r I

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42 ge t t he m o r e l ove d one s I l os e a nd t he i ne vi t a bi l i t y of m y phys i c a l de c l i ne a ppr oa c he s A s I t hi nk a bout m y c l a s s m a t e s I know t ha t I c a n t pos s i bl y be a l one i n t hi s A l l o f us ha ve l os t l ove d one s M os t i f not a l l ha ve a l r e a dy l os t t he i r pa r e nt s S om e ha ve l os t t he i r c hi l dr e n H ow doe s one go on? W ha t i s t he pr oc e s s by w hi c h w e m a ke s e ns e of t he s e l os s e s a nd c ont i nue on c r e a t i ng a l i f e know i ng t ha t w e w i l l e ve nt ua l l y l os e e ve n our ow n l i ve s ? I a m s ur p r i s e d ot he r s ha ve not e xpl or e d t hi s a s pe c t of l i ve d hum a n e xpe r i e nc e P e r ha ps a s s om e of m y f r i e nds ha ve s ugge s t e d, I a m m or bi d B ut I c a n t he l p but be l i e ve t ha t i f w e a r e a bl e t o t e l l our ow n pe r s ona l s t or i e s of l os s c opi ng a nd s e ns e m a ki ng r e ga r di ng a gi ng, de a t h a nd l os s ; t ha t t h i s w i l l be c om f o r t i nf o r m a t i on, a nd c om pa ni ons hi p t o ot he r s goi ng t hr ough t he s a m e e xpe r i e nc e ( w hi c h i nc l ude s e ve r yone e ve nt ua l l y) A s I a ppr oa c h m y s i xt i e s a nd hope f ul l y s e ve nt i e s a nd o n, w ha t c om f or t i t pr ovi de s m e t o r e f l e c t upon t hi s s ha r e d hum a n e xp e r i e nc e A f e w poe t s M a y S a r t on ( 1991) f or one w r i t e a bo ut t he e m ot i ona l e voc a t i ve a nd s om e t i m e s gut w r e nc hi ng m om e nt s of l os s a nd a gi ng. T hr oughout he r l a s t de c a de s s he w r i t e s a bout t he de a t h a nd a bs e nc e of l ove d one s a nd of m ovi ng t o t he c ount r y of ol d a ge ( S a r t on 1991 p 141 ) D e s pi t e t he c um ul a t i ve l os s e s of l i vi ng t o s e ve nt y a nd be yond, s he c oul d s t i l l pr oc l a i m I a m m or e m ys e l f t ha n I ha ve e ve r be e n ( S a r t on 1999, p 2 80) I ha ve f ound c om f o r t i n he r w or ds a nd he r s t or y I hope t he s t or i e s t ha t I a m a bl e t o t e l l w i l l pr ovi de c om f or t t o ot he r s a s t h e y go t hr ough t he i r l a t e r ye a r s c ope w i t h t he de a t h o f l ove d one s a nd a nt i c i pa t e t he i r o w n. I n or de r t o r e i nve nt a nd r e s t or y na r r a t i ve s o f a gi n g, w e ha ve t o f a c e t he t e r r or t ha t a gi ng por t e nds : de a t h A t t i t ude s a nd p r a c t i c e s a bout de a t h ha ve c ha nge d s om e w ha t due

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43 t o t he books a nd i de a s of pe opl e l i ke E l i z a be t h K ubl e r R os s a nd t he i ns t i t ut i ona l i z a t i on of t he hos pi c e m ove m e nt i n ou r c ul t ur e i n t he l a s t t hr e e de c a de s Y e t i t s t i l l s e e m s t ha t t he i de a s pr e s e nt e d i n B e c ke r s D e ni al of D e at h ( 1 973) a r e s t i l l pr e va l e nt B e c ke r c ont e nds t ha t of a l l t he t hi ngs t ha t m ove m e n one of t he m os t pr i nc i pl e i s t he t e r r or of de a t h ( B e c ke r 1973, p. 11) W i l l i a m J a m e s c a l l e d de a t h t he w or m a t t he c or e of m a n s pr e t e ns i on t o ha ppi ne s s ( B e c ke r p. 14) I n or de r t o l i ve da y t o da y, m os t hum a ns r e pr e s s t hi s t hought a nd t hr ow t he m s e l ve s i nt o t he i r l i ve s T hi s r e pr e s s i on, how e ve r t a ke s i t s t ol l ( P i ve n, 20 03) I t r e s ul t s i n a nxi e t y c om pul s i ons a ddi c t i ons a nd f r e ne t i c l i vi ng r un ni ng a w a y f r om t he ba s i c r e a l i t y of our e xi s t e nc e I t i s t hi s f r e ne t i c da y t o da y l i vi ng t ha t di s c our a ge s pe opl e f r om que s t i oni ng t he i r l i ve s B e c ke r s ugge s t t ha t t o de a l w i t h t he t e r r or de a t h: M a n t hr ow s hi m s e l f i nt o a c t i on unc r i t i c a l l y unt hi n ki ngl y. H e a c c e pt s t he c ul t ur a l pr og r a m m i ng t ha t t ur ns hi s nos e w he r e he i s s uppos e d t o l ook. H e doe s n t bi t e t he w o r l d of f i n one pi e c e a s a g i a nt w oul d, bu t i n s m a l l m a na ge a bl e pi e c e s a s a be a ve r doe s ( B e c ke r 1973, p. 32) A s w e ge t ol de r i t i s m or e di f f i c ul t t o s uppr e s s t he r e a l i t y o f ou r ow n m or t a l i t y a nd t o f a c e t he e nd of ou r l i ve s R e m i nde r s a r e a s r e a l a s our l a s t c ol onos c opy a nd our l a s t f r i e nd s f une r a l I hope t ha t by r e f l e c t i ng upon a nd e xpos i ng our e xpe r i e nc e o f t he de a t h of l ove d one s a nd t hought s a bout our ow n de a t h, t ha t w e c a n be gi n t o l i ve m o r e ha r m oni ous l y w i t h t he hum a n c ondi t i on of m or t a l i t y, a nd f i nd c om f or t i n ou r w a ni ng ye a r s A s t h e s t or y of t he a gi ng a nd c opi ng w i t h l o s s of t he s e a gi ng boom e r s unf ol ds I a t t e m pt t o b r i ng i nt o t he ope n t he i nt e r na l c onve r s a t i ons a nd s e ns e m a ki ng a bout l i vi ng w i t h l os s a nd m or t a l i t y t ha t boo m e r s a r e e xpe r i e nc i ng a s w e be gi n our s i xt i e s

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44 R e uni ons A s I be ga n t he r e s e a r c h f or t hi s di s s e r t a t i on, I l ook e d f i r s t t o s e e w ha t l i t e r a t u r e w a s a va i l a bl e a bout r e uni ons T hi s w a s t he or i gi na l s i t e of m y r e a c qua i nt a nc e w i t h m y c l a s s m a t e s a nd m y m ot i va t i on t o t e l l t hi s s t or y I di s c ove r e d t ha t V e r e d V i ni t z ky S e r ous s i ha s w r i t t e n t he book t ha t a l l t he ot he r s ou r c e s I f ound c i t e d A f t e r P om p and C i r c um s t an c e : H i gh Sc hool R e uni on as an A ut obi ogr aphi c al O c c as i on ( 1998) A s oc i ol ogi s t V i ni t z ky S e r ous s i di gs de e pl y i nt o r e u ni ons a nd t he i r s oc i ol ogi c a l m e a ni ngs H e s a ys t ha t : H i gh s c hool r e uni ons a l t hough e pi s odi c a nd une ve nl y a t t e nde d, a r e a c r i t i c a l va nt a ge poi nt f r om w hi c h t o m a ke s e ns e of i de nt i t y i n c ont e m por a r y A m e r i c a W ha t i s m os t r e m a r ka bl e a bout r e uni ons i s t he t hor oughne s s w i t h w hi c h t he y t e l e s c ope t h e l i f e c o ur s e a s t he y br i ng t he pr e s e nt i nt o c ont a c t w i t h t he pa s t ( V i ni t z ky S e r ou s s i 1998, p 4 ) T he oc c a s i on of r e uni ons pr ovi de s f o r m e a nd f o r m y c l a s s m a t e s a c r i t i c a l m om e nt t o ope n a w i ndow t o ou r pa s t a nd t o our i de nt i t y bot h i ndi vi dua l a nd ge ne r a t i ona l A s s t a t e d l ong a go by H a l bw a c hs m e m or i e s a r e m or e of t e n t ha n not unf ol de d a nd s us t a i ne d w i t hi n t he r i ght s oc i a l a nd s pa t i a l c ont e xt H e nc e r e j oi ni ng pe opl e w ho s ha r e d pa s t t i m e s a s w e l l a s r e t ur ni ng t o one s c hi l dhood di s t r i c t pr ovi de s a l oc us f r om w hi c h que s t i ons a bout w ho one w a s s t a nd a c ha nc e of be i ng a ns w e r e d ( V i ni t s ky S e r ous s i 1998, p. 90) V i ni t s ky S e r ous s i s ugge s t s t ha t a l t hough r e uni ons onl y l a s t a bout f i ve hour s a nd a r e t i ght l y r i t ua l i z e d, t he y c a n ha ve l a s t i ng e m ot i ona l c on s e que nc e s f or r e t ur ne e s I know t ha t w a s t r ue f o r m e R e t ur ni ng f r om hundr e ds of m i l e s a w a y, a nd s e e i ng ol d f r i e nds a nd

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45 a c qua i nt a nc e s w hom I ha dn t s e e n f o r de c a de s br o ught ba c k a f l ood of m e m or i e s a nd r e m i nde d m e of t he pe r s on I w a s t he n T he e xpe r i e nc e t hr e w m e i nt o m ont hs of r e f l e c t i on a nd s e l f e va l ua t i on a s I r e m e m be r e d t he dr e a m s a nd goa l s I ha d a s a hi gh s c hool s t ude nt a nd c om pa r e d t hos e t o w ha t I ha ve a c c om pl i s he d by m y s i xt i e t h ye a r V i ni s ky S e r ous s i a l s o pr opos e s t ha t r e uni ons a r e a uni que s i t e f or t he pe r f or m a nc e of i de nt i t y, a t w hi c h our pa s t a nd p r e s e nt s e l ve s c om e t oge t he r H e s a ys t ha t r e uni ons a c t a s a m i r r o r r e f l e c t i ng our s t r uggl e t o m a i nt a i n a s e ns e of pe r s ona l c ohe r e nc e a nd c ont i nui t y ove r t he l i f e c our s e T ha t c e r t a i nl y w a s m y e xpe r i e nc e a t m y f o r t i e t h r e uni on, a nd f r om m y c onve r s a t i ons w i t h c l a s s m a t e s t he r e uni on s e e m e d t o be a c a t a l ys t f or a r e f l e c t i ve t ur n i nw a r d O t he r a r t i c l e s ha ve be e n w r i t t e n i n r e s pons e t o V i ni t s ky S e r ous s i s book ( C a hi l l 2001; Z us s m a n, 2000 ) e l a bor a t i ng on hi s c onc l us i ons a nd di s c us s i ng r e uni ons a s a ut obi ogr a phi c a l oc c a s i ons K I ke da c hr oni c l e d hi gh s c hool r e uni ons a nd i de nt i t y i n m i ddl e A m e r i c a i n he r book A R oom f ul o f M i r r or s ( 1998) R e uni ons hol d s uc h a pl a c e i n our c ul t ur e t ha t t he y ha ve e ve n be e n e l e va t e d t o t h e he i ght s / de pt hs of r e a l i t y t e l e vi s i on w i t h a ne w s how de di c a t e d t o r e uni ons T hi s e xpe r i e nc e e xi s t s i n our c ul t ur e a s a n i c oni c s ym bol of l i f e pa s s a ge s a nd m y f o r t i e t h r e uni on a nd t he s ubs e que nt c l a s s s i xt i e t h bi r t hda y r e uni on w a s a n e xc e l l e nt s i t e f o r t hi s e xpl or a t i on i nt o t he l i f e na r r a t i ve s o f boom e r s

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46 D e s c r i pt i on of t he St P i us X C l as s of 1965 T he 1965 g r a dua t i ng c l a s s of S t P i us t he X C a t hol i c H i gh S c hool l oc a t e d i n t he s ubur bs of t he g r ow i ng s out he r n c i t y of A t l a nt a ha d on e hundr e d a nd f o r t y e i ght s t ude nt s s m a l l by t oda y s s t a nda r ds I t w a s a r a c i a l l y a nd e t hni c a l l y hom oge ne ous gr oup, m os t l y w hi t e E ur ope a n ( l a r ge l y I r i s h) w i t h no A f r i c a n A m e r i c a ns or A s i a ns a nd onl y a f e w H i s pa ni c s A f e w m i l e s a w a y, i n dow nt ow n A t l a nt a S t J os e ph s H i gh S c hool w a s m or e r a c i a l l y di ve r s e a nd i nc l ude d A f r i c a n A m e r i c a n s t ude nt s M os t s t ude nt s f r om S t P i us w e r e C a t hol i c a nd ha d a t t e nde d C a t hol i c e l e m e nt a r y s c hool s A l m os t a l l of our t e a c he r s w e r e m e m be r s of f our o r de r s of nuns : t he S i s t e r s of N ot r e D a m e de N a m ur t he S i s t e r s of M e r c y, t he G r e y N uns a nd t he S i s t e r s of S t J os e ph. M os t s t ude nt s w e r e m i ddl e t o uppe r c l a s s I c hos e t hi s gr oup be c a us e t he y s ha r e m a ny c ha r a c t e r i s t i c s a nd a c om m on c ul t u r a l hi s t or y. B e c a us e I a m a m e m be r of t hi s gr oup t he y a l s o a r e a c c e s s i bl e t o m e f o r s t udy. T he y r e pr e s e nt a t l e a s t one s t r a t um o f pe opl e w ho t ur ne d t w e nt y one i n 1968, t he ye a r t ha t r oc ke d t he w o r l d ( K u r l a ns ky, 2005 ) R e f l e c t i ng on m y l i f e t r a j e c t or y, c om i ng of a ge i n 1968 ha d a s i gni f i c a n t i m pa c t on m e I s e t ou t o n t hi s r e s e a r c h t o de t e r m i ne w ha t i m pa c t i f a ny, i t ha d on m y c l a s s m a t e s

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47 C ha pt e r F i ve M e t hodol ogi c a l A ppr oa c h Q ual i t at i v e / I nt e r pr e t i v e M e t hods A s I be ga n t hi s r e s e a r c h, I s e t out t o e nt e r t he c onv e r s a t i on a bout t he l i f e s t or i e s a nd l i ve d e xpe r i e nc e of ba by boom e r s t u r ni ng s i xt y, s pe c i f i c a l l y m y hi gh s c hool gr a dua t i ng c l a s s S e t t i ng a bout t hi s p r oj e c t I c hos e t o l e t t he q ue s t i ons e m e r ge e m pl oyi ng t he t e c hni que de s c r i be d by L a ur e l R i c ha r ds on, w r i t i ng a s a m e a ns of i nqu i r y ( 2000) T hr ough t he pr oc e s s of t he w r i t i ng a nd t r a ns c r i bi ng a nd i nt e r vi e w i ng, t he s t or y t ook on i t s ow n l i f e W ha t e m e r ge d w e r e que s t i ons c onc e r ni ng t ur ni ng poi nt s s e ns e / m e a ni ng m a ki ng; a gi ng, l os s a nd r e s i l i e nc e T he na r r a t i ve s i nc l ude d c om i ng of a ge i n t he f i f t i e s s i xt i e s a nd s e ve nt i e s ; t he m a t ur a t i on ye a r s i n t he e i ght i e s a nd ni ne t i e s ; a nd t he l a t e r ye a r s 2000 a nd be yond. T o t e l l t hi s s t or y I us e d qua l i t a t i ve i nt e r pr e t i ve t o ol s t ha t i nc l ude d a ut oe t hnogr a phy e t hnogr a phy, pa r t i c i pa nt obs e r va t i on, f i e l d no t e s i nt e r a c t i ve i nt e r vi e w i ng, a nd w r i t i ng a s a m e t hod of i nqui r y I nt e r pr e t i ve m e t hods i m pl y t h e a w a r e ne s s t ha t t he r e a r e a m u l t i t ude of s t or i e s a nd r e a l i t i e s a nd t ha t t he s e s t or i e s a r e a l w a ys r e pr e s e nt e d t hr ough t he l e ns o f t he one t e l l i ng t he s t or y. T he r e a r e t he n m u l t i pl e na r r a t i ve s not j us t one t r ut h t ha t e xi s t s a bout a pa r t i c ul a r gr oup of pe opl e I do not a t t e m p t t o t e l l t he s t or y onl y m y i nt e r pr e t a t i on, ba s e d upon t he s t or i e s a nd da t a t ha t I w a s a bl e t o g l e a n t hr ough m y r e s e a r c h.

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48 P r oc e dur al M e t hodol ogy L i ke a l l s t or i e s t hi s s t or y ha s a be gi nni ng, a nd f or t he pur pos e of t hi s di s s e r t a t i on, i t a l s o ha s a n e nd. T he ope ni ng oc c ur r e d a s di d t he i de a f or t h i s di s s e r t a t i on a t t he f or t i e t h hi gh s c hool r e uni on o f m y hi gh s c hool g r a dua t i ng c l a s s T he i n t r oduc t or y s c e ne w a s w r i t t e n ba s e d upon m y f i e l d not e s of t he r e uni on; c onve r s a t i ons t ha t I ha d w i t h c l a s s m a t e s dur i ng t he e ve nt ; a nd pe r s ona l j our na l e nt r i e s i m m e di a t e l y be f o r e du r i ng a nd a f t e r t he r e uni on T he ne xt c ha pt e r s a r e t he na r r a t i ve s of f i ve m e n a n d w om e n of t he c l a s s of 65. I s e nt out a m e s s a ge t o t he c l a s s e m a i l l i s t pul l e d t og e t he r by t he a l um ni o f f i c e a nd t he f or t i e t h r e uni on c om m i t t e e T he l i s t w a s m a de up of one hund r e d a nd s i x c l a s s m a t e s a nd t he m e s s a ge a nnounc e d m y pr oj e c t a nd a s ke d f o r p a r t i c i pa nt s S e ve r a l e m a i l s c a m e ba c k unde l i ve r a bl e S e ve n c l a s s m a t e s r e s ponde d t ha t t he y w oul d be i nt e r e s t e d i n pa r t i c i pa t i ng i n t he s t udy. I t w a s not s ur pr i s i ng t o m e t ha t m os t of t he i ndi v i dua l s w ho r e s ponde d a r e c l a s s m a t e s w ho w e r e f r i e nds o r a c qua i nt a nc e s O n l y one w ho r e s ponde d, a nd w ho e ve nt ua l l y w a s a pa r t i c i pa nt i n t he s t udy, w a s unkn ow n t o m e O f t he s e ve n w ho r e s ponde d, I us e d f our na r r a t i ve s pl us m y ow n T w o of t he r e s ponde nt s w ho di d no t pa r t i c i pa t e e nde d up be i ng t oo f a r a w a y ge o gr a phi c a l l y, a nd t he ot he r de c i de d no t t o pa r t i c i pa t e be c a us e of c onc e r ns t ha t e ve n w i t h a no nym i t y, he r s i t ua t i on w oul d be i de nt i f i a bl e a nd he r m a r r i a ge w oul d be c om pr om i s e d. A f t e r f i na l i z i ng t he pa r t i c i pa nt s I s e nt ou t a l e t t e r w i t h i ns t r uc t i ons t o t he f i na l f our I n t hi s l e t t e r I i de nt i f i e d t he p r oc e dur e w hi c h i nc l ude d t e l l i ng t he i r l i f e na r r a t i ve ba s e d upon m a j or l i f e t ur n i ng poi nt s a l ong w i t h a t a pe r e c or de r a nd s e ve r a l t a pe s A l ong w i t h t hi s I s e nt t he I R B a ppr ove d c ons e nt f o r m s I a l s o r e a s s ur e d t he m t ha t i f t he y c hos e

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49 t o r e m a i n a nonym ous I w oul d p r ot e c t t he i r i de nt i t y. T w o o f t he f our pa r t i c i pa nt s ( N or e ne a nd J e r om e ) ga ve pe r m i s s i on t o us e t he i r na m e s T w o di d not D a r l e ne a nd M i c ha e l a r e ps e udo na m e s T he r e s ul t s t r i c kl e d i n f r om J u ne o f 2007 unt i l O c t obe r of 2007. D ur i ng t hi s t i m e I pe r s ona l l y t r a ns c r i be d t he t a pe s f r om t he r e c or di ng s M y t r a ns c r i pt i ons w e r e c om pl e t e d w or d f or w or d a c c or di ng t o t he pa r t i c i pa nt s r e c or di ng. I f ol l ow e d t he s a m e pr oc e dur e f or m y na r r a t i ve I r e c or de d m y l i f e s t or y ba s e d on t u r ni ng poi nt s a nd t he n t r a ns c r i be d i t D ur i ng t hi s s a m e t i m e I w a s pl a nni ng a nd or ga ni z i ng t he S i xt i e t h B i r t hda y R e uni on W e e ke nd, w i t h t he he l p of N or e ne A ga i n, e m a i l s w e r e s e nt t o t he c l a s s l i s t w i t h i nf or m a t i on a bout bot h e ve nt s : t he c e l e br a t o r y di n ne r a nd t he c of f e e / f oc us g r oup a t m y br ot he r s hom e A l l c l a s s m e m be r s w ho ha d i de nt i f i a bl e a nd c ur r e nt e m a i l a dd r e s s e s w e r e i nvi t e d. I r e l i e d upon t he a l um ni o f f i c e of S t P i us X hi gh s c hool a nd t he f o r t i e t h a l um ni c om m i t t e e f o r t h i s i nf or m a t i on. A l s o dur i ng t hi s t i m e I t r a ve l e d t w i c e t o A t l a nt a t o ha ve f ol l ow up i nt e r vi e w s w i t h t he pa r t i c i pa nt s T he onl y pe r s on I w a s not a bl e t o c onduc t a s e c ond i nt e r vi e w w i t h w a s M i c ha e l w ho m ove d t o t he W e s t C oa s t dur i ng t hi s t i m e a nd w a s not a bl e t o c om e t o t he w e e ke nd. I di d c om m uni c a t e w i t h hi m by phone a nd s e ve r a l t i m e s by e m a i l t o a s k c l a r i f yi ng que s t i ons W he n I i nt e r vi e w e d e a c h i ndi vi dua l I f oc us e d on t ur ni ng poi nt s l os s a nd t he e xpe r i e nc e of a nd a nt i c i pa t i on of a gi ng a nd de a t h I c onduc t e d t he i nt e r vi e w pr oc e s s us i ng i nt e r a c t i ve i nt e r vi e w i ng R a t he r t ha n a ppr oa c h e a c h i ndi vi dua l w i t h a pr e vi ous l y de f i ne d s e t of que s t i ons I c hos e t o e m pl oy t he m e t hod out l i ne d by E l l i s e t a l ( 1997) t ha t e nc our a ge s a c onve r s a t i on t ha t i s c om f or t a bl e m ut ua l e m ot i ve a nd t ha t a l l ow s f or t he

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50 i nt e r vi e w t o e m e r ge r e f l e c t i ng e a c h i ndi vi dua l s t or y, r a t he r t ha n f i t t i ng i nt o a pr e c onc e i ve d i nt e r vi e w s t r uc t ur e T he na r r a t i ve pr e s e nt e d f or e a c h pa r t i c i pa nt i s a n e di t e d ve r s i on of t he i r t r a ns c r i be d l i f e s t or y. N ot h i ng of s ubs t a nc e w a s e di t e d out I a l t e r e d i t onl y f o r r e a da bi l i t y a nd r e dunda nc y. A l m os t a l l of w ha t i s w r i t t e n i s i n t he pa r t i c i pa nt s ow n w or ds O pe ni ng a nd c l os i ng s c e ne s a nd de s c r i pt i ons c om e f r om t he i nt e r vi e w s a nd c onve r s a t i ons t h a t oc c ur r e d ove r t he c our s e of t he r e s e a r c h. E a c h pa r t i c i pa nt w a s pr ovi de d w i t h t he f i na l dr a f t of hi s or he r na r r a t i ve T he y w e r e a s ke d f or t he i r f e e dba c k. I t w a s a t t hi s poi nt t ha t D a r l e ne t ol d m e s he w a nt e d t o be r e pr e s e nt e d by a ps e udo na m e I a l s o s e nt e a c h na r r a t i ve pa r t i c i pa nt a c opy o f m y t ype d, e di t e d a n d t r a ns c r i be d s t or y, w a nt i ng t o r e c i pr oc a t e f or t he i r e f f or t s a nd ope nne s s t he y de m ons t r a t e d by s ha r i ng t he i r s t or y I nt e r t w i ne d t h r oughout m y c l a s s m a t e s s t or i e s i s m y s t or y, a ut oe t hnogr a phi c a l l y t ol d T hr oughout t he ye a r p r e c e di ng m y s i xt i e t h bi r t hda y, a nd i n t he m on t hs f ol l ow i ng I ha ve be e n j our na l i ng a nd r e f l e c t i ng upon a gi ng a nd l os s T hi s i s a pa r t o f m y c l a s s s t or y. A t t he j oi nt s i xt i e t h bi r t hda y pa r t y he l d i n A t l a nt a G e or gi a t he f i r s t w e e k of N ove m be r I a ga i n t ook f i e l d not e s of t hi s e xpe r i e n c e T he f ol l ow i ng da y, I c onduc t e d a f oc us gr oup w i t h t hr e e o f t he na r r a t i ve pa r t i c i pa nt s a nd f our a ddi t i ona l c l a s s m a t e s pl us m ys e l f T w o s pous e s a t t e nde d t he gr oup w i t h t he i r pa r t ne r s b ut di d not pa r t i c i pa t e T hi s w a s a t hr e e hour pl us s e s s i on t ha t oc c ur r e d i n m y br ot he r s hom e i n A t l a nt a I r e c or de d t hi s m e e t i ng a l s o a nd pe r s ona l l y t r a ns c r i be d t he t a pe s w or d f o r w o r d. I nt e r pr e t i v e / A ut oe t hnogr aphi c / N a r r at i v e M e t hodol ogy

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51 I w or k f r om a n i nt e r pr e t i ve s oc i a l c ons t r uc t i oni s t na r r a t i ve pe r s pe c t i ve t ha t f oc us e s on t he s t or i e d na t u r e of hum a n c onduc t ( B oc hne r 200; B r une r 1991; D e nz i n 1997) S t or i e s a r e m ul t i voi c e d, he l p us t o f i nd m e a ni ng, a nd ope n us up f or c onne c t i on t o ot he r s C ol e s i n hi s book T he C al l of St or i e s ( 198 9) s how s us w ha t w e ha ve t o l e a r n by l i s t e ni ng t o t he voi c e of t he ot he r W e l e a r n a bout our s ha r e d hum a ni t y a nd t he va r i e d, t e xt ua l na t ur e of t he e xpe r i e nc e o f e ve r y da y l i f e W e gi ve voi c e t hr ough s t or i e s t o t he e xpe r i e nc e of pr e vi ous l y m a r gi na l i z e d gr oups a nd pr e vi ous l y not e a s i l y t a l ke d a bout s ubj e c t s l i ke a gi ng, de a t h, d yi ng, a nd a bus e T hi s i nt e r pr e t i ve m e t hod i s c onc e r ne d w i t h hor i z ons of hum a n m e a ni ng, m or a l r e f l e c t i o n, s ubj e c t i vi t y, e m bodi m e nt a nd e m pa t hy ( B oc hne r 2005 p 61 ) T hi s i nt e r pr e t i ve / na r r a t i ve m e t hod c ha l l e nge s e pi s t e m ol ogi c a l a nd ont ol ogi c a l pr e m i s e s of m ode r ni s m D e nz i n s a ys t ha t na r r a t i v e t e xt s r e j e c t t he s e a r c h f o r a bs ol ut e t r ut h a nd pu r s ue a f o r m o f na r r a t i ve t r u t h t ha t i s s us pi c i ous of t ot a l i z i ng t he or y br e a ki ng dow n, i n t he pr oc e s s t he m or a l a nd i nt e l l e c t ua l di s t a nc e be t w e e n r e a de r a nd w r i t e r ( 1997, p 215 ) E m pl oyi ng na r r a t i ve i nqui r y w e l e a r n how l i ve s a nd r e l a t i ons hi ps de ve l op c om m uni c a t i ve l y. A s s oc i a l s c i e nt i s t s w e a r e s upp os e d t o be s t udyi ng pe opl e l ooki ng a t a nd t r yi ng t o unde r s t a nd t he i r l i ve s a nd na r r a t i ve s m a y c om e c l os e r t o r e pr e s e nt i ng t he c ont e xt s a nd i nt e gr i t y o f t hos e l i v e s t ha n do que s t i onna i r e s a nd gr a phs ( F r e e m a n, 1998a p 287 ) B y t hi nki ng w i t h ( F r a nk, 1 995) t he s t or i e s t ha t w e he a r w e e nt e r i nt o di a l ogue w i t h t he s t or y S t or i e s e nga ge t he w hol e pe r s on. B y t he us e of e voc a t i ve de t a i l e d, e m ot i ona l s t or i e s w e a r e pul l e d i n, w i t h our b r a i ns bodi e s a nd he a r t s t o t he e xpe r i e nc e of t he s t or yt e l l e r I n s t o r i e s w e f i nd ou r s e l ve s a nd i n s t or i e s w e f i nd t he ot he r I n s t or i e s

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52 w e a r e a bl e t o s e e t he uni t y of a l i f e l i nki ng bi r t h t he m i ddl e a nd t he e nd ( M c I nt y r e p. 17) W e a r e a bl e t o c r e a t e a c ohe r e nt s t or y a nd t o m a ke s e ns e of our l i ve s by he a r i ng o t he r s s t or i e s a nd t e l l i ng ou r ow n N a r r a t i ve i nq ui r y pr ovi de s us w i t h t he t ool s t o i nve s t i ga t e w ha t w e c a n do w i t h l a ngua ge t o c r e a t e t he ki nd o f r e a l i t y i n w hi c h w e w a nt t o l i ve ( B oc hne r 2005, p. 14) I t gi ve s us t he opp or t uni t y t o t ur n e xpe r i e nc e i nt o m e a ni ng. T he na r r a t i ve t ur n w or ks t o he l p us m a ke s e ns e of l i f e a s w e a ge A s w e a ge w e l ook f or c ohe r e nc e a s t or y l i ne t he m e s a nd m e a ni ng W e w a nt t o be a bl e t o l ook ba c k on a l i f e a nd s e e how t o unde r s t a nd i t a nd s e e t ha t i t ha s ha d s om e pur po s e M a j or na r r a t i ve t he or i s t s ha ve w e i ghe d i n on w h i c h c om e s f i r s t l i f e or na r r a t i ve I s l i f e na r r a t i ve l y s t r uc t ur e d, or i s hum a n na r r a t i on a n a d hoc gr a f t i n g of s t or y ont o e xpe r i e nc e . L i f e a nt i c i pa t e s na r r a t i ve s a ys B oc hne r ( 2005, p. 25 26) C r i t e s ( 1997) t e l l s us e xpe r i e nc e c a l l s f or t h na r r a t i on ( p 297 ) M a c I nt yr e ( 1981) s ugge s t s e xpe r i e nc e c a n t be s e ve r e d f r om na r r a t i on be c a us e w e a l l l i ve our na r r a t i ve s i n our l i ve s a nd w e unde r s t a nd our l i ve s i n t e r m s of t he na r r a t i ve s w e l i ve ou t ( p. 1 97) A n d f i na l l y, N a r r a t i ve f or m i s not a dr e s s w hi c h c ove r s s om e t hi ng e l s e but t he s t r uc t ur e i nhe r e nt i n hum a n e xpe r i e nc e a nd a c t i on ( C a r r 1986, p. 65) I n t hi s r e s e a r c h, e a c h na r r a t i ve e m e r ge d f r om t he s t or i e s t he pa r t i c i pa nt s t ol d, a nd i ndi vi dua l l y a nd c um ul a t i ve l y t he y i l l um i na t e t he ge ne r a t i ona l i de nt i t y a nd t he c ul t ur a l a nd s oc i a l f a c t or s t ha t i nf l ue nc e d t hi s i de nt i t y. E t hi c al C ons i de r at i ons C a r ol yn E l l i s ( 2007) r e c ount s t ha t t he r e a r e t h r e e ki nds of e t hi c a l c ons i de r a t i ons w he n c onduc t i ng a ut oe t hnogr a phi c / i nt e r pr e t i ve qua l i t a t i ve r e s e a r c h. T he f i r s t i s t he pr oc e dur a l

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53 c ons i de r a t i ons t ha t a r e m a nda t e d t hr ough t he I ns t i t ut i ona l R e vi e w B oa r d ( I R B ) T he i r pr oc e dur e s w e r e f ol l ow e d a nd a ppr ove d be f o r e t he r e s e a r c h be ga n. T hi s i s t he e a s i e r m or e s t r a i ght f o r w a r d e t hi c a l c ons i de r a t i on T he ot he r t w o, s i t ua t i ona l a nd r e l a t i ona l a r e m or e i nvol ve d a nd not s ubj e c t t o ha r d a nd f a s t r u l e s E l l i s de f i ne s pr oc e dur a l e t hi c s a s of t e n s ubt l e ye t e t hi c a l l y i m po r t a nt m om e nt s t ha t c om e up i n t he f i e l d ( p 4 ) A nd e ve n m or e c om pl i c a t e d i s t he c onc e pt of r e l a t i ona l e t hi c s R e l a t i ons hi p e t hi c s i s ba s e d upon C a r ol G i l l i ga n s e t hi c of c a r e de s c r i be d by I n a D i f f e r e nt V o i c e ( 1982) I t a s ks que s t i ons a bout t he e t hi c a l r e s pons i bi l i t i e s t ow a r ds our f r i e nds a nd t ow a r d i n t i m a t e ot he r s w ho a r e i m p l i c a t e d i n t he s t or i e s w e w r i t e a bout our s e l ve s H ow c a n w e a c t i n a hum a ne non e xpl oi t a t i ve w a y, w hi l e be i ng m i nd f u l of ou r r ol e a s r e s e a r c he r s ? ( E l l i s 2007, p 5) A c c or di ng t o G i l l i ga n a nd E l l i s c a r e i s t he i de a l t o w hi c h a r e s e a r c he r m us t a s pi r e t o do e t hi c a l r e s e a r c h. I s e t out w i t h t h e c ha r ge of do no ha r m I t d i dn t s e e m a t t he be gi nni ng t ha t t he e t hi c a l i s s ue s t o t hi s r e s e a r c h w oul d be c ha l l e ngi ng. T he pa r t i c i pa nt s w e r e a dul t s vol un t e e r s a nd i n c ha r ge of w ha t i n f or m a t i on t he y c hos e t o s ha r e Y e t a s t he t a l e s e vol ve d a nd i t be c a m e a ppa r e nt t ha t t he s ubj e c t m a t t e r i nvol ve d a bus e a l c ohol i s m a nd f a m i l y s t or i e s w i t h t he pot e nt i a l t o be hur t f ul I s t r uggl e d w i t h t he c on f l i c t be t w e e n m y de s i r e t o t e l l t he de t a i l s / t r ut h a nd m y ne e d t o do no ha r m S om e how t he a dm oni t i on t o do no ha r m w a s no l onge r s o c ut a nd dr i e d I ha d t o f a c e t he r e a l i t y t ha t e ve n w i t h t he be s t o f i nt e nt i ons i t w a s pos s i bl e t ha t t he t e l l i ng of m y s t or y a nd t he s t or i e s o f t he ot h e r s c oul d r e s ul t i n h ur t t o ot he r s M y w r i t e r s i ns t i nc t w a s t o w a nt t he s t or y t o be a ut he nt i c a nd i nt e r e s t i ng A s I r e c a l l e d m y ow n s t or y I r e a l i z e d t ha t i f m y m ot he r w e r e a l i ve t e l l i ng t he s t or y a bout he r de pr e s s i on a nd hos pi t a l i z a t i on w oul d be de va s t a t i ng t o he r Y e t not t e l l i ng i t w oul d

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54 l e a ve out a m a j or m om e nt i n m y l i f e t ha t s ha pe d m y w or l d vi e w a nd ps yc he T he onl y f a m i l y l e f t t o r e a d t hi s a l r e a dy know s t he de t a i l s H ow e ve r I a m a w a r e t ha t m y c l a s s m a t e s w i l l be r e a di ng t h i s a nd m a ny kn e w he r a nd now w i l l know he r s e c r e t M y ul t i m a t e de c i s i on w a s t o l e a ve i t i n. I f e l t t he r e w a s gr e a t e r good t o be a c c om pl i s he d by e xpos i ng t ha t t r a um a s o t ha t r e a de r s w ho m a y e xpe r i e nc e a s i m i l a r s i t ua t i on c oul d be ne f i t f r om m y e xpe r i e nc e Y ou c a n t t e l l f a m i l y s t or i e s i t s e e m s w i t hout a l s o e xpos i ng f a m i l y s e c r e t s A l m os t e ve r y na r r a t i ve t ha t w a s t ol d by m y c l a s s m a t e s e xp os e d s e c r e t s t ha t w e ke pt f r om e a c h ot he r a nd t he w or l d a r ound us a s w e g r e w up. A nd i t i s a ppa r e nt f r om he a r i ng t he s t or i e s t ha t t he e xpe r i e nc e s a nd t he s e c r e t s c a us e d us pa i n a nd ke pt us s e pa r a t e f r om e a c h ot he r G ooda l l ( 2005) a nd D a vi s ( 2008) a m ong ot he r s ha ve w r i t t e n e xt e ns i ve l y a bout t hi s T he r e i s a po t e nt i a l f o r he a l i ng t ha t c om e s f r om b r i ngi ng t he da r k f a m i l y hi s t or y i n t o t he l i ght of da y. I s t r uggl e d w i t h t he de s c r i pt i on o f m y a bus e D e t a i l s w oul d be de va s t a t i ng t o c ur r e nt r e l a t i ons hi ps ye t l e a vi ng i t out s e e m e d di s hone s t a nd a voi di ng a l i f e a l t e r i ng e xpe r i e nc e t ha t ha s s ha pe d t he di r e c t i on o f m y a dul t l i f e I c h os e t o l e a ve i t i n but t o di s gui s e t he i de nt i t y of t he pe r s on r e s pons i bl e t o t he be s t of m y a bi l i t y. S t i l l I f e e l s om e a nxi e t y l e a vi ng i t i n T he s t r ugg l e be t w e e n a ut he nt i c i t y a n d t he m a nt r a do no ha r m i s a n e ve r pr e s e nt a nd dyna m i c t e ns i on. A s I t r a ns c r i be d M i c ha e l s s t or y, I w or r i e d a bo ut how he w oul d de a l w i t h s e e i ng hi s s t or y i n pr i nt H e c on f i de d t ha t up t o t he poi nt of t hi s na r r a t i ve he ha d onl y di s c l os e d t he s e xua l a bus e f r om t he p r i e s t t o hi s w i f e a nd m o t he r A s he t ol d hi s s t or y f or t y ye a r s l a t e r I s e ns e d a s t i l l ope n w ound a nd I f e l t a s t r ong r e s p ons i bi l i t y t o not r e vi c t i m i z e

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55 I di s c us s e d t hi s w i t h hi m a nd s how e d hi m t he t r a ns c r i be d s t or y. H e a gr e e d t o l e t t he s t or y be pr e s e nt e d a s i t w a s w i t h a f e w a l t e r a t i ons H i s na m e a n d t he na m e o f t he pa r i s h w e r e a l t e r e d, but t he r e a r e ot he r de t a i l s t ha t c oul d po t e nt i a l l y be i de nt i f y i ng, pa r t i c ul a r l y i n ou r s m a l l c l a s s I be l i e ve M i c ha e l f e l t a s I do t ha t br i ngi ng t hi s out i nt o t he ope n ga ve a f a c e t o t he t r a um a t ha t ha s i m pa c t e d s o m a ny. K no w i ng t ha t t he t r a ve s t y of s e xua l a bus e by a pr i e s t ha ppe ne d t o s om e one I kne w i n m y ow n pa r i s h w a s vi s c e r a l l y di s t ur bi ng t o m e a nd I c a n onl y be l i e ve t ha t i t w i l l be s o t o ot he r s T hi s a w a r e ne s s c oul d he l p ot he r s w ho ha ve de a l t w i t h a bus e a nd p os s i bl y c r e a t e a n a w a r e ne s s t ha t c oul d pr e ve nt f ut u r e a bus e T hr oughout t hi s di s s e r t a t i on, I ha ve be e n c ons c i ous of t he r e a de r s pa r t i c ul a r l y m y f a m i l y a nd c l a s s m a t e s a nd t he i r f a m i l i e s D i s c us s i ng t opi c s l i ke a bus e a ddi c t i on a nd f a m i l y s e c r e t s ha ve t he pot e nt i a l t o do good, a s w e l l a s ha r m I n a ddi t i on a s I de s c r i be d m y c l a s s m a t e s I w o r r i e d how t he y w oul d pe r c e i ve m y i nt e r pr e t a t i ons F or e xa m pl e I f e l t t ha t i t w a s i m p or t a nt t o be de t a i l e d de s c r i bi ng t he di f f e r e nc e i n J e r om e s a ppe a r a nc e i n hi g h s c hool a nd now be c a us e i t w a s s uc h a dr a m a t i c c ha nge H ow e ve r I w or r i e d t ha t i t w oul d of f e nd h i m t o de s c r i be hi s pr ot r udi ng t oot h F or t una t e l y he s e e m s t o ha ve a hum or ous a nd hum bl e e qua ni m i t y a bout hi s s t or y. T hr oughout t hi s r e s e a r c h, e t hi c a l c ons i de r a t i ons a r os e a t a l m os t e ve r y t w i s t a nd t u r n. I f e l t a r e s pons i bi l i t y t o be hone s t a nd f or t hc om i ng w i t h m y ow n s t or y a nd w i t h t he na r r a t i ve s of m y c l a s s m a t e s A l w a ys t hough, t he m a nt r a do no ha r m gui de d m y de c i s i ons a s t o w ha t w a s l e f t i n a nd w ha t w a s l e f t o ut T ha t i s a j udgm e nt c a l l a nd I hope t ha t m y de c i s i ons t ha t I m a de a l ong t he w a y w e r e t he one s t ha t be s t m e t t he ne e ds of m y r e s e a r c h a nd m y pa r t i c i pa nt s t he i r f a m i l i e s a nd r e a de r s

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56 T r ut h/ t r ut h A s I s a t dow n t o r e c ount m y s t or y, I a m a w a r e t ha t a l l a l ong I m a de c hoi c e s a s t o w ha t I i nc l ude d, a nd w ha t I l e f t out T he r e w e r e m a ny t hi ngs t ha t I c hos e t o e xc l ude F or e xa m pl e I di dn t i nc l ude m y a bor t i on t ha t I ha d a t t hi r t y e i ght I m not s ur e w he t he r t ha t w a s be c a us e i t di dn t a l t e r m y l i f e t r a j e c t or y, or be c a us e I di dn t w a nt t o a l i e na t e s om e o f m y C a t hol i c c l a s s m a t e s w ho I kne w w oul d l ook di s f a vor a bl y upon m y c hoi c e I a l s o di dn t di s c us s i n gr e a t de t a i l m y d i vor c e s a nd o t he r l i f e t ur ni ng poi nt s I c oul dn t di s c us s e ve r yt hi ng, a nd i n a l i f e o f s i xt y ye a r s t he r e a r e a m yr i a d of pos s i bi l i t i e s H ow e ve r I do know t ha t I l i ke pr oba bl y a l l o f m y pa r t i c i pa nt s ha ve a na t u r a l t e nde nc y t o r e l a t e m y s t or y i n a w a y t ha t m a ke s m e l ook m y be s t D oe s t ha t m e a n m y s t or i e s a nd t he s t or i e s of m y pa r t i c i pa nt s a r e not t r ue ? M a ny of t he l e a de r s i n t he f i e l d of qua l i t a t i ve / i n t e r pr e t i ve m e t hods ha ve a ddr e s s e d t hi s que s t i on. I t i s one of t he m a j or c r i t i que s of na r r a t i ve / l i f e s t or y w r i t i ng. S om e of m y c ol l e a gue s c onduc t e d s e ve r a l i n t e r vi e w s of l e a di ng qua l i t a t i ve t he or i s t s t ha t a r e di s c us s e d i n a n a r t i c l e s oon t o be publ i s he d ( T u l l i s O w e n, A da m s M c R a e V i t a l e 2008) I n he r i nt e r vi e w J a ni c e M or s e a r gue s t ha t t r ut h i s w ha t a pe r s on pe r c e i ve s t o be r i ght ( T ul l i s O w e n e t a l 2008 p 8 ) D e nz i n a l s o a r gue s t ha t t r ut h i n l i f e w r i t i ng i nvol ve s a w r i t e r 's r e l a t i ons hi p t o a n e xpe r i e nc e a nd, a s s uc h, be c om e s c ons t r uc t e d a nd m e di a t e d i n t he c r e a t i on of t he t e xt T r ut h i s c ont e s t e d, pa r t i a l i nc om pl e t e a nd a l w a ys i n m ot i on, s a ys D e nz i n. E ve r y t i m e you r e t ur n t o t r ut h i t i s d i f f e r e nt ( T ul l i s O w e n e t a l 2008 p 10)

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57 I n a c onve r s a t i on w i t h J e r om e one of m y pa r t i c i pa nt s he ponde r e d w he t he r hi s s t or y w oul d be di f f e r e nt a t a not he r t i m e a nd unde r di f f e r e nt c i r c um s t a nc e s B oc hne r ( 1997 2007) a ddr e s s t he dyna m i c s of s e m a nt i c c ont a gi on, t he unde r s t a ndi ng of pa s t be ha vi or s l ooki ng a t i t t h r ou gh t he pr e s e nt E ve nt s a nd r e l a t i ons hi ps a r e c ha nge d r e t r os pe c t i ve l y a s our w a y of s e e i ng c ha nge s w i t h t he pa s s i ng of t i m e I t i s no t t he f a c t s t he m s e l ve s t ha t one t r i e s t o r e de e m t hr ough na r r a t i ve t e l l i ngs B oc hne r s a ys but r a t he r a n a r t i c ul a t i on of t he s i gni f i c a nc e a nd m e a ni ng of one s e xpe r i e nc e s ( B oc hne r a nd E l l i s 2006 p 8 6) ) C hr i s P oul os a gr e e s not i ng t ha t B y c r e a t i ng a pow e r f ul na r r a t i ve t he t r ut h c om e s t hr ough i n w he t he r or not t he s t or y r e s ona t e s w i t h a w i de va r i e t y o f pe opl e ( T ul l i s O w e n e t a l 2008, p. 19 20) A s I us e d t he a ut oe t hnogr a phi c l e ns doc um e nt i ng m y j our ne y t hr ough s i xt y I s e a r c he d f or a c ohe r e nt na r r a t i ve t o t he d i s j oi nt e d e ve nt s of m y l i f e a nd t ha t o f m y ge ne r a t i on. I nt e r vi e w s w i t h c ohor t s f r om t he c l a s s of 65 t ol d ot he r s t or i e s a nd t oge t he r us i ng a na r r a t i ve m e t hodo l ogy, w e pa i nt e d a m ur a l f or ot he r s t o s e e a nd hope f ul l y t o f i nd c om pa ni ons hi p f or t he i r a gi ng e xpe r i e nc e a nd t he i r e f f or t s t o m a ke m e a ni ng of l i f e a nd de a t h. I n t he ne xt c ha pt e r s you w i l l he a r t he na r r a t i ve s of m e m be r s o f t he c l a s s of 65: D a r l e ne J e r om e N o r e ne M i c ha e l a nd m ys e l f A f t e r t hi s t he s i xt i e t h bi r t hda y w e e ke nd unf ol ds a l ong w i t h t he f oc us gr oup f ol l ow e d by t he a na l ys i s of t he r e s ul t s a nd t he di s s e r t a t i on c onc l us i on. M y hope i s t ha t t he s e na r r a t i ve s a nd s t or i e s he l p t o t e a c h a l e s s on i n l i vi ng ( M a nde l 1968 p 221 ) t ha t w i l l b e he l pf ul t o t he pa r t i c i pa nt s a nd t he r e a d e r s P a s s i ng i nt o t hi s unknow n t e r r a i n c a n be m a de e a s i e r w i t h s t or i e s t o e a s e t he w a y.

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58 C ha pt e r S i x D a r l e ne s S t or y T he R os e T he R os e by B e t t e M i dl e r S om e s a y l ove i t i s a r i ve r t ha t dr ow ns t he t e nde r r e e d S om e s a y l ove i t i s a r a z or t ha t l e a ve s your s oul t o bl e e d S om e s a y l ove i t i s a hunge r a n e ndl e s s a c hi ng ne e d I s a y l ove i t i s a f l ow e r a nd you i t 's onl y s e e d H i gh Sc hool A t S t P i us t he c l a s s of 65 w a s di vi de d a nd gr oup e d e a r l y on a c c or di ng t o ou r pe r c e i ve d a bi l i t y. O u r c ohor t r e f e r r e d t o a s t he a d va nc e d c l a s s s t a r t e d ni nt h gr a de t oge t he r a nd s t a ye d t oge t he r t hr o ugh a l m os t a l l of t he s a m e c l a s s e s f or t he ne xt f ou r ye a r s W e w e r e a b r i ght a nd f e i s t y g r oup. D ur i ng o ur f ou r ye a r s f r om 1961 t o 1965 w e e xpe r i e nc e d t he a s s a s s i na t i on of J ohn F K e nne d y, t he pa s s i ng of t he c i vi l r i ght s a c t a nd a s hi f t i n t he c ul t ur e a nd di r e c t i on of our c ount r y. T he s e e ve nt s t r a ns f or m e d us t oo W e w e r e t i ght kni t a nd w e got t o know e a c h ot he r w e l l a s w e na vi ga t e d t he t e r r a i n ove r s e e n by t he nuns a nd p r i e s t s a t our s c h ool D a r l e ne w a s not a s t a nd out i n ou r gr oup I r e m e m be r he r a s qui e t a nd de m ur e L ooki ng ba c k a t our ye a r book, s he pos e s i n our s t a nda r d uni f or m w i t h i t s gol d pl a i d s ki r t

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59 gr e y bl a z e r a nd w i t h a w hi t e c ol l a r pe e ki ng out ov e r t he l a pe l H e r young s e r i o us f a c e i s f r a m e d by c u r l y, s hor t br ow n ha i r T w o di m pl e s g r a c e e i t he r c he e k, s ugge s t i ng a g l i m ps e of hum or unde r ne a t h t he s e r i ous ne s s T hi s i s one of he r de f i ni ng c ha r a c t e r i s t i c s I s e a r c h f or a dj e c t i ve s t o de s c r i be he r e xpr e s s i on. T he one t ha t c om e s t o m i nd i s be m us e d. D a r l e ne di dn t r un f or s t ude nt gove r nm e nt a nd l e a de r s hi p pos i t i ons a s di d ot he r s i n our gr oup T hus m y m e m or i e s o f he r a r e l i m i t e d. W e w e r e a c qua i nt a nc e s but not c l os e F or e xa m pl e I ne ve r vi s i t e d he r hom e nor s he m i n e O ne of m y de f i ni ng c ha r a c t e r i s t i c s a t t ha t t i m e a t l e a s t i n m y m e m or y w a s a s e ns e t ha t I w a s f a r m o r e of a m e s s t ha n m os t o f m y c l a s s m a t e s H i di ng unde r ne a t h m y P r e s i de nt of C l a s s pe r s ona w a s t he m uc k of m y f a m i l y l i f e a nd I s t r uggl e d t o ke e p i t hi dde n f r om m y ot he r c l a s s m a t e s I ha d a n ol de r br ot he r w ho di d t he s a m e W e w e r e m a s t e r s a t c ha r a de I de ve l ope d a r e f i ne d s ki l l o f p ut t i ng f o r t h a c on f i de nt w e l l put t oge t he r m a s k. I m us t ha ve be e n pe r s ua s i ve be c a us e m y gi f t e d c l a s s m a t e s f r e que nt l y vot e d m e t o l e a de r s hi p pos i t i ons w hi c h I f i l l e d c a p a bl y, or a t l e a s t a de qua t e l y. L i t t l e di d I know t ha t D a r l e ne t oo, w a s c om pe ns a t i ng f or a c ha ot i c a nd t r oubl e d hom e l i f e I w i s h I ha d know n I t w oul d ha ve be e n c om f or t i ng t o m e a nd pe r ha ps t o he r B ut i n t he e a r l y s i xt i e s pe opl e d i dn t t a l k a bout m e s s y l i ve s W he n w e w a l ke d out of our hom e s w e w e r e e xpe c t e d t o be w e l l put t oge t he r on t he out s i de a nd i ns i de I n m y s out he r n, e a r l y s i xt i e s w or l d, w e s t i l l w or e ha t s a n d w hi t e gl ove s a t l e a s t t o c hu r c h. J us t a s w e c ov e r e d our e xt r e m i t i e s m a ny of us w e r e a d e pt a t c ove r i ng up our l e s s t ha n pe r f e c t hom e l i ve s I n m y s m a l l g r oup of i nt e r vi e w e e s f or t y ye a r s l a t e r I f i nd t ha t m a ny of us w e r e de a l i ng w i t h a l c ohol i c pa r e nt s phys i c a l a nd s e xua l a bus e a nd ot he r f or m s of c h a os a nd

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60 dys f unc t i on. D a r l e ne w a s one o f t he s e A s s he put s i t A t t hi r t e e n, m y l i f e be c a m e c ha ot i c a t t he de a t h o f m y f a t he r H e l e f t m y m ot he r w i t h e i gh t c hi l dr e n a nd w hi l e s he ha d s uc h a w onde r f ul pe r s ona l i t y a nd got a l ong w i t h t he s t a f f a nd s t ude nt s a t s c hool a t hom e i t w a s not t he s a m e H a vi ng be e n a hom e m a ke r he r w hol e l i f e s he w a s t ot a l l y unpr e pa r e d f or t he s e t o f e ve nt s t ha t oc c ur r e d a t h i s de a t h, a nd t he r e s pons i bi l i t i e s of c a r i ng f or a hom e a nd e i ght c hi l d r e n. S he l e a ne d v e r y he a vi l y upon he r ol de r c hi l dr e n i nc l udi ng m e a nd I w a s n t s o ha ppy a bout i t H e r s t or y un r a ve l s a nd I a m s pe l l bound. S he t a ke s m e i n, a nd I w a nt t o know e ve r y de t a i l A t t he e nd, I f e e l a s i f w e a r e s oul s i s t e r s D ar l e ne F or t y Y e ar L at e r N ov e m be r 2005 S t a ndi ng a t t he f or t i e t h hi gh s c hool r e uni on, c ha t t i ng w i t h va r i ous c l a s s m a t e s I l ook up a s D a r l e ne e nt e r s t he r oom I t hi nk t o m ys e l f M y G od, s he ha s n t c ha nge d a b i t D r e s s e d e l e ga nt l y i n a s t yl i s h s i l k s he a t h, s he i s s t i l l t hi n a nd gi r l i s h, a nd s por t i ng t ho s e pe r t di m pl e s a nd t he s a m e be m us e d l ook. S he s t a nds a t t he e nt r a nc e t o t he r oom s ur r ounde d by pe opl e I don t know or don t r e m e m be r but I r e m e m be r he r I ha ve n t s e e n he r f or f or t y ye a r s but m y s i s t e r i n l a w m e nt i one d he r a nd he r f a m i l y j us t t oni gh t S he s a i d t ha t D a r l e ne w a s a r e s pe c t e d a nd w e l l kn ow n A t l a nt a ps yc hol ogi s t I nt e r e s t i ng, I t hi nk, a nd not e t o m a ke m y w a y ov e r t o he r A f e w m i nut e s l a t e r I w a l k up t o he r c ons c i ous t ha t I ha ve pu t on a bout f i f t y pounds s i nc e hi gh s c hool a nd I ha ve n t w e a t he r e d t he s t or m s of l i f e a s gr a c e f ul l y a s s he D a r l e ne i t s M a r y P ool e I i nt r oduc e m ys e l f O f c our s e M a r y, s he r e s ponds w i t h a hug a nd a s m i l e W e c a t c h up I t e l l he r a bout m y h us ba nds m y c hi l dr e n a nd

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61 gr a ndc hi l dr e n, a nd m y l a t e bl oom i ng a c a de m i c e f f or t s S he t e l l s m e t ha t s he i s a ps yc hol ogi s t P a s s i ona t e a bout a ne w f ound l ove f or na r r a t i ve I t e l l he r a bout m y na r r a t i ve m e t hodol ogy a nd s he e xc l a i m s O h ye s I us e na r r a t i ve i n m y ps yc hot he r a py. W e f i nd a s c hol a r W i l l i a m P a r r y i n c o m m on I a m pl e a s e d t o ha ve m a de t he c onne c t i on. B ut i t i s not a ni ght f or l ong c onve r s a t i ons a nd c r ow ds c onve r ge s o I m ove on D ar l e ne T e l l s he r St or y E m a i l T o D a r l e ne M on. 10 S e pt e m be r 2007 S ubj e c t : I ha ve s pe nt t he l a s t t w o da ys w i t h you D a r l e ne I ha ve t o s a y your na r r a t i ve bl ow s m e a w a y. I s t a r t e d t r a ns c r i bi ng i t ye s t e r da y, t a ught t oda y, a nd ha ve be e n w or ki ng on i t a ga i n t oni ght I a m s t i l l not f i ni s he d, bu t I w a nt e d t o c ha t w i t h you a m om e nt I ha ve t o s a y I a m hum bl e d a nd a w e s t r uc k w i t h your s t or y I a m s i t t i ng a t m y de s k, w i t h e a r phone a nd a f oot pe da l t r a ns c r i be r he a r i ng your s t or y f or t he f i r s t t i m e I don t w a nt t o s t op Y our s t or y i s r i ve t i ng a nd you t e l l i t w e l l I a m a l s o s t r uc k by your hon e s t y a nd ope nne s s Y ou ha ve ha d qui t e a l i f e a nd t he r e i s s o m uc h I w a nt t o a s k you I hope t ha t w e w i l l be a bl e t o ge t t oge t he r i n t he ne x t f e w w e e ks T ha nk you s o m uc h f o r you r ge ne r os i t y w i t h your t i m e a n d s t or y. I hope t ha t you got m i ne w hi c h I s e nt t o you l a s t w e e k. I ha ve be e n s t r uggl i ng pe r s ona l l y t hi s ye a r w i t h t ur ni ng s i xt y. I t ha s be e n a n i nt r os pe c t i ve a nd r e f l e c t i ve t i m e I a m f i ndi ng t ha t I ha ve

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62 t o c om e t o t e r m s w i t h s om e t hi ngs I w a nt e d/ e xpe c t e d t ha t m a y ne ve r ha ppe n. T he f ut u r e a nd pos s i bi l i t i e s s e e m m or e l i m i t e d now t ha n t he y us e t o. L i ke you I ha ve i l l ne s s e s de a t h, a nd unm e t de s i r e s a nd goa l s M a ybe i t i s j us t be c a us e I ha ve l os t s om e one c l os e but gr i e vi ng s e e m s t o be a s i gni f i c a nt pa r t o f m y l i f e e xpe r i e nc e l a t e l y. M or e l a t e r T ha nk you a ga i n. M a r y T ue s da y, S e pt e m be r 11 2007 8 : 47 A M D e a r M a r y, I r e a d you r na r r a t i ve a s w e l l A l l I c a n s a y i s D i t t o. I ha ve be e n s t r uc k m a ny t i m e s w i t h S t P i us g r a dua t e s a t how t he y ove r c a m e pr i va t e f a m i l y s i t ua t i ons w i t h pe r s ona l c our a ge a nd a n a s t ound i ng a ut onom y. Y our s t or y i s s o t ouc hi ng I m s o s or r y you ha d t o do s o m uc h a l one w he n you w e r e s o young. I a m now f i ndi ng t u r ni ng s i xt y ( i n t hr e e m ont hs ) m or e of a n i m pa c t t ha n e a r l i e r i n t he ye a r T he c hoi c e s a r e m or e l i m i t e d a nd t he l os s e s hur t m or e ( t i m e i s l e s s t he f ut ur e i s m or e c ont a i ne d) T hi s i s e s pe c i a l l y t r ue s i nc e t he f i r s t l ove o f m y l i f e ( w ho i s not m y s pous e ) j us t c a l l e d t o s a y he i s i l l I n m y m i nd, he c oul d ne ve r be i l l I n m y m i nd he i s a vi t a l i nt e r e s t i ng m a n w i t h m uc h t o c ont r i but e B ut he r e i n r e a l i t y, he i s e nt e r i ng a s uf f e r i ng t ha t w i l l t a ke f r om hi m m uc h of w ha t ha s m e a ni ng

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63 t o hi m H e t ol d m e he c a l l e d t o know he w a s s t i l l l ove d; t ha t t ha t he l ps hi m f a c e w ha t he w i l l s hor t l y f a c e I a m ve r y s a d f or hi m S t a y w e l l d ur i ng t hi s di f f i c ul t t i m e i n your f a m i l y. I l ook f o r w a r d t o s pe a ki ng w i t h you a bout bot h a ut obi ogr a phi e s D o you pl a n a gr oup s e s s i on? T ha t m i ght pr o duc e s om e r e a l l y i n t e r e s t i ng f i ndi ngs f o r a di s s e r t a t i on. T a ke c a r e D a r l e ne

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64 D ar l e ne T e l l s he r St or y H e l l o, M ar y I am s or r y t hi s i s l at e but i t i s al s o t i m e l y s i nc e I j us t c am e bac k f r om t he f une r al of one o f m y f av or i t e A unt s w ho had a l i f e s t or y of he r ow n. F or t unat e l y he r c hi l dr e n r e c or d e d i t on D V D s o now w e al l ar e ab l e t o s e e i t I ne v e r t houg ht any one w oul d e v e r as k m e f or m y l i f e s t or y s o I am goi ng t o t r y and m ak e t hi s c ohe r e nt and pr obabl y I w i l l w ande r a b i t I am gl ad y ou s ai d t o f oc us on m aj or t ur ni ng poi nt s be c aus e t hat m ak e s i t a l i t t l e bi t e as i e r O ne of t he s t r i k i ng t hi ngs about b e i ng f i f t y ni ne i s t hat t he r e ar e s o m any m aj or t ur ni ng poi nt s ; I am not s ur e w hi c h one s t o pi c k ou t B e i ng a ps y c hol ogi s t t y pi c al l y w e do t he s e i n a t i m e l i ne be gi nni ng a t bi r t h and goi ng on f r om t he r e but af t e r f i f t y ni ne y e ar s t hat w oul d t ak e w ay m or e t han one or t w o t ape s So, I am goi ng t o s t ar t w i t h w hat r e al l y s t r i k e s m e T he r e ar e t w o m aj or l i f e e v e nt s e ar l y i n m y l i f e t ha t pr obabl y c hange d i t O ne w as w he n I w as e l e v e n. I got r he um at i c f e v e r and w as i n t he hos pi t al f or t w o w e e k s and i n be d f or t h e s um m e r W hat c hange d m y l i f e about t hat w as I m e t pe opl e e nt i r e l y di f f e r e nt f r om m e and I s aw a l ot of k i ds w ho c am e t o t he hos pi t a l w ho di dn t do as w e l l as I di d. Som e k i ds di e d i n t he hos pi t al I on t he ot he r hand, w e nt hom e t o j us t a s um m e r i n be d and t he n w e nt bac k t o s c hool I w e nt t hr ough s om e of t he t e as i ng t hat w e nt on f r om t he ot he r k i ds be c aus e I c oul dn t k e e p up f or a f e w m ont hs W hat c hange d m y l i f e w as t hat e v e r y one I de al t w i t h w as s o ni c e and i t w as t he f i r s t t i m e I e v e r c am e i n c ont ac t w i t h pe opl e dy i ng. I l i v e d i n a w or l d, at l e as t up t i l l t ha t t i m e w he r e pe opl e j us t di dn t d i e W hi c h l e ads m e t o t he ne x t t ur ni ng poi nt T w o y e a r l at e r w he n I w as t hi r t e e n, m y f at he r di e d, and I had l i t t l e pr e par at i on f or w hat w as t o c om e I t not on l y c hange d m y

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65 l i f e but i t c hange d m y m ot he r and w he n m y m ot he r c hange d, e v e r y one i n our f am i l y c hange d. I n s om e w ay s m y l i f e got a l i t t l e be t t e r and i n m any w ay s i t got a l i t t l e w or s e A s y ou r e m e m be r m y m ot he r w or k e d at P i us and s he had s uc h a w onde r f ul pe r s onal i t y t he r e and got al ong s o w e l l w i t h s t ude nt s and s t af f t he r e A t hom e s he w as not s uc h a good l e ade r She had be e n a hom e m ak e r he r w hol e l i f e and s udde nl y had e i ght c hi l dr e n t o r ai s e al one Shor t l y af t e r I w as abl e t o go t o l i v e i n a dor m at O gl e t hor pe C ol l e ge he r e i n A t l ant a, s o I w as n t s o c l os e t o t he s t r e s s M y m ot h e r l e ane d on t he ol de r c hi l dr e n, and I w as qui t e c om f or t abl e ac r os s t he w or l d. P e r haps t hat s ounds s e l f i s h, but w he n y ou ar e s e v e nt e e n y e a r s ol d, y ou ar e n t r e al l y t hi n k i ng abo ut w ant i ng t o t ak e c ar e of y our y ounge r br ot he r s and s i s t e r s M y ne x t t ur ni ng poi nt happe ne d t he r e at O gl e t hor pe I w r ot e a s hor t s t or y c al l e d T he C ongr e gat i on of B e l i e v e r s w hi c h w as about t he de at h of m y f at he r I t w as par t l y aut obi ogr aphy pa r t f i c t i on W he n I w as i nv i t e d t o appl y f or a F or d F e l l ow s hi p t o H ar v ar d, I s ubm i t t e d m y s hor t s t or y and m uc h t o m y s ur pr i s e I w on t he f e l l ow s hi p. T hat ope ne d up m y l i f e and m y c hoi c e s W he n I w e nt t o H ar v ar d, one of t he m os t out s t andi ng t hi ngs w as t he s he e r num be r of l i br ar i e s and I had a pas s t o al l of t he m I n addi t i on, I had c l as s e s w i t h onl y f our pe opl e i n t he m a pe r s onal t ut or and r e ad book s and had di s c us s i ons about t he m aj or c ont r i but or s i n ps y c hol ogy I w as v e r y m uc h ac c e pt e d and m y i de as w e r e appr e c i at e d t he r e T h at e nc our age d m e t o appl y t o gr aduat e s c hool F or t unat e l y I w as ac c e pt e d and gi v e n a f u l l f e l l ow s hi p t o N or t he r n I l l i noi s U ni v e r s i t y

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66 T hi s w as a good t hi ng be c aus e at t he s am e t i m e m y m ot he r pr e t t y m uc h c ut of f m y f undi ng. I w as not do i ng w hat s he t hought I s houl d be doi ng. She t hough t I s houl d s t ay c l os e r t o hom e and i n t he s out h. O bv i ous l y t hat w as n t m y f e e l i ng about i t I w e nt t o N or t he r n I l l i noi s i n 1969 V e r y f e w w om e n w e r e i nv ol v e d i n c l i ni c al ps y c hol ogy t he r e t he n W om e n had a v e r y har d t i m e i n t he pr ogr am M any i f not m os t dr oppe d out T he v as t m aj or i t y of c l i ni c al ps y c hol ogi s t s t he n w e r e m e n. I r e s ol v e d t o be s uc c e s s f ul and t o c om pl e t e t he pr ogr am i n f i v e y e a r s and I d i d. I d i d v e r y w e l l c l i ni c al l y and I di d w e l l t e ac hi ng and I w as t he f i r s t s t ude nt t o gr aduat e f r om t he pr ogr am i n t he f i v e y e ar t i m e l i ne A f t e r gr aduat i on, I r e al l y di dn t k now w hat t o do s o I t ook a y e ar l ong pos t doc a t N or t he r n I l l i noi s w hi c h t ur ne d out t o be v e r y he l pf ul t o m e I w as o f f e r e d a j ob t hat at t he t i m e appe ar e d t o be i de al a t e nur e e ar ni ng t e ac hi ng j ob i n t he ps y c hol ogy de par t m e nt at G e or gi a St at e T he j ob of f e r l ook e d out s t andi ng, but I l e ar ne d f r om t hi s one of t he m aj or l e s s ons of m y l i f e : w hat l ook s out s t andi ng m ay no t be I w al k e d i nt o a j ob t hat w as ac t ual l y a c l i m b up M t E v e r e s t I w as s uc c e s s f ul t he r e and i n s i x y e ar s I w as pr om ot e d and t e nur e d, but t he r e w e r e m any pr obl e m s I de c i de d t o l e av e be hi nd m y t e nur e and l e av e on good t e r m s and go i nt o f ul l t i m e pr i v at e pr ac t i c e A not he r t hi ng I hav e l e ar ne d i n m y l i f e i s t hat t he r e i s a t i m e w he n t h i ngs ar e done and i t i s s i m pl y t i m e t o l e av e ; y ou c an t go bac k So, f or t he l as t t hi r t y y e ar s I hav e be e n i n pr i v at e pr ac t i c e I m e t a bus i ne s s par t ne r w ho i s s t i l l w i t h m e t hi r t y y e ar s l at e r and t o m y s ur pr i s e I be c am e a c or por at e m ogul and s t ar t e d W i nw ay N e t w or k W e had a v e r y s uc c e s s f ul bus i ne s s t oge t he r f or f i f t e e n y e ar s T oge t he r w e bui l t a pr ac t i c e of w hi c h I am p r oud.

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67 T hi s t oo had i t s m om e nt w he n i t ne e de d t o c om e t o an e nd. W e br ought i t t o a c l os e al t hough i t s t i l l e x i s t s i n nam e T h i s l as t y e ar I r e i nv e nt e d i t as t he W i nw ay N e t w or k and I ns t i t ut e s o t hat i t c an onc e agai n s e r v e c or por at i o ns but t hi s t i m e par t i c ul ar l y s e r v e pe opl e w ho hav e c hr oni c i l l ne s s e s w hi c h i s an ar e a of c l i ni c al ps y c hol ogy t hat al w ay s at t r ac t e d m e I n m y adul t l i f e t he r e hav e be e n m any pe opl e w ho t ouc he d m y l i f e and i m pac t e d i t O ne of t he m w as m y f i r s t l ov e I m e t hi m a t gr adua t e s c hool H e w as w r i t i ng hi s di s s e r t at i on w he n I w as i n m y f i r s t y e ar I had abs ol ut e l y no i nt e r e s t i n hi m H e s e e m e d r e al l y odd. O ne day he w al k e d up t o m e i n t he l i b r ar y and s ai d, I s aw y ou at t he f ac ul t y / s t ude nt c ol l oqui um and di dn t t hi nk I w ant e d t o t al k w i t h y ou be c aus e of t he c ons e r v at i v e w ay y ou w e r e dr e s s e d. T he n I l ook e d dow n at y our s hoe s and s aw t hat t he y w e r e ol d l ady s hoe s l ac e d up w i t h r e d r i bbons I w ant e d t o f i nd out w ho w as be hi nd t hos e r e d r i bbons I agr e e d t o go out w i t h hi m an d t he r e s t i s hi s t or y W e f e l l i n l ov e I t hough t I had be e n i n l ov e be f or e c e r t ai nl y had da t e d be f or e but w hat happe ne d w i t h E d t r ans f or m e d t hat w or d l ov e f or m e I n t he l ong r un our r e l at i ons hi p di d not w or k out but w e ar e s t i l l v e r y good f r i e nds t oday W e l os t a baby t oge t he r w hi c h i s one of t h e s adde s t e v e nt s of m y l i f e I hav e ne v e r had a c hi l d, and t hat i s t he onl y t r ue r e gr e t t hat I hav e i n m y l i f e R e c e nt l y I w e nt t o t he hos pi t al f or a m i nor pr oc e dur e O ne of t he nur s e s t he r e w as v e r y adm i r i ng of m y c l ot he s I r e al l y di dn t t hi nk m uc h of t he m but s he w e nt on and on about t he m w ant i ng t o k now w he r e I got t he m e t c She as k e d m e w hat I di d, and w as I m ar r i e d, and di d I hav e c hi l dr e n. I r e s ponde d, I am m ar r i e d, but hav e no c hi l dr e n. She r e pl i e d, I hav e no c hi l dr e n e i t he r

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68 I s ai d, A r e n t y ou s ad? N o, I am not s he r e s ponde d. T hi nk of i t t hi s w ay Y ou ge t t o hav e t he s e be aut i f ul c l ot he s and y ou pr obabl y go on m uc h ni c e r v ac at i ons I ans w e r e d, I w oul d t r ade al l o f t hos e c l ot he s an d al l of t hos e v ac at i ons j us t t o s e e t he l i ght i n a l i t t l e gi r l s e y e w he n I de c or at e t he C hr i s t m as t r e e T hat i s s t i l l t he t r ut h f or m e now at f i f t y n i ne M y hus band and I hav e t al k e d about adopt i ng, but I t hi nk m y hus band has l os t i nt e r e s t I m ay v e r y w e l l s t i l l do t hat M any ot he r pe opl e ha v e c hange d m y l i f e O ddl y e n ough, pe opl e at P i us s hape d m y l i f e O ur l as t y e ar i n hi gh s c hool I t ook a c our s e i n e x i s t e nt i al i s m f r om Sr A nn J ul i e I l e ar ne d m or e i n t hat c l as s t han I e v e r l e ar ne d i n e x i s t e nt i al ps y c hol ogy i n gr aduat e s c hool I c am e t o f i nd out i n l at e r y e ar s i n c ol l e ge and gr aduat e s c hool w hat pr obabl y m os t of us di dn t k now and t hat w as w hat a v e r y f i ne ac ade m i c e duc at i on w e r e c e i v e d i n hi gh s c hool A l s o, w e w e r e an unus ual l y gi f t e d gr oup of s t ude nt s I n gr aduat e s c hool I w as pr e t t y s ur e t hat I m us t hav e be e n f ar abov e av e r age i nt e l l e c t ual l y be c aus e I w as al w ay s at t he t op of m y c l as s H ow e v e r at P i us I w as j us t an av e r age s t ude nt I am t r y i ng t o t hi nk about w hat t o s ay ne x t P r obab l y a bi g i s s ue at f i f t y ni ne i s he al t h. T he r e w a s a l i f e c hangi ng e v e nt i n 1995 I de v e l ope d a s e r i ous i l l ne s s t hat w as unf or t unat e l y a c onge ni t al i l l ne s s t hat hadn t be e n i de nt i f i e d. I had s pe nt a gr e at de al o f m y l i f e de al i ng w i t h ac he s and pai ns m os t of w hi c h I t hough t w e r e ps y c hos om at i c A t t he s am e t i m e I w as de al i ng w i t h t hi s m y par t ne r and I had w r i t t e n a t w e nt y m i l l i on dol l ar pr opos al A s m y i l l ne s s pr ogr e s s e d, w e w e r e unabl e t o f ul f i l l t hi s c ont r ac t I be c am e m or e and m or e i l l I t w as a v e r y di f f i c ul t t i m e i n m y l i f e I c oul dn t w or k and I s p e nt m y day s w ak i ng up i n t he m or ni ng, goi ng dow n s t ai r s hav i ng or ange j ui c e t ak i ng m e di c at i on,

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69 e at i ng br e ak f as t and t he n be i ng s o t i r e d I had t o l i e dow n and t ak e a nap. I w ok e up f or l unc h, t ook m e di c at i on c r aw l e d bac k t o be d and s o w e nt m y day s A f t e r s i x m ont hs I t r i e d t o go bac k t o w or k par t t i m e bu t w e nt bac k h om e af t e r hal f a day not t o r e t ur n f or anot he r s i x m ont hs T hi s w as a f i nanc i al di s as t e r I w as s i ngl e i n m y f or t i e s and t he s e w e r e m y hi gh de bt y e ar s I w as f i nanc i al l y ov e r c om m i t t e d w i t h e v e r y r e as on t o be l i e v e t hat e v e r y t hi ng w as goi ng i n t he r i ght di r e c t i on. I w as n t any w he r e ne ar t he l i m i t s of m one y pe opl e w e r e w i l l i ng t o l oan m e but I w as w ay ov e r t he l i m i t s f o r s om e body w ho w as e s s e nt i al l y une m pl oy e d. I t t ook a l ot t o ge t t he pr ac t i c e bac k on t he r oad. I di d, but I s houl d hav e de c l ar e d bank r upt c y I w as t oo pr oud, t hough, and I s ol d m y hom e and pai d of f m y de bt s L at e r t hat y e ar I m e t a m an I f e l l i n l ov e w i t h and w e go t m ar r i e d. W e l i v e d i n an apar t m e nt unt i l w e c oul d bu y a ne w hom e N ow w e l i v e i n a be aut i f ul hom e but i t i s a l ong w ay f r om t he c i t y T hat w as 1995. I t i s now 2007. A f e w y e ar s ago, w e bought a c ondom i ni um on t he c om m ons i n D e c at ur j us t a f e w f e e t f r om w he r e I gr e w up. I c an s e e t he hous e I gr e w up i n f r om m y bac k w i ndow I t br i ngs m e m uc h s adne s s T he pe opl e w ho bought i t hav e r e s t or e d i t be aut i f ul l y t o i t s V i c t or i an age gl or y an d a l i t t l e gi r l now oc c upi e s t he be dr oom w he r e I onc e s t ay e d. I t i s n t a happy t hi n g f or m e t o l ook out at t hat hous e I hav e gr ow n a l ot of s hr ubbe r y t o bl oc k t he v i e w D e s pi t e t hat w he n I am al one he r e at t hi s hous e i t i s a gr e at pl ac e t o be at pe ac e H e r e I dr e am about t he f ut ur e and am m ak i ng m y ne x t t hi r t y y e ar pl an. A s I m e nt i one d, m y aunt j us t di e d at ni ne t y s i x and m y m ot he r i s s t i l l al i v e at ni ne t y one She s t i l l t r av e l s

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70 ar ound t he w or l d and s w i m s al m os t dai l y I hav e l ot s I w ant t o do. I n Se pt e m be r I am s t ar t i ng a de gr e e i n ps y c hophar m ac ol ogy s o t hat I w i l l hav e t he f r e e dom t o w r i t e pr e s c r i pt i ons and t o t ak e a f ul l m i nd, body appr oa c h t o m e nt al he al t h I am s o l uc k y I am s t i l l i n a f i e l d t hat I l ov e and hav e l ov e d s i nc e I w as s i x t e e n. Se c ond on m y l i s t : I w ant t o l e ar n t o p l ay pi ano. U nf or t unat e l y I am a l i t t l e t one de af but I t hi nk i t w i l l happe n. M os t t hi ngs t hat ha v e m e ani ng i n m y l i f e do s e e m t o happe n. I hav e f ound t hat w he n I r e l y upon t he s pi r i t ual t o pur s ue t he m e ani ngf ul e v e r y t hi ng w or k s out So, I am goi ng t o f ol l ow m y ow n phi l os ophy and f i nd s om e w ay t o l e ar n t o pl ay pi ano I al s o w ant t o l e ar n F r e nc h, a nd t r av e l t o al l of t he bi g and l i t t l e pl ac e s I hav e n t be e n E gy pt t he Sw i s s A l ps Spai n, t he r e s t of t he U S. So, w hat do I hav e t o s ay about m y l i f e at s i x t y ? I hav e s om e t hi ngs I am pr oud o f : m y pr of e s s i on, m y l ov e s and ot he r c ont r i but i ons R e c e nt l y I l e d a m ov e m e nt t o s t op a de v e l opm e nt of a s t adi um i n m y ne i ghbor hood, w hi c h w oul d hav e i nf r i nge d upon a pr ot e c t e d bl ue l i ne t r i but ar y of t he C hat t ahooc he e R i v e r I am par t i c ul ar l y pr oud of t hat I hope m y he al t h hol ds up T hat has be e n a c hal l e nge i n m y l i f e I pr ay e d at m y aunt s f une r al t hat I w oul d be phy s i c al l y he al e d s o t hat I w oul d l i v e as l ong as m y aunt and do w hat I w ant t o do w i t h m y l i f e I hope t hi s i s he l pf ul T h i s pr oc e s s has be e n par t i c ul ar l y i ns i ght f ul t o m e at t hi s t i m e i n m y l i f e T hank y ou f or i nc l udi ng m e i n t hi s pr oj e c t R e c or de d by D a r l e ne J une 2007. T r a ns c r i be d by M a r y P ool e J ul y, 2007.

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71 D ar l e ne i n P e r s on, 2008 O ve r t he w e e ke nd i n N ove m be r 2008 of our c l a s s s i xt i e t h bi r t hda y pa r t y a nd f oc us gr oup m e e t i ng, I m e e t w i t h D a r l e ne t w i c e I ha ve p r e vi ous l y r e a d a nd t r a ns c r i be d he r na r r a t i ve E ve n t hough w e w e r e n t c l os e f r i e nds f o r t y ye a r s a go, I f e e l a n i nt i m a t e c l os e ne s s now t ha t I c a n onl y c onc l ude c om e s f r o m s ha r i ng s t or i e s S he i s s uppor t i ve of m e i n m y r e s e a r c h e f f or t s e ve n vol un t e e r i ng t o be on m y c om m i t t e e B e f or e t he f oc us gr oup s he c a l l s on t he phone ha v i ng di f f i c ul t y f i nd i ng m y br ot he r s hous e I w a i t out f r ont of h i s hom e c l i m b i ng t he s unke n dr i ve w a y. W hi l e I a m t a l ki ng w i t h he r on t he c e l l ph one s he pul l s up i n he r w hi t e L e xus S U V a nd pa r ks on t he s t r e e t A s s he ge t s out w e hug a nd I w a l k he r t o t he hous e S he l ooks m uc h younge r t ha n our ye a r s a nd a s a ppa r e nt l y i s he r ha bi t i s e xqui s i t e l y dr e s s e d i n a w hi t e l e a t he r j a c ke t s ki r t a nd boo t s I s e c r e t l y w onde r i f s he ha s ha d pl a s t i c s ur ge r y, bu t ne ve r ge t up t he c our a ge t o a s k. H e r m a ke up a s w e l l a s he r c l ot he s i s m e t i c ul ous l y pe r f e c t I a m c ons c i ous of m y ow n i m pe r f e c t s om e w ha t m a t r on l y a nd f r um pi s h pr e s e nt a t i on t h r ow n t oge t he r a t t he l a s t m i nut e A s m y da ught e r hus ba nd, br o t he r a nd gr a ndc hi l dr e n l e a ve t o ge t ou t of our w a y, I i nt r oduc e t he m a l l t o he r S he a ppr opr i a t e l y oohs a nd a a h s ove r t he c hi l dr e n, a nd w e e nt e r t he hous e a nd j oi n up w i t h our ot he r c l a s s m a t e s I n r e t r os pe c t I t hi nk of a dj e c t i ve s t o de s c r i be he r I nt e l l i ge nt w i t t y, a t t r a c t i ve s out he r n, ol d f a s hi one d, ge nt i l e s a d, de t e r m i ne d a l l c om e t o m i nd S he i s a l l of t hi s a nd m or e A s w e e nde d t he f oc us g r oup, s he t ol d us a l l t ha t s he ha s be e n m e di t a t i ng on be i n g t he w hi t e r os e a nd t ha t now s he f i nds t he m e ve r yw he r e W he n I t hi nk i f D a r l e ne I s e e a w hi t e r os e be a ut i f ul a l i ve a nd unt a i nt e d.

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72 C ha pt e r S e ve n J e r om e s S t or y T o L i ve i s t o F l y T o L i ve I s T o F l y B ot h l ow a nd hi gh S o s ha ke t he dus t of f of your br oke n w i ngs A nd t he s l e e p out o f you e ye s S ha ke t he dus t of f of your w i ngs A nd t he t e a r s out of you r e ye s T ow ne s V a n Z a ndt H i gh Sc hool M os t of m y c l a s s m a t e s w ho r e s ponde d t o m y c a l l f or pa r t i c i pa nt s w e r e f r i e nds i n hi gh s c hool J e r om e w a s one of t he m W he n he a g r e e d t o t a ke pa r t i n m y r e s e a r c h, I w a s pl e a s e d a t t he pr os pe c t of c a t c hi ng up w i t h hi m I s e e hi m now a s he w a s t he n i n m y m i nd s e ye s hor t do r ky, w i t h b r ow n di s he ve l e d ha i r H e w a s s m a r t c a us t i c a l l y f unny a nd m a r ke d by one s i gna t ur e pr ot r udi ng t oot h e xt e n di ng out a t a ni ne t y de g r e e a ngl e f r om t he uppe r r ow W e hung out t oge t he r pa t r ol l i ng t he ha l l s a r m e d b y our S t ude nt G ove r nm e nt r i bbons W e ha d t he a ut ho r i t y t o gi ve de t e nt i ons a nd w e r e ve l e d i n our pow e r W hi l e r oa m i ng t he ha l l s l ooki ng f o r s c of f l a w s a nd gum c he w e r s w e l a ughe d a nd m a de c yni c a l c om m e nt s a bout t he s upe r f i c i a l popul a r ki ds L o oki ng ba c k on i t w e ha d a s e ns e of i nt e l l e c t ua l s upe r i or i t y t ha t m a s ke d, a t l e a s t f or m e our s oc i a l i ns e c ur i t i e s

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73 J e r om e w a s gr e a t c om pa ny. H e w a s b r i l l i a nt a n d hi l a r i ous l y f unny. H e s poke qui e t l y, a nd h i s hum or w a s dr y a nd s ubt l e S i m i l a r t o m e J e r om e w a s popul a r i n t ha t s t ude nt s l i ke d hi m bu t not popul a r i n t e r m s o f a da t i ng pa r t ne r W e ha d t ha t i n c om m on. I w oul dn t ha ve ha d a n e s c or t t o our j un i or p r om w e r e i t no t f o r t he ki ndne s s of a pr i e s t / t e a c he r w ho t ook pi t y on m e a nd a r r a nge d a da t e w i t h a r e c e nt e x s e m i na r i a n. W hi l e I w a s a w kw a r dl y m a ki ng s m a l l t a l k w i t h a s t r a nge r a t t he pr om J e r om e w e nt w i t h a m ut ua l f r i e nd. M y f r i e nd l a t e r r e c ount e d s he f e a r e d s he w oul d be i m pa l e d on hi s t oot h i f he ki s s e d he r D e s pi t e t he c r ue l t y o f ou r a dol e s c e nt j udgm e nt s t he r e w a s s om e t hi ng a bout J e r om e t ha t a t t r a c t e d hi s c l a s s m a t e s t o hi m a nd t ha t m a de m e c ur i ous a bout t he s t or y be hi nd hi s qui e t pr e s e nc e a nd c yni c a l hum or F a s t f or w a r d t o t he f i r s t h i gh s c hool r e uni on our c l a s s or ga ni z e d our t w e nt y f i f t h W e w e r e f or t y t hr e e ye a r s ol d t he n, a nd w e ga t he r e d out s i de A t l a nt a a t S t one M ount a i n, f or a c r ui s e a r ound t he l a ke I w a s s i ngl e ha d j us t l os t t hi r t y pounds a nd w a s r e a dy t o i m pr e s s m y c l a s s m a t e s w i t h m y m a t ur e hot ne s s A s t he r i ve r boa t c r ui s e d a r ound S t one M ount a i n, I s t ood a t t he r a i l i ng c a t c hi ng up w i t h m y good f r i e nd N or e ne w hom I ha ve know n s i nc e ki nde r ga r t e n. A s w e l a ughe d a nd t a l k e d t oge t he r a s t r i ki ngl y t a l l ha nds om e m a n w a l ke d up t o us s m i l e d, a nd s a i d, H i N or e n e a nd M a r y. I w r a c ke d m y b r a i n t o f i gur e out w ho t hi s c ha r m i ng a nd e l e ga nt m a n c oul d be but I w a s n t a bl e t o c om e up w i t h a m a t c h. N or e ne qui c kl y r e s ponde d, W hy, J e r om e I c oul dn t be l i e ve m y e ye s G one w a s t he a w kw a r d t e e na ge r p r ot r udi ng t oot h a nd a l l T he t h r e e of us s t ood t oge t he r i n t ha t l ove l y J u l y ni ght l ook i ng out a t t he s t a r s a nd t e l l i ng i n s hor t f o r m ou r l i f e s t or i e s I w a nt e d t o ki c k m ys e l f f or not not i c i ng J e r om e s pot e nt i a l t w e nt y f i ve ye a r s a go.

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7 4 T ha t ni ght i n 1990 w a s a m a gi c a l one m or e s o f or N or e ne a nd J e r om e i t t u r ns out A s N or e ne l a t e r t ol d m e w he n J e r om e t ouc he d he r e l bow w hi l e t he y s t ood unde r t he s t a r s t ha t ni ght i t f e l t l i ke a n e l e c t r i c c u r r e nt w e nt t hr o u gh m y w hol e body A f e w m ont hs l a t e r N or e ne l e f t a n unha ppy m a r r i a ge a nd s he a nd J e r om e w e r e m a r r i e d. T hi s w a s J e r om e s f i r s t m a r r i a ge E i ght e e n ye a r s l a t e r t he y r e m a i n t oge t he r a nd ha ppy. S i nc e t he t w e nt y f i f t h r e uni on, I ha ve he a r d f r om N or e ne oc c a s i ona l l y. N or e ne a nd J e r om e r e m a i n i n A t l a nt a a nd I i n F l o r i da N or e ne i s a be t t e r c om m uni c a t or ove r di s t a nc e t ha n I S he a nd J e r om e i nvi t e d m e t o v i s i t t he m i n A t l a nt a a nd t o s t a y w i t h t he m i n t he i r c a bi n i n N or t h C a r ol i na B ut m y ow n l i f e w a s goi ng t h r ough i t s ow n d r a m a t i c t ur ns w i t h t e e na ge r s a ne w hus ba nd, a nd m a ki ng i t t hr ough t he da i l y m uc k o f l i f e W e di dn t c onne c t i n pe r s on a ga i n unt i l t he f or t i e t h r e uni on O n t he da y of t he f or t i e t h r e uni on m y hus ba nd P a ul a nd I m e e t t he m f or l unc h a t t he i r hom e i n L i t t l e F i ve P oi nt s i n A t l a nt a M y br o t he r w ho a l s o l i ve s i n A t l a nt a t e l l s m e t ha t J e r om e i s a w e l l know n a nd r e s pe c t e d. F ounde r a nd pr e s i de nt of a t op r e nova t i ng c om pa ny, S a w hor s e C ons t r uc t i on, a nd s pe c i a l i z e s i n r e ha bbi ng ol de r di s t i nc t i ve hom e s A s w e pul l up t o hi s a ddr e s s w e f i nd h i s hom e i n t he hub of t he hi ppi e i nne r c i t y a r e a of dow nt ow n A t l a nt a C ur i ous a bout w ha t hi s a bod e w i l l l ook l i ke w e w a l k up t o t he f r ont doo r of a s i m pl e ol de r t w o s t or y hom e N or e ne gr e e t s us a t t he s ubs t a nt i a l da r k w ood door w i t h J e r om e s t a ndi ng c l os e be hi nd. W e gr e e t e a c h ot he r w a r m l y. A f t e r hugs I f o l l ow be hi nd t he m a s t he y l e a d us up t o t he s e c ond f l oor w he r e t he y l i ve A s t he y he a d up t he s t a i r s I l ook c l os e r A l t hough t he y ha ve be e n m a r r i e d e i ght e e n ye a r s t hi s i s m y f i r s t t i m e s e e i ng t he m t oge t he r T he y w a l k qui c kl y. N or e ne i s f i r s t a nd J e r om e f ol l ow s be hi n d, w i t h hi s ha nd pl a c e d ge nt l y on he r

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75 ba c k. T he y s e e m younge r t ha n t he i r f i f t y e i ght ye a r s f i t vi br a nt a nd ha ppy. J e r om e i f a nyt hi ng i s m o r e ha nds om e t ha n e ve r W e a r i ng w ha t l ooks l i ke a pa i r o f s t a r c he d j e a ns a nd a S a w hor s e de ni m s hi r t w hi t e ha i r t ops hi s s t i l l s l i m s t a t e l y body. T he r e i s s t i l l s om e t hi ng una s s um i ng a nd unpr e t e nt i ous a bout hi m N or e ne a nd J e r om e gui de us a r ound t he i r hom e I don t know w ha t I e xpe c t m a ybe s o m e t hi ng m or e obv i ous l y gr a ndi os e pe r ha ps but I a m s t r uc k w i t h i t s e l e ga nt s i m pl i c i t y I l ook f or s i gns of t he i r pe r s ona l i t i e s T he r e i s l i t t l e i f a ny c l ut t e r unl i ke m y hom e I n t he i r w or kout r oom w e l l e qui ppe d w i t h w e i ght s a S t a i r m a s t e r a nd r ow e r I not i c e a w a l l of f r a m e d a l bum c ove r s O n c l os e r l ook I s e e f a m i l i a r f a c e s L ooki ng ba c k a t m e a r e t he l i ke s of K r i s K r i s t of f e r s on, T ow ns V a n Z a n dt B ob D yl a n a nd T om W a i t s t o na m e a f e w I n a l a t e r d i s c us s i on I f i nd ou t t ha t a s ound t r a c k pl a ys be hi nd J e r om e s l i f e s t or y, a s i t doe s t o m i ne T ha t i s a c om m on gr ound L i ke m a ny i n our ge ne r a t i on, m us i c ha s r e f l e c t e d a nd s ha pe d our l i f e e xpe r i e nc e s A f t e r c ha t t i ng f or a f e w m i nut e s w e w a l k a f e w bl oc ks t o t he N e w s r oom a l ove l y N e w O r l e a ns s t yl e out door r e s t a ur a nt W e s i t t he r e a t our bl a c k w r ought i r on t a bl e f or ove r t w o hou r s unde r a w a r m bl ue s ky i n N ove m b e r d r i nki ng be e r a nd s ha r i ng ou r l i f e s t or i e s J e r om e s s t or y bl ow s m e a w a y. I m a r ve l a t how l i t t l e I k ne w a bout h i m ba c k w he n w e w e r e r oa m i ng t he ha l l s o f S t P i us X

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76 J e r om e s St or y R andom C onv e r s at i ons D i c t at e d by J e r om e J une 2007 I don t k now w he r e t o be gi n. I gue s s I l l s t ar t w i t h one of m y f av or i t e book s T he I nc r e di bl e L i gh t ne s s of B e i ng by M i l a n K unde r a. I n t hi s s t or y a m aj or l ov e af f ai r t ur ns out be c aus e one doc t or c aught a c ol d and t he ot he r doc t or f i l l e d i n f or hi m I hav e t hought a l ot about how w e m ay t hi nk t hat w e ar e i n c ont r ol of our l i v e s but i t i s t he de c i s i on t o t ur n l e f t i ns t e ad o f r i ght at t he s t r e e t t h at m ay c hange our w hol e l i f e L ook i ng bac k on m y s t or y I c an s ay t hat has be e n t r ue f or m e T he f i r s t t ur ni ng poi nt i s n t r e al l y about m e I t c on c e r ns a hol e i n t he f e nc e M y m ot he r had a j ob and an apar t m e nt s hor t l y af t e r W or l d W ar I I She f ound a s hor t c ut t o w or k by goi ng t hr ough t he hol e i n t he f e nc e by t he t r ac k s at t he r ai l r oad y ar d. B y t ak i ng t hi s pat h, s he m e t m y f at he r I f t he r e hadn t be e n a l oos e boar d i n t he f e nc e m y m ot he r w oul dn t hav e m e t m y f at he r and I w oul dn t be he r e C l e ar l y a m i l e s t one w oul d be m y bi r t h i n 1947. T h e s i t uat i on I w as bor n i nt o w as not t he be s t M y f at he r w as phy s i c al l y and e m ot i onal l y abus i v e t o m y m ot he r and t o m y s i bl i ngs and m e M y s i s t e r t ol d m e t hat onc e w hi l e I w as s i t t i ng i n m y hi gh c hai r m y f at he r t hr e at e ne d t o s hoot m e F r om w hat s he t e l l s m e I w as j us t bangi ng m y c up on t he t op of t he c hai r and t he noi s e bot he r e d hi m She g r abbe d m e out of t he c hai r and hi d m e i n t he w oods unt i l he c ool e d dow n. W e l i v e d ne ar a B e ne di c t i ne m onas t e r y and m y m ot he r w or k e d t he r e She w e nt t o t he m onas t e r y and t ol d t he m onk s w hat w as happe ni ng. A t t hi s t i m e w om e n w e r e of t e n c ouns e l e d by pr i e s t s t o do w hat y ou had t o do t o m ak e t he m ar r i age be t t e r and t o s t i c k w i t h i t no m at t e r w hat F or t unat e l y t h i s w as not t h e c as e f or m y m ot he r T he m onk s at

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77 t he m onas t e r y r e s pond e d t o he r c om pl ai nt s by s ay i ng, T he r e i s not hi ng y ou c an do e x c e pt ge t on a pl ane and ge t aw ay f r om t hi s guy T he y ac t ual l y bought a i r l i ne t i c k e t s f or m y m ot he r and y ounge r br ot he r and s i s t e r s t o l e av e m y f at he r T hi s c hange i m pac t e d us on m any l e v e l s I t m ay hav e s av e d our l i v e s bu t i t al s o had a ne gat i v e e c onom i c i m pac t on m y f am i l y N o doubt m ov i ng t o C ol um b us G a. ne ar m y m ot he r s f am i l y c hange d t he c our s e of m y l i f e al s o. W e w e r e onl y t he r e a c oupl e o f y e ar s unt i l w e m o v e d agai n, t hi s t i m e t o A t l ant a G a. T he bi gge s t s i gni f i c anc e of t hi s m ov e f or m e w as t hat i t br ought m e f r om a s m al l t ow n t o a l ar ge r c i t y M y m ot he r w or k e d t w o j obs af t e r our m ov e and w e w e r e l at c h k e y k i ds I t w as m y r e s pons i bi l i t y t o w at c h ov e r t he y o unge r k i ds M ov i ng t o A t l ant a ope ne d m e up i nt e l l e c t ual l y W e l i v e d ne ar a book s t or e i n dow nt ow n A t l ant a, w hi c h r e v e al e d a l i br ar y of boo k s t hat I d i dn t k now e x i s t e d. B y t he t i m e I w as ni ne I had r e ad W i l l i a m B ur r oughs N a ke d L unc h I r e ad a w hol e s e c t i on of l i t e r at ur e t hat c l e ar l y w as not be i ng t aught i n m y p ar oc hi al s c hool I t ope ne d m e up t o anot he r w or l d. I had be e n a r e ade r al l of m y l i f e a nd t he book s I r e ad f r om t hat s t or e i n par t i c ul ar had a pr of ound e f f e c t on how I l ook e d a t t he w or l d. O ne of t he e f f e c t s w as t hat I be gan que s t i oni ng t he C at hol i c C hur c h. A t about e l e v e n, I w e nt t o s e e t he par i s h pr i e s t t o t al k t o hi m about s om e of m y doubt s Y ou k now I s ai d I c an ac c e pt a l ot of t h i s s t uf f bu t I c an t ac c e pt al l of i t T he pr i e s t poi nt e d t o a s t ai ne d c l as s w i ndow H e s ai d, Y ou s e e t he s t ai ne d c l as s w i ndow ? Y e s I r e s ponde d.

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78 H e c ont i nue d, Y ou k now i f y ou t hr ow a r oc k at t h e w i ndow r i ght i n t he m i ddl e i t w i l l br e ak Y e ah i t w i l l I r e s ponde d, w onde r i ng w he r e he w as goi ng. Y ou k now i f y ou hi t i t i n t he c or ne r i t i s s t i l l a br ok e n w i ndow I t s t he s am e w ay w i t h f ai t h. T he w ay i t w or k s w i t h t he c hur c h i s y ou ar e al l i n or y ou ar e al l out he f i ni s he d. I gue s s I am out I s ai d t o m y s e l f A nd s o i t w as at e l e v e n y e ar s ol d, I be c am e a c ov e r t at he i s t W he n i t w as put i nt o t hat pe r s pe c t i v e by t he pr i e s t i t w as e as y f or m e t o m ak e a c l e ar c ut c hoi c e C ol l e ge w as anot he r one of t hos e e x pe r i e nc e s t hat al t e r e d t he t r aj e c t or y of m y l i f e i n s o m any w ay s F i r s t of al l I w as abl e t o go t o E m o r y U ni v e r s i t y w hi c h w oul d hav e be e n f i nanc i al l y out of m y l e ague but be c aus e m y m ot he r w or k e d as a s e c r e t ar y t he r e m y t ui t i on w as f r e e A nd w hi l e t he r e I be c am e an at h l e t e f or t he f i r s t t i m e B e t w e e n h i gh s c hool and c ol l e ge I gr e w s i x i nc he s M y ne w he i g ht br ought m e ne w c onf i de nc e and ne w s k i l l and I be gan pl ay i ng s oc c e r I pl ay e d i nt r am ur al s por t s t hr oughout c ol l e ge I t w as w hi l e pl ay i ng s oc c e r t hat I j um pe d up t o hi t a bal l and t he r as c al pl ay i ng agai ns t m e k noc k e d m y f e e t out f r om unde r m e and I h i t m y he ad and w as k noc k e d out T hi s w as f ol l ow e d by a c oupl e of ot he r c onc us s i ons i n m y s e ni or y e ar i n c ol l e ge N ot hi ng s e r i ous but l i t t l e d i d I k now t hat t hi s r andom e v e nt w oul d k e e p m e out of t he V i e t N am W ar a w ar i n w hi c h s o m any of m y pe e r s l os t t he i r l i v e s or i f t he y l i v e d, t he i r l i v e s c hange d f or e v e r A t t he t i m e of t he c onc us s i on, I w as v e r y i r r i t at e d w i t h t he guy w ho h i t m e A f t e r w ar ds I l ook bac k and I w oul d l i k e t o k now h i s nam e s o I c an g o t hank hi m

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79 O ne ni ght no t l ong af t e r gr aduat i ng f r om c ol l e ge I w al k e d i nt o a bar and t hat happe ns t anc e agai n al t e r e d t he di r e c t i on of m y l i f e T he r e us e t o be a w onde r f ul bar i n A t l ant a, l ong s i nc e gone c al l e d t he St e i n C l ub T hi s w as qui t e a pl ac e W al k i ng i n, y ou w oul d s e e pe opl e s i t t i ng ar ound t he t abl e s pl ay i ng c he s s O t he r ni ght s t he y had l i m e r i c k and s pe l l i ng c ont e s t s I t w as a v e r y of f be at pl ac e O ne ni ght I w al k e d i nt o t he St e i n C l ub and s at do w n at a bi g t abl e i n t he c e nt e r of t he r oom P e o pl e dr ank be e r got s l i ght l y dr unk a nd phi l os ophi z e d and ar gue d about t hi ngs I s at dow n a t t he t abl e l ook i ng f or a f r i e nd of m i ne I got i nt o t he m i ddl e of a c onv e r s at i on w i t h s om e one w ho s ai d t he y w ant e d t o go dow n t he C ol or ado R i v e r T he guy s i t t i ng ne x t t o hi m s ai d, I f y ou w ant t o k i l l y o ur s e l f goi ng dow n t he r i v e r y ou don t hav e t o go as f ar as C ol or ado, y ou c an go t o nor t h G e or gi a. T he C hat t ooga R i v e r i n nor t h G e or gi a i s one of t he m os t di f f i c ul t w hi t e w at e r s i n t he c ount r y A t t hat t i m e w hi c h w as pr e D e l i v e r anc e not a l ot of t he l oc al s k ne w w he r e t he r i v e r w as I t t ook m e about t hr e e w e e k s be f or e I f ound i t and w as i n t he r i v e r w i t h a f r i e nd of m i ne U nf or t unat e l y ne i t he r of us had any unde r s t andi ng w hat s oe v e r of paddl i ng, but s om e how w e w e nt dow n t he r i v e r and s ur v i v e d. I t ope ne d up an e nt i r e w or l d t o m e t hat I c he r i s h t o t hi s day t he out s i de w or l d of w hi t e w at e r and bac k pac k i ng t hat i n s o m any r e s pe c t s has s uppl ant e d t he C at hol i c C hur c h as m y r e l i gi on. A not he r c onv e r s at i on i n a bar not l ong af t e r t hat c hange d m y l i f e i n w ay s I c oul d ne v e r hav e e x pe c t e d. I w as s i t t i ng t al k i ng w i t h m y gi r l f r i e nd. I t had be e n a l ong day and w e w e r e bot h t i r e d. M y gi r l f r i e nd w as w or k i ng and goi ng t o gr aduat e s c hool and I had be e n w or k i ng w i t hout a v ac at i o n s i nc e gr am m ar s c hool w he n I had m y f i r s t j ob as a pape r boy Som e how t he r e s ul t of t hat c onv e r s at i on w as w e bot h qui t our j obs She

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80 dr oppe d out of gr aduat e s c hool and w e de c i de d t o dr i v e ac r os s t he c ount r y T hat put us on t he r oad f or about t e n m ont hs I t ope ne d a w ay of l i v i ng t hat c hange d how I v i e w e d t he w or l d. I w e nt f or a pe r i od of t e n m ont hs w he r e t he r e w as no s e t r out i ne B e c aus e I had a l i m i t e d am ount of m one y I had t o ge t j obs w he n I c oul d O ne t h i ng I f ound out w as t hat I r e al l y e nj oy e d w or k i n g i n i ndus t r i al par t s of t ow n. A nd s ur pr i s i ngl y I r e al l y e nj oy e d w or k i ng i n f ac t or i e s as a day l abor e r I f e l t v e r y c om f or t abl e i n t he r ough and t um bl e w or l d of f ac t or i e s W he n I w as i n c ol l e ge I t hought I w as gong t o be a l aw y e r but I ne v e r had m y he ar t i n i t A f t e r c om i ng bac k f r om t he t r i p, I de c i de d I w as go i ng t o go bac k t o s c hool and ge t s om e k i nd of adv anc e d de gr e e B ut be f or e I di d I w as goi ng t o go on one l as t t w o w e e k hi k i ng and c anoe i ng t r i p I w as s i t t i ng on m y be d p ut t i ng on m y hi k i ng boo t s t he j ungl e boot s t hat m y br ot he r a M ar i ne had gi v e n m e w h e n he c am e bac k f r om N am A s I s l i d on t he boot s m y phone r ang, and a f r i e nd of m i ne c al l e d m e and t ol d m e he had a j ob w or k i ng at t he G e ne r al M ot or s pl ant Y ou r e al l y ne e d t o c om e out he s ai d. I t hi nk I c an ge t y ou a j ob he r e f or a f e w day s T hi s i s t he m os t am az i ngl y w e i r d pl ac e I hav e e v e r be e n. M os t of t he pe opl e ar e c r az y A nd I t h i nk y o u w oul d r e al l y e nj oy c om i ng out I am w or k i ng on s om e m ac hi ne r y I had no i nt e nt i on of goi ng, but he t al k e d m e i nt o i t So, on a w hi m and at t he pe r s uas i on of a f r i e nd, I w e nt t o t he pl ant I de c i de d t o pos t pone m y c anoe i ng adv e nt ur e and e nde d up w o r k i ng one ni ght i n a v e r y c r az y at m os phe r e i n a pl ant f or w hi c h I had no t r ai ni ng T hat f i r s t ni gh t I t a l k e d t o t he pe opl e I w as w or k i ng w i t h and m ade a f e w s ugge s t i ons about how t he y c oul d do t he i r j obs be t t e r w hi c h w as f ai r l y c he e k y s i nc e t hi s w as m y f i r s t ni ght Si nc e I w as j us t a l abor e r t he y w e r e pr obabl y j us t as i m pr e s s e d t hat I

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81 c oul d r e ad as I c oul d t al k A nd al l I ne e de d t o do w as t o w or k f or a w e e k go c anoe i ng, and t he n go bac k t o w hat I had e x pe c t e d t o be i n m y m i ddl e c l as s l i f e I t ol d m y s e l f J us t a f e w day s a f e w w e e k s and t he n I w i l l ge t e i t he r an M B A or a l aw de gr e e and go f or w ar d w i t h m y l i f e O ne t hi ng, as t he y s ay l e d t o anot he r O v e r a pe r i od of t i m e I w as r e que s t e d t o s t ay f or anot he r day and t he n ano t he r day and t he n I w as as k e d t o t ak e ov e r t hi s par t i c ul ar pr oj e c t not k now i ng any o f t he bac k gr ound. A nd i t e nde d up t hat I t ook a j ob t ha t had m e t r av e l ar ound t he c ount r y i n E ur ope and C anada; i n an oc c upat i on t hat ne v e r i n m y w i l de s t dr e am s had I t hought t hat I w oul d be i nv ol v e d i n. I be c am e a pr oj e c t m anage r I w or k e d i n w ar e hous e s and had t he pr i v i l e ge of w o r k i ng w i t h m ob r un uni ons I had t he f r e e dom t o obs e r v e a l ot of or gani z at i ons I f I had not t ak e n t hat c al l I t hi nk I w oul d hav e pr obabl y had a m uc h m or e pr o f or m a m i ddl e c l as s c ar e e r T hat one phone c al l and m y de c i s i on t o pos t pone m y c am pi ng t r i p m ov e d m y l i f e i n a t ot al l y une x pe c t e d di r e c t i on. Y e ar s l at e r s t i l l w or k i ng w i t h t hi s or gani z at i on, I r e t ur ne d hom e t o A t l ant a e x haus t e d on N e w Y e ar s E v e I had be e n w or k i ng i n E ur ope and I c am e hom e l at e and w e nt t o be d. A t 11 o c l oc k I aw ok e t o bangi ng at m y door M y s i s t e r t he n dr agge d m e out of be d and t ol d m e I ne e de d t o hav e s om e k i nd of a s oc i al l i f e and m ade m e go t o a par t y w i t h he r I w al k e d i nt o t he par t y hal f as l e e p and s aw t hi s w o m an s t andi ng i n f r ont of m e I w as as t ounde d t hat s he w as s o be aut i f ul and t he r e w as n t a guy s t andi ng be s i de he r T hat w as one of t he gr e at l ov e s of m y l i f e and i t w as s i gni f i c ant as a t ur ni ng poi n t W he n I m e t he r I w as w or k i ng i n E ur ope and had r e ac he d bur nout I had a hi ghl y s t r e s s f ul j ob w i t h no par t i c ul ar r e as on t o qui t i t O ne day I w as s i t t i ng i n a c af i n R om e w or k i ng on

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82 a pr oj e c t and I t hough t t hat l i f e w as t oo s hor t and de c i de d t o qui t t hat j ob and c om e bac k t o A t l ant a I f i t had not be e n f or he r I pr obabl y w oul dn t hav e c om e bac k t o A t l ant a t he n. T he r e l at i ons hi p w i t h he r di dn t l as t bu t m y r e l at i ons hi p w i t h A t l ant a di d. I bought a hous e i n an ol d ne i ghbor hood, and f i x e d i t up on t he s i de I al s o ac qui r e d s om e r e nt al pr ope r t y and had a r e as onabl y s uc c e s s f ul c ar e e r a c qui r i ng and f i x i ng up pr ope r t y T he n I w e nt t o a w or k s hop, w hi c h w oul d be anot he r t ur ni ng poi nt i n m y l i f e I r an i nt o a guy and he happe ne d t o be t he ow ne r of a c ons t r uc t i on r e m ode l i ng c om pany W e s t ar t e d t al k i ng, and w e be c am e f r i e nds H i s pr obl e m w as t hat hi s c ons t r uc t i on c om pany had gr o w n, but he di dn t hav e m anage m e nt s k i l l s a nd I had m anage m e nt s k i l l s but not t oo m any t e c hni c al s k i l l s W i t hi n a m at t e r of s i x m ont hs I w as pr e s i de nt of hi s c om pany I f I hadn t gone t o t he w or k s hop, i f I hadn t s at do w n at t hat par t i c ul ar s e at I w oul d not hav e m e t C ar l and I w oul d hav e not e nde d up t he pr e s i de nt of a r e m ode l i ng c om pany I am not s ur e w he r e I w oul d hav e e nde d up but I w oul d not hav e had t he j ob t hat I hav e had f or t he l as t ni ne t e e n y e ar s T he ne x t bi g t ur ni ng poi nt w as m y t w e nt y f i f t h hi g h s c hool r e uni on. A t t he t i m e i t w as 1990, and I had j us t t ak e n ov e r m y c om pany A f t e r I agr e e d t o buy i t and di d a pr e t t y good anal y s i s of t he f i nanc e s I r e al i z e d t hat t he pl ac e w as pr e t t y m uc h bank r upt I had m y w or k c ut out f or m e t o m ak e i t a v i ab l e e nt e r pr i s e I w as unde r a gr e at de al of s t r e s s D ur i ng t hi s t i m e I r e c e i v e d m any c al l s i nv i t i ng m e t o m y hi gh s c hool r e uni on, bu t I w as n t i n a gr e at pl ac e A c t ua l l y I w as i n a pr e t t y de pr e s s e d s t at e and r e al l y di dn t w ant t o go. I f i t had not be e n f or t he pe r s i s t e nc e of N or e ne pe r s uadi ng m e i nt o at t e ndi ng t he r e uni on, I don t t h i nk I w oul d hav e gone B ut I di d go and I m e t N or e ne and t al k e d t o s om e of m y ol d f r i e nds l i k e M ar y P ool e and ot he r s

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83 W i t hi n t w o y e ar s N or e ne and I w e r e m ar r i e d. So i f N or e ne had not be e n pe r s i s t e nt and I had no t gone on a boa t c r ui s e at S t one M ount ai n L ak e I w oul dn t hav e e nj oy e d w hat has be e n a w onde r f ul and v e r y v e r y s uc c e s s f ul r e l at i ons hi p. So t hat s m y s t or y up t o t hi s poi nt T he i de a o f agi ng i s an i nt e r e s t i ng one I c am e t o s por t s l at e i n l i f e w e l l c l e ar l y not i n hi gh s c hool I s t ar t e d r unni ng j us t be c aus e of t he s t r e s s of t he j ob t hat I had. I hav e m anage d ov e r t h e y e ar s t o k e e p m y s e l f i n v e r y good s hape I c om e f r om a f am i l y of l ong l i v e d pe opl e A nd one of t he f e w t hi ngs t hat has he l pe d m e s uc c e e d i n l i f e i s s t am i na and dr i v e s o I ne v e r r e al l y c ons i de r e d t oo m uc h about agi ng, as I t r ans i t i one d f r om be i ng m i ddl e a ge d t o be i ng a l i t t l e bi t o l de r I hav e be e n v e r y f or t unat e i n t hat I hav e n t had a gr e at de al of i nj ur i e s or i l l ne s s e s I hav e al w ay s pas s e d m y phy s i c al w i t h f l y i ng c ol or s B ut l as t y e ar t he doc t or s s ugge s t e d t hat I t ak e a c oupl e of e x t r a t e s t s be c aus e I w as ap pr oac hi ng s i x t y and, s ur pr i s i ngl y I f ound out t hat I hav e s e r i ous and e x t e ns i v e c or ona r y di s e as e I am not s ur e i f t hi s i s ano t he r t ur ni ng poi nt y e t I s uppos e i t t ak e s t i m e t o r e c ogni z e t he m I t has t ak e n t i m e t o t hi nk about t he i m pac t but c l e ar l y m y ope r abl e as s um pt i ons t hat I c am e f r om a l ong l i v e d f am i l y and t hus I t oo w i l l l i v e l ong hav e be e n c hal l e nge d. I t i s s om e t hi ng t hat I am s t i l l t r y i ng t o abs or b. I r e al l y don t t hi nk of de at h, and I hav e ne v e r t hought of t he i m pac t of t ur ni ng di f f e r e nt age s I hav e al w ay s j ok e d w i t h m y f r i e nds t hat t he s e num be r s ar e s i gni f i c an t onl y be c aus e w e hav e t e n f i nge r s I f w e had e i ght f i nge r s i t w oul d be 6 4, 56 e t c So t he s i gni f i c anc e of a num be r l i k e s i x t y has al w a y s be e n pr e t t y m e ani ngl e s s t o m e I hav e f oc us e d on be i ng m e nt al l y and phy s i c al l y agi l e I t hi nk I hav e m ai n t ai ne d t h at I al s o hav e t hr e e w onde r f ul br ot he r s i n l aw w ho ar e about t e n t o t w e l v e y e ar s ol de r t han I

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84 am T he pas t y e ar one of t he m w as i n a s e r i ous c ar w r e c k and has l os t a l ot of hi s m obi l i t y A not he r one unf or t unat e l y has v e r y aggr e s s i v e l e uk e m i a, and a t hi r d one and pe r haps m y f av or i t e w ho w as a v e r y ac t i v e m an, h as had l e g and k ne e s ur ge r y t hat di dn t go v e r y w e l l So, not onl y am I de al i ng w i t h m y ow n he al t h c hal l e nge I am al s o t ak i ng i n t hat m y ol de r m al e r ol e m ode l s ar e not doi ng w e l l I am i n a pe r i od r i ght now of c ont e m pl at i ng t he f a c t t hat w e r e al l y do go t hr ough phas e s i n our l i f e T he r e r e al l y i s a t e e nage pe r i od, a y oung adul t pe r i od, a m i ddl e age pe r i od, and a pe r i od of gr ow i ng ol de r I n t hat pe r i od of gr ow i ng ol de r t he r e ar e goi ng t o be j us t as m any and pr obabl y m or e t o adapt t o t ha n w he n I w as a t e e nage r or a y oungs t e r H ow e v e r t hi s pe r i od i n m y l i f e i s quan t i t at i v e l y and qual i t a t i v e l y di f f e r e nt t han any ot he r A s a c hi l d I w as not r e f l e c t i v e ; I w as ac t i v e A s a y oung adul t and as a m at ur e a dul t I r e al l y di dn t r e f l e c t t hat m uc h ; I di d w hat I ne e de d t o do I di d w hat I f e l t I had t o do, and s o now I c an l ook bac k and s e e t h e t hi ngs t hat I hav e done T hi s pe r i od as I gr ow ol de r i s s i gni f i c ant l y di f f e r e nt t han ot he r t i m e s i n m y l i f e i n t hat I k now t hat I am e nt e r i ng i t I don t k now w hat l i f e has i n s t or e f or m e but I hav e r e ac he d t he t i m e w he n I c an r e f l e c t and t r y t o f i gur e out how and i n w hat w ay I am goi ng t o c hoos e t o e qui p m y s e l f at t he e nd of m y l i f e F or t he f i r s t t i m e I t hi nk r e al l y i n m y l i f e I hav e be gun t o l ook f or w ar d t o a pe r i od of m y l i f e w he n a l ot of t he s ur v i v al m ode i s be hi nd m e A l ot of t he hav e t os ar e be hi nd m e N ow w hat I am l ook i ng at and i t i s v e r y di f f i c ul t i s t he w ant t os I as k m y s e l f w hat do I w ant an d c hoos e t o do at t hi s poi nt ? H ow do I l e ar n t o gr ow ol de r ? A s a c oda t o t hi s t ape I w ant t o t al k f or j us t a m o m e nt about one ot he r s i gni f i c ant m i l e s t one i n m y l i f e B y ge t t i ng t oge t he r w i t h N or e ne I w as abl e t o m e e t he r daught e r

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85 Shar on. Shar on had qui t e a f e w phy s i c al di f f i c ul t i e s and N or e ne and I w e r e t oge t he r f or al l of about s i x day s w he n w e got a c al l t hat s he w as i n r e nal f ai l ur e H av i ng be e n a s i ngl e guy f or a l ong t i m e I s udde nl y had t hi s y ou ng w om an i n m y l i f e s om e body w i t h s pe c i al ne e d s I c an t pi npoi nt t hi s as a t ur ni ng poi nt but I c an s ay t hat t hi s i s and w as a s i gni f i c ant l y w onde r f ul t i m e i n m y l i f e P ar t i c ul ar l y af t e r hav i ng be e n s i ngl e and pe r haps a bi t s e l f c e nt e r e d, i t w as t r ans f or m i ng t o hav e s om e body c om e i nt o m y l i f e t hat I c oul d r e l at e t o, and t hat I c oul d c he r i s h and l e ar n f r om M y r e l at i ons hi p w i t h Shar on w as a w onde r f ul e x pe r i e n c e t o br i ng m e out o f m y s e l f an d t o f oc us m e a l ot m or e on w hat i s i m por t ant H e r de at h i n 1999 m ov e d m e i n w ay s I c an t f i nd w or ds t o e x pl ai n. I t has be e n i nt e r e s t i ng t o s i t on t he bac k por c h and t o go t hr ough t he s e e v e nt s P r obabl y i f I w e r e t o go t hr ough t hi s t w o or t hr e e m or e t i m e s I w oul d c om e up w i t h ot he r poi nt s I hope t hi s he l ps y ou w i t h y our di s s e r t at i on. T ak e c ar e J e r om e R e c or de d by J e r om e Q ui nn, J une 2007 T r a ns c r i be d by M a r y P ool e J une 22, 2007. Sum m e r 2007 M uc h of w ha t I a m w r i t i ng now a bout J e r om e I do a s I s i t on t he s a m e ba c k po r c h w he r e J e r om e r e c or de d hi s s t or y H e a nd N o r e ne ge ne r ous l y i nvi t e d our f a m i l y t o s t a y a w e e k i n t he i r c a bi n i n C a s hi e r s N or t h C a r ol i na T he i nvi t a t i on i s t i m e l y. J us t t w o w e e ks a go, m y c hi l d r e n l os t t he i r f a t he r t o a b r a i n t um o r W e ha ve a l l be e n gr i e vi ng a nd t he a bi l i t y t o ge t a c ha nge of s c e ne r y, pa r t i c ul a r l y s uc h a l ove l y one ha s be e n he l pf u l a s w e pr oc e s s t hi s l i f e a l t e r i ng e ve nt

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86 I t i s r e a l l y a m i s nom e r t o c a l l t hi s a c a bi n. A s w e e nde d our d r i ve ye s t e r da y, a nd m y hus ba nd, da ught e r s on i n l a w a nd t w o gr a ndc hi l d r e n e m e r ge d f r o m our c a r s w e w e r e s ur pr i s e d a nd a m a z e d a t t he be a ut y o f t h i s hom e S i t t i ng on t he ba nk o f a r i ve r t hi s t hr e e s t or y l og c a bi n hom e i s ne s t l e d i n de ns e t r e e s a nd l ooks a c r os s t he r i ve r a t t he s i de of a not he r m ount a i n. I t i s a l ove l y ha ve n. A l t hough N or e ne a nd J e r om e a r e n t he r e t he i r p r e s e nc e i nf us e s t he pl a c e T he m a s t e r be dr oom w he r e P a ul a nd I a r e s t a yi ng, i s o n t he s e c ond f l oor a nd ha s a ba l c ony ove r l ooki ng t he r i ve r O n one s i de o f t he r oom i s a m ount a i n br ook t ha t p r ovi de s a t r i c kl i ng s ound e f f e c t t ha t s oot he s us t o s l e e p. B oo ks f i l l t he he a vy w oode n s he l ve s of t he bookc a s e i n t he be dr oom O ne C onv e r s at i ons t hat C hange a L i f e c a t c he s m y e ye I f I w e r e t o de s c r i be J e r om e s l i f e I t hi nk I w oul d onl y a dd r a ndom c onve r s a t i ons t ha t c ha nge a l i f e T he l e ns t hr ough w hi c h J e r om e e xpl a i ns hi s l i f e r e f l e c t s a nd i s a n e xa m pl e of hi s phi l os ophy e xp r e s s e d i n hi s ope ni n g s t a t e m e nt a bout T he I nc r e di bl e L i ght ne s s of B e i ng. S o m a ny s e e m i ngl y r a ndom e ve nt s a nd pe opl e : t he hol e i n t he f e nc e t he m onks t he pr i e s t t he books t or e t he c onve r s a t i ons i n a ba r goi n g t o t he f a c t or y a l l a t f i r s t gl a nc e r e s ul t a nt f r o m r a ndom a c t s I r e f l e c t on J e r om e a nd hi s e xpe r i e nc e s of t he s e r a ndom c onve r s a t i ons a nd pe opl e i n hi s l i f e H e s e e m s t o ha ve a n a bi l i t y t o t a ke r i s ks t ha t m a ny of us l a c k. A nd he obvi ous l y ha s a n i m p r e s s i ve a nd c r e a t i ve i nt e l l e c t t ha t a l l ow s hi m t o be s uc c e s s f ul a t w ha t he a t t e m pt s T he r e i s unc onve nt i ona l i t y t o J e r om e H e doe s n t ne c e s s a r i l y f ol l ow t he be a t e n pa t h. I ns t e a d, he i s w i l l i ng t o br a nc h out a nd e xpl or e unknow n t e r r i t or y O n our w a y t o ou r s t a y i n t he i r c a bi n i n t he s um m e r of 2007, w e s t op i n A t l a nt a a nd vi s i t f or t he ni ght w i t h N o r e ne a nd J e r om e W e s l e e p i n N or e ne s o f f i c e on t he f i r s t f l oo r

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87 of t he i r hom e A f t e r t he gr a ndc hi l dr e n a r e s e t t l e d i n f or t he ni ght I w a l k up t he s t a i r s t o t he s e c ond f l oor a nd s i t i n t he l i vi ng r oom w i t h N o r e ne a nd J e r om e W e l a ugh a nd t a l k a nd dr i nk w i ne t oge t he r unt i l t he w e e hour s of t he m or ni ng. I t i s dur i ng t hi s c onve r s a t i on t ha t J e r om e t e l l s m e a bout t he i m po r t a nc e of m us i c i n hi s l i f e W hi l e w e a r e di s c us s i ng t he i m pa c t of t he 60 s i n our l i ve s he t e l l s m e t ha t t he bi gge s t i nf l ue nc e of t ha t t i m e upon hi m w a s t he m us i c N a r r a t i ve s l i ke t ha t of D yl a n a nd ot he r s c r e a t e d a s pa c e f or m e t o que s t i on m y l i f e a nd I f e e l a s i f m y s t or y ha s e m e r ge d i nf l ue nc e d by a nd w i t h t hi s m us i c a l l a nds c a pe a s a ba c kgr ound, J e r om e t e l l s m e H a vi ng j us t t r a ns c r i be d J e r om e s i nt e r v i e w I c om m e nt a bout hi s e a r l y f a m i l y e xpe r i e nc e J e r om e I s a y, I w a s t ouc he d a nd s ur pr i s e d a t t he s t or y of your e a r l y c hi l dhood a nd your f a t he r Y e s no doubt t ha t h a s ha d a s i gni f i c a nt i nf l ue nc e on w ho I a m he c ont i nue s A s you know I m a r r i e d l a t e i n l i f e a nd I ha ve no bi ol ogi c a l c hi l dr e n. B ut i t w a s r e a l l y i m por t a nt f or m e i n m y w or k l i f e t o c r e a t e a f unc t i ona l f a m i l y. I a m p r ou d of t he c ul t u r e of m y bus i ne s s I t hi nk t ha t I ha ve be e n a bl e t o s ha pe a he a l t hy, f unc t i ona l w or k f a m i l y. N or e ne j oi ns i n. Y ou s houl d s e e J e r om e w i t h hi s e m pl oye e s H e ha s m a ny e m pl oye e s w ho ha ve be e n t he r e a l m os t a s l ong a s he ha s a nd t he y a r e f i e r c e l y l oya l t o J e r om e W hy, he ha s be e n r e c ogni z e d na t i ona l l y f or t he p r ogr e s s i ve c ul t ur e of hi s c om pa ny. I t i s a l m os t t h r e e a m a nd I a m s t r ugg l i ng t o ke e p m y e ye s ope n, but don t w a nt t hi s c onve r s a t i on t o e nd. J e r om e f i na l l y s a ys I ne ve r s t a y up pa s t e l e ve n! R e l uc t a nt l y, I s a y m y goodbye s huggi ng J e r om e a nd N or e ne w a r m l y a nd w a l k ba c k dow n t he s t a i r s t o m y f a m i l y. L i ke J e r om e i t ha s be e n i m por t a nt t o m e t o c r e a t e a f unc t i ona l f a m i l y M y f a m i l y

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88 ha s be e n c hi l dr e n a nd gr a ndc hi l d r e n. H i s ha s be e n t he bus i ne s s a nd e m pl oye e s he w or ks w i t h. I r e f l e c t upon t hi s p r oc e s s R e e nt e r i ng t he l i ve s d e c a de s l a t e r of ol d f r i e nds ha s be e n a t r e m e ndous l y m ovi ng e xpe r i e nc e f o r m e b ot h a s a n i ndi vi dua l a nd a s a r e s e a r c he r I f e e l t r e m e ndous w a r m t h a nd c onne c t i on t o J e r om e a nd N or e ne T he s e ns e of s ha r e d hi s t or y pr ovi de s a f e r t i l e g r ound f or c om m uni c a t i on, a nd a s e ns e of be i ng know n a nd unde r s t ood. I a m c om f o r t e d a nd i ns pi r e d by m y r e c onne c t i on w i t h t he s e ol d f r i e nds

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89 C ha pt e r E i ght N or e ne s S t or y: G i ve Y our s e l f t o L ove S o gi ve your s e l f t o l ove i f l ove i s w ha t you'r e a f t e r ; O pe n up your he a r t s t o t he t e a r s a nd l a ught e r A nd gi ve your s e l f t o l ove gi ve you r s e l f t o l ove L ove i s bor n i n f i r e ; i t 's pl a nt e d l i ke a s e e d. L ove c a n't gi ve you e ve r yt hi ng but i t gi ve s you w ha t you ne e d. A nd l ove c om e s w he n you'r e r e a dy, l ove c om e s w he n you'r e a f r a i d; I t 'l l be you r g r e a t e s t t e a c he r t he be s t f r i e nd you ha ve m a de K a t e W ol f W i t h t he e xc e pt i on of m y br ot he r I ha ve know n N or e ne l onge r t ha n a ny ot he r pe r s on i n m y l i f e W e w e r e i n ki nde r ga r t e n t oge t he r a nd w e s pe nt e i ght ye a r s a t O ur L a dy of t he A s s um pt i on P a r oc hi a l S c hool a nd t he n f our m or e a t S t P i us H ow e ve r i t w oul d be t w e nt y f i ve ye a r s t i l l I s a w he r a ga i n a t t he r e uni on a nd t he n a not he r f i f t e e n t i l l w e r e c onne c t e d a t t he f o r t i e t h r e uni on. D e s pi t e t he l e ngt h of t i m e be t w e e n c ont a c t s s e e i ng he r i s l i ke c onne c t i ng w i t h a l ong l os t f a m i l y m e m be r S he kne w m y M om a nd D a d, l ong de a d, a nd s he kne w m e a s a c hi l d. W e g r e w up t o ge t he r i n t he r oi l i ng c onc oc t i on of f i f t i e s / s i xt i e s / c i vi l r i ght s e r a A t l a nt a / C a t hol i c s c hool / pos t w a r c r a z i ne s s W e w e r e c ut f r om t he s a m e bol t o f c l ot h A s I r e m e m be r N or e ne a nd a s I s e e he r now s he i s one of t he m os t e ne r ge t i c e bul l i e nt a c t i ve a nd qui c k t a l ki ng pe r s ons I ha ve e ve r y know n. S he i s a nd w a s a dyna m o. N or e ne w a s t a l l l i ke m e but w he r e I w a s c ur vy, s he w a s l e a n a nd l a nky

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90 B r ow n, c ur l y out o f c ont r o l ha i r f r a m e d he r f a c e a nd gl a s s e s out l i ne d he r l i ve l y a nd i nt e ns e br ow n e ye s S he e xi s t s i n m y m e m o r y i n va r i ous bl a c k a nd w hi t e s na ps ho t s T he t a l l e s t g i r l s i n our c l a s s w e s t ood t oge t he r dr e s s e d i n our w hi t e f l uf f y d r e s s e s a nd w hi t e ve i l s a t t he va r i ous M a y D a y r e l i gi ous pr oc e s s i ons T oge t he r w e w or e our s i l l y B r ow ni e d r e s s e s w e nt on c a m pi ng t r i ps a nd gi ggl e d a t s l e e pove r s W e l i v e d i n a w or ki ng c l a s s A t l a nt a s ubdi vi s i on, a nd I ha ve e a r l y m e m o r i e s of de l i ve r i ng ne w s pa pe r s t o he r hom e T o s uppl e m e nt t he m one y m y f a t he r e a r ne d a s a m i l k m a n, m y f a m i l y ha d a pa pe r r out e M y f a t he r b r ot he r a nd I a w oke a t f i ve i n t he m or n i ng. S om e t i m e s i n t he w i nt e r w e w oul d ga t he r w i t h ot he r c a r r i e r s a r ound a w a r m f i r e f ol d t he pa pe r s a nd t he n l oa d t he m i nt o ou r c a r s M y br o t he r a nd I s a t i n t he ba c ks e a t a nd t h r e w t he pa pe r s i n t he ya r d of t he s ubs c r i be r T o t hi s da y, I c a n s t i l l s m e l l t ha t s i c ke ni ngl y s w e e t s m e l l of ne w s pr i nt a nd r e m e m be r t r yi ng t o w a s h of f t he bl a c k i nk f r o m m y ha nds T hi s i s how I l e a r ne d t ha t N or e ne l i ke I l i ve d i n a m ode s t hom e c om pa r e d t o our m os t l y w e a l t hi e r c l a s s m a t e s M os t of ou r pe e r s w e r e c hi l dr e n o f doc t or s l a w y e r s a nd pr of e s s i ona l s O ur pa r e nt s s a c r i f i c e d t o s e nd us t o pa r oc hi a l s c hool w hi c h w a s c os t l y, pa r t i c ul a r l y f o r w o r ki ng c l a s s f a m i l i e s F or m e t h e r e w a s a w a r e ne s s t ha t m y s oc i oe c onom i c s t a t us w a s di f f e r e nt f r om m os t of m y c l a s s m a t e s W hi l e I of t e n w or e c l ot he s t ha t w e r e ha nd m e dow ns or f r om s e c ond ha nd s t or e s I c ove t e d t he m a t c he d l a ve nde r c a s hm e r e s w e a t e r s e t w or n by ou r f r i e nd, D a ni e l l e N or e ne w a s a c om pa ni on dur i ng t ha t t i m e w ho m a de m e f e e l not s o d i f f e r e nt A s e i ght h gr a de c a m e a nd w e nt w e m o ve d on t o S t P i us X hi gh s c hool S om e of our c l a s s m a t e s w e nt t o t he m or e pr e s t i gi ous pr i va t e gi r l s a nd boys s c hool s but w e

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91 j oi ne d m os t of our c l a s s a t P i us I t w a s dur i ng t h i s t i m e t ha t N or e ne s m ot he r ga ve b i r t h t o T e r r y, a D ow n s s yndr om e c hi l d I don t r e m e m be r e ve r t a l ki ng t o N or e ne a bout he r but be c a us e of N or e ne s i nf l ue nc e I t ut or e d a you ng D ow n s s yndr om e gi r l dur i ng hi gh s c hool B ot h of us s e r ve d on s t ude nt c ounc i l t ook t he a dva nc e d c l a s s e s a nd c om pe t e d a ga i ns t e a c h ot he r f or s t ud e nt gove r nm e nt pr e s i de nt W he n c ol l e ge c a m e I w e nt o f f t o W a s hi ngt on D C t o T r i ni t y a nd s he s t a ye d be hi nd t o go t o G e or gi a S t a t e I r e m e m be r s he w a nt e d t o go t o P e a body, a nd I ne ve r kne w w h a t ha ppe ne d a bout t ha t T he ne xt t hi ng I he a r d by w a y of t he g r a pe vi ne w a s t ha t N or e ne a t t w e nt y ga ve bi r t h t o t w i ns I t w a s n t unt i l t he t w e nt y f i f t h r e uni on t ha t I s a w he r a ga i n. S he ha d qui t e a s t or y t o t e l l N or e ne T e l l s H e r O w n St or y M y nam e i s N or e ne Q ui nn and I w as bor n i n 1947 and w as t he f i r s t c hi l d of N or m an and I r e ne E di s on. M y nam e i s a c om bi na t i on of N or f r om N or m an, and t he E ne f r om I r e ne I w as t he f i r s t c hi l d and t he f i r s t gr andc hi l d, and I w as gr e at l y be l ov e d. I w as i t and I f e l t i t and k ne w i t I had a v e r y nor m al c hi l dhood w i t h T om m y br ot he r f ol l ow i ng m e t hr e e y e ar s l at e r t he n M ar y A nne a nd St e v e n. W e w e r e a c l os e and l ov i ng f am i l y L ook i ng bac k on i t t he f i r s t s i gni f i c ant t ur ni ng poi nt t hat i n f l ue nc e d m y l i f e w as t he bi r t h i n 1960 of m y y ounge s t s i s t e r T he r e s a. T e r r y w a s bor n and t hi ngs w e r e n t nor m al T e r r y had D ow ns s y ndr om e I w as t hi r t e e n, and m y m ot he r and I be c am e v e r y c l os e be c aus e of t he j oy and s adne s s of T e r r y s bi r t h. W e s oon l e ar ne d t hat t he r e w as n t a pl ac e i n t he w or l d f or c hi l dr e n w i t h di s abi l i t i e s l i k e T e r r y T h e r e w as no e duc at i onal

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92 s y s t e m i n pl ac e f or he r and t he r e w as n t an aw f ul l ot t o r e ad and k now M om and D ad w e r e on t he f r ont l i ne of par e nt s f i gur i ng out how t o he l p a c hi l d l i k e T e r r y gr ow up t o be al l t hat s he c oul d be T he C at hol i c C hur c h w as not v e r y m uc h he l p t o us e i t he r T he r e w e r e n t c l as s e s at O ur L ady of t he A s s um pt i on, w h e r e m y s i bl i ngs and I w e nt f or m y s i s t e r T hi s w as w ay be f or e t he f e de r al l aw w as pas s e d, s o T e r r y w as n t guar ant e e d an e duc at i on. W e w e r e l uc k y t o e v e nt ual l y f i nd a nun w ho w as v e r y i nt e r e s t e d i n t e ac hi ng c hi l dr e n w ho had l e ar ni ng di s abi l i t i e s l i k e T e r r y H e r nam e w as Sr R obe r t T he r e s e W at c hi ng w hat s he c oul d do w i t h T e r r y w as a r e al i ns pi r at i on t o m e and I t hought I c an do t hi s I c an go t o s c hool and f i nd a c ol l e ge t ha t w oul d t e ac h m e how t o be s t t e ac h c hi l dr e n w i t h di s abi l i t i e s I t t ur ne d out t he y w e r e f e w and f ar be t w e e n. T he r e w e r e n t v e r y m any c ol l e ge s t hat of f e r e d c our s e s f or t e ac hi ng di s abl e d k i ds P e abody U ni v e r s i t y w as one t hat I f ound and I appl i e d t o go t o c o l l e ge t he r e I had e v e r y i nt e nt i on of t e ac hi ng m e nt al l y r e t ar de d c hi l dr e n and adul t s I got a s c hol ar s hi p t o P e abody but t he s c hol ar s hi p w as n t e nough t o c ov e r e v e r y t hi ng. M y f am i l y di dn t f e e l t hat t he y c oul d af f or d t o s e nd m e aw ay t o c ol l e ge s o I s t ay e d at G e or gi a St at e I de c i de d t o ge t a t e ac hi n g de gr e e and i t t ur ne d out t hat G e or gi a St at e w as s o af f or dabl e t hat I c oul d pay f or c ol l e ge on m y ow n. I l i v e d at hom e and w e nt t o St at e and t he n had an ot he r one of t hos e m i l e s t one s i n m y l i f e I be c am e i nv ol v e d w i t h one of m y c ol l e ge p r of e s s o r s and f e l l i n l ov e w i t h hi m H e w as t w e l v e y e ar s ol de r t han I and I s oon f ound m y s e l f pr e gnant w i t h t w i ns W e m ar r i e d and be gan r ai s i ng t he m T he bi r t h of t he t w i ns w as a t ur ni ng poi n t and s o t oo w as t he

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93 w ay I w as m a r r i e d. I di dn t t e l l m y par e nt s A nd, i n addi t i on, one of t he t w i ns Shar on, w as bor n w i t h m ul t i pl e bi r t h de f e c t s T he k i ds w e r e bor n at E m or y and t hank goodne s s f or t hat E m or y w as as s oc i at e d w i t h E gl e s t on C hi l dr e n s H os pi t al and t he y s av e d Shar on s l i f e Shar on had no anal ope ni ng, and t he y had t o pe r f or m a c ol os t om y i m m e di at e l y She onl y had one k i dne y and i t w as c om pr om i s e d. H e r l e gs w e r e be nt bac k i n a f e t al pos i t i on and t he y had t o be br ought f or w ar d. H e r ank l e s had t o be br ought up B ut t he doc t or s t he r e w e r e de t e r m i ne d t hat Shar on w as not goi ng t o be bound t o a w he e l c hai r T he y w e r e de t e r m i ne d t hat s he w as goi ng t o w al k w i t h c r ut c he s and br ac e s one da y and s o w e r e w e A f t e r s ur ge r i e s e v e r y s um m e r f or f i v e y e ar s and l ot s of hos pi t al s t ay s s he di d w al k and s he di d ge t t o go t o a k i nde r gar t e n. Shar on w as a huge i nf l ue nc e on m y l i f e Sc ot t w as gi f t e d and Shar on w as m ul t i p l y handi c a ppe d and s o t he y w e r e bot h c andi dat e s f or t he f i r s t s pe c i al ne e ds k i nde r gar t e n i n t he s t at e of G e or gi a. T hi s i nv ol v e d m e t oo. B e c aus e Shar on had s o m any t hi ngs w r ong w i t h he r e v e n t hos e i n t he handi c appe d k i nde r gar t e n pr ogr am w e r e n t s ur e t hat t he y c oul d handl e he r ur i ne and c ol os t om y bags and l ong l e g br ac e s So, I w as hi r e d as t he ai de i n t hat k i nde r gar t e n pr ogr am w hi c h w as t he f i r s t pr ot ot y pi c al pr ogr am f or c hi l dr e n w i t h s pe c i al ne e ds T hat m e ant I w as i n s c hool e v e r y day w i t h Sc ot t and Sh ar on. A f t e r k i nde r gar t e n w as ov e r I s t ay e d t i l l t hr e e o c l oc k and s o di d t he k i ds Sc ot t w as abl e t o go t o f i r s t gr ade i n t h e af t e r noon af t e r k i nde r gar t e n, and Shar on s t ay e d w i t h m e and nappe d So, w e di d t hat f or t he i r f i r s t y e ar I t w as a w onde r f ul y e ar I l e ar ne d a l ot and I r e al i z e d how m uc h I w ant e d t o be i nv ol v e d i n t he k i ds e duc at i ons T he y al r e ady c oul d r e ad w he n t he y w e nt t o k i nde r gar t e n, be c aus e I ha d s pe nt s o m uc h t i m e w i t h t he m f or t he

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94 f i r s t f i v e y e ar s I di dn t w or k out s i de t he hom e and I w as a pr of e s s i onal hos pi t al M om A l ot of t i m e s Shar on c oul dn t m ov e and s o I r e ad t o he r and t o Sc ot t B e c aus e t he r e w as no handi c ap ac c e s s i bl e s c hool i n our di s t r i c t I had t o dr i v e f or t y f i v e m i nut e s e ac h w ay t o t ak e Sc ot t and Shar on t o s c hool So, e v e r y day I dr ov e t he k i ds t o a s c hool s o Shar on c oul d w al k ar ound i n c r ut c he s and br ac e s and not f al l d ow n. T hi s s c hool w as c ar pe t e d, and i t w as c ons t r uc t e d s o t he r e w e r e n t any door s Shar on had f i v e y e ar s at t hi s s c hool Si nc e I dr ov e s o f ar t o ge t t he k i ds t o s c hool m os t day s I e i t he r v ol unt e e r e d at t he s c hool or w as pai d as a s ubs t i t ut e t e ac he r t he r e B e c aus e of t hi s I w as t he r e w i t h t he m f or gr ade s one t hr ough f i v e I w as bl e s s e d w i t h t e n y e ar s of be i ng w i t h m y k i ds al m os t e v e r y day I ne v e r r e gr e t t e d t hi s and I am gr at e f ul f or e ac h day I had w i t h t he m Som e w he r e i n t hi s t i m e f r am e I t ook a par t t i m e j ob m ak i ng m one y on a s w i t c hboar d f r om t e n t i l l t w o i n t he af t e r noon. Som e t i m e s I w oul d t ak e t he c hi l dr e n t o s c hool and t he n go t o w or k and t he n pi c k t he m up I t a l l ow e d m e t o m ak e e nough m one y t o buy gr oc e r i e s e ac h w e e k and I f e l t l i k e I w as doi ng s om e t hi ng t o he l p t he f am i l y A not he r m i l e s t one w as r e ac he d w he n I bought t he ans w e r i ng s e r v i c e I w or k e d f or I t w as c al l e d A ns w e r abi l i t y I t had be e n s ol d t o a w om an w ho w as us i ng i t as a t ax w r i t e of f f or he r doc t or hus band. She e nde d up r unni ng i t i nt o t he gr ound. B e c aus e of t hi s I w as e v e nt ual l y abl e t o buy i t c he ap. T hat w as t he b e gi nni ng of m y e nt r e pr e ne ur s hi p. F r om t he r e I s t ar t e d A s s oc i at i on M anage m e nt Se r v i c e s T hr ough t hi s bus i ne s s I w as t he e x e c ut i v e di r e c t or f or s e v e r al v ol unt e e r and s t at e as s oc i at i ons T hi s gav e m e i nde pe nde nc e and i t gav e m e m y f i r s t c hanc e t o be m y ow n bos s and t o be t he bos s of

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95 ot he r pe opl e I c om bi ne d bot h bus i ne s s e s and us e d t he gi r l s on t he s w i t c hboar d t o he l p m e s t uf f e nv e l ope s and ge t r e ady f or m e e t i ngs f or t he A s s oc i at i on M anage m e nt Se r v i c e s I di d t hat f or about t hi r t y y e ar s T hat i s t he w ay I m ade m y l i v i ng, and i t e nabl e d m e t o go bac k i nt o t he hos pi t al w i t h Shar on any t i m e s he ne e de d t o be i n t he hos pi t al or had anot he r s ur ge r y I t t ur ne d out t o be a r e al l y go od t hi ng and i t gav e m e a l o t of pe r s onal f r e e dom A not he r t ur ni ng poi nt i n m y l i f e happe ne d ar ound 1981, w he n t he k i ds and I c am e bac k f r om a v ac at i on t o f i nd t hat m y hus band had m ov e d out of our hom e T hi s w as t he t i m e be t w e e n e i ght h gr ade and hi gh s c hool f or t he t w i ns H e s ai d he w as goi ng t hr ough a m i d l i f e c r i s i s and he c oul dn t f ac e Shar on goi ng t o hi gh s c hool and f i ndi ng ou t j us t how handi c appe d s he r e al l y w as H e j us t w as n t s t r ong e nough t o go t hr ough t hat he t ol d m e A c t ual l y he w as hav i ng an a f f ai r and I f oun d out l at e r he had be e n hav i ng m any af f ai r s dur i ng our m ar r i age W e w e r e s e par at e d f or about t w o y e ar s and dur i ng t hi s t i m e w e t r i e d t o w or k t oge t he r t o s t ay m ar r i e d. W e r e uni t e d f or e i ght m o r e y e ar s af t e r our s e pa r at i on. T hi s w as t he pe r i od of t i m e o f t he l as t y e ar s of m y k i ds hi gh s c hool at L i t hi a Spr i ngs H i gh Sc hool T he y bot h gr aduat e d f r om hi gh s c hool and t he n w e w or k e d t oge t he r f or f i v e m or e y e ar s w hi l e Sc ot t w as i n c ol l e ge i n ar c hi t e c t ur e at C ar ne gi e M e l l on U ni v e r s i t y I t r e al l y t ook t w o i nc om e s pl us e v e r y t hi ng Sc ot t c oul d do t o k e e p hi m i n C ar ne gi e M e l l on. I t w as v e r y e x pe ns i v e but i t w as an e x c e l l e nt s c hool and he d i d v e r y w e l l and w e bot h w ant e d hi m t o gr aduat e f r om t he r e I t w as a huge e x pe r i e nc e f or our f am i l y t o hav e s om e body gr aduat e f r om c ol l e ge I had dr oppe d out m y j uni o r y e ar t o hav e t w i ns I w as pr oud t hat Sc ot t di d gr aduat e

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96 I n 1990, a huge t ur ni ng poi nt happe ne d f or m e at m y hi gh s c hool r e uni on, t he St P i us c l as s of 65 H i gh Sc hool r e uni on. I t w as our t w e nt y f i v e y e ar r e uni on, a nd i t w as t he onl y r e uni on t hat w e had up unt i l t hi s poi nt I w as s t i l l m ar r i e d, and m y hus band w as up on t he t op de c k of t he paddl e boat c r ui s i ng ar ound St one M ount a i n, s i t t i ng t he r e w i t h hi s ank l e s c r os s e d and hi s bac k agai ns t t he s i de of t he boat not t a l k i ng t o any body not e v e n ac k now l e dgi ng m y pr e s e nc e I t w as v e r y t y pi c al of our m ar r i age at t hat poi nt I t hi nk I w as j us t t oug hi ng i t out and m ak i ng do s om e how A t t hat r e uni on, J e r om e Q ui nn put hi s ar m s ar ound m y s houl de r and I f e l l i n l ov e w i t h hi m B y 1992 I w as di v or c e d, and J e r om e an d I w e r e m ar r i e d. M y daught e r Shar on, w as s o happy f or m e She w as w i t h m e an d s he r e al l y l ov e d J e r om e Sc ot t w as de v as t at e d, and i t t ook a w hi l e f or hi m t o ge t us e t o t he i de a. I t hi nk w hat w on hi m ov e r w as s i m p l y w at c hi ng J e r om e and m e t oge t he r and s e e i ng how abs ol ut e l y happy I w as Sc ot t e nde d up w or k i ng f or J e r om e at hi s r e nov at i on bus i ne s s f or f our t e e n y e ar s unt i l j us t t hi s y e ar i n 2007. I t has be e n a r e al l y good r e l at i ons hi p f or bot h Sc ot t and J e r om e So t hat w as a w onde r f ul t ur ni ng po i nt and i t a f f e c t e d a l ot of pe opl e s l i v e s Shar on got t o k now J e r om e t oo. She had f r om 199 2 w he n w e m ar r i e d, unt i l t he f i r s t w e e k i n J une of 1999, w he n s he di e d. T hos e w e r e s om e r e al l y good y e ar s w i t h J e r om e as a s t e pf at he r T he y w e r e r e al l y c l os e O ne of m y f onde s t m e m or i e s of J e r om e i s w at c hi ng hi m c r aw l up on t he be d i n t he hos pi t al w i t h Shar on, and hugg i ng he r w hi l e s he l ay c l os e t o dy i ng. H e has be e n a bl e s s i ng t o our e nt i r e f am i l y O ne of t he f av or i t e pl ac e s f or Sh ar on t o be w as up at t he c abi n t hat J e r om e and I bought r i ght af t e r w e got m ar r i e d, i n C as hi e r s N C I t w as c ool i n t he m ount ai ns and Shar on w as c ol d a l ot W e m ade s ur e t hat Shar on had a be dr oom t hat w as v e r y w ar m

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97 and t hat s he had a l ov i ng e x pe r i e nc e t he r e O ne of m y f av or i t e ni ght s t he r e w as t he ni ght t hat Shar on and I t oge t he r s m ok e d our f i r s t j oi nt I di dn t do any t hi ng l i k e t hat as a y oung m ot he r I had w ay t oo m uc h s e ns e of r e s pons i bi l i t y as t he m ot he r at t w e nt y one o f t w i ns and a handi c appe d c h i l d I t ook t hat r e s pons i bi l i t y v e r y s e r i ous l y and I di dn t do m any t hi ngs t hat w e r e dar i ng, l i k e s m ok i ng pot T hat ni g ht J e r om e and Shar on and I s at on t he bac k por c h, l ook i ng out at t he be aut i f ul m oun t ai no us l ands c ape and t he r i v e r be l ow J e r om e pas s e d t he j oi nt f i r s t t o Shar on, and t he n t o m e W e gi ggl e d t oge t he r unde r t he ni ght s k y f e e l i ng t he pl e as ur e of s har i ng t hi s i l l i c i t m om e nt bot h of us f or t he f i r s t t i m e J e r om e a bi t m or e e x pe r i e nc e d t han w e w e r e l aughe d unt i l he c r i e d w at c hi ng us J e r om e and I hadn t be e n t oge t he r v e r y l ong w he n Shar on s k i dne y be gan f ai l i ng. A l t hough s he w as not s uppos e d t o be a c andi dat e f or a k i dne y t r ans pl ant i t t ur ne d out t hat m e di c al t e c hnol ogy had m ov e d f or w ar d. H e r t i ny s i z e and he r s c ar t i s s ue t hat s e e m e d t o pr ohi bi t a t r ans pl ant e ar l i e r w e r e f i nal l y abl e t o be s ur m ount e d. I w as n t a c andi dat e ; m y k i dne y di dn t m at c h. Sc ot t s di dn t e i t he r M y e x hus band, J oe d i d m at c h Shar on, and he gav e he r hi s k i dne y T he y bo t h s ur v i v e d t he t r ans pl ant and di d w e l l Shar o n had s i x y e ar s and f our m or e m ont hs of l i f e be c aus e of t hat k i dne y t r ans pl ant and I had s i x y e ar s and f our m ont hs t o s pe nd w i t h m y d aught e r W e m ade good us e of t ha t t i m e She di e d i n 1999 at t he age of t hi r t y one t hough s he w as n t e x pe c t e d t o l i v e i nt o adul t hood. She had l ot s of j oy and e x pe r i e nc e s i n he r l i f e B e c aus e s he w as s o t i ny and had ot he r i s s ue s m y m ot he r and I m ade al l o f he r c l ot he s and m ade s ur e s he al w ay s l ook e d good. She w as a be aut i f u l y oung w om an. I t ook he r w i t h m e on s om e of m y

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98 bu s i ne s s t r av e l s and w e t r av e l e d t o E ur ope and C anada t oge t he r I w or k e d har d t o m ak e s ur e s he had a good l i f e f or how e v e r l ong i t w oul d be H e r de at h w as a huge m i l e s t one i n m y l i f e M y m ot he r Sc ot t and I w e r e de v as t at e d by he r l os s W e gr i e v e d, and c ont i nue t o gr i e v e A l m os t t w o y e ar s af t e r he r de at h, m y s on Sc ot t and hi s w i f e C andi c e had a ba by gi r l m y f i r s t gr anddaught e r i n Se pt e m be r 2001. H e r nam e w as F i ona and s he br i ngs us a l ot o f j oy but I w ant e d s o m uc h t o s har e he r bi r t h w i t h Shar on. J e r om e and I hav e w at c he d he r gr ow up and w e he l p i n r ai s i ng F i ona W e hav e e x pe r i e nc e d he r f i r s t s but t he r e i s a bi g ho l e t he r e i n t he j oy I n 2004, m y D ad p as s e d aw ay B e f or e he di e d, I w e nt on t r i ps w i t h D ad and m y M om f or r e uni ons w i t h hi s W or l d W ar I I b uddi e s W e t r av e l e d al l ov e r t he c ount r y I t w as ge t t i ng t o t he po i nt w he r e M om c oul dn t t ak e hi m on t he t r i ps any m or e T he y ne e de d m e t o he l p w i t h D ad, and I di d Som e t i m e s m y br ot he r St e v e w oul d c om e t oo. I t hi nk I m us t hav e gone on f i v e or s i x t r i ps w i t h D ad. T he l as t one w as s c he dul e d af t e r D ad w as i n a nur s i ng hom e H e had a s t r ok e but he w as hangi ng on f or t he ne x t r e uni on, w hi c h w as goi ng t o be he l d i n Sav annah G a I t w as n t t oo f ar and w e k ne w w e c oul d dr i v e t he r e D ad e nj oy e d i t and he w as s t i l l t he r e a bi t al t hough not as m uc h as he had be e n a y e ar be f or e B ut he di d l ook f or w ar d t o i t r e m e m be r e d i t and e nj oy e d i t Soon af t e r t hat he had m or e and m or e de m e nt i a, s o he c oul dn t t r av e l M y D ad s pas s i ng w as anot he r one of t hos e huge t ur n i ng poi nt s and i t l e f t M om al one i n t hat hous e w e al l gr e w up i n I t had a s t e e p dr i v e w ay and f r ont s t e ps w i t hout a bani s t e r or r ai l i ng. I t w as j us t an ac c i de nt w ai t i ng t o happe n. I w as v e r y af r ai d t hat m y

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99 M om w oul d f al l and t hat t he r e w oul d be no w ay t h a t s he c oul d c al l t o any body and no one w oul d k now t hat s he had f al l e n. N o m at t e r how m uc h I t r i e d t o c onv i nc e he r t o m ov e w i t h us s he w as n t buy i ng i t I k ne w i t w as goi ng t o be har d t o ge t he r out of t ha t hous e She had l i v e d t he r e f or f i f t y f i v e y e ar s H av i ng t hat hous e w as l i k e an anc hor ; i t w as a poi nt of c ont i nui t y i n al l of our l i v e s J e r om e di d i t A nd t he w ay t hat he di d i t w as t o ar r ange an ac c e pt abl e pl ac e ne ar m e f or he r t o l i v e W e l i v e i n t he ups t ai r s of our ho m e T he dow ns t ai r s w as c onv e r t e d i n t he e ar l y ni ne t i e s i nt o a s ui t e of of f i c e s f or m e I j u s t hav e t o go dow ns t ai r s t o go t o w or k T he hous e ne x t door i s a r e nt al pr ope r t y and i t i s a t w i n of our hous e an ov e r / unde r dupl e x as w e l l W he n t he pe opl e m ov e d out o f t he dow ns t ai r s uni t J e r om e c onv e r t e d i t t o be j us t w hat M om ne e de d. H e put i n an e x c e l l e nt ai r c ondi t i oni ng uni t w i t h an ai r f i l t e r s o t hat pol l e n and ot he r t hi ngs w oul dn t ge t t o M o m s o m uc h. I t i s al l on one l e v e l w i t h no s t e ps W e put i n a s t ac k w as he r dr y e r H e j us t m ade i t a v e r y s pe c i al pl ac e f or m y M om and i t i s r i ght ne x t door O ne of t he m ai n r e as ons M om di dn t w ant t o l e av e w as be c aus e of he r pl ant s s om e w hi c h had be e n gr ow i ng f or ov e r f i f t y y e ar s W e m ov e d al l o f M om s pl ant s he r e t o he r ne w hom e A nd t he y m ov e d w onde r f ul l y T he y ne v e r l ook e d as good as t he y do he r e J e r om e and I hav e w or k e d f or f i f t e e n y e ar s t o m ak e t he s oi l r i c h, and J e r om e put an i r r i gat i on s y s t e m i n f or al l t hr e e bac k y ar ds s o t ha t M om and I di dn t hav e t o m ov e hos e s ar ound and our pl an t s w oul d l i v e M y M om and I hav e had a w onde r f ul t i m e e x t e ndi n g w hat w as al r e ady a w onde r f ul f r i e nds hi p and a l ov i ng r e l at i ons hi p. So now t he y e ar I t ur n s i x t y m y M om

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100 i s e i ght y f i v e and al t hough s he has had one hos pi t al s t ay f or C O P D s he i s doi ng gr e at She c am e hom e f r om t hat s t ay on ox y ge n. W e dr ag ge d ox y ge n t ank s ar ound e v e r y w he r e w e w e nt She t ook c our s e s and s he w or k e d har d t o ge t of f of t he ox y ge n e x c e pt at ni ght and gr adual l y s he w or k e d he r w ay of f t he ox y ge n a t ni ght t oo. N ow s he has be e n a y e ar w i t hout ox y ge n. I w or k har d t o s t ay ac t i v e I bi k e and I hav e be e n a r unne r and now I w al k and j us t j og a l i t t l e bi t be c aus e m y k ne e s j us t ar e n t v e r y good. I ac t ual l y t or e m y A C L i n m y l e f t k ne e and t hat w as a huge s e t bac k I t t ook m e t w o y e ar s t o w or k t he j oi nt i n m y l e f t k ne e and now I am w or k i ng on m ak i ng t he m us c l e s on e i t he r s i de of m y k ne e s s t r ong e nough s o t hat I c an r un agai n I hav e be e n doi ng m or e c y c l i ng, be c aus e w he n y ou ar e on a bi c y c l e y ou ar e not put t i ng w e i ght on y our k n e e s J e r om e and I w e nt on a bi c y c l e t r i p r e c e nt l y I t w as one of t he be s t v ac at i ons t hat w e v e e v e r t ak e n. W e t our e d f or t w o w e e k s i n I r e l and on bi k e s I w as n t t he be s t bi c y c l i s t i n t he gr oup, but I w as n t t he w or s t e i t he r C y c l i ng has gi v e n m e a l ot of j oy T hi s i s t he m ont h t hat I t ur n s i x t y and t oday J e r om e and I w e nt t o one of our f av or i t e pl ac e s t he Si l v e r C om e t I t i s an ol d r ai l t o t r ai l s t hat t he y hav e t ur ne d t o bi k e t r ai l s W e par k e d i n t he par k i ng l o t and de c i de d h ow f ar out w e ar e goi ng t o go I t w as e l e v e n o c l oc k w he n w e ar r i v e d at t he par k i ng l ot W e w e nt out f or an hour and af t e r an hour w e t ur ne d ar ound and c am e bac k t o t he par k i ng l ot I di d t w e l v e m i l e s out and t w e l v e m i l e s bac k J e r om e di d t hi r t y f i v e T he poi n t i s I t ur n s i x t y t hi s m ont h and I am s t i l l w or k i ng at k e e pi ng m y k ne e s unde r m e A s I t u r n s i x t y t he f ut ur e l ook s br i ght I t hi nk one of t he r e as ons t hat t he f ut ur e l ook s br i gh t t o m e i s be c aus e I hav e J e r om e

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101 W he n I w as s e par at e d f r om m y f i r s t hus band, i t w a s Sc ot t m y s on w ho w as r unni ng c r os s c ount r y and t r ac k and he t ook m e o n m y f i r s t r oad r ac e I am not s ur e I w oul d hav e e v e r s t ar t e d t hat but I w ant e d t o do s om e t hi ng w i t h Sc ot t and I ne e de d t o do s om e t hi ng t o ge t ov e r t he i nc r e di bl e s adne s s and t he huge k i c k t o m y s e ns e of e s t e e m t hat hav i ng y our hus band w al k out on y ou w oul d do A nd I ow e Sc ot t bi g t hank s f or t hat be c aus e t hat i s t he f i r s t r e al e x e r c i s e t hat I e v e r di d. I t w as J e r om e w ho put m e on a bi c y c l e I t had be e n y e ar s and y e ar s s i nc e I had r i dde n a bi k e T he f i r s t t i m e I got on, I pr om pt l y r a n i nt o a f e nc e J e r om e and Shar on w e r e w at c hi ng m e and t he y l aughe d un t i l t he y c r i e d. T he y al w ay s s ay y ou ne v e r f or ge t r i di ng a bi c y c l e but I di d. I had t o pr ac t i c e and I a m s o gl ad t hat I di d. B i k i ng has r e al l y be e n a w onde r f ul t hi ng f or m e J us t w i t hi n t he l as t y e ar s t ar t i ng i n J anuar y J e r om e got m e on hi s r ow i ng m ac hi ne W hat y ou c an do i s r ow agai ns t y our s e l f on a pr e v i ous r ow T he y c al l i t r e r ow i ng. So w hat I di d w as r ow agai ns t m y s e l f on, s ay M ay 23 T he l i t t l e c om put e r w oul d k e e p t he dat a and s o I c oul d s e e t he pr ogr e s s t hat I am m ak i ng. T he s e t hi ngs m ak e m e not f e e l s o bad about ge t t i ng ol de r I t i s s t i l l a s t r uggl e I s t i l l hav e at l e as t t w e nt y f i v e pounds I w oul d l i k e t o dr op t o ge t bac k t o m y i de al w e i ght T hi s gi v e s m e a l ot of hope I m ay be ge t t i ng ol de r but I am s i x t y y e ar s ol d, and I c an s t i l l do t h i ngs t o k e e p m y j o i nt s f l e x i bl e t o k e e p m y bac k f r om ge t t i ng s t i f f and t o m ak e t he pai n go aw ay A nd, I am he l pi ng m y m om do t he s am e t hi ng at e i ght y f i v e M om has be e n an i ns pi r at i on t o m e So has J e r om e s A unt R uby She i s ni ne t y ni ne y e ar s ol d and i s i n e x c e l l e nt he al t h. She hadn t f al l e n or s us t ai ne d any i n j ur i e s unt i l he r ni ne t y ni nt h bi r t hday O n t ha t dat e s he f e l l as l e e p, and s he aw ok e t o t he p hone

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102 r i ngi ng. A s s he got up, s he s l i ppe d and f e l l on t he k i t c he n f l oor D e s pi t e he r i nj ur y s he i s s t i l l doi ng gr e at t hough. I t ook m y M om dow n t o e at l unc h w i t h R uby r e c e nt l y I l l be dar ne d i f R uby di d n t gr ab t he c he c k She w as f as t e r t han e i t he r M om or I She gi v e s M om hope t hat s he m ay be e i ght y f i v e and s he m ay be s l ow i ng dow n, bu t R uby at n i ne t y ni ne c an s t i l l gi v e us a r un f or our m one y A gi ng doe s n t hav e t o be t hi s dow n hi l l s ad s ong. I f w e put a l i t t l e t i m e and e f f or t i n i t and i f w e e at r i g ht w e c an s t i l l hav e a gl as s of w i ne or t w o or t hr e e and s t ay m obi l e I t hi nk t hat i s w hy I w ant t o do ac t i v e v ac at i ons w i t h J e r om e A s l ong as I c an hi k e w i t h hi k i ng pol e s and k e e p m y s t abi l i t y I w ant t o k e e p d oi ng i t I hav e f ound o t he r pe opl e w ho ar e m y f r i e nds w ho al s o w ant t o s t ay ac t i v e I hav e s t ar t e d doi ng a hi k e s om e t i m e s t w i c e a y e ar w i t h about t w e nt y ot he r w om e n, s om e of w h om ar e daught e r s s i s t e r c ol l e ge r oom m at e s f r i e nds and f r i e nds of f r i e nds W hat w e hav e i n c om m on i s t ha t w e ar e al l w o m e n. W e hi k e t o t he t op of t hi s m ount ai n. I t i s f i v e m i l e s w i t h not a huge de gr e e of di f f i c ul t y but i t i s a hi k e T he s e ar e t he k i nd of t hi n gs t hat m ak e ge t t i ng o l de r not s o f r i ght e ni ng t o m e I gue s s I am not one o f t hos e B aby B oom e r s w ho t hi nk I am i n de s t r uc t i bl e I t or e a l i gam e nt i n m y t oe s and had t o hav e an ope r at i o n and t he y put a pi n i n m y t oe I f e l l on a hi k e and br ok e m y ar m and had t o hav e a pl a t e p ut i n w i t h t hr e e or f our s c r e w s B ut I s t i l l pl an on k e e pi ng ac t i v e and he l pi ng t o k e e p m y M o m as ac t i v e and happy and i nde pe nde nt as l ong as s he c an t oo W e hav e t he m as t e r be dr oom on t he s e c ond f l oor a t t he c abi n w he n w e p l an t o r e t i r e I hav e f r i e nds w ho ar e put t i ng t he i r be dr oom s on t he f i r s t f l oor W e l l I don t pl an on be i ng i nac t i v e I a m go i ng t o dr op s om e pound s and be s ur pr i s e d at how m uc h be t t e r

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103 m y k ne e s and bac k f e e l I pl an on k e e pi ng m y m ob i l i t y I am m ar r i e d t o a m an w ho f e e l s t he s am e w ay W e ar e doi ng t hat t oge t he r W e don t pl an t o be c ouc h pot at oe s W e ar e goi ng t o be ac t i v e and k now w he n i t i s t i m e t o e nj o y a book and hav e a r e s t and e nj oy f ood, and e nj oy c ook i ng, and e nj oy dr i nk i ng w i ne W e w i l l k e e p i t al l i n pe r s pe c t i v e and m ak e t hi s e ndi ng a v e r y happy e ndi ng. I hope t hat t hi s he l ps M ar y I l ov e y ou v e r y m uc h. ( I t w oul d hav e be e n e as i e r t o t y pe t hi s ) R e c or de d by N or e ne Q ui nn J une 17, 2007 T r a ns c r i be d by M a r y P ool e J ul y, 2007 A f t e r w or d N ot l ong a f t e r t r a ns c r i bi ng t hi s I pa c k m y ove r w o r ke d C or ol l a w i t h m y r e c or de r m y da ught e r a nd gr a ndc hi l dr e n a nd dr i ve t o A t l a nt a f r om m y hom e a bout f i ve hund r e d m i l e s or a good da y s dr i ve F or ye a r s N or e ne ha s be e n of f e r i ng he r o f f i c e be l ow he r hom e t o m e f or a vi s i t a nd I f i na l l y de c i de t o t a ke he r up on i t I a m goi ng t o c om bi ne s om e di s s e r t a t i on w or k w i t h a m i ni va c a t i on w i t h m y f a m i l y N or e ne i s pr oba bl y t he m os t gr a c i ous hos t I ha ve e ve r e nc ount e r e d. S he m a i l e d m e a ke y t o he r of f i c e a nd l e f t m e e xpl i c i t di r e c t i ons on t he a c c om m oda t i ons i n c a s e s he w a s n t t he r e i nc l udi ng pa r ki ng i ns t r uc t i ons a nd s l e e pi ng a r r a nge m e nt s S he i s i nc r e di bl y w e l c om i ng. S he m a ke s m e f e e l a s i f I a m doi ng he r a f a vor s t a yi ng w i t h he r r a t he r t ha n t he ot he r w a y a r ound. S he e m bodi e s t he e s s e nc e of s out he r n hos pi t a l i t y. N ow m or e t ha n e ve r a f t e r t r a ns c r i bi ng he r na r r a t i ve I l ook f or w a r d t o s e e i ng he r I c ons i de r onc e a ga i n how f or t una t e I a m t o ha ve c hos e n a di s s e r t a t i on t opi c t ha t i s s o p l e a s ur a bl e f or m e

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104 A f t e r m a ny hou r s of dr i vi ng l i s t e ni ng t o m i nd nu m bi ng c hi l dr e n s m us i c a nd t he w hi ne s a nd c r i e s of a one a nd t h r e e ye a r ol d w e f i na l l y a r r i ve i n A t l a nt a a r ound di nne r t i m e N or e ne t o l d m e t ha t t he y w oul d be up a t t he c a bi n unt i l l a t e r a nd t o m a ke our s e l ve s a t hom e M y da ught e r gui de s m e t h r oug h r us h hour A t l a nt a t r a f f i c t o N or e ne s hom e a nd w e s ni pe ba c k a nd f o r t h a t e a c h ot he r a s onl y m ot he r a nd da ught e r c a n. F i na l l y, w e a r r i ve a t L i t t l e F i ve P oi nt s a nd t he i r h om e I ha ve be e n he r e be f or e but s t i l l s t r uggl e t o f i nd i t N or e ne s di r e c t i ons a r e good t h ough, a nd w e f i na l l y a r r i ve a nd pa r k be hi nd he r hom e i n a j oi nt a l l e y pa r ki ng w a y W e a l l t um bl e out of t he c a r g r a ndm ot he r da ught e r a nd r a m bunc t i ous t oddl e r s w i t h a l l of t he i r e nt r a pm e nt s P ul l i ng l ugga ge a nd youn g ha nds I obs e r ve t he bl oom i ng ga r de n t ha t w e pa s s t hr ough on t he w a y t o t he doo r I c on s i de r t ha t t he s e m us t be he r m ot he r s pl a nt s s o l ovi ngl y m ove d f r om t he f a m i l y hom e I t i s s um m e r i n A t l a nt a a nd f l ow e r s a nd gr e e ne r y a bound. B y t hi s t i m e I a m r e a l l y t i r e d, t hough a nd I j us t w a nt t o ge t i n a nd s e t t l e dow n O pe ni ng t he door t o he r of f i c e w e w a l k i nt o a c om bi ne d l i vi ng a nd of f i c e s pa c e be a ut i f ul l y out l i ne d i n da r k w ood. I t i s a n e f f i c i e nt pl a c e w i t h de s ks a nd c om put e r s a nd pa pe r s B ut i t i s a l s o c om bi ne d w i t h a w a r m l i vi ng s pa c e T he r e a r e m a nt e l s a nd pi c t u r e s a hom e y ki t c he n a nd a be dr oom N or e ne t o l d m e t ha t t hi s i s w he r e S ha r on l i ve d be f or e s he di e d. N or e ne ha s m a de t he be dr oom c om f or t a b l e T he r e i s a bi g ove r s t uf f e d be d a nd a c ot ne xt t o i t f or t he ove r f l ow of t he c hi l d r e n. S h e l e f t a no t e t e l l i ng us a l l of he r phone num be r s a nd i nvi t i ng us t o he l p ou r s e l ve s t o t he r e f r i ge r a t or W e do T he t oddl e r s a r e qui e t e d w i t h j ui c e a nd r a i s i ns M e gha n a nd I he l p our s e l ve s t o a be e r a nd I be gi n t o l ook a r ound.

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105 I a m d r a w n t o t he m a nt l e s a nd t o t he pi c t u r e s I ne ve r m e t S ha r on, but t he r e a r e pl e nt y of pi c t u r e s of he r he r e I n one s he s t a nds i n be t w e e n N or e ne a nd J e r om e A l ove l y, ope n be a ut i f ul f a c e w i t h bi g e ye s a nd a hug e s m i l e s t a r e out a t m e S he ha s t he s a m e c ur l y, f l ya w a y ha i r t ha t N or e ne s por t s a l t hou gh s he ha s a bl onde r ve r s i on. S he l ooks s o a l i ve ha ppy a nd s e l f pos s e s s e d, dr e s s e d i n a l ove l y r e d s ui t t ha t I s pe c ul a t e w a s m a de by N or e ne a nd he r m ot he r T he r e a r e pl e nt y m or e pi c t ur e s : S ha r on a t N or e ne a nd J e r om e s w e ddi ng; S ha r on s t i ny body s t a ndi ng ne xt t o w ha t I a s s um e m us t be he r 6 5 br ot he r S c ot t a ha nds om e young m a n. I he a r m y da ught e r a nd gr a ndc hi l dr e n i n t he ba c kgr ound, a nd t e a r s f i l l m y e ye s I t a ke s o m uc h f or gr a nt e d, a nd I vow t o a ppr e c i a t e t he gi f t t ha t i s m y he a l t hy da ught e r I w onde r how N or e ne c oul d ha ve s ur vi ve d t hi s l os s a nd s t i l l m a i nt a i n he r e bul l i e nt s pi r i t de s pi t e he r t r e m e ndous gr i e f I he a r a knoc k a t t he door w a l k t o i t a nd f i nd N or e ne s t a ndi ng t he r e w i t h a huge s m i l e I ope n i t a nd w e e m br a c e N o r e ne i s t a l l l e a n, a nd s t i l l e ns hr oude d by he r c opi ous c ur l y ha i r S he ha s n t m e t m y da ught e r o r m y g r a ndc hi l dr e n, s o i nt r od uc t i ons e ns ue W he r e ve r N or e ne i s a l w a ys s e e m s t o be a w hi r l w i nd of e ne r gy a nd a c t i vi t y, a nd I a m c a ught i n i t I t f e e l s a s i f t he r e ha s be e n no l a p s e i n our f r i e nds hi p. S he t e l l s m e he r m ot h e r w a nt s t o s e e m e s o I w a l k ne xt door t o G l o r i a s hom e W e w a l k a r m i n a r m I a s k he r a bout t he p l a nt s O h ye s s he s a ys A r e n t t he y be a ut i f ul ? J e r om e w a s s o ki nd t o m a ke s ur e t he y w e r e m ove d he r e M om w oul dn t ha ve c om e i f t he y ha dn t s he l a ughs W e knoc k on G l or i a s door a nd s he g r e e t s m e w i t h a n ope n s m i l e a nd a f f e c t i ona t e hug. T e r r y, he r s i s t e r i s hom e f or t he w e e ke nd f r om he r gr oup l i vi ng f a c i l i t i e s a nd w e ha ve a f a m i l y r e uni on T oge t he r G l or i a a nd I l a ugh a s w e r e m e m be r our pa pe r r o ut e e xpe r i e nc e

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106 L a t e r on N or e ne J e r om e a nd I t a l k l ong i nt o t he ni ght dr i nki ng w i ne r e t e l l i ng ol d s t or i e s l a ughi ng, a nd s t a yi ng up m uc h l a t e r t ha n o ur s i xt y ye a r ol d bodi e s a r e us e t o. A s I w a l k dow n t he s t a i r s t o N or e ne s of f i c e a nd m y hom e f or t he ni ght I a m w a r m e d by t he s e ve r a l gl a s s e s of w i ne bu t m os t l y by t he c a m a r a d e r i e of o l d f r i e nds a nd by c onve r s a t i on be t w e e n t hought f ul i nt e l l i ge nt a nd c om pa s s i ona t e pe opl e N o r e ne i ns pi r e s m e t o a ge c ons c i ous l y a nd t hought f ul l y, a nd t o ha ve a s s he s a ys a ve r y ha ppy e ndi ng de s pi t e t he c ha l l e nge s a nd he a r t a c he e xpe r i e nc e d ove r t he c ou r s e of a l i f e t i m e S ur e l y i f s he c a n do t hi s w i t h a l l s he ha s e ndur e d I c a n t oo W he n I ge t hom e I t hi nk I am goi ng t o s t ar t r i di ng m y bi c y c l e

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107 C ha pt e r N i ne M i c ha e l s S t or y S he l t e r F r om t he S t or m W e l l t he de put y w a l ks on ha r d na i l s a nd t he pr e a c h e r r i de s a m oun t B ut not hi ng r e a l l y m a t t e r s m uc h i t 's doom a l one t h a t c ount s A nd t he one e ye d unde r t a ke r he bl ow s a f ut i l e hor n C om e i n" s he s a i d I 'l l gi ve you s he l t e r f r om t he s t or m I 've he a r d ne w bor n ba bi e s w a i l i ng l i ke a m our ni ng dove A nd ol d m e n w i t h br oke n t e e t h s t r a nde d w i t hout l o ve D o I unde r s t a nd you r que s t i on m a n i s i t hope l e s s a nd f or l o r n C om e i n" s he s a i d I 'l l gi ve you s he l t e r f r om t he s t or m B ob D yl a n W a l ki ng i n t o t he f or t i e t h r e uni on a f t e r m y w a r m g r e e t i ng f r o m N or e ne I not i c e a n unf a m i l i a r m a n of f i c i a t i ng a s hos t I a s k N or e ne W ho i s t ha t ? S he r e m i nds m e Y ou know t ha t s M i c ha e l H e w a s i n s om e of our c l a s s e s but he l e f t P i us a f t e r t he j uni or ye a r R e m e m be r s om e t hi ng ha ppe ne d t o s om e body i n hi s f a m i l y. I don t r e m e m be r t he de t a i l s I s e a r c h m y w o r n a nd a gi ng br a i n f or de t a i l s I t h a s be e n a l ong t i m e Y ou d t h i nk I d r e m e m be r s om e t hi ng; i t w a s a s m a l l c l a s s A s I s t r uggl e t o r e m e m be r M i c ha e l w a l ks up s m i l i ng, w i t h ha nd e xt e nde d M a r y, i t s good t o s e e you. I t t hr ow s m e o f f w he n s om e one know s m e a nd I don t know hi m o r he r b ut pe r ha ps he w a s j us t r e a di ng m y na m e t a g. I de c i de t o pl a y i t a s i f I know hi m t oo M i c ha e l how a r e you?

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108 I m gl a d N or e ne f ound you, he r e pl i e s W e l os t you of f ou r a ddr e s s l i s t b ut N or e ne ha d t he good s e ns e t o c a l l your br ot he r I t w oul dn t be a r e uni on w i t hout you N ow I r e a l l y a m di s c onc e r t e d t ha t I don t r e m e m b e r hi m B ut I f or ge a he a d, W ha t ha ve you b e e n up t o I a s k, w a nt i ng t o m ove out o f t he pa s t s i nc e I ha d no m e m o r y of hi m i n i t H e t e l l s m e a bout hi s m i l i t a r y c a r e e r a nd t ha t s i nc e hi s r e t i r e m e nt he w o r ks w i t h t e c hnol ogy a t t he U ni ve r s i t y of O hi o. I t e l l hi m a b out m y l a t e l i f e pu r s ui t of a P h D a t t he U ni ve r s i t y of S out h F l or i da a nd a bout m y i de a f or a di s s e r t a t i on. U nl i ke m a ny pe opl e w hos e e ye s gl a z e ove r w he n t he di s s e r t a t i on t a l k b e gi ns he s e e m s ge nui ne l y i nt e r e s t e d. I l i ke hi m a nd w onde r w hy I d i dn t know hi m be t t e r i n hi gh s c hool W he n I put out t he e m a i l c a l l f or pa r t i c i pa nt s i n o ur c l a s s na r r a t i ve he w a s one of t he f i r s t t o r e s pond. H e w a s e nt hus i a s t i c a nd c a l l e d m e s e ve r a l t i m e s H e obvi ous l y s pe nt a l ot of t i m e w i t h t he r e c or di ng of hi s s t or y, s e ndi ng i t t o m e i n A ugus t of 20 07. B e c a us e of c i r c um s t a nc e s i n m y l i f e I di dn t t r a ns c r i be t hi s unt i l a c oupl e of m ont hs l a t e r A f t e r l i s t e ni ng t o hi s he a r t w r e nc hi ng na r r a t i ve I s i t dow n a nd c r y, out of s a dne s s a nd out of a nge r A t t he s a m e t i m e I m a r ve l a t hi s s t r e ngt h a n d a bi l i t y t o ke e p goi ng a nd h i s c a r e f or ot he r s H e r e i s hi s s t or y M i c hae l s R e c or de d N ar r at i v e Sor r y i t t ook s o l ong f or m e t o ge t s t ar t e d on t hi s I hav e a l ot of t hi ngs unde r w ay I hope t hi s has n t s l ow e d y our pr ogr e s s on y our P h. D F i r s t of al l be f or e I g e t s t ar t e d I w oul d appr e c i at e i t i f y ou w oul d k e e p al l of t h i s c onf i de nt i al M ak e m e anony m ous

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109 pl e as e I don t k now i f y ou w i l l be abl e t o do t hat e as i l y but I w oul d r e al l y appr e c i at e i t T hank Y ou. T he r e ar e onl y hal f a doz e n B I G T H I N G S, s o l e t m e do t he m f i r s t T he f i r s t B I G T H I N G oc c ur r e d w he n I w as i n gr ade s c hool i n A t l ant a at St C e c e l i a s I w as dow n at t he s c hool y ar d on a Sat ur day or Sunday pl ay i ng b as k e t bal l I w as i n t he s i x t h or s e v e nt h gr ade at t he t i m e and I w as t he r e by m y s e l f A n ol de r guy w ho w as a s c hool m at e of m i ne s how e d up and w e s t ar t e d pl ay i ng t oge t he r T o t he be s t of m y r e c ol l e c t i on, he w as about a y e ar ol de r t han I w as I t w as a l ong t i m e a go, and t he de t ai l s ar e f oggy but t he be s t I c an r e c al l i s t hat he bas i c al l y t ook m y ba s k e t bal l and t he n w oul dn t l e t m e pl ay I di dn t l i v e v e r y f ar f r om s c hool s o I w e nt hom e an d f ound m y D ad M y f at he r c oul d t e l l I w as ups e t and he s ai d, W hat s w r ong? A s I t ol d hi m w hat happe ne d, w e got i nt o t he c ar and dr ov e bac k t o t he s c hool y ar d. T h e k i d w as s t i l l pl ay i ng w i t h m y bas k e t bal l M y f at he r got out of t he c ar and t ol d h i m t o gi v e i t t o b ac k t o m e T he k i d bas i c al l y j us t hi t hi m I w as w at c hi ng t hi s f r om t he c ar and I c oul d n t be l i e v e m y e y e s M y f at he r w al k e d bac k and got i n t he c ar s l um pe d ov e r t he w he e l a nd had a he ar t at t ac k H e di e d r i ght t he r e i n t he s c hool y ar d. I gue s s y ou c oul d s ay t hat w as t he f i r s t l i f e c hangi ng e x pe r i e nc e f or m e I gue s s I w as i n s hoc k I w e nt and got t he pr i e s t at t he r e c t or y be c aus e i t w as onl y one hundr e d y ar ds aw ay f r om w he r e t he c ar w as T he pr i e s t c am e out I don t r e m e m be r hi s nam e now but he w as one of t hos e I r i s h i m por t s T he r e w as n t any t hi ng he c oul d do, s o he c al l e d t he am bul anc e I t t ook t he m a w hi l e t o ge t t he r e M y m ot he r w as n t hom e I don t r e m e m be r w he r e s h e w e nt pr obabl y s hoppi ng w i t h m y ol de r s i s t e r She dr ov e by t he s c hool y ar d on he r w ay hom e w hi l e I w as w ai t i ng f or t he am bul anc e I c oul d s e e t he

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110 c ar go by but s he di dn t s t op. I don t r e m e m be r now how I got hom e and t ol d he r but of c ou r s e I di d, and s he w as c r us he d. So, w hat doe s t hat al l m e an? W e l l he r e i s w hat i t m e ant t o m e F i r s t of al l I f e l t t he gui l t of m y f at he r dy i ng I s t i l l f e e l i t s o t o s ay t hat I go t ov e r i t I pr obabl y hav e ne v e r got t e n ov e r i t I hav e had a l ot of pe opl e t e l l m e t hat i t w as n t m y f aul t but I s t i l l f e e l t hat i t w as m y f aul t E v e n t hough I di dn t hi t h i m i t w as m y f aul t f or not be i ng abl e t o t ak e c ar e of m y s e l f M y f at he r had a he ar t at t ac k t he y e ar be f or e s o I m e an i t w as n t l i k e i t w as a s hoc k I k ne w t hat he w as n t i n t he be s t s hape A ny how t hat r e al l y had a m aj or i m pac t on m y l i f e A nd i t w as qui c k l y f ol l ow e d by anot he r m aj or e v e n t t hat i m pac t e d m y l i f e I don t k now e x ac t l y how t o e x pr e s s t hi s but a C at hol i c pr i e s t w ho w e k ne w w hos e nam e I w on t gi v e y ou, not t hat i t m at t e r s any m or e w ho w as a f r i e nd of our f am i l y w ho t he n I gue s s t he be s t w ay t o de s c r i be i t i s he s e duc e d m e and t h e n s t ar t e d t o s e x ual l y abus e m e H e di d t hat f or pr obabl y c l os e t o f our y e ar s N ot al l t h e t i m e but of t e n. M ay be t w e l v e or t hi r t e e n t i m e s s om e t hi ng l i k e t hat I t s t oppe d w he n w e m ov e d t o F l or i da. So t ha t w as t he s e c ond l i f e c hangi ng e x pe r i e nc e A s y ou c an i m agi ne t hat w as a m aj or t ur ni ng po i n t A s I r e f l e c t on i t I ne v e r r e al l y unde r s t ood how i t s t ar t e d I t w as a s e c r e t I w as de v as t at e d by t he w hol e e x pe r i e nc e M y f at he r w as not t he r e I di d not k no w t o t e l l m y m ot he r I f e l t gui l t y f or m y f at he r s de at h. I di dn t k now w ho t o t al k t o I c oul d n t t al k t o any body I c oul dn t t al k t o m y pr i e s t I c oul dn t t al k t o m y m ot he r I w as t he o l de s t of m y s i bl i ngs s o I c oul dn t t al k t o t he m So f undam e nt al l y I had no one t o t al k t o. Sur e l y c oul dn t t al k t o m y f r i e nds So, bas i c al l y I j us t s or t of s uc k e d i t up i f y ou w i l l

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111 So w hat di d t hat do? W e l l I us e d t o be a r e al l y go od s t ude nt i n gr ade s c hool St udy i ng w as not r e al l y al l t hat c hal l e ngi ng Sc hoo l w as not r e al l y al l t hat c hal l e ngi ng Si nc e t he n I di s c ov e r e d w he n I w as an adul t t hat m y t e s t s c or e s qual i f i e d m e f or M E N SA I v e be e n a M E N SA m e m be r s i nc e pr obabl y t he m i d s e v e nt i e s now not t hat t hat s any bi g de al I t j us t m e ans t hat I c an t e s t w e l l W e l l i f I c an t e s t w e l l i t s houl d m e an t hat I c an s t udy w e l l and I c an do w e l l i n s c hool B ut f unda m e nt al l y I ne ar l y f l unk e d out o f hi gh s c hool I n f ac t I c oul d har dl y ge t i nt o c ol l e ge M y gr ade s w e r e al w ay s i n t he t oi l e t Y ou k now I m s ur e y ou c an appr e c i at e t hat I had a l l k i nds of s oc i al doubt abou t m y s e l f Y ou k now I w as s t r uggl i ng. T he r e w as a c oupl e of t i m e s w he n I di d not k now w hat t o do and I t r i e d t o r un aw ay but I f e l t t ha t i f I r an aw ay I di d not hav e any w he r e t o r un t o A l s o, I w as w or r i e d about w hat i t w oul d do t o m y m ot he r I f e l t t hat s he w as al r e ady c r us he d about t he l os s of m y f at he r She w as s t r uggl i ng t o r ai s e m y s i s t e r and m y br ot he r and m e and t o e duc at e us A l l t hi s m e s s w as goi ng on. So t hat w as a l ong t e r m t r aum a. I m e an i t di d not j us t l as t f or t he r e m ai nde r of t he t i m e w e l i v e d i n A t l an t a. T he i m pac t of i t l as t e d f or pr obabl y t he e as y w ay t o ans w e r i s t hat i t pr obabl y s t i l l has an i m pac t t oday and as y ou k now I am appr oac hi ng s i x t y So, t hat w as I gue s s t he s e c ond m aj or one A f e w y e ar s l at e r w e m ov e d t o F l or i da and I f i ni s he d hi gh s c hool t he r e bar e l y A s y ou pr obabl y r e m e m be r I di dn t gr aduat e w i t h our P i us c l as s I t w as am az i ng t hat I gr aduat e d at al l and I had t o go t o s um m e r s c hool t o do t hat T o m ak e m at t e r s w or s e I hat e d l e av i ng m y gi r l f r i e nd i n A t l ant a. She w as i n our c l as s and s he w as m y f i r s t l ov e I he ar d s he s t ar t e d dat i ng anot he r c l as s m at e s oon af t e r W hat s ur pr i s e d m e w as t hat w he n w e w e nt t o t he f or t i e t h r e uni on, t he y w e r e m ar r i e d. T he y ar e s t i l l m ar r i e d. T he y hav e

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112 t hr e e daught e r s and l i v e i n A t l an t a. She l ook e d pr e t t y m uc h t he s am e I w as s ur pr i s e d by al l of t ha t I f i ni s he d hi gh s c hool and I di dn t k now w hat I w a nt e d t o do I had no c l ue I n hi nds i ght I s houl d hav e pr obabl y j oi ne d t he A r m y A t t he t i m e I di dn t W hat I di d do w as s om e t hi ng t hat I s t i l l t o t hi s day do not unde r s t and w hy I di d i t I de c i de d I w ant e d t o s t udy t o be c om e a pr i e s t f or t h e A t l ant a d i oc e s e I v e done a l ot of t h i nk i ng about t hat and I don t k now how t hat happe ne d. B ut i t di d I w e nt up t o A l bany N Y and I w e nt t o s c hool i n t he s e m i nar y I s t ar t e d i n Se pt e m be r of 65 and by C hr i s t m as I w as hom e I n f ac t I c am e hom e be f or e C hr i s t m a s be c aus e I di s c ov e r e d t hat i t j us t w as n t f or m e I had no v oc at i on. I had no i nt e r e s t i n be c om i ng a pr i e s t an d ac t ual l y w as r e al l y m or e hos t i l e t han any t hi ng e l s e w hi c h r e al l y i n r e t r os pe c t i s not a bi g s ur pr i s e I di dn t k now w hat I w as doi ng t he r e t o be gi n w i t h s o I l e f t t he r e and I c am e hom e I w as f or t unat e t hat I had gone t o a h i gh s c hool i n F l or i da t hat w as r un by t h e M ar i s t br ot he r s and t he y got m e i nt o L oy ol a U ni v e r s i t y i n N e w O r l e ans So I w e nt t o L oy ol a i n J anuar y Y ou k now I w as s t i l l t oo i m m at ur e t o appr e c i at e goi ng t o s c hool I don t r e al l y t hi nk I had any i nt e r e s t i n goi ng t o s c hool I j us t had i nt e r e s t i n be i ng aw ay N e w O r l e ans w as a good pl ac e f or t hat I s t ar t e d c ol l e ge i n 1965 and gr aduat e d i n 1981 I t e l l pe opl e t hat t he f i r s t y e ar t hat I w as i n s c hool i n c ol l e ge I got no c r e di t f or t he f i r s t s e m e s t e r be c au s e I dr oppe d out of t he s e m i nar y be f or e t he s e m e s t e r f i ni s he d. I c am e hom e at C hr i s t m as t i m e and di d not go bac k f or t he t e s t T he n t he s e c ond s e m e s t e r I w e nt t o L oy ol a and I pl ay e d s c r abbl e dur i ng t he day and dr ank at ni ght and par t i e d. I s t ar t e d of f w i t h 4 D s and an F s o af t e r t he f i r s t y e ar of s c hool I had one s e m e s t e r w or t h of c r e di t but i t di dn t r e al l y c o unt be c aus e I w as on ac ade m i c

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113 pr obat i on. I s t ay e d t he r e f o r anot he r y e ar and j us t dr ank and par t i e d. A c t ual l y I dat e d a gi r l t hat I m e t t he f i r s t w e e k She w as f r om P e ns ac ol a on a c he m i s t r y s c hol ar s hi p. W e s t ar t e d dat i ng and I dat e d he r t he w hol e t i m e I w as t he r e I s t ay e d i n N e w O r l e ans f or a y e ar and a hal f and I l e f t t he r e t he s um m e r of 67. I w e nt hom e t o F l or i da be c aus e I r an out of m one y I got a j ob w or k i ng at a gas s t at i on al l ni ght W he n I w as not w or k i ng, I w as dr i nk i ng. W he n I w as n t dr i nk i ng, I w as pl ay i ng s c r abbl e I w e nt t o t he j un i or c ol l e ge i n M i am i I m ar r i e d t he gi r l I w as dat i ng i n N e w O r l e ans N ow t hat I l ook bac k on i t I t hi nk I got m ar r i e d be c aus e of w hat happe ne d t o m y hi g h s c hool s w e e t he ar t I w as w or k i ng and t r y i ng t o go t o s c hool and s he w as w or k i ng. She dr oppe d out of c ol l e ge t o c om e t o M i am i W e m e s s e d ar ound doi ng t hat f or a y e ar and a hal f or t w o y e ar s I t hought about be i ng a c op i n M i am i A t o ne poi nt I had t e n di f f e r e nt j obs i n t e n m ont hs T he pr os pe c t s f or hav i ng a c ar e e r l ook e d di m I had done al l k i nds of t hi ngs I dug di t c he s I hum pe d s he e t r oc k I w as a l abor e r f or a hi gh r i s e s he e t r oc k out f i t i n H ol l y w ood. I w as a c ook i n a r e s t aur ant I di d a s t i nt as a hot e l de s k c l e r k I di d t he ni ght audi t I w e nt t o w or k f or E as t e r n A i r l i ne s i n t he i r ac c ount i ng de par t m e nt I r e ad w at e r m e t e r s f or t he C i t y of M i am i T he n I got t i r e d of t hat one day and I w or k e d m y w ay ov e r t o t he A r m y r e c r ui t e r s of f i c e and I bas i c al l y j oi ne d t he A r m y T hat w as pr obabl y t he f i r s t s m ar t t hi ng t hat I di d. I w e nt of f t o t he A r m y I f ound out I w as p r e t t y good at i t T hat w as i n J une of 197 0, and by D e c e m be r of 1970, m y w i f e t ol d m e t hat s he w as l e av i ng. She t ol d m e i t w as be c aus e I c oul dn t ho l d a j ob and t hat I w oul d ne v e r am ount t o any t hi ng. W he n t he dus t s e t t l e d, i t t ur ne d out t ha t s he w as hav i ng an af f ai r w i t h a pi l ot s he had m e t i n he r j ob as a f l i ght at t e ndant She l e f t m e and t he r e I

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114 w as i n t he A r m y W e l l t he A r m y t ur ne d out t o be t he be s t t hi ng t hat c oul d hav e happe ne d at t he t i m e m ay be e v e n t he be s t t h i ng e v e r So now bas i c al l y I am s i n gl e and I m i n t he Se r v i c e and i t had al l t he s t r uc t ur e I ne e de d. I t had t he di s c i pl i ne t hat I ne e de d. W he n I j oi ne d t he A r m y I t ol d t he r e c r ui t e r t hat I w ant e d t o be a Spe c i al F or c e s w e apons m an. H e s ai d, N o pr obl e m be c aus e he had be e n a Spe c i al F or c e s m e di c So he t ol d m e I c oul d e nl i s t and al l I ne e d t o do i s be w hat t he y c al l ai r bor ne unas s i gne d, w hi c h m e a nt I w as unas s i gne d t o a par t i c ul ar s k i l l So t hat m e ant t hat I w as r i ght f or Spe c i al F o r c e s t r ai ni ng. W e l l i t t ur ns out t hat w hat i t r e al l y m e ant i s t ha t I di dn t pi c k an opt i on s o t he A r m y c oul d do w hat e v e r t he y w ant s o t he y s e nt m e t o c ook s c hool E v e nt ual l y I w e nt t o s om e l e ade r s hi p s c hool and d i d r e al l y w e l l i n i t A c t ual l y I di d t he l e ade r s hi p s c hool af t e r bas i c t r ai ni ng. I w a s t r y i ng t o ge t out of c ook s c hool I r e al l y w ant e d t o be an i nf ant r y m an. M y C ol one l s ai d, W e hav e ne v e r had a l e ade r s hi p gr aduat e as a c ook s o y ou c an do t hat f i r s t So I w e nt t o c ook s c hool f i ni s he d t hat and t he n I t o l d t he m I w ant e d t o be a Spe c i al F or c e s guy H e s ai d he w oul d he l p m e and s o t he y hook e d m e up w i t h t he Spe c i al F or c e s r e c r ui t e r I w ound up goi ng t o j um p s c hool and t he n I w e nt t o F or t B r agg and t o Spe c i al F or c e s t r ai ni ng. I f i ni s he d t he f i r s t phas e of t he t r ai ni ng and t he n t he A r m y f ol k s t he r e t ol d m e O K bas e d on y our s c or e s y ou c an e i t he r be a c om m uni c at or or a m e di c I s ai d I w ant e d t o be a w e apons m an. T he y s ai d, N o, y ou c an t do t hat W e r e f ul l of w e apons guy s W e don t ne e d any m or e W e ne e d c om m uni c at or s and m e di c s and y ou r e o ne of our guy s I t ol d t he m I di dn t w ant t o do t hat T he y r e s ponde d w i t h a c hoi c e : W e l l he r e s t he de al I f y ou c hoos e t o be a w e apons guy w he n y ou f i ni s h Spe c i al F or c e s t r ai ni ng and t he n as s oon as y ou r e

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115 f i ni s he d w e l l s e nd y ou t o t he 82 n d A i r bor ne di v i s i on and t he n y ou w on t be a Spe c i al F or c e s guy any m or e I c oul dn t unde r s t and w hy t he y w oul d do t hi s s o I as k e d t he m T he i r r e s pons e w as B e c aus e w e don t ne e d w e apons guy s w e ne e d m e di c s and c om m uni c at or s I had no c hoi c e but t o agr e e I c oul dn t f at hom l e ar ni ng how t o do M or s e c ode s o I de c i de d t o do t he m e di c al t hi ng. I w e nt t o m e di c al t r ai ni ng and be c am e a Spe c i al F or c e s m e di c al s e r ge ant I t t ook a y e ar and a hal f and I f i nal l y gr aduat e d f r om t hat W he n I f i nal l y f i ni s he d, I w e nt t o T hai l and and s pe nt a y e ar as a m e di c on a Spe c i al F or c e s W hi l e I w as t he r e m y l i e ut e nant t r i e d t o ge t m e t o r e e nl i s t but I t ol d hi m I pl anne d on us i ng t he G I bi l l and go bac k t o L oy ol a, and f i nal l y f i ni s h m y de gr e e I w as about t w e nt y f our and I f i g ur e d t hat af t e r I gr aduat e d, I c oul d c om e bac k i n as a L i e ut e nant I r e al l y l i k e d t he A r m y M y L i e ut e nant s ugge s t e d t hat I go t o O f f i c e r s C andi dat e Sc hool and be c om e an of f i c e r r at he r t han l os e t he t i m e I al r e ady had i n t he s e r v i c e I app l i e d f or O C S and w as ac c e pt e d and I w ound up l e av i ng T ha i l and and goi ng bac k t o F or t B e nni ng and e ar ne d a c om m i s s i on as an i nf ant r y m an f i nal l y O K N ow I am c om m i s s i one d as an A r m y L i e ut e na nt I am t w e nt y s i x y e ar s ol d. I di dn t w ant t o do s om e t hi ng I c oul d do as a c i v i l i a n. I w ant e d t o be a s ol di e r So I t r i e d t o ge t an ov e r s e as as s i gnm e nt and I w e nt t o G e r m any M y f i r s t as s i gnm e nt as a L i e ut e nant w as t o a m e c hani z e d i nf ant r y bat t a l i on i n an ar m or e d di v i s i on i n B am bur g, G e r m any I w as i n G e r m any w he n I f ound out t hat W e i ne r Sc hni t z e l w as n t a hot dog I k ne w I w as w he r e I ne e de d t o be T he f ood w as gr e at T he be e r w as gr e at I m e t s om e r e al l y t e r r i f i c pe opl e and not v e r y l ong af t e r t hat I w as i nt r oduc e d and s t ar t e d dat i ng s om e s c hool t e ac he r s t he r e one of w hom I m ar r i e d t hr e e y e ar s l at e r

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116 O ne of t he s i gni f i c ant t ur ni ng poi nt s i n m y l i f e had t o do w i t h a m e nt or I had i n t he A r m y H e w as a l i e ut e nant c ol one l i n m y bat t al i on. T hi s ba t t al i on w as i n bad s hape T he r e e nl i s t m e nt s w e r e poor O ne of t he c om pl ai nt s w as t h at t he m e s s hal l w as a pi t T he s ol di e r s di dn t w ant t o r e e nl i s t be c aus e t he y t hought nobody c ar e d about t he m Sol di e r s ar e k i nd of i nt e r e s t i ng t hat w ay W e l l t he C ol one l c al l e d m e i n hi s of f i c e I w as t he L i e ut e nant pl at oon l e ade r and he s ai d t hat he h ad a j ob f or m e H e w ant e d t o k now i f I w ant e d t o be t he m e s s of f i c e r W e l l I t r i e d e v e r y t hi ng I c oul d do t o ge t ou t of goi ng t o c ook i ng s c hool and now a l l of a s udde n t hi s guy w ant s m e t o be i n c har ge of t he m e s s hal l I s ai d i t w as n t t he t hi ng t hat w oul d r e al l y he l p m e out i n m y m i l i t ar y c ar e e r H e agr e e d t hat t he r e w e r e pr obabl y not a l ot of ge ne r al s r unni ng ar ound t hat w e r e f or m e r m e s s of f i c e r s I s ai d I di dn t c ar e about be i ng a ge ne r al R e al l y al l I c ar e d about w as be i ng a good s ol di e r and c ar r y i ng a r uc k s ac k and r i f l e and t ak i ng c ar e of s ol di e r s and be i ng i n t he w oods T he bot t om l i ne i s t hat he w as n t r e al l y as k i ng m e i f I w as goi ng t o v ol unt e e r f or t hi s j ob. H e w as t e l l i ng m e t hat I w a s goi ng t o ge t t hi s j ob So he gav e m e t he j ob f or ni n e t y day s t o r un t hi s m e s s hal l I t t ur n e d out t hat I di d a good j ob doi ng t hat I be c am e v e r y c l os e t o t hi s guy and he w as a c ouns e l or and a m e nt or and s or t of l i k e a f at he r f i gur e t o m e H e r e al l y w as n t m uc h ol de r t han I w as I t hi nk he w as pr obabl y ni ne y e ar s ol de r but he w as s m ar t s har p, and v e r y c om pe t e nt a gr e at s ol di e r and he r e al l y put up w i t h s om e qui r k y t hi ngs t hat I w as al l about a t t he t i m e H e l e t m e be m e E ar l y on i n our r e l at i ons hi p, he l e t m e r e ad s om e t hi ng t ha t he had w r i t t e n w he n he w as a y ounge r of f i c e r H e de s c r i be d how he hope d t hat he w oul dn t l os e t he v i s i on and f oc us t hat he had abou t t ak i ng c ar e of s ol di e r s and m ak i ng t hi ngs be t t e r A nd I s ai d T ha t s e x ac t l y how I f e e l

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117 So f undam e nt al l y w e w e r e l i k e s oul m at e s H e di e d j us t t hi s pas t y e ar and m y w i f e and I w e nt dow n t o F or t B r agg t o go t o hi s f une r al I f e l t v e r y c l os e t o hi m m y w hol e l i f e and I s t ay e d i n t ouc h w i t h hi m unt i l hi s de at h. I l e f t G e r m any i n t he l at e 70 s and w as t r ans f e r r e d t o F or t B e nni ng G a M y w i f e w as w or k i ng on a M as t e r s D e gr e e t he r e and I w a s t r y i ng t o f i ni s h m y unde r gr aduat e de gr e e at C ol um bus C ol l e ge I w as t r y i ng t o ge t an ac c ount i ng de gr e e but i t di dn t w or k l ogi s t i c al l y s o I e nde d up w i t h a ge ne r al bus i ne s s de gr e e I w as j us t t r y i ng t o i m pr ov e m y opt i ons i n t he A r m y I w as not l ook i ng t o ge t out I w as l ook i ng t o s t ay i n be c aus e I had f ound a hom e I n bas i c t r ai ni ng, one of t he t hi ngs t he dr i l l s e r ge ant us e d t o s ay as y ou r e c ount i ng c ade nc e w al k i ng f r om one pl ac e t o anot h e r i s Y ou c am e i nt o t he A r m y l ook i ng f or a hom e and f ound a c as t l e i ns t e ad. I t w as t r ue i n m y c as e I t pr ov i de d m e w i t h al l t hi ngs I di dn t hav e w he n I w as i n hi gh s c hool and f i r s t w e nt t o c ol l e ge So i t gav e m e a f am i l y t hat I c oul d t al k t o and a f am i l y t ha t I unde r s t ood. T he r ul e s w e r e pr os c r i be d and t he r e w e r e good boundar y c ondi t i ons I unde r s t ood al l of t hat I t w or k e d w e l l f or m e and I w as t ur ni ng out t o be a hal f w ay de c e nt s ol di e r I w as a s ol di e r and I w as hav i ng a gr e at t i m e B ut t he r e w e r e a c oupl e of s i t uat i ons i n H aw ai i w hi l e I w as s t at i one d t he r e t h at i m pac t e d m y c ar e e r I had t hi s r un i n w i t h m y c om m andi ng o f f i c e r H e di s agr e e d w i t h s om e t hi ng I di d and he as k e d m e about i t H e di dn t l i k e m y ans w e r s o he s ai d not t o be f l i ppant A nd t he n he s ai d af t e r t hi s d i s c us s i on, N ow I k now t hat i f y ou had t he op por t uni t y t o do t h i s agai n t hat y ou w oul d do i t di f f e r e nt l y A nd I s ai d, A c t ual l y s i r I w oul d not W e l l t ha t w as agai n t ak i ng r e s pons i bi l i t y I f e e l t oday t w e nt y y e ar s l at e r j us t as c onf i de nt i n m y ans w e r as I w as t he n. I t w as t he r i ght t hi ng t o do I t w as t he r i ght t hi ng t o s ay I t t ur ns out t hat s i ngl e

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118 day pr e v e nt e d m e f r om be i ng pr om ot e d agai n i n t h e A r m y I t di dn t c aus e m e t o ge t f i r e d but i t c e r t ai nl y k e pt m e f r om be i ng pr om ot e d agai n H ad I be e n pr om ot e d agai n I w oul d hav e be e n abl e t o s t ay i n t he A r m y f or t hi r t y s om e t hi ng y e ar s pr obabl y t hi r t y t hr e e y e ar s I ns t e ad I r e t i r e d at t w e nt y f i v e as a L i e ut e na nt C ol one l be c aus e I s t ood up f or w hat w as r i ght A f t e r t hat I w or k e d f or a w hi l e at t he P e nt agon W hi l e t he r e I f i ni s he d a M as t e r s i n I nf or m at i on M anage m e nt I l e f t t he r e and w e nt t o T am pa t o U S Spe c i al O pe r at i ons C om m and. I di d t hat f or t he l as t t hr e e y e ar s I w as i n t he s e r v i c e l i v i ng i n T am pa and w or k i ng at M ac D i l l A i r F or c e B as e I hav e t o bac k t r ac k a l i t t l e bi t W hi l e I w as at t he P e nt agon, m y w i f e and I s t ar t e d goi ng t o c oupl e s c ouns e l i ng. W e w e r e hav i ng s om e di f f i c ul t y and r e al l y t he di f f i c ul t y w as al l about t he af t e r m at h of t he abus e t hat I s uf f e r e d w he n I w as a t e e nage r I gue s s I ne v e r r e al l y c am e t o gr i ps w i t h i t I s or t of put i t out of m y m i nd. W hi l e w e w e r e t he r e I t al k e d t o t he c ouns e l or and t hat w hol e i s s ue s ur f ac e d. F r om t hat e x pe r i e nc e I de c i de d t o go t o A t l ant a t o c onf r ont t he A r c hbi s hop and m y abus e r A s I e x pl ai ne d w hat had happe ne d t o m e t he abus e r s at t he r e and t ook no r e s pon s i bi l i t y f or i t H e di dn t ac k now l e dge any t hi ng happe ne d. I t w as f undam e nt al l y a one s i de d c onv e r s at i on. I s ai d w hat I had t o s ay an d t he pr i e s t s ai d not hi ng, e x c e pt t hat I w as w r ong t hat i t di d n t happe n T he r e s ul t w as t hat I h i r e d an at t or ne y and t r i e d t o ge t t he pr i e s t t o ac k now l e dge hi s r e s pons i bi l i t y and t h e D i oc e s e t o ac k now l e dge t he i r r e s pon s i bi l i t y s om e t hi ng t he y ne v e r di d. T he bot t om l i ne w as t he y t ook no r e s pons i bi l i t y f or i t A n i m por t ant t he m e f or m e i n m y l i f e i s t ak i n g r e s pons i bi l i t y f or y our ac t i ons

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119 M y r e l at i ons hi p w i t h m y w i f e w as v e r y di f f i c ul t f or s e v e r al y e a r s W e w e nt t o a l ot of c ouns e l i ng w hi l e w e l i v e d i n T am pa. I di d s om e t hi ngs I am not pr oud of I ac t e d r e c k l e s s l y w i t h r e gar d t o m y w i f e and m ade i t v e r y di f f i c ul t f or he r T he abus e f r om t he pr i e s t I c an t e l l y ou, had a m aj or i m pac t on m e F i r s t of al l m y e duc at i on w as di s r upt e d and I l os t m y w ay I t t ook a l ong t i m e f or m e t o r e c ov e r f r om t hat W he n I got m ar r i e d I had no de s i r e t o hav e c hi l dr e n be c aus e I di d not f e e l t hat I c oul d ade quat e l y pr ot e c t t he m I f e l t l i k e I c oul dn t pr ot e c t m y s e l f W he n I w as a c hi l d I c oul dn t pr ot e c t m y f at he r I d i dn t f e e l I c oul d pr o t e c t c hi l dr e n. I di dn t f e e l I c oul d pr ot e c t m y w i f e I t had a l ong l as t i ng and pr of oun d e f f e c t on m e P r obabl y s t i l l doe s t o t hi s day be c aus e w e don t hav e c hi l dr e n. I m ac t u al l y unc om f or t abl e ar ound c hi l dr e n, be c aus e I don t k now how t o ac t ar ound t he m I m e v e n unc om f or t abl e ar ound m y br ot he r s da ught e r s I don t w ant t o be he l d r e s pons i bl e f or any body be c aus e e m ot i onal l y i t s t oo daunt i ng I t s har d e nough f or m e t o be r e s pons i bl e f or m y s e l f al t hough I ac c e pt t he r e s pons i bi l i t y f or al l t he t hi ngs I hav e done w r ong i n m y l i f e I t h i nk I hav e pai d a bi g pr i c e M y w i f e has pai d a bi g pr i c e t oo, and s he s hung w i t h m e f or t hi r t y s om e t hi ng y e ar s I m v e r y f or t unat e t he r e A nd w e s t i l l s t r uggl e w i t h i t W e s t i l l s t r uggl e w i t h t he af t e r m at h of i t be c aus e s he doe s n t t r us t m e t o t hi s day I t s har d f or he r t o ge t pas t al l of t hi s T he r e ar e t i m e s w he n i t s m ade our r e l at i ons h i p v e r y di f f i c ul t I r e t i r e d at t he e nd of 95 and I w e nt t o w or k f or t w o uni v e r s i t i e s I s t ar t e d t o w or k at P ur due i n nor t he r n I ndi ana at t he i r nor t h c e nt r al c am pus and I w or k e d t he r e f or about t hr e e y e ar s and t he n I m ov e d t o O hi o I v e got a g ood j ob. I m happy W e v e got a good l i f e a ni c e hous e I hav e al l t he t hi ngs at s i x t y y e ar s ol d I w ant e d, w i t h a c oupl e of e x c e pt i ons M y w i f e and I hav e c ons t ant i r r i t at i ons and aggr av at i ons i n our r e l at i ons hi p.

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120 M uc h of t ha t has t o do w i t h t he abus e I t has had a l i f e l ong e f f e c t and I w or k at i t e v e r y day So, t he l os s t hat I hav e s uf f e r e d f r om al l of t hat i s t he l os s t o m y f am i l y W he n I w e nt t o A t l an t a t o c onf r ont t he pr i e s t m y m ot he r w e nt w i t h m e I t de v as t at e d he r be c aus e t hi s pr i e s t w as a f r i e nd of t he f am i l y I t hi nk s he al s o f e l t t hat s he di dn t pr ot e c t m e ade quat e l y P r ot e c t i on has be e n a ge ne r al t he m e m y w hol e l i f e I hav e be e n obs e s s e d w i t h pr ot e c t i ng pe opl e pr ot e c t i ng m y s e l f pr ot e c t i ng m y f am i l y pr ot e c t i ng m y s ol di e r s and pr ot e c t i ng s t ude nt s So i t s t i e d up i n a l l t hat A nd now I m s or t of i n a l os t p l ac e Y ou k now I m k i nd of bor e d w i t h m y j ob but i t s s or t of a good j ob t hat pot e nt i a l l y I w oul d l i k e t o k e e p f or a w hi l e but I m not s ur e t hat i t s t he r i ght t hi ng f or m e t o do. I gue s s t he t hr us t of w hat I unde r s t and of y our pap e r and y our i nv e s t i gat i on i s r e al l y about c r i s i s poi nt s and w hat l e d up t o t he m and how w e de al t w i t h t he m and how w e r e c ov e r e d f r om t he m o r di dn t r e c ov e r f r om t he m So I gue s s i n s um m ar y I c an s ay t hat I hav e t ol d y ou about t he c r i s i s poi nt s A t one poi nt I f e l t l i k e m y m ar r i age w as goi ng t o f al l apar t E v e n t oday I m not s o s ur e t hat i t s not f al l i ng apar t and I c an t r ac e i t di r e c t l y ba c k t o t hi s w hol e bus i ne s s about t he af t e r m at h of abus e So i t s had a huge af f e c t T he r e ar e v e r y f e w pe opl e t hat e v e n k now a bout i t M y br ot he r and s i s t e r k now ; m y m ot he r k ne w ; m y w i f e k now s ; and t hat s pr e t t y m uc h t he l i m i t N ow y ou k now P ar t of t he r e a s on I w ant t o r e m ai n anony m ous i s be c aus e I m not pr oud of i t I s t i l l don t k now how t o de al w i t h i t A l ot of pe opl e go publ i c w i t h al l t hat i nf or m at i on. I m no t i nt e r e s t e d i n goi ng publ i c

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121 I v e j us t r e r e ad t he par agr aph. Y ou s ai d t o f oc us o n w hat happe ne d be f or e t he t ur ni ng poi nt t he t ur ni ng poi nt i t s e l f and w hat ha ppe ne d af t e r i t and de s c r i be how i t s be e n i m pac t e d. W e l l I t hi nk I v e done t hat Y ou al s o as k e d m e t o e x pl ai n al s o w hat has s us t ai ne d y ou t hr ough t he s e l i f e e x pe r i e nc e s W e l l m y w i f e has s i gni f i c ant l y he l pe d m e de al w i t h al l t hi s I t hi nk t he ot he r par t of i t i s I ha v e a s t r ong be l i e f i n G od but I hav e v i r t ual l y no c onf i de nc e or t r us t i n or gani z e d r e l i gi on. I c e r t ai nl y hav e none i n t he C at hol i c C hur c h. A c t ual l y I hav e no c onf i de nc e or t r us t i n or gani z e d r e l i gi on of any k i nd. I w at c h on T V w i t h am az e m e nt pe opl e w ho p r of e s s t o be m i ni s t e r s as t he y t ak e adv ant age of poor pe opl e and t ak e adv ant age of p e opl e w i t h l i t t l e or no e duc at i on. I n m y opi ni on, t he y s e e m t o us e r e l i gi on as a t oo l t o ge t d onat i ons and bui l d bi g c hur c he s Y ou l ook at t he t e l e v ange l i s t s and y ou k now i t s t he 1 8 00 num be r t o donat e t ha t i s be hi nd i t al l T he s e t t i ngs ar e r i c hl y appoi nt e d. T he y r e w e l l c l ot he d. T he y hav e l ot s of j e w e l r y T he y hav e pl e nt y of m one y t o s pe nd a nd t hr ow ar ound. B u t i n m y op i ni on, t he y don t he l p pe opl e So w hat I v e t r i e d t o do w i t h m y l i f e i s t r y t o m ak e up f or al l t hat I v e t r i e d t o he l p pe opl e I v e t r i e d t o do t hi ngs t o m ak e l i f e be t t e r O ne of t he e x am pl e s i s I m on a l i s t s e r v now f or r e t i r i ng s ol di e r s t o t r y t o f i nd pos t m i l i t ar y j obs and c ar e e r s A nd I do i t I hav e about 450 pe opl e on t he l i s t I t s gr ow n. I s t ar t e d w he n I r e t i r e d w i t h about t e n of m y f r i e nds and now i t s pe opl e I don t e v e n k now W h at I do i s pos t t he i r j ob ads and p os t t he i r r e s um e s and s e nd t he m ar ound. T he r e i s no c om pe ns at i on. I do i t be c aus e I w ant pe opl e t o be he l pe d. T hat s al l I c ar e about So I gue s s w hat I am r e al l y t r y i ng t o s ay i s t hat no w I f e e l l i k e I hav e t ur ne d m y l i f e ar ound on t he pat h of doi ng t he r i ght t hi ng I w or k at i t e v e r y day I t r y t o do t hi ngs t o

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122 he l p pe opl e he l p m y w i f e and he l p m y s e l f not ne c e s s a r i l y i n t hat or de r T hat s w hat I t r y t o do. I t r y t o m ak e pe opl e happy I t r y t o be h appy A nd I m no t e v e n s ur e t hat I k now w hat t o do or w he t he r I m doi ng t hat r i ght o r not O ne of t he t hi ngs t hat I m s t r uggl i ng w i t h now i s w he n i s i t t i m e t o r e t i r e W he n i s i t t i m e t o qui t w or k i ng? W ha t w oul d I do i f I qui t ? I v e de v e l ope d a pas s i on f or bi c y c l e r i di ng. T he r e i s a gr e at pl ac e t o r i de i n D ay t on, O hi o. T he r e ar e l ot s of r ai l t r ai l s s o I t r y t o r i de e v e r y day I f i nd pe ac e i n i t be c aus e i t s out s i de w i t h nat ur e I m ar v e l at al l of t he ani m al s t hat I s e e I s e e l ot s of de e r W he n I t r av e l dow n t he M i s s i s s i ppi as par t of m y j ob I s t op a nd r i de t he N at c he z T r ac e and I s t op w he ne v e r I s e e t ur k e y s or de e r o r e agl e s I j us t w at c h t he m and I k now t hat t he r e i s a G od t he r e s no que s t i on about i t L i f e i s a t r e m e ndous t hi ng but t r y i ng t o f i nd happi ne s s i n t he w or l d i s v e r y di f f i c ul t I t r e as ur e t he r e l at i ons hi ps t hat I v e had w i t h f r i e nds ov e r t he y e ar s I t r y t o k e e p t he m al l I t r y t o s us t ai n t he m O ne of t he r e as ons w hy I w e nt t o t he f or t i e t h r e uni on w as e v e n t hough I di d not gr aduat e f r om P i H i gh i s t hat I f e e l a bond w i t h t he pe opl e t h at I k now t he r e I m s or t of i n t hat pl ac e w he r e at s i x t y y e ar s ol d I don t f e e l s i x t y I don t f e e l l i k e I ac t s i x t y F r om t he out s i de appe ar anc e s I m r e as onabl y s uc c e s s f ul I r e t i r e d honor abl y f r om t he s e r v i c e I had an e x c e l l e nt c ar e e r t hat l as t e d t w e nt y f i v e y e ar s I v e e l e v e n y e ar s i n hi ghe r e duc at i on. I m s e r v i ng honor abl y t he r e I m t r y i ng t o s e r v e honor abl y as a hus band and a s pous e I f e e l l i k e I m c ons t ant l y i n s e ar c h of m or e k now l e dge and a be t t e r pat h t o happi ne s s but I s t r uggl e w i t h i t a l l t he t i m e be c aus e I m not s ur e w hat i t t ak e s t o r e al l y be happy I s e e pe opl e w ho do l ot s of t hi ngs t hat t he y e nj oy doi ng. T he y hav e f am i l i e s T he y ar e c om m i t t e d t o t he i r f am i l i e s T he y e nj oy t hi ngs I f e e l l i k e i n a l ot of

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123 w ay s t hat I j us t pas s e d t hr ough al l of t ha t I e nj oy t hi ngs I do but i t s l i k e an out of body e x pe r i e nc e i n s om e w ay s I t s happe ni ng t o t he pe r s on w ho i s M i c hae l but i t s not happe ni ng t o m e A l l r i ght s o I am goi ng t o s t op he r e I t hi nk I c ov e r e d al l of t he m aj or e v e nt s and I t hi n k t hat I m not i n any be t t e r pl ac e t han any body e l s e and a l ot of pe opl e hav e had m or e happi ne s s and s uc c e s s i n t he i r l i f e t han I hav e So t he r e y ou go. I m goi ng t o pu t t hi s i n t he m ai l Y ou w i l l hav e i t s hor t l y A gai n m y apol ogi e s f or t ak i ng s o l ong t o ge t t hi s done I hope y ou v e got w hat y ou ne e d. T hank s A l l r i ght I appr e c i at e t he oppor t uni t y an d I w i s h y ou gr e at s uc c e s s i n c om pl e t i ng y our P h. D and I w i l l r e j oi c e w he n y ou r e done T hank y ou. R e c or de d by M i c hae l A ugus t 2007 T r ans c r i be d by M a r y P ool e O c t obe r 2007 A f t e r w or d I ha ve t o s t op s e ve r a l t i m e s a s I l i s t e n t o M i c ha e l s s t or y. S i xt y ye a r s l a t e r f r om t he s t a ndpoi nt of a di s t a nt obs e r ve r I f e e l a s i f I ha ve be e n ki c ke d i n m y s t om a c h a s hi s t a l e unr a ve l s H i s s t or y a bout hi s f a t he r s de a t h i s s o po i gna nt a nd une xpe c t e d, t ha t i t s e e m s s ur r e a l I c ons i de r how i t m us t ha ve f e l t I t i s s uc h a n i nc om pr e he ns i bl e t r a ge dy. I n m y m i nd s e ye I s e e t hi s young boy i n s hoc k, w a t c hi n g hi s f a t he r di e a nd I a nt i c i pa t e t he gui l t t ha t he w i l l c a r r y a r ound w i t h hi m f or a l i f e t i m e B ut t ha t s hoc k pa l e s i n c om pa r i s on t o t he a nge r I f e e l a s he de s c r i be s hi s s e xua l a bus e a t t he ha nds of t he pa r i s h pr i e s t H ow c oul d t hi s be a s t t a ke a dva nt a ge of a c hi l d gr i e vi ng t he l os s of hi s f a t he r ? I s c r e a m a t m y hus b a nd s i t t i ng w i t h m e I w or s hi ppe d a t t hi s s a m e pa r i s h c hur c h, t he s a m e one w he r e t he pr i e s t s e r ve d w ho a bus e d hi m W ho

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124 w a s he ? I s c r e a m I w a nt t o know w ho di d t hi s t o hi m I w a nt t o r a ge a ga i ns t t hi s hor r i d pr i e s t a nd t he A r c hbi s hop w ho di d no t hi ng. I w a nt t o go t o ne w s pa pe r s a nd out h i m B ut of c our s e I don t M i c ha e l t e l l s m e he w a nt s t hi s c onf i de nt i a l s o of c ou r s e i t w i l l be B ut m y u r ge t o pr ot e c t t hi s young c hi l d s c r e a m s t o be he a r d I ha ve of c ou r s e he a r d of c hi l dr e n w ho ha ve be e n a bus e d by C a t hol i c pr i e s t s but t hi s i s t he f i r s t t i m e t ha t I know t ha t i t ha ppe ne d i n m y w o r l d, i n m y t i m e by one o f m y p r i e s t s I a m f ur i ous T hi s pr i e s t w a s t he e vi l e s t of t he e vi l I s a y t o m y s i s t e r i n l a w B a r b, t he ne xt da y c a r e f ul not t o di s c l os e i de nt i f yi ng de t a i l s H ow c oul d a pr i e s t put hi s ow n pe r ve r t e d de s i r e s a bove t he w e l l be i ng of t hi s c hi l d w ho ha d a l r e a dy s uf f e r e d s o m uc h? I a s k, s i nc e r e l y w a nt i ng t o know B a r b r e t i r e d r e c e nt l y a s t he P r i nc i pa l of a C a t hol i c e l e m e nt a r y s c hool i n A t l a nt a S he ha s s t a ye d c l os e t o he r C a t hol i c r oot s a nd w o r ks i n a va r i e t y o f pos i t i ons f or t he a r c hdi oc e s e I w a nt a ns w e r s T hi s c oul d ne ve r ha ppe n t oda y, s he t e l l s m e T ha t doe s n t m a t t e r I s a y. W hy di dn t t he y do s om e t hi ng t he n? I s c r e a m ba c k. H e a nd hi s w i f e a nd m ot he r a nd a t t or ne y c onf r ont e d t he A r c hbi s hop a nd t he pr i e s t i n t he ni ne t i e s a nd t he y di d not hi ng I don t know B a r b s a ys s a dl y. T oda y I r e a d i n t he ne w s pa pe r t ha t P ope B e ne di c t i s t r a ve l i ng t o t he U ni t e d S t a t e s t o he l p t o br i ng a bout he a l i ng a nd r e c onc i l i a t i on i n t he w a ke of t he C a t hol i c pr i e s t s e xua l a bus e de ba c l e I w i s h I ha d a bout a n hour t o gi ve h i m a pi e c e of m y m i nd. H ow c a n you m a ke up f or a l i f e t i m e l i ve d i n t he s ha dow of be t r a ya l a nd pa i n? H ow c a n you c om pe ns a t e f or t he a l t e r e d t r a j e c t or y t ha t t hi s a bus e t r i gge r e d? I a m f i l l e d w i t h r a ge a nd s a dne s s H ow c oul d B a r b a nd m y b r ot he r s t a y C a t hol i c i n t he f a c e of t hi s ? I w onde r I l e f t t he C a t hol i c C hur c h de c a de s a go, a nd I ha ve ne ve r

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12 5 r e gr e t t e d i t I a g r e e w i t h M i c ha e l s c on c l us i on I be l i e ve i n G od, but I w i l l ne ve r t r us t or ga ni z e d r e l i gi on a ga i n I a m a l s o a s t ounde d t ha t M i c ha e l c oul d be s o t r a ns pa r e nt i n hi s na r r a t i ve H e di s c l os e d t ha t he ha d onl y be f o r e t ol d hi s w i f e m o t he r a nd s i bl i ngs a bout hi s a bus e by t he pr i e s t W i t h t hi s t r us t I f e e l a r e s pons i bi l i t y t o hi m I ha ve hi s s t or y I w a nt t o p r ot e c t hi m I ha ve done w ha t I c a n t o di s gui s e hi s s t or y, a nd he ha s r e a d t he f i na l e di t H e s a ys he i s oka y w i t h i t W i t ne s s i ng hi s pa i n, I w a nt t o do s om e t hi ng a bout i t I w i s h I ha d know n hi m m or e i n hi gh s c hool a nd w e c oul d ha ve t a ke n of f ou r m a s ks a nd a c t ua l l y t a l ke d a bout w ho w e w e r e I know t oo w e l l t he c os t of be a r i ng t he s e c r e t of s e xua l a bus e a nd t he ha voc i t c a n w r e a k i n a l i f e a nd i n r e l a t i ons hi ps M a ybe i t w oul d ha ve be e n l e s s one r ous i f w e ha d know n w e w e r e not a l one

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126 C ha pt e r T e n M a r y s S t or y T he r e s a C r a c k i n E ve r yt hi ng A n t h e m T he bi r ds t he y s a ng a t t he br e a k o f da y S t a r t a ga i n I he a r d t he m s a y D on't dw e l l on w ha t ha s pa s s e d a w a y or w ha t i s ye t t o be A h t he w a r s t he y w i l l be f ought a ga i n T he hol y dove S he w i l l be c a ught a ga i n bought a nd s ol d a nd bought a ga i n t he dove i s ne ve r f r e e R i ng t he be l l s t ha t s t i l l c a n r i ng F or ge t your pe r f e c t of f e r i ng T he r e i s a c r a c k i n e ve r yt h i ng T ha t 's how t he l i gh t ge t s i n L e ona r d C ohe n A s I be gi n t hi s a ut oe t hnogr a phi c s a ga a nd r e que s t m y c l a s s m a t e s t o t e l l m e t he i r s t or i e s I de c i de t ha t i t i s i m por t a nt f o r m e t o s ha r e m y s t or y w i t h t he m t oo. I s i t a t m y s e c ond f l oor de s k ove r l ooki ng m y ba c kya r d pl a ygr ound t ha t w e ha ve c r e a t e d f or m y gr a ndc hi l dr e n, a nd c ons i de r m y s i xt y ye a r s H ow d o I boi l i t dow n t o a f e w pa ge s a nd how do I de c i de w ha t i s i m por t a nt ? I f o l l ow m y o w n i ns t r uc t i ons w i t h a t a pe r e c or de r

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127 s pe ndi ng a f e w hour s f oc us i ng on m y t ur ni ng poi nt s I de c i de t o j us t go w i t h w ha t e m e r ge s a nd not ove r t hi nk i t O nc e i t i s c om pl e t e d, I t r a ns c r i be i t a s I d i d a l l t he ot he r s a nd I s e nd a c opy t o e a c h of m y pa r t i c i pa nt s I t s e e m s r e a s ona bl e t ha t s i nc e t he y a r e t r us t i ng e nough of m e t o s ha r e t he i r l i f e s t or i e s t he n s o s h oul d I M y St or y R e c or de d, J ul y 2007 M y s t or y be gan on F e b 6 1947 i n C he y e nne W y o m i ng. M y f at he r w as L e nt on M ar i on P ool e and m y m ot he r w as J os e phi ne C e c i l i a P age t H e w as a s out he r ne r f r om A t l ant a, s t at i one d at W ar r e n A i r F or c e B as e w he n he m e t m y m ot he r a s e c r e t ar y w or k i ng i n C he y e nne dur i ng W or l d W ar I I E v e n e ar l y on, t he i r m ar r i age w as di f f i c ul t as I r e m e m be r T he r e w e r e l ot s of f i ght s t e ns i on a nd r anc or O ne of m y f e w e ar l y m e m or i e s w a s of m y ol de r br ot he r B i l l and m e hi di ng be hi nd m y m ot he r s s k i r t s as m y D ad and M om f ought I r e c al l t hat I w as af r ai d, an d m y D ad s t or m e d of f and s l am m e d t he door A r gum e nt s happe ne d of t e n l at e at ni ght af t e r m y D ad r e t ur ne d f r om w or k i ng at t he oi l r e f i ne r y i n C he y e nne O t he r t han t hat m y e ar l y m e m or i e s c on s i s t of r abbi t s ( w hi c h w e r ai s e d t o e at ) r hubar b ( t hat gr e w bount i f ul l y i n our y ar d) and s now C he y e nne w as c ol d v e r y c ol d. T he c ol d i s w hat l e d m e t o m y ne x t t ur ni ng poi n t M y D ad hat e d i t and w he n I w as f i v e y e ar s ol d, m y f am i l y m ov e d f r om C he y e nne t o A t l ant a, G a. I r e m e m be r a l i t t l e bi t about t he j our ne y W e dr ov e t he e nt i r e t w o t ho us and m i l e s I t hi nk i t t ook about t hr e e and a hal f day s m ay be f our I don t r e m e m be r any t hi ng about our be l ongi ngs and w he t he r w e m ov e d t he m or w e bought ne w but I d o r e m e m be r dr i v i ng. A nd, I do

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128 r e m e m be r m y m ot he r w as a m e s s She w as l e av i ng he r m ot he r and he r f am i l y and s he w as s ad and angr y and s he s t ay e d t hat w ay as be s t as I c oul d t e l l f or t he r e s t of he r l i f e M y f at he r s uppos e dl y w as m ov i ng f or a bus i ne s s oppo r t uni t y w i t h one of hi s br ot he r s w hi c h di dn t w or k out W e s t ay e d i n f unk y ol d m ot e l s as w e m ade our w ay ac r os s t he c ount r y W e dr ov e l at e and m y f at he r w al k e d i nt o m ot e l s al ong t he w ay ( t h i s w as be f or e H ow ar d J ohns on s and H am pt on I nns ) and i f i t w as n t t oo e x pe ns i v e w e w oul d s t op. I f t he hot e l w as out of our r ange w e w oul d m ov e on t o anot he r s i t e O nc e w e s t ay e d at a pl ac e w i t h a pool a huge l ux ur y f or us I t w as on t hi s t r i p t o A t l ant a t ha t I s aw m y f i r s t t e l e v i s i on, i n 1952 W e w al k e d i nt o a m ot e l and t h e r e i t w as I c oul dn t be l i e v e w hat I s aw I t s e e m e d l i k e m agi c W he n w e got t o A t l ant a, m y par e nt s r e l at i ons hi p s e e m e d t o go f r om bad t o t e r r i bl e M om di dn t l i k e t he Sout h ; s he di dn t l i k e m y f at he r s f am i l y ; and s he m i s s e d he r f am i l y I t w a s hot and w e di dn t hav e ai r c on di t i oni ng. I don t t h i nk any one di d t he n. W hat I r e m e m be r m y m ot he r s ay i ng ov e r and ov e r w as T hat dam ne d r e d G e or gi a c l ay T hat w as m y m ot he r s m ant r a f or t he r e s t of he r l i f e B ut i n t e r m s of a t ur ni ng poi nt I d s ay t h a t w as a pr e t t y s i gni f i c ant one be c aus e i f w e had s t ay e d i n W y om i ng, I t hi nk t hi ngs w oul d hav e be e n v e r y di f f e r e nt f or us O f c our s e I don t k now how t he y w oul d hav e be e n di f f e r e nt but I do k now t hat be i n g r ai s e d i n t he s out h, and w i t h a m ot he r t hat hat e d i t and e v e r y t hi ng about i t di dn t m ak e f or dom e s t i c bl i s s W e di dn t do m uc h w i t h D ad s f am i l y and w e w e r e i s ol at e d. M y m ot he r be c am e e m bi t t e r e d and angr y and de pr e s s e d and pr obabl y s pe nt m os t of he r l i f e be i ng t hat w ay

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129 A s a c hi l d I di s c ov e r e d boo k s at an e ar l y age I w e nt t o t he l i br ar y w e e k l y and t ook out as m any book s as I c oul d I w as s o e x c i t e d t o pi c k out t he book s t ak e t he m hom e and r e ad t he m one by one I r e m e m be r t he f e e l and s m e l l of t he book s as I pi c k e d t he m of f of t he s he l v e s and c ar e f ul l y c ount e d t o m ak e s ur e I w as n t t ak i ng ov e r m y l i m i t I s pe nt m uc h of m y t i m e i n m y be dr oom r e adi ng. T h e s t or i e s t ook m e aw ay I t hi nk I w ant e d t o go aw ay f r om m y w or l d. I r e ad l ot s of b i ogr aphi e s and l i v e s of t he s ai nt s I r e ad ot he r book s t oo, i nc l udi ng e v e r y N anc y D r e w s t or y I t h i nk I s pe nt m or e t i m e i n m y r oom r e adi ng t han any w he r e M y m ot he r us e d t o c al l m e a hot hous e pl ant T he ne x t t ur ni ng poi nt f or m e had t o do w i t h t he be gi nni ng of a s e v e r al y e ar pe r i od dur i ng w hi c h I w as s e x ual l y ab us e d by a f a m i l y f r i e nd. I t s t ar t e d at e l e v e n and e nde d w he n I w as s i x t e e n. W i t h e v e r y t hi ng e l s e goi ng on i n m y l i f e a t t hat poi nt m y l i f e w as t e r r i bl y bl e ak on t he i ns i de B u t out s i de t he ho m e I put up a good pe r f or m anc e L y i ng i n be d at ni ght I w as t o r m e nt e d by s ham e a nd f e ar I t w as a pai nf ul c ount e r poi nt t o t he m e s s age s I w as r e c e i v i ng about s e x i n m y C at hol i c e duc at i on. T hi s w hol e e x pe r i e nc e m ade m e pul l m or e and m or e i nw ar d, a nd I be c am e i nc r e as i ngl y i s ol at e d and de pr e s s e d. I al r e ady f e l t m ar gi na l i z e d be c aus e I i n t e r nal i z e d m y m ot he r s at t i t ude about hat i ng s out he r ne r s and I di dn t f i t i n I l oc k e d m y s e l f i n m y r oom at ni ght and I w as t e r r i f i e d t hat any one w oul d f i nd out A l m os t f i f t y y e ar s l at e r t he de t ai l s of t hos e e x pe r i e nc e s ar e e t c he d i nt o m y m e m or y A t about t he s am e t i m e m y m ot he r s pi r al e d dow n i nt o a t e r r i bl e de pr e s s i on. I r e m e m be r c om i ng hom e f r om s c hool and f i ndi ng he r s i t t i ng at t he k i t c he n t abl e c r y i ng. She j us t c oul dn t s t op Soon af t e r t hat s he w as ad m i t t e d t o a ps y c hi at r i c ho s pi t al f or de pr e s s i on. She w as t he r e f or s e v e r al w e e k s and I v i s i t e d he r w i t h m y D ad and br ot he r

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130 W hi l e t he r e s he had e l e c t r i c s hoc k t r e at m e nt s W he n w e v i s i t e d he r af t e r he r t r e at m e nt s he r e y e s w e r e v ac ant T hi s t e r r i f i e d m e I t w as l i k e v i s i t i ng a z om bi e T ha t w as a di s t ur bi ng t i m e I w as onl y t w e l v e and I di dn t und e r s t and w hat w as w r ong w i t h he r N o one i n m y f am i l y t al k e d about t hi ngs I n addi t i on, t he abus e w as c ont i nui ng. I hone s t l y don t k now how I got t hr ough i t T hi s w as pr obabl y about t ha t t i m e t hat I de c i de d I w ant e d t o be a nun. I w as v e r y r e l i gi ous : pr ay i ng t he r os ar y ; goi ng t o M as s dai l y ; of f e r i ng up m y s uf f e r i ng f or m y s i ns I t w as a w ay t o m ak e s e ns e of w hat w as happe ni ng t o m e T he C at hol i c C hur c h t aught m e t hat s uf f e r i n g had v al ue M y s uf f e r i ng bought m e t i m e out of pur gat or y I t s e e m s r i di c ul ous now but at t he t i m e I be l i e v e d i t A t l e as t i t gav e pur pos e t o w hat w as happe ni ng t o m e M ay b e t hat i s w hat go t m e t hr ough i t I gue s s t he ot he r t ur ni ng poi nt oc c ur r e d w he n I w as ge t t i ng r e ady t o go i nt o hi gh s c hool I r e c al l one Sunday ni ght as I w as ge t t i ng r e ady f or m y f i r s t day M y br ot he r s at m e dow n, and s ai d Y ou k now K i t t y ( t hat w as m y f am i l y ni c k nam e ) I am a bi g w he e l at P i us ( H e w as a s e ni or pr e s i de nt of hi s c l as s c a pt ai n of t he f oot bal l t e am ) I don t w ant y ou t o e m bar r as s m e s o y ou had be t t e r be ha v e I w as e nr age d. I c an di s t i nc t l y r e m e m be r t hi nk i ng, I l l s how y ou. I l l l e av e y ou i n t he dus t I s t ar t e d hi gh s c hool m or e de t e r m i ne d t han I hav e e v e r be e n. I di d l i t t l e bu t s t udy and I r an f or s t ude nt gov e r nm e nt and c l as s pr e s i de nt and w on bot h I w as dr i v e n and angr y I l e ar ne d w hat I c oul d do w he n I am de t e r m i ne d. M y br ot he r di d m e a bi g f av or T hat s e t t he t one f or m y hi gh s c hool w hi c h he l pe d m e t o e m e r ge as a l e a de r L ook i ng bac k on i t f r om t he di s t anc e of s e v e r al de c ade s t hi s he l pe d s hape m y s e ns e of s e l f M y e x pe r i e nc e s i n hi gh s c hool gav e m e c onf i de nc e an d he l pe d m e t o ge t s c hol ar s hi ps t o c ol l e ge I t w as a w ay f or m e t o f oc us m y e ne r gi e s on s om e t hi ng pos i t i v e A nd m y

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131 pe r f or m anc e at s c hool w as s om e t hi ng I c oul d c ont r ol I t f e l t good t o be i n c ont r ol o f s om e t hi ng. M y hom e l i f e c e r t ai nl y w as n t i n m y c ont r ol T he r e w e r e s om e good t hi ngs I l ov e d and w as l ov e d by m y f at he r and i n a d i f f e r e nt w ay m y m ot he r T h e y t r i e d har d t o m ak e s ur e w e w e r e e duc at e d and had w hat w e ne e de d. M y f at he r had a j oy i n l i v i ng t ha t e m e r ge d unpr e di c t abl y and t hat gav e m e hope B u t t he r e w as al s o s ham e an abs e nc e of w ar m t h and c om m uni c at i on, and a c ons t ant dr e ar y pal l A s I m e nt i one d I w as v e r y r e l i gi ous I w e nt t o M as s and c om m uni on dai l y F r om a y oung age I w r ot e aw ay t o or de r s of nuns f or i nf or m at i on about j oi ni ng t he m M y par e nt s w e r e ups e t par t i c ul ar l y m y B apt i s t f at he r T hi s dr aw t o t he c onv e nt c ont i nue d unt i l m y s e ni or y e ar and t he n I di s c ar de d t he nun i de a, and app l i e d f or c ol l e ge I w as f or t unat e t hat I had s e v e r al s c hol ar s hi ps of f e r e d, par t i c ul ar l y s i nc e m y f am i l y di dn t hav e t he m one y t o s e nd m e M y br ot he r w as at W e s t P oi nt and w e w e r e t he f i r s t i n m y f am i l y t o go t o c ol l e ge L ook i ng bac k on i t I don t t hi nk I appr e c i at e d unt i l m uc h l at e r how i m por t ant i t w as f or m y m ot he r t hat w e r e c e i v e d a good e duc at i on. M y f at he r w as n t t ha t c onc e r ne d. A c t ual l y w he n I t ol d hi m t ha t I w ant e d t o go t o c ol l e ge hi s c om m e nt t o m e w as W hy go t o c ol l e ge ? Y ou ar e j us t goi ng t o ge t m ar r i e d, and w as t e i t T hat w as anot he r r andom c om m e nt t hat ange r e d and m ot i v a t e d m e I am be gi nni ng t o s e e a t r e nd he r e B ut i t w as m y m ot he r w ho e nc our age d i t and m ade i t happe n I appr e c i at e t hat ab out he r She m ade m any s ac r i f i c e s t o s e e t hat w e had pr i v at e C at hol i c s c hool and w e nt t o c ol l e ge T hank s M om I de c i de d t o go t o T r i ni t y C ol l e ge T he y of f e r e d m e a s ubs t ant i al s c hol ar s hi p, and I l i k e d t he i de a of W as hi ngt on. D C P l us I w ant e d t o go f ar aw ay f r om hom e I t al s o

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132 he l pe d t hat m y good f r i e nd M i na R os e nt hal w as go i ng t he r e t oo. M y c ol l e ge y e ar s w e r e n t s t e l l ar I w as hom e s i c k i n D C and f e l t o ut of pl ac e M os t o f m y c l as s m at e s w e r e e x t r e m e l y w e al t hy ( N anc y P e l os i t he s pe ak e r of t he hou s e and K at hl e e n Se bul i us t he gov e r nor of K ans as bot h gr aduat e d f r om T r i ni t y a f e w y e ar s ahe ad of m e ) I t w as an i nt e r e s t i ng t i m e t o be i n D C I t w as t he l at e s i x t i e s and t he r e w as pl e nt y of ac t i v i t y I t w as t he r e t hat I s e r i ous l y be gan t o que s t i on t he or de r of t hi ngs : aut hor i t y pow e r ge nde r r ac e and r e l i gi on. L ook i ng bac k on i t now I t hi nk I w oul d de s c r i be i t as aw ak e ni ng t o t he he ge m oni c s oc i al c ons t r uc t i on of al l of t hat I ar g ue d w i t h pr i e s t s i n t he ol ogy c l as s e s and e m e r ge d pr e t t y m uc h an agno s t i c w i t h at he i s t i c t e nde nc i e s I w as abl e t o ge t a good e duc at i on t hat pr e par e d m e t o t hi nk and gav e m e a good s ound bas e of k now l e dge and t hought I am gr at e f ul f or t hat A f t e r m y f r e s hm an y e ar m y br ot he r m ar r i e d hi s hi gh s c hool s w e e t he ar t and I m e t hi s be s t m an and be s t f r i e nd, H os at hi s w e ddi ng. I f e l l i n l ov e H e w as a W e s t P oi nt gr aduat e t oo, and w e nt t o V i e t N am t he y e ar af t e r H e w r ot e be aut i f ul r om ant i c l e t t e r s de s c r i bi ng hi s e x pe r i e n c e s t he r e and I w as anx i ous f or hi m t o c om e hom e I n A pr i l o f 68, M ar t i n L ut he r K i ng w as k i l l e d I n M ay H os w as k i l l e d i n t he T e t O f f e ns i v e I n J une B obby K e nne dy w as k i l l e d. M y w or l d f e l l apar t I w as di s t r aught angr y and l os t I al r e ady que s t i one d m y r e l i gi on, m y gov e r nm e nt a nd m y l i f e but a f t e r s pr i ng of 68 I w as w i l l i ng t o f l us h i t al l dow n t he t oi l e t T hi s w as a de f i ni t e t ur ni ng poi n t I t i m pac t e d m y l i f e and how I hav e l i v e d i t I dr oppe d out of c ol l e ge gav e bac k m y s c hol ar s hi p i n a f i t of r age and w e nt bac k hom e ( O ne y e ar l at e r I at e hum bl e pi e be gge d f or i t bac k and f i ni s he d m y de gr e e a y e ar l at e ) B u t I ne v e r l o ok e d at t he w or l d, and par t i c ul ar l y pow e r and i ns t i t ut i ons t he s am e

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133 A f t e r gr aduat i on, I w as l os t I di dn t k now w hat t o do w i t h m y s e l f N o one s ugge s t e d gr aduat e s c hool at t hat t i m e and i t di dn t oc c ur t o m e K e n J ohns w ho I m e t w he n I w as e i ght e e n, as k e d m e t o m ar r y hi m I di d n t k now w hat e l s e t o do, s o w e m ar r i e d t he s um m e r of 69. L ook i ng bac k t h i s w as one of t he m or e i ns ane t hi ngs I hav e done A l t hough a good guy I k ne w v e r y l i t t l e of h i m W e had s e e n e ac h ot he r a f e w t i m e s and c or r e s ponde d w hi l e he w as i n V i e t N am and G uam but w e s pe nt l i t t l e t i m e t oge t he r A c t ual l y he pr opos e d i n t he m ai l and s e nt m e m y e ngage m e nt r i ng t hat w ay al s o. A f t e r j us t a c oupl e of y e ar s I di s c ov e r e d w e w e r e v e r y di f f e r e nt H e w as R e publ i c an, c ons e r v at i v e and s t e r i l e I de c i de d t o m ov e on. M y m ar r i age t o K e n di d l oc at e m e ge ogr aphi c al l y i n F l or i da, and I hav e be e n he r e m os t of m y l i f e I n 1970, I m ov e d t o T am pa w i t h K e n and s t ar t e d m y f i r s t c ar e e r i ns ur anc e adj us t i ng, t he bus i ne s s t hat K e n s f am i l y ow ne d. A f t e r w e w e r e di v or c e d, and af t e r y e ar s of doi ng a j ob I hat e d I f ound an ad f or a j ob i n t h e ne w s pape r w i l de r ne s s c ouns e l o r t e ac he r f or t he E c k e r d Y out h A l t e r nat i v e s I r e m e m be r s i t t i ng i n m y i ns ur anc e of f i c e and m ak i ng t hat c al l I f e l t t hat t h i s w as s om e t hi ng t hat w oul d c hange m y l i f e and i t di d. I w e nt f or t he i nt e r v i e w and i n t w o w e e k s l e f t m y i ns ur anc e w or l d and w e nt t o t he w i l de r ne s s e ar ni ng about a t hi r d of w hat I m ade b e f or e T hi s j ob w as a t ur ni ng po i nt and i t c hange d m y l i f e I l ov e d be i ng i n t he w oods and w or k i ng w i t h y out h. F or t he f i r s t t i m e i n m y l i f e I f e l t I w as doi ng w hat I w as m e ant t o do. I w as good at i t I t pr ov i de d m e w i t h a s e ns e of pur pos e A nd i t gav e m e a r e s pi t e W e l i v e d i n t he w oods i n t e nt s w i t h no e l e c t r i c i t y I t w as a s i m pl e l i f e and I gr e w t o appr e c i at e i t T he qu i e t and pe ac e of t he w oods ga v e m e t i m e f or r e f l e c t i on and i nt r os pe c t i on. I f ound out t ha t I w as happy w he n I w as t e ac hi ng and w or k i ng w i t h y out h

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134 and t hat I f e l t t he pe ac e t hat c om e s f r om be i ng w h e r e I f i t I he al e d as m uc h as t he gi r l s w i t h w hom I w or k e d. L i k e t he gi r l s I de v e l ope d s e l f c onf i de nc e as I c ut dow n t r e e s and s ur v i v e d t hr e e w e e k c anoe t r i ps A nd, I be c am e m o r e c om pas s i onat e a w ar e and s e ns i t i v e t o t he s t or i e s of t r oubl e d y out h. I w as n t t hat di f f e r e nt f r om t he m I d i dn t ge t i n t r oubl e but I t oo w as t r oubl e d. I al s o de v e l ope d a l ov e of t he out door s t hat has s t ay e d w i t h m e a l i f e t i m e T he r e I m e t m y s e c ond hus band and m y c hi l d r e n s f at he r H e w or k e d at t he C am p, t oo, and w e w e r e m ar r i e d t he y e ar I t ur ne d t hi r t y H e l ov e d c hi l dr e n and t he w i l de r ne s s and he w as l i ght and f un s om e t hi ng I ne e de d. H e al s o f e d t he adv e nt ur e r s i de of m e O n our hone y m oon, w e bi c y c l e d f our hundr e d m i l e s t o K e y W e s t f r om Sar as ot a, F l or i da. W he n m y s on J e s s e w as f i f t e e n m ont hs ol d w e bi c y c l e d ar ound N ov a Sc ot i a f or f our w e e k s w i t h hi m i n t ow I w as happy f or a w hi l e and w e had f un and adv e nt ur e M y ne x t s i gni f i c ant e v e nt c am e w i t h t he bi r t h o f m y s on, J e s s e I w as t hi r t y t w o and r e al l y w ant e d c hi l dr e n. D av i d w as am bi v al e nt but I t ook t he l e ad and J e s s e c am e i nt o our l i v e s W i t h hi s b i r t h, s om e t hi ng i ns i de m e s hi f t e d. I f ound t hat ar c he t y pe / pe r s ona t hat I hav e e m br ac e d f or t he r e s t of m y l i f e t h e m ot he r M ot he r i ng be c am e m y pas s i on and m y j oy and m y l i f e I l ov e d i t and w as al t e r na t e l y t e r r i f i e d of i t I di dn t hav e gr e at r ol e m ode l s and I di dn t w ant t o pe r pe t uat e t he dy nam i c s of m y f am i l y of or i gi n. I ador e d J e s s e and i m m e di at e l y f e l t t hi s al l c ons um i ng l ov e and ne e d t o pr ot e c t t hat has ne v e r w av e r e d, and w hi c h I l at e r e x t e nde d t o m y daught e r M e ghan, and now m y gr andc hi l dr e n ( and t o a l e s s e r de gr e e t o r andom pe opl e i n m y l i f e ) I t has be e n t he be s t par t of m y l i f e and t he har de s t c e r t ai n l y t he m os t r e w ar di ng. I t h as be e n t he al c he m i c al pr oc e s s t hat has t ur ne d t he dr os s of m y l i f e i nt o gol d. W i t h t he j oy c am e f e ar T ak i ng J e s s e hom e f r om

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135 t he hos pi t al I pani c k e d be c aus e I r e al i z e d I c oul dn t pr ot e c t hi m f r om po l l ut i on. T hat w as t he be gi nn i ng of m y w or r i e s I t hi nk I s t ar t e d a c ons c i e nt i ous obj e c t or f i l e f or hi m s oon af t e r D av i d w as a good f at he r and he had m or e e x pe r i e nc e w i t h l i t t l e one s t han I di d. W e had f un t oge t he r and I w as abl e t o s t ay hom e w hi l e I w or k e d w i t h D av i d r unni ng gr o up hom e s f or t r oubl e d y out h. W e di d t ha t f or s e v e r al y e ar s A bout e i ght e e n m ont hs af t e r J e s s e s bi r t h, I be c am e pr e gnant agai n, and w e had an oppor t uni t y t o m ov e t o N e w O r l e ans t o he l p r un a pr ogr am f or t r oubl e d y out h t hat f r i e nds w e r e s t ar t i ng. T hat w as a t ur ni ng poi nt i n s o m any w ay s L ook i ng bac k on i t I t hi nk I w as i ns ane m ov i ng t o a s t r ange pl ac e e i ght m ont hs pr e gnant w i t hout any s uppor t s y s t e m I don t k now w hy w e di d i t but i t w as an a dv e nt ur e and w e w e r e adv e nt ur e r s O f c our s e w e had no i de a w hat w as t o c om e I t hi nk I k ne w f r om t he m om e nt w e got t he r e w e m ade a bi g m i s t ak e N ot hi ng w as as i t w as s uppos e d t o be and w e e nde d up i n a m ot e l unt i l t he hous e w e w e r e t o l i v e i n w as r e ady W he n I de l i v e r e d M e ghan I c am e hom e t o t hat s am e m ot e l I t w as aw f ul and t hat w as j us t t he be gi nni ng I hav e of t e n de s c r i be d N e w O r l e ans as t he be s t of t i m e s and t he w or s t of t i m e s T he r e w as t he gr e at f ood an d m us i c and t he f l av or of t he c i t y t hat I gr e w t o l ov e I l ov e d t he c of f e e t he be i gne t s t he C aj un m us i c and t he bi g e as y B ut w e w e r e v e r y al one w i t h no f r i e nds and no f am i l y A nd t hat w as j us t t he be gi nni ng W e s t ar t e d J e s s e at U ni v e r s i t y M ont e s s or i pr e s c hool w hi c h t ur ne d out t o be a gr e at pl ac e f or hi m and a gr e at s uppor t f or us

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136 I m e t l ot s o f pe op l e t he r e and be c am e f r i e nds w i t h s e v e r al of t he m T hat he l pe d. T hr ough t hat I de v e l ope d a l i f e l ong a ppr e c i at i on f or t he phi l os ophy of M ar i a M ont e s s or i and m y gr ands on now at t e nds a s i m i l a r s c hool B ut t he r e al t ur ni ng poi nt happe ne d w he n m y daug ht e r w as a y e ar ol d. W hi l e w e w e r e s i t t i ng at a m e e t i ng, D av i d had t he f i r s t gr and m al s e i z ur e of m any I t c am e out of t he bl ue H e w as a m ar at hon r unne r and a f i t ne s s f r e ak H e had al l k i nds of t e s t s but T ul ane M e di c al C e nt e r c oul dn t f i gur e out w hat t h e i s s ue w as T he di agnos i s w as e pi l e ps y w i t h no k now n c aus e D av i d s be hav i or a nd at t i t ude c hange d t ot al l y H e be c am e de pr e s s e d and angr y and s ul l e n, and e v e nt ual l y s ui c i dal H e e nde d up i n a ps y c hi at r i c hos pi t al f or s e v e r al m ont hs N e e dl e s s t o s ay t hat s h ook t he f oundat i ons of our l i f e I w as al one and ov e r w he l m e d and on t op of i t had t o c hange j obs be c aus e D av i d and I w or k e d t oge t he r and he c oul d no l on ge r w or k I t w as pr e t t y t e r r i bl e i n r e t r os pe c t I w as al one i n a r e l at i v e l y s t r ange c i t y w i t h t w o y oun g k i ds w or k i ng at a ne w j ob at a s c hool f or t r oubl e d y out h, and D av i d w as i n t he ho s pi t al W e w e r e f i nanc i al l y s t r appe d, and I f e l t de s pe r at e and al one I w oul d ne v e r hav e m ade i t w e r e i t not f or t he k i ndne s s of s t r ange r s T he M ont e s s or i s c hool t ook i n M e ghan e ar l y and a l l ow e d m e t o c l e an i t w e e k l y s o t hat I c oul d af f or d i t T he y w e r e am az i ng. A nd t he r e w e r e ot he r s w ho I har dl y k ne w w ho pi t c he d i n I t t aught m e s om e t hi ng about k i ndne s s and r e ac hi ng out t o ot he r s I hope I hav e r e pai d t hat k i ndne s s I ha v e ne v e r f or got t e n i t A t t he s am e t i m e m y f at he r w as di agnos e d w i t h A l z he i m e r s and t hat s t or y be gan.

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137 I t w as an e x t r e m e l y di f f i c ul t t i m e T o de al w i t h i t al l I e nt e r e d i nt o c ouns e l i ng and as us ual I t ur ne d t o book s and i nt r os pe c t i on. I t ur ne d t o s pi r i t ual i t y but not r e l i gi on, t r y i ng t o f i nd s om e m e ani ng I gue s s t he m e ani ng I f ound w as t o e ndur e and t o k e e p l ov i ng m y c hi l dr e n. D av i d d i dn t i m pr ov e and w e had no ans w e r s L i v i ng w i t h hi m w as unbe ar abl e and I f e l t i t w as de s t r uc t i v e f or t he k i ds s o w e w e r e di v or c e d. D av i d ne v e r r e c ov e r e d. H e w e nt bac k t o F l or i da and l i v e d w i t h hi s m ot he r H e ne v e r w or k e d agai n, and I f e l t t he t ot al r e s pons i bi l i t y of t he k i ds I m ov e d bac k t o F l or i da and w e nt t o w or k as a s oc i al w or k e r f or t he E c k e r d c am ps I t w as n t un t i l t e n y e ar s l at e r t hat w e f ound out t hat D av i d had a v e r y r ar e and s l ow gr ow i ng br ai n t um or i n hi s f r ont al l obe T hi s e x pl ai ne d a l ot but i t al s o c aus e d a l ot of c onf us i on. H e l i v e d w i t h t hi s br ai n t um or unabl e t o w or k and f unc t i on nor m al l y f or t w e nt y f i v e y e ar s H e di e d j us t t hi s pas t s um m e r at t he age of f i f t y s e v e n, af t e r l i v i ng i n a nur s i ng hom e f or s e v e r al y e a r s I t has be e n a l ong, s ad, and di f f i c ul t j our ne y f or al l of us one t hat s hape d m y l i f e and t he l i v e s of m y c hi l dr e n. T he s am e m ont h t hat I m ov e d bac k t o F l or i da, m y m ot he r di e d of l ung c anc e r O ne y e ar l at e r m y f at he r di e d of P ar k i ns on s / A l z he i m e r s I w as f or t y T ha t w as a y e ar T he gr i e f of m y c hi l dhood and m y m ar r i age and t he aw e s om e r e s pons i bi l i t y of m y l i f e t ook i t s t ol l I s t r uggl e d, w e nt t o c ouns e l i ng, and t r i e d t o unde r s t and and m ak e pe ac e bot h w i t h m y f am i l y and w i t h m y s e l f W ant i ng a good l i f e f or m y c hi l dr e n has al w ay s m ot i v at e d m e and I w as a v e r y ac t i v e and i nv ol v e d par e nt I m ade s ur e t he y had t he be s t s c hool s pos s i bl e and t he be s t oppor t uni t i e s T hat pur pos e k e pt m e goi ng t he n. A not he r s i gni f i c ant e v e nt w as be c om i ng i nv ol v e d i n t he U ni t ar i an U ni v e r s al i s t C hur c h i n C l e ar w at e r I t w as t he onl y c hur c h I c o ul d f i nd t ha t w as c om pat i bl e w i t h m y

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138 unor t hodox be l i e f s and I w ant e d t h e s uppor t of s o m e t hi ng. I t w as w onde r f ul f or us M y k i ds had a s e ns e of an e x t e nde d f am i l y and al t hou gh t he r e w e r e dy s f unc t i onal e l e m e nt s i t w as e nr i c hi ng f or al l of us I t al s o he l pe d m y t e a c hi ng and c onf i de nc e l e v e l s I f ound f r i e nds and e v e nt ual l y m y c ur r e nt hus band, P aul W e had s i m i l ar bac k gr ounds and a l ot i n c om m on. H e i s i n t e l l i ge nt c om pas s i onat e s t abl e and k i nd. A l l of t hat s ai d of c our s e i t has n t be e n a m ar r i age m ade i n he av e n. W e de al w i t h h i s c r az y e x s pous e m as s i v e al i m ony and hi s d aught e r w ho has a ps y c hos i s D e s pi t e t he c hal l e nge s at l e as t w e f ac e t he m t oge t he r and he l ov e s m y c hi l dr e n a nd gr andc hi l dr e n. I n m y e ar l y f or t i e s I al s o f ound a c ar e e r t hat f i t I w e nt t o w or k i n adm i ni s t r at i on at t he U ni v e r s i t y of Sout h F l or i da i n T am pa T he r e I di r e c t e d a pr ogr am f or v i c t i m s of v i ol e nc e and e v e nt ual l y di r e c t e d ot he r pr oj e c t s W hi l e t he r e I had f r e e t ui t i on s o I pur s ue d an M A i n R e l i gi ous St udi e s and l at e r a P h. D i n C om m uni c at i on T hi s i gni t e d m y i nt e l l e c t and m y c ur i os i t y an d h as k e pt m e e ne r gi z e d. M y m i d and l at e r f or t i e s w e r e good y e ar s a ne w c ar e e r a ne w m ar r i age k i ds i n hi gh s c hool and a ne w hom e T he r e w e r e al w ay s c om pl e x i t i e s but t he r e al s o w as happi ne s s F or t he f i r s t t i m e P aul and I t r av e l e d a bi t and I had a r e al par t ne r I f e l t pow e r f ul and al i v e and happi e r t han e v e r I n t he l a t e ni ne t i e s m y s on and t he n m y daught e r l e f t hom e f or c ol l e ge T hat w as t r ul y a m as s i v e c hange and I gr i e v e d t hat l os s I l ov e d be i ng t he hom e w he r e t he t e e ns hung out and I l ov e d be i ng w i t h m y c hi l dr e n. W he n I dr oppe d m y daugh t e r of f at c ol l e ge i n B al t i m or e I c r i e d f or day s A nd t he n a m ont h l a t e r I c oul dn t ge t out of be d. I w as i n gr e at pai n and m y hands and f e e t w e r e s w ol l e n and r i gi d. I w as di agnos e d w i t h R he um at oi d A r t hr i t i s T hat w as a t ur ni ng poi nt N e v e r be f or e had I be e n i l l F or a y e ar

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139 or t w o, I s t r uggl e d w i t h pai n and i m m obi l i t y and d oc t or s I k e pt goi ng t o w or k and f unc t i oni ng, al t hough s om e t i m e s P aul w oul d hav e t o dr e s s m e I r e f us e d t o gi v e i n I t has be e n a c hal l e nge of f and on f or m e bu t I hav e be e n abl e t o de al w i t h i t I t put m e i n t ouc h w i t h m y m or t al i t y and m y v ul ne r abi l i t y M y f i f t i e s w e r e good y e ar s t oo. I r e al i z e d I l ov e t o l e ar n and t o t e ac h and t o w r i t e and I had t he oppor t uni t y t o de v e l op t hat W e al l s t ay e d he al t hy and l i f e w e nt on. I am bl e s s e d w i t h a c l os e r e l at i ons hi p w i t h m y c hi l d r e n, w ho bot h e v e nt ual l y m ade t he i r w ay bac k f r om v ar i ous pl ac e s and l i v e c l os e t o ho m e I t al k w i t h t he m dai l y s e e t he m of t e n, and am pr oud of t he pe opl e t he y ar e A nd t hat l e ads m e t o m y ne x t t ur ni ng poi nt O n t he day M e ghan gr aduat e d f r om c ol l e ge s he t ur ne d t w e nt y t w o and be c am e pr e gnant She w as e ngage d, and t he y m ar r i e d and m ov e d bac k t o F l or i da. M e ghan gav e bi r t h t o L ogan, w ho i s a l ov e of m y l i f e M y hus band and I he l p par e nt and our l i v e s r e v ol v e ar ound L ogan and A v a, bor n t w o y e ar s l at e r T he r e i s anot he r one c om i ng w ho I am s ur e w i l l hav e t he s am e e f f e c t on us T hat has be e n an une x pe c t e d and t r ul y de l i ght f ul gi f t A ppr oac hi ng s i x t y has be e n di f f i c ul t f or m e I am s ur pr i s e d, ac t ual l y F i f t y and f or t y w e r e n t t hat bad. I t hi nk t he l os s e s hav e ac c u m ul at e d and c l oude d m y v i e w F i v e y e ar s ago, w i t h ne w uni v e r s i t y adm i ni s t r at i on, m y pos i t i on w as de f unde d. T hat w as pai nf ul f or m e as I l ov e d m y j ob and t he oppor t uni t i e s and i de nt i t y i t af f or de d. H ow e v e r i t di d al l ow m e t o go bac k t o s c hool f ul l t i m e f or t h e P h. D and t o t e ac h w hi c h I be l i e v e i s t r ul y m y v oc at i on as t he nuns us e t o t e ac h us

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140 L as t y e ar m y be l ov e d dog, B ar r ac c as di e d of c anc e r I am s t i l l gr i e v i ng t hat l os s M y par e nt s ar e l ong gone and now D av i d I am al s o aw ar e t hat m y opt i ons ar e m or e l i m i t e d t han be f or e and t hat m y m or t al i t y l oom s i n t he not t hat di s t ant f ut ur e O n t he pos i t i v e s i de I am t r ul y gr at e f ul t o hav e go al s I w ant t o c ont i nue w or k i ng on m y r e s e ar c h, t o t e ac h, t o w r i t e and t o he l p r ai s e m y gr andc hi l dr e n. A s I l ook bac k on m y l i f e t he r e hav e be e n d i f f i c ul t i e s I am pr oud t ha t I d i dn t f ol d unde r t he m and t hat I w as abl e t o r ai s e m y c hi l dr e n and m ai nt ai n a c e r t ai n s e ns e of opt i m i s m and c om pas s i on de s pi t e t he m I be l i e v e t hat l i f e i s har d f or e v e r y one and hav e t r i e d not t o l e t m y pr obl e m s de f i ne m e I e nj oy r e adi ng, i nt e l l e c t ual pur s ui t s m us i c danc i ng, m y f am i l y and t he w or l d of i de as I hav e be e n m ov e d t o t r y t o m ak e s om e po s i t i v e di f f e r e nc e i n m y w or l d; t o he l p t o he al t he pa i n of ot he r s ; and t o he l p t o c r e at e a m or e j us t and c om pas s i onat e w or l d. I hope t hat w he n al l i s s ai d and done I hav e I am no t done y e t I hav e m or e t o do and m or e t o s ay and m or e s t ude nt s t o r e ac h, I hope and m uc h m or e l ov i ng t o g i v e t o t hos e s w e e t s w e e t gr andbabi e s m y f am i l y and f r i e nds R e c or de d by M ar y P ool e J ul y 2007 T r a ns c r i be d by M a r y P ool e A ugus t 2007 A f t e r w or d A pr i l 22 2008 M y c hi l dr e n s i t on e i t he r s i de o f m e i n t hi s pa c ke d c on c e r t ve nue S t P e t e r s bur g T i m e s F or u m i n T a m pa F l o r i da W e ga ve e a c h ot he r t i c ke t s t o s e e B r uc e S p r i ngs t e e n f or C hr i s t m a s S i nc e J e s s e a nd M e gha n w e r e l i t t l e w e ha ve gone t o c onc e r t s t oge t he r T he y w e r e e i ght a nd t e n w he n I t ook t he m t o t he i r f i r s t c o nc e r t W e s a w B l ondi e a nd

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141 T e a r s f or F e a r s W e a l m os t m a de i t t o s e e t he G r a t e f ul D e a d t oge t he r on t he i r l a s t t our t hr ough F l o r i da a bout t w e l ve ye a r s a go, but M i c ke y H a r t s da d d i e d, a nd t he c onc e r t w a s c a nc e l l e d. T hi s i s a huge c onc e r t ha l l w i t h s e a t s c i r c l i ng t he f l oor us e d f o r t he T a m pa B a y L i ght ni ng, our l oc a l hoc ke y t e a m T he a udi e nc e i s e l e c t r i c a s w e w a i t f or t he B os s t o e nt e r F i na l l y, a l m os t f o r t y f i ve m i nut e s l a t e he a nd t he ba nd w a l k ont o a da r k s t a ge T hi s i s hi s f i r s t pe r f o r m a nc e s i nc e t he de a t h o f hi s f r i e nd of f o r t y ye a r s a nd ba nd m a t e D a nny F e de r i c i T he l i gh t s a r e di m m e d on t he s t a ge a nd a s pot l i ght s hi ne s on t he e m pt y c ha i r w he r e F e de r i c i w oul d ha ve s a t B r uc e a nd t h e ba nd pe r f or m B l ood B r ot he r s i n honor of hi m T he c a m e r a s c l os e i n on S pr i ngs t e e n s f a c e a nd t e a r s a r e f a l l i ng f r om hi s c he e ks a s he s i ngs T hr oughout t he c onc e r t B r uc e m a ke s s e ve r a l c om m e nt s a bout D a nny, a nd t hos e w ho ha ve s e e n hi m be f o r e t e l l m e t ha t t h i s c onc e r t i s i ns pi r e d a nd e ve n be t t e r t ha n t he nor m a l out s t a n di ng S p r i ngs t e e n c onc e r t F or a l m os t t h r e e hour s B r uc e r oc ks a c r os s t he s t a g e a nd pl a ys gui t a r w i t h a pa s s i on a nd e ne r gy t ha t a s t ounds m e onl y t hr e e ye a r s hi s s e ni or A t one poi nt he s l i de s on t he f l oor i n t o t he m i c r ophone pol e a nd doe s a ba c k s pl i t H e pl a ys a s i f he c a n s i ng, r oc k a nd da nc e t o dr i ve out t he G r i m R e a pe r P e r ha ps I a m pr oj e c t i ng, but I ha ve t he f e e l i ng t ha t B r uc e i s f e e l i ng h i s m or t a l i t y de s pi t e hi s di s pl a y of r obus t yout hf ul e ne r gy. S e a n D a l y, t he S t P e t e r s bur g T i m e s m us i c c r i t i c s a i d: B r uc e S pr i ngs t e e n a nd t he E S t r e e t B a nd j us t don t l os e f i ght s w i t h F a t he r T i m e F o r f ou r de c a de s i t ha s a l w a ys be e n a m i s m a t c h. F r om e pi c c onc e r t s t ha t r um bl e d on w i t h di s r e ga r d f o r de a dl i ne s t o t hunde r ous

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142 a nt he m s a bout t hum bi ng you r nos e a t de s t i ny, t he J e r s e y boy s br ot he r hood i s i nhe r e nt l y bui l t t o pus h, a nd pun i s h t he bounda r i e s of t he c l oc k. . T he y j us t ke e p pl a yi ng a s i f t he y ha ve a l l t he t i m e i n t he w or l d ( M a r c h 23, 2008 p 2B ) F e w l e f t t he i r s e a t s a s he r e t ur ne d t o t he s t a ge f or h i s e nc or e H e de di c a t e d t he gos pe l s ong, I l l F l y A w a y t o D a nny. I l ook ove r a t M e gha n, a nd s e e t e a r s s t r e a m i ng dow n he r f a c e M y s on, J e s s e i s m or e s t oi c but I c a n s e e t ha t he i s m ove d. T hi s w a s t he i r f a t he r s f a vor i t e s ong, a nd w e s a ng i t a t hi s f u ne r a l e i ght m ont hs a go I t ha s be e n a ye a r w he n w e a s a f a m i l y ha ve ha d t o f a c e m or e t h a n one de a t h. I c ons i de r t ha t none of us ha ve a l l t he t i m e i n t he w or l d not e ve n B r uc e D e a t h t ouc he s us a l l B ut l i ke B r uc e I w a nt t o ke e p s i ngi ng, da nc i ng, a nd l i v i ng f or a s l o ng a s I ha ve b r e a t h.

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143 C ha pt e r E l e ve n T he C l a s s of 65 S i xt i e t h B i r t hda y C e l e br a t i on I t s ounde d l i ke a good i de a a t t he t i m e a j oi nt s i xt i e t h bi r t hda y c e l e br a t i on f o r t he C l a s s of 65 G r e g B e c kha m our c l a s s pr e s i de nt a nd a n e bul l i e nt e nt hus i a s t b r oa c he d t he i de a a t our f o r t i e t h r e uni on. I l i ke d t he i de a s o m uc h t ha t I w r ot e i t i nt o m y di s s e r t a t i on pr opos a l de t e r m i ne d t o he l p m a ke i t h a ppe n. I t s a good t hi ng I d i d, be c a us e m y pe r s ona l s i xt i e t h bi r t hda y w a s a m a s s i ve di s a ppoi nt m e nt W he n I t ur ne d s i xt y on F e br ua r y 6 t h 2007, I e xpe c t e d a bi g pe r s ona l bi r t hda y c e l e br a t i on. I l ove c e l e br a t i ons a nd s ha r e w i t h m y da ught e r t he de s i gna t i on of f a m i l y c e l e br a t or pl a n ni ng a nd e xe c ut i ng m a s s i ve pa r t i e s a nd e ve nt s f or f a m i l y m e m be r s I e xpe c t e d t he s a m e f or m y s i xt i e t h bi r t hda y. I ne e d e d i t f o r t hi s t r a ns i t i on bi r t hda y W he n t he pa r t y di dn t ha ppe n, I w a s a ngr y, hur t a nd w e nt i nt o a l ong pout T he r e w e r e r e a s ons of c our s e a va r i e t y of f a m i l y i l l ne s s e s a nd s t r e s s or s a nd pr i o r c om m i t m e nt s M y da ught e r w a s bus y pl a nni ng m y gr a ndda ught e r s f i r s t a nd gr a nds on s t hi r d bi r t hda y. M y hus ba nd w a s ove r w he l m e d w i t h he a l t h, w or k, a nd l e ga l c ha l l e nge s T he a dul t i n m e unde r s t ood but t he c hi l d o f s i xt y l u r ki ng not t oo f a r be l ow t he s ur f a c e w a s di s a ppoi nt e d. S o w he n I be ga n pl a nni ng t hi s j oi nt e ve nt I t houg ht t hi s w oul d he l p e a s e m y di s a ppoi nt m e nt a nd w oul d a l s o a s s ua ge t he di s c om f or t I f e l t a s I c r os s e d t he t hr e s hol d i nt o m y s e ni or ye a r s I w a nt e d t o l ook a r ound a t a r oom of pe opl e t he s a m e a ge a nd s a y, T he y [ w e ] s e e m t o be doi ng oka y

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144 M y pl a nni ng f or our j oi nt c e l e br a t i on w a s de l a ye d by t he de a t h o f m y e x hus ba nd, t he f a t he r o f m y c hi l dr e n f r om a br a i n t um or o n J u l y 25, 2007. T he gr i e f f r om hi s de a t h s ur pr i s e d m e a nd s hook m e t o t he c or e M y s on a n d da ught e r s t r uggl e d w i t h t he l os s a nd I s pe nt t i m e w i t h t he m t o he l p t he m t h r ough i t B e c a us e of t ha t I di dn t be gi n pl a nni ng t hi s e ve nt unt i l S e pt e m be r 2007 I t w a s di f f i c ul t t o a c c om pl i s h f r om a f a r S i nc e I m not t ha t f a m i l i a r w i t h A t l a nt a a nym or e I e nl i s t e d t he h e l p of N o r e ne t o f i nd a n a ppr opr i a t e ve nue H e r e i s t he s t or y be gi nni ng w i t h e m a i l s I s e nt out t o t he c l a s s

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145 O c t obe r 5 t h 2007 H e l l o m y de a r c l a s s m a t e s a nd f e l l ow s e xa ge na r i a ns W e l l t h i s i s t he ye a r w e t ur n s i xt y, a nd t ha t f e e l s l i ke a c e l e br a t i on! P l e a s e c om e t oge t he r w i t h m e m be r s of t he c l a s s of '65 t o c e l e br a t e w he r e w e ha ve be e n a nd w ha t w e ha ve a c c om pl i s he d, a s w e l l a s r e f l e c t upon w he r e w e a r e goi ng A s our c l a s s m a t e Z a k K oz a k, r e m i nde d m e W he n you a r e s i xt y, our t om or r ow i s t oda y T hi s i s t he t i m e t o l i ve now i f e ve r t he r e w a s one W e a l s o know t ha t a l ong t he w a y e a c h of us ha s l os t c e r t a i nl y ou r yout h; s om e of us our ha i r ; a t l e a s t f or s om e of us our c a pa c i t y t o r e m e m be r na m e s O n a m o r e p r of ound l e v e l w e h a ve l os t s i x c l a s s m a t e s a nd i ndi vi dua l l y w e ha ve l os t pa r e nt s pa r t ne r s c hi l dr e n, a nd f r i e nds A s J oni M i t c he l l s a ys S om e of ou r dr e a m s ha ve l os t t he i r gr a nde ur c om i ng t r ue W e gr i e ve t he l os s of ot he r hope s a nd dr e a m s t ha t f a l l s hor t of t he m a r k. W ha t e ve r you c e l e br a t e ( or gr i e ve ) c om e do i t f or t hi s one ni ght w i t h your f e l l ow c l a s s m a t e s W e w e r e young t oge t he r now l e t s c e l e br a t e t hi s bi g bi r t hda y t oge t he r W he n: S a t ur da y, N ove m be r 3, 7 p m W he r e : A nt hony's F i ne D i ni ng, B uc khe a d W hy: S ha r e t hi s pa s s a ge w i t h t hos e of you r yout h w ho a r e goi ng t hr ough t he s a m e t hi ng C os t : $55 pe r pe r s on ( pl us dr i nks a nd gr a t ui t i e s )

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146 W ha t do you ne e d t o do: R S V P t o M a r y P ool e a t m a r y_c _pool e @ hot m a i l c om ( or 727 742 8126 ) b y O c t 30, 2007 A l s o, on S u nda y, N ove m be r 4 f r om 11 a m t o 1 p. m I ( M a r y P ool e ) a m hos t i ng a di s c us s i on/ f oc us gr oup/ c of f e e a t t he hom e of m y br ot he r B i l l P ool e i n R os w e l l I a m w r i t i ng a di s s e r t a t i on a bo ut our c l a s s m a t e s M y pur pos e i s t o t a l k a bout our l i f e na r r a t i ve s : w ha t t i e s us t oge t he r ; w ha t ha s i nf l ue nc e d our l i f e t r a j e c t or i e s ; a nd how t hi s s ha pe s our f ut u r e I hope t ha t t hi s ga t he r i ng w i l l pr ovi de a n ope ni ng t o e nc our a g e s e l f r e f l e c t i on a s w e e nt e r i nt o t h i s ne w s t a ge of ou r l i ve s P l e a s e R S V P t o t h i s a l s o. I hope t o s e e m a ny of you s oon. I a m s or r y f or t he s hor t not i c e L i f e i nt e r f e r e d w i t h t he s e pl a ns e a r l i e r M a r y P ool e N ov e m be r 2, 2007 H e l l o c l a s s m a t e s W e l l t om or r ow i s t he di nne r W e ha ve a bout t w e nt y R S V P 's i nc l udi ng our pr i nc i pa l s : F a t he r H a r r i s on, a nd f or m e r pr i e s t J a c k C ot t e r ( c a l l i ng hi m J a c k w i l l be s t r a nge ) a nd hi s w i f e ( S r L a ur i e A nn) a nd M i s s G us c i o. H ow w onde r f ul t ha t ou r pa s t pr i nc i pa l s a nd t e a c he r s w a nt t o s ha r e t hi s e ve ni ng w i t h us A nd i t i s e nc our a gi ng t ha t a t our a ge t he y a r e s t i l l a l i ve

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147 I a m s or r y m a ny s om e of you w on t be a bl e t o m a ke i t I ve he a r d f r om m a ny c l a s s m a t e s w ho s e nd t he i r r e ga r ds a nd w ho w oul d ha ve l i ke d t o c om e but ha d pr i o r c om m i t m e nt s o r r e s pons i bi l i t i e s or w ho l i ve i n H a w a i i or C a l i f or ni a o r ot he r f a r a w a y pl a c e s a nd l ook f o r w a r d t o s e e i ng t hos e w ho c a n. A f t e r t he w e e ke nd I w i l l c om pi l e c om m e nt s a nd a r e por t f or a l l of you w ho c a n't c om e M a ny of you a r e ou t of t ow n, o r ha d pa r e nt i ng or gr a nd pa r e nt i ng c om m i t m e nt s a nd a r e una bl e t o c om e I a m pa c ki ng up a s I s pe a k, a nd ge t t i ng i n t he c a r w i t h m y hus ba nd ( P a ul ) da ught e r ( M e gha n) a nd gr a nds on ( L oga n, 3) a nd gr a ndda ught e r ( A va 20 m ont hs ) w ho a r e c om i ng a l ong f o r a t r i p t o t he G e or gi a A qua r i um w hi c h I he a r f r om m y g r a nds on ha s a w ha l e s ha r k! H ow c ool I l ook f or w a r d t o s e e i ng you a nd w i l l r e por t ba c k t o t he r e s t ne xt w e e k. P e a c e M a r y P ool e B i r t hday C e l e br at i on D i nne r N ov e m be r 3, 2008 T oda y i s t he da y I ha ve be e n t hi nki ng a bout a nd p l a nni ng f or t he l a s t t w o ye a r s N or e ne a nd J e r om e of f e r e d P a ul a nd m e t he i r hom e a c c om m oda t i ons f or t he w e e ke nd, but s i nc e I t r a ve l w i t h a n e nt our a ge o f hus ba nd, da ught e r a nd gr a ndc hi l dr e n, w e s t a y a t m y br ot he r s hom e i ns t e a d. W e a r r i ve d l a s t ni ght a nd t oda y w e t a ke a t r i p t o t he G e or gi a A qua r i um t o p r ovi de s om e e xc i t e m e nt f or t he c hi l dr e n. L oga n l ove s w ha l e s ha r ks a nd t he a qua r i um i s one of t he f e w a qua r i um s i n t he w or l d t o pr ovi de a hom e f o r t he m I t i s a n e xc i t i ng a nd e xha us t i ng da y. W e a r e s om e o f t h e f i r s t t o e nt e r w he n t he a qua r i um

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148 door s ope ne d, a nd w e vi s i t t he w ha l e s ha r ks be l ug a w ha l e s a nd e ve r y ot he r ki nd of s e a l i f e of f e r e d he r e C ha s i ng a t w o a nd a t hr e e ye a r o l d i n a c r ow de d publ i c s pa c e m a ke s f or a n e xc i t i ng a nd e xha us t i ng da y. I m a ke a po i nt t o r e t ur n t o m y br o t he r s hom e e a r l y i n t he a f t e r noon. O ne of t he j oys of ge t t i ng o l de r i s na ppi ng a nd put t i ng gr a ndc hi l dr e n t o s l e e p pr ovi de s a n e xc us e t o do s o. L oga n a nd I s nuggl e up on t he bi g bl ue be ds pr e a d i n m y ni e c e K a t hy s ol d r oom T he r oom doe s n t l ook ve r y di f f e r e nt f r om he r hi gh s c hool da ys f i f t e e n ye a r s a go, a l t hough s he ha s now m ove d t o D a l l a s a nd i s t he m ot he r of t hr e e c hi l dr e n. P i c t ur e s of K a t hy a nd f r i e nds a nd f a m i l y a r e p l a c e d a r ound t he r oom a nd pe r s ona l m e m e nt os a nd hi gh s c hool a w a r ds a r e s t i l l on t he w a l l s S he gr a dua t e d f r om S t P i us t oo t w e nt y f i ve ye a r s a f t e r m y c l a s s H e r r oom r e m i nds m e o f m y ol d be d r oom a t m y m ot he r s hom e M y m ot he r ke pt i t e xa c t l y a s I l e f t i t un t i l s he di e d t w e nt y t w o ye a r s a f t e r m y hi gh s c hool gr a dua t i on M y r oom w a s a t i m e c a ps ul e t ha t s e r ve d a s a s hr i ne t o m e l ong a f t e r I l e f t hom e M y hi gh s c hool ye a r s w e r e m y gl or y ye a r s t o m y m ot he r W he n I w a s f or t y ye a r s ol d s he t ol d pe opl e t ha t I w a s pr e s i de nt of t he s t ude nt c ounc i l i n hi gh s c hool W he n w e c l e a ne d out he r hous e a f t e r he r de a t h, a l i on m a s c ot f or S t P i us X hi gh s c hool s a t on m y dr e s s e r j us t a s I ha d l e f t i t m a ny ye a r s be f o r e M y ni e c e s r oo m ha s s om e of t he s a m e ghos t l i ke e nt om be d f e e l i ng. I onl y s l e e p a f e w m i nut e s a nd w a ke up r e f r e s he d a r ound f our a pe r f e c t c a t na p. T he di nne r i s a t s e ve n, bu t I w a nt t o l e a ve e a r l y t o be t h e r e be f or e t he ot he r s a r r i ve T r yi ng not t o a w a ke n L oga n, I qui e t l y s how e r a nd be gi n t o ge t r e a dy. L a s t w e e k, I w e nt s hoppi ng w i t h M e gha n, m y d r e s s i ng gur u, a nd pi c ke d out a r e d s i l k pa t t e r n j a c ke t a nd s l a c ks t o

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149 w e a r I f e e l s e l f c ons c i ous I w onde r how I w i l l c o m pa r e w i t h m y ot he r c l a s s m a t e s W i l l t he y l ook ol de r younge r be t t e r put t oge t he r ? T he s e l a s t f e w ye a r s ha ve t a ke n t he i r t ol l on m y body I l i ke t o bl a m e i t on m y e f f or t s t o e a r n m y P h D but i n r e a l i t y, I pr e f e r m e nt a l w or kout s t o phys i c a l one s A nd, t he r a va ge s of m y R he um a t oi d A r t hr i t i s ha ve m a de i t d i f f i c ul t f o r m e t o w a l k, m uc h l e s s do ot he r e xe r c i s e s I w a l k w i t h a l i m p a nd i t i s d i f f i c ul t t o ge t up s t a i r s a nd i n a nd out of c ha i r s W he n I a m ha vi ng a n R A f l a i r u p, I s om e t i m e s m us t r e s or t t o us i ng a w a l ki ng s t i c k I bough t i n I r e l a nd I t w a s n t t ha t l on g a go, m os t pe opl e c oul dn t ke e p up w i t h m e be c a us e I w a l ke d s o f a s t I ve ha ve a l w a y s s e e n m ys e l f a s s t r ong a nd i nvi nc i bl e I t i s ha r d f or m e t o a c c e pt t he s e l i m i t a t i ons F or a l l of t he s e r e a s ons I a m c ons c i ous of m y a pp e a r a nc e a nd a m a w a r e t ha t I a m not i n g r e a t s ha pe I t a ke c om f or t i n m y ha i r t ha t w a s r e c e nt l y c ut c ol or e d a nd hi ghl i ght e d w i t h va r yi ng s ha de s of r e d a nd b r ow n i n a f unky a r t s y w a y L oga n s i nt e r pr e t a t i on i s a l i t t l e di f f e r e nt H e s a i d a f t e r I ha d i t done G a G a you r ha i r i s or a nge on t op a nd b l a c k on t he bot t om W hi c he ve r w a y y ou de s c r i be m y ha i r i t i s not your t ypi c a l s i xt y ye a r ol d s s t yl e A nd l ooki ng i n t he m i r r or I t e l l m ys e l f t ha t t he pl um pne s s of m y f a c e pu f f s out m y l i ne s a nd w r i nkl e s m a ki ng m e a ppe a r a t l e a s t l e s s w i z e ne d t ha n m a ny m y a ge I w onde r i f a ny o f m y c l a s s m a t e s w i l l ha ve ha d pl a s t i c s ur ge r y? I r e m e m be r t o a ppl y hi ghl i ght e r t o t he i nne r c or ne r of m y e ye s t o m a k e t he m l ook you nge r a t r i c k M e gha n t a ught m e A f t e r s pe ndi ng m uc h m or e t ha n m y us ua l f i f t e e n m i nut e s t o ge t r e a dy, I w a l k dow ns t a i r s a nd f i nd B a r ba r a i n he r ki t c he n. S he s a ys W hy K i t t y ( m y f a m i l y na m e ) how l ove l y you l ook S he c ont i nue s W hy don t you l e t m e i r on t ha t j a c ke t ? I t s a l i t t l e

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150 w r i nkl e d. A t f i r s t I f e e l e m ba r r a s s e d t ha t I di dn t not i c e i t but B a r b, e ve r t he d i pl om a t r e m i nds m e t ha t s he i s e xc e pt i ona l l y a w a r e of t he s e t hi ngs I t m us t be t he s e a m s t r e s s i n he r S he i s m uc h m or e d om e s t i c a t e d t ha n I ha ve e ve r be e n. I l e t he r t a ke m y j a c ke t a nd i r on i t w hi l e I t r y t o c a l m dow n w i t h a gl a s s of w i n e I t f e e l s pl e a s a nt l y i nt i m a t e t o ha ve B a r b gr oom m e A s s he r e t ur ns w i t h a f r e s hl y s t e a m e d a nd w r i nkl e f r e e j a c ke t I c a l l f or P a ul e a ge r t o ge t go i ng. I a m c om f or t e d t ha t he i s w i t h m e a nd t ha t I don t ha ve t o g o a l one H e i s pl e a s a nt c om pa ny i n a s i t ua t i on l i ke t hi s pr e s e nt i ng j us t t he r i ght ba l a nc e be t w e e n s ol i c i t ous ne s s a nd i nde pe nde nc e M y br ot he r s hom e i n R os w e l l i s onl y a f e w m i nut e s f r om B uc khe a d. I r e m e m be r B uc khe a d a s a s m a l l l i t t l e t ow n I t w a s one of t he h a unt s of m y you t h. A t t ha t t i m e i t w a s l oc a t e d be t w e e n m y hom e a nd dow n t ow n A t l a nt a w he r e I s om e t i m e s w e nt f or m ovi e s a nd pi z z a N ow i t ha s be c om e a n ups c a l e bus i n e s s a nd e nt e r t a i nm e nt a r e a w he r e m a ny of t he hi ps t e r s a nd t hos e w ho ha ve m a de i t l i ve i n c l udi ng E l t on J ohn a nd J a ne F onda M y br ot he r s l a w o f f i c e i s a l s o he r e I t i s a good t hi ng P a ul i s d r i vi ng I a m e xc i t e d a nd a bi t ne r vous H e ha s t he di r e c t i ons a nd he t a ke s us t he r e e a s i l y. W e pu l l i nt o a s i de dr i ve w a y w he n w e s e e a s i gn f or t he r e s t a ur a nt T he r e i s a s i gn f r om t he r oa d, b ut t he r e s t a ur a nt i s not i n vi e w A s w e pul l a r ound ba c k I s e e a n e l e ga nt T udor s t yl e bui l di ng. V a l e t s pa r k t he c a r s a nd P a ul a nd I ge t out o f hi s f i ve ye a r ol d S uba r u F or e s t e r I m ut t e r t o P a ul I w i s h w e ha d c l e a ne d a nd w a s he d t he c a r be f or e w e c a m e I l o ok a r ound t o s e e i f I r e c ogni z e a nyone N ot ye t bu t t he r e a r e m e m be r s o f a w e ddi ng pa r t y unl oa di ng a t t he s a m e t i m e I a m gl a d none of m y c l a s s m a t e s a r e he r e t o s e e m y di r t y, ol d ve hi c l e

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151 A s w e w a l k i n, a m a i t r e de w e l c om e s us a nd w e a nnounc e t ha t w e a r e w i t h t he S t P i us bi r t hda y r e uni on. H e s m i l e s a nd w a l ks us ba c k t o a p r i va t e r o om i n t he ba c k o f t he bui l di ng. W e a r e t he f i r s t he r e T he r oo m i s c oz y, e l e ga nt a nd e xude s a w a r m a m bi a nc e A f i r e pl a c e br i ght e ns t he da r k s pa c e a nd c a ndl e s g r a c e s i x w hi t e c l ot he d r ound t a bl e s t ha t f i l l t he r oo m A s w e e nt e r a w a i t e r t e l l s us t h e r e i s a pr i va t e ba r s e t up i n t he ne xt r oom a nd I i m m e di a t e l y s e nd P a ul i n f or a s c ot c h on t he r oc ks I t i s a l ove l y r o om a nd w or ks w e l l t o e nc our a ge i nt i m a c y. N or e ne w ho c h os e t he pl a c e di d w e l l S oon a f t e r N or e ne a nd J e r om e bounc e i n N or e ne i s a s us ua l qui nt e s s e nt i a l l y bubbl y. J e r om e f ol l ow i ng be hi nd he r i s m or e o f a qui e t bubbl e T hi s i s a g r e a t pl a c e I t e l l he r a s w e hug S he hus t l e s a r ound t a l ki ng t o t he w a i t e r s c he c ki ng out t he ba r a nd a r r a ngi ng t he na m e t a gs S he i s s o t oge t he r I c a n t i m a gi ne how s he l os t t o m e f o r s t ude nt gove r nm e nt pr e s i de nc y. I t m us t ha ve be e n be c a us e of t he e f f o r t s of m y c a m pa i gn m a na ge r B e r yl P r e vos t w ho di e d m a ny ye a r s a go f r om b r e a s t c a nc e r I m i s s he r t on i ght a nd I c ons i de r t hos e s t ude nt s i n our c l a s s w ho di dn t ha ve a c ha nc e t o l i ve t o s i xt y. I a m t ol d t he r e a r e s i x. N ot ba d odds out o f one hundr e d t w e nt y c l a s s m a t e s f or t y t w o ye a r s l a t e r D e s pi t e m a ny m a l e s w ho s e r ve d i n V i e t N a m none w e r e ki l l e d t he r e J oa n, one of t he hom e c om i ng c our t c om m i t t e d s ui c i de r i ght a f t e r hi gh s c hool a nd t w o ot he r m e m be r s of t he hom e c om i ng c our t di e d e a r l y on f r om c a nc e r I r e m e m be r t hos e pa s s e d a nd c ons i de r t he l i ve s t he y di dn t ge t a c ha nc e t o l i ve a s I pr e pa r e f or m y c l a s s m a t e s t o s how up. S t a ndi ng i n t he door w a y be t w e e n t he di ni ng r oom a nd ba r I s i p on m y s c ot c h, a nd w a t c h a s m y c l a s s m a t e s t r i c kl e i n. F a t he r H a r r i s on our pr i nc i pa l a r r i ve s a nd gr e e t s m e w a r m l y. H e i s s pr y f o r a n a l m os t e i ght y ye a r ol d m a n. I ga ve m y f i r s t s pe e c h t ha nki ng

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152 hi m w he n he l e f t our s c hool i n m y s e ni or ye a r S oo n a f t e r w e he a r d he l e f t t he pr i e s t hood, a nd i n m y c ol l e ge ye a r s I f r e que nt l y s a w hi m w i t h di f f e r e nt w om e n ha vi ng di nne r a t a r e s t a ur a nt w he r e I w or ke d H e r e t u r ne d t o t he pr i e s t hood i n hi s l a t e f i f t i e s a nd s e r ve s a pa r i s h now M i s s G us c i o r ol l s i n on h e r w he e l c ha i r N or e ne w hi s pe r s S he j us t r e t i r e d f r om P i us a f t e r f o r t y f i ve ye a r s I a m a m a z e d. S he s e e m e d f r a i l ba c k t he n. I c ons i de r t ha t i f s he c a n m a ke i t t o e i ght y t he odds s houl d be good f o r m e I f i nd m ys e l f l a t e l y c ons i de r i ng how m a ny ye a r s I ha ve l e f t I a dd up how m a ny ye a r s t i l l m y gr a ndc hi l dr e n g r a dua t e f r om hi gh s c hool a nd how ol d I w i l l be t he n a nd w onde r i f I w i l l be a l i ve I ve a l s o t a ke n t o r e a di ng obi t ua r i e s a nd t a ki ng c om f o r t i n t hos e w ho di e a t m uc h ol de r a ge s t ha n I a m now a nd not i c i ng h ow m a ny ha ve di e d w ho a r e t he s a m e a ge or younge r I w onde r i f I a m t he onl y m or bi d one doi ng t hi s or i f ot he r s s ha r e i n t hi s pr e oc c upa t i on w i t h m or t a l i t y. A f t e r a f e w m i nut e s t he r oom i s f u l l o f t a l ki ng l a u ghi ng s i xt y ye a r ol ds L ooki ng out a t t he m i s l i ke l ook i ng a t a m i r r or H ow a r e w e l ooki ng? I a s k m ys e l f N ot ba d, I t hi nk a s I l ook a r ound a t t hi s vi t a l g r oup a r oun d m e I a m s t a r t l e d t hough a s I not i c e t ha t t w o of t he w om e n a r e w a l ki ng w i t h c a ne s W ow I m ut t e r W e a r e n t t ha t ol d. I l a t e r f i nd out t ha t one of t he w om e n s por t i ng a c a ne r e c e nt l y ha d f oo t s ur ge r y a nd t he ot he r ha s ha d M ul t i pl e S c l e r os i s s i nc e young a dul t hood. I f e e l a l i t t l e be t t e r know i ng t ha t m os t a r e n t ye t a t t he s t a ge w he r e w a l ki ng a s s i s t a nc e i s ne e de d. S oon w e m i g r a t e t o ou r t a bl e s P a ul a nd I s i t w i t h G r e g B e c kha m ( a J e a n L uc P i c c a r d l ook a l i ke ) ; J ohn W a l t e r s a nd h i s w i f e S ha r on; a nd L i z H or s e y. G r e g a nd I w e r e f r i e nds a nd s ha r e d c l a s s e s t oge t he r i n s c hool I di d n t know J ohn w e l l a nd I a m e m ba r r a s s e d t o f i nd t ha t L i z a c t ua l l y w e nt t o t he s a m e s m a l l c ol l e ge I di d, a nd I di dn t

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153 r e m e m be r he r t he r e I a t t r i but e i t t o m y a gi ng br a i n A s t he w a i t e r s e r ve s our but t e r a nd r e d l e a f s a l a d, w e r e i nt r oduc e ou r s e l ve s t o e a c h ot he r L i z ha s a c a ne a nd s he r e c ount s t ha t s he r e c e nt l y ha d s ur ge r y on he r f oot A s I l oo k c l os e r a t J ohn, I a m a bl e t o s e e i n hi s now ol de r f a c e t he young t e e na ge r I kne w f or t y ye a r s a go. I t i s l i ke a r e ve r s e p r oc e s s of t he a gi ng m a c hi ne G ul l e t t e t a l ks a bout ( 1997 p 1 1) I be gi n t o r e m e m be r hi m T he r e i s a r e f r e s hi ng ope nne s s hum i l i t y a nd hone s t y a bout J ohn, a s he i nt r oduc e s hi s w i f e S ha r on a nd t a l ks a bout hi s l i f e G r e g ha s c om e f r om W a s h i ngt on D C w he r e he w o r ks f or t he P e nt a gon. I t i s a l i ve l y gr oup. A t t he c l a s s r e uni on t w o ye a r s a go, G r e g s e ye s f i l l e d w i t h t e a r s a s he t ol d m e how he pul l e d bodi e s out o f t he P e nt a gon on 9 / 11. T oni ght he i s m or e upbe a t a nd e nt e r t a i ns t he t a bl e de s c r i bi ng hi s e xpl oi t s a t bl a c k t i e gove r nm e nt e ve nt s T hr e e ot he r t a bl e s a r ound us a r e f i l l e d w i t h a ni m a t e d a nd t a l ka t i ve c l a s s m a t e s a nd gue s t s B e f or e our e nt r e e s of F l o r i da G r oupe r F i l e t M i gno n, or C hi c ke n W e l l i ngt on a r e s e r ve d, I i n t e nd t o s a y a f e w w o r ds t o ge t t he gr ou p c onve r s a t i on s t a r t e d. I t a ke a s w i g o f m y s c ot c h f or i ns pi r a t i on a nd c l i nk m y kni f e a ga i ns t m y w a t e r gl a s s E ve nt ua l l y, t he c ha t t e r di m i ni s he s I a m c ons c i ous t ha t w ha t I s a y s e t s t he t one f or w ha t ot he r s s ha r e s o I c hoos e m y w o r ds c a r e f ul l y: W e l c om e t o our c l a s s j oi nt s i xt i e t h bi r t hda y pa r t y P l e a s e t ha nk G r e g f or t he i de a a nd N o r e ne f o r t he l ove l y a r r a nge m e nt s s he m a de f or our e ve ni ng. ( C l a ppi ng) I l ook a r ound a t a l l o f our f a m i l i a r f a c e s no t a l l t ha t c ha nge d s i nc e w e l a s t a t t e nde d P i H i f or t y t w o ye a r s a go. I a m a m a z e d a t how s i m i l a r w e a l l l ook a nd a c t ( l a ught e r ) Y e t unl i ke f or t y t w o ye a r s

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154 a go, w e a l l ha ve a s t or y t o t e l l a nd a l i f e t ha t w e ha ve l i ve d. I t i s t ha t w e c e l e br a t e t oni ght a s w e l ook f or w a r d t o t he ye a r s t o c om e I t ur ne d s i xt y i n F e br ua r y a nd un l i ke ot he r m i l e s t one ye a r s f o r m e t hi s bi r t hda y w a s a c ha l l e nge I t t ook m e by s ur pr i s e I s om e t i m e s s t i l l c a n t be l i e ve t ha t I a m s i xt y. I f i nd i t ve r y c om f or t i ng t o be i n a r oom of pe opl e w ho a r e f a c i ng t he s a m e m om e nt A f t e r our l a s t r e uni on be i ng w i t h our c l a s s r e m i nde d m e of t he pe r s on I w a s f or t y s om e ye a r s a go, a nd o f t he pe r s on I w a nt e d t o be c om e M a ybe c om i ng t oge t he r t oni ght c a n he l p us a l l t o r e c a l l t ha t i n our s e l ve s I w oul d l i ke t o a s k e a c h of you t o s a y a f e w w or ds a nd t e l l us w ha t you l i ke a bout your l i f e a nd w ha t you a nt i c i p a t e doi ng i n y ou r s i xt i e s a nd ye a r s t o c om e W i t hout he s i t a t i on, ou r c l a s s pr e s i de nt G r e g s t a nd s up, a nd w i t h hi s m i s c hi e vous s m i l e ge t s t he ba l l r ol l i ng W e l l I gue s s I l l be gi n. I m r e a l l y gr a t e f ul w e a r e doi ng t hi s a nd w a nt t o t ha nk M a r y a nd N or e ne f or m a ki ng t hi s ha ppe n. W i t h t ha t he be gi ns t o r e c ount hi s t a l e A f t e r P i us I w e nt t o B r ow n, a nd t he n t o V i e t N a m l i ke s om e of you. W he n I c a m e ba c k, m y w i f e gr e e t e d m e w i t h d i vor c e pa pe r s A s you c a n i m a gi ne t ha t w a s a bi t o f a s hoc k. I s t r uggl e d f or a w h i l e a f t e r t ha t t r yi ng t o f i nd m y pl a c e I e ve nt ua l l y m e t m y c ur r e nt w i f e of t h i r t y ye a r s a nd w e nt ba c k i nt o t he m i l i t a r y I w or k now a t t he P e n t a gon ke e pi ng t he w or l d t oge t he r I ha ve t w o gr e a t boys I a m l ooki ng t o r e t i r e i n a c oupl e of ye a r s a nd a m t r yi ng t o de c i de w ha t I w a nt t o do M y l i f e now i s good

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155 a nd I a m not a l l t ha t a nxi ous t o gi ve up t he good l i f e N ow I hobnob w i t h pe opl e w ho m a ke t hi ngs ha ppe n, a nd ge t t o go t o b l a c k t i e e ve nt s on a r e gul a r ba s i s I a m not s ur e how I a m goi ng t o ke e p t ha t goi ng I w a nt t o f i nd a w a y t o gi ve ba c k, t hough I a m l ooki ng f o r a w a y t o do t ha t A nd, I w a nt t o hi ke t he A ppa l a c hi a n T r a i l G r e g i s a n e xt r ove r t a nd a t a l ke r l i ke m ys e l f H e c oul d ha ve t a l ke d on f or a w hi l e l onge r s o I ge nt l y i nt e r j e c t a nd i nv i t e s om e one e l s e t o s pe a k. A nd t he s t or i e s m ove a r ound t he r oo m L i z s i t t i ng a t m y t a bl e s t a nds up a nd r e c ount s a t a l e a bout a l i f e a l t e r i ng c a r a c c i de nt I f ound m ys e l f ups i de dow n i n a d i t c h f i l l e d w i t h w a t e r I t w a s t e r r i f yi ng a nd I di dn t know i f I w oul d ge t out a l i v e or not T ha t e xpe r i e nc e c ha nge d m y l i f e a nd how I l ook a t t hi ngs S he t e l l s how t h i s e ve nt m a de he r w a nt t o m a ke a di f f e r e nc e M y bi g c a us e s he s t a t e s i s t he e t hi c a l t r e a t m e nt of a ni m a l s S he r e c a l l s how s he us e d t o be a g r a phi c de s i gne r but t e c hnol ogy t hr e w he r out o f a j ob. S he ha d t o r e t ool a nd now s he i s a pa r a l e ga l I s t i l l w a nt t o w r i t e m ys t e r y nove l s t hough, a nd I do t ha t i n m y s pa r e t i m e O ne by one w e go a r ound t he r oom a nd na r r a t e bi t s of our t a l e M i k e D ona hue t e l l s how he w or ke d f or R i c h s D e pa r t m e nt S t o r e a n A t l a nt a i ns t i t ut i on, f or t w e nt y s e ve n ye a r s H e l os t hi s j ob w he n M a c y s bought i t ou t I t s be e n t ough ge t t i ng ove r t ha t he s a ys but now I a m i nt o de s i gni ng l a nds c a pi ng. I ha d t o s t a r t ove r M y gr a ndc hi l d r e n ke e p m e goi ng. J ohn de s c r i be s hi s ve nt ur e s i n bu s i ne s s a nd now hi s a nt i c i pa t e d r e t i r e m e nt : U nl i ke m os t of you, I d i dn t go t o c ol l e ge I j oi ne d t he M a r i ne s a nd w e nt t o V i e t N a m a nd w he n I r e t ur ne d, I s t a r t e d dr i vi ng a t r uc k N ow I s t i l l

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156 w or k f or t he s a m e o r ga ni z a t i on a nd a m a r e gi ona l m a na ge r M y w i f e a nd I a r e pl a nni ng our r e t i r e m e nt a nd w a nt t o s pe nd i t vo l unt e e r i ng a nd gi vi ng ba c k. W e a r e i nvol ve d now w i t h B ui l d i t up A t l a nt a a nd s e ve r a l ot he r vol unt e e r or ga ni z a t i ons A r ou nd t he r oom w e go N o r e ne a nd J e r om e a r e a c l a s s i c on, a s w e w a t c he d t he i r r om a nc e bl os s om a t our t w e nt y f i f t h r e uni on. T he y s ha r e w i t h us t he j oy o f t he i r m a r r i a ge J e r om e t e l l s how he na r r ow l y e s c a pe d t h e dr a f t f or t he V i e t N a m w a r due t o a c onc us s i on, a nd how he f e l l i nt o a c a r e e r f or w hi c h he ha d no t r a i ni ng I t s ounde d l i ke f un, he s a ys N o r e ne a dds I ve ne ve r be e n ha ppi e r t ha n I a m now w i t h J e r om e ( bi g c l a p) A f t e r hi gh s c hool I ki nd of l i ve d t he h i ppi e l i f e s t yl e I l i ve d i n t he w oods pl a nt e d o r ga ni c ve ge t a bl e s a nd c ooke d on a w ood s t ove S he t he n t e l l s t he c l a s s a bout S ha r on a nd how m os t of he r l i f e ha d be e n de vot e d t o t he c a r e of da ught e r un t i l s he di e d L a ur e nt hi a de s c r i be s he r s t udi e s a t G e or gi a T e c h a nd he r e ngi ne e r i ng c a r e e r a nd vol u nt e e r w or k, i nc l udi ng goi ng t o N e w O r l e a ns a f t e r t he hu r r i c a ne t o he l p w i t h t he r e c ove r y. P a m s s t or y unf ol ds w i t h t a l e s a bout he r m a r r i a ge m ovi ng a r ound t he w or l d w i t h he r hus ba nd a nd c hi l dr e n, a nd he r di a gnos i s of M S D a r l e ne r e por t s a bout he r c a r e e r a s a P s yc hol ogi s t a nd a n e nt r e p r e ne ur I s t i l l ha ve l ot s I w a nt t o do s he i nf o r m s us I w a nt t o t r a ve l t he w o r l d, a nd I s t a r t e d ba c k i n s c hool t hi s f a l l t o e a r n a not he r de gr e e i n P s yc hopha r m a c ol ogy. J i m M e a ne y ge t s up a nd be gi ns t o s pe a k w i t h h i s ge n t l e s out he r n dr a w l H i s a ppe a r a nc e a nd s pe e c h r e m i n d m e of M a t l oc k a s he t e l l s a bout h i s l a w pr a c t i c e i n N o r t h G e or gi a a nd a bout hi s c hi l dr e n a nd gr a ndc hi l dr e n S oon a f t e r w e ve a l l ha d a c ha nc e t o i nt r oduc e ou r s e l ve s w e r e t ur n t o our e nt r e e s a nd our t a bl e c onve r s a t i ons I t a l k w i t h G r e g a nd J ohn, a nd s a vor m y G e or gi a P e a c h

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157 F l a m b B e i ng w i t h t he s e pe opl e i n t hi s pl a c e ha s a s ur r e a l f e e l t o m e S o m uc h ha s ha ppe ne d i n m y l i f e s i nc e w e w e r e a l l t oge t he r a s a c l a s s a nd i n t he l i ve s of a l l of us M a r r i a ge s bi r t hs c a r e e r s f a i l u r e s a nd de a t hs s ha pe a nd s e a s on t he pe opl e w e a r e t oda y I t s e e m s l i ke onl y a m om e nt a go w e w e r e i de a l i s t i c e i ght e e n ye a r ol ds I ns i de I f e e l t he c onf i de nt opt i m i s t i c l e a de r of our c l a s s t ha t I w a s t he n. I f e e l t he a c hi e ve m e nt s j oy a nd a c c om pl i s hm e nt s e xpe r i e nc e d ove r a l i f e t i m e o f s i xt y ye a r s ; but I a l s o f e e l t he di s a ppoi nt m e nt s I ve e xpe r i e nc e d i n m ys e l f a nd i n m y l i f e t oo T he s e c onf l i c t i ng f e e l i ngs m a ke m e f e e l di s or i e nt e d a nd I ve on l y ha d one s c ot c h. M y s e ns e of t i m e a nd pl a c e i s w a r pe d. I t i s a s i f I a m a f l y on t he w a l l c a ught i n a ba c k t o t he f ut ur e t i m e w a r p D ur i ng di nne r I s i t w i t h P a ul on one s i de a nd J ohn on t he o t he r E ve r yone a t t he t a bl e i s e nga ge d i n a l i ve l y di s c us s i on. P a ul a nd I di s c ove r t ha t J ohn a nd S ha r on ha ve gr a ndc hi l dr e n t he s a m e a ge a s L oga n a nd A va a nd of c ou r s e t he pi c t u r e s c om e out I a m i m pr e s s e d w i t h t he ope n a nd obvi ous a f f e c t i on t ha t J ohn a nd S ha r on ha ve f o r e a c h ot he r a f t e r t hi r t y pl us ye a r s o f m a r r i a ge S ha r on ha s be e n t he s uc c e s s of m y l i f e J ohn s a ys H e c ont i nue s I t r i e d t o r e t i r e a c oupl e o f ye a r s a g o, but I s e e m t o ke e p goi ng ba c k t o w or k. I a m pl a nni ng t hi s ne xt ye a r t o m a ke r e t i r e m e nt s t i c k, a nd S ha r on a nd I w a nt t o de vot e our f u l l a t t e nt i on t o t he vol unt e e r or ga n i z a t i ons w e w or k w i t h H e ha s s uc h a ge nt l e a nd hum bl e p r e s e nc e I f i nd m ys e l f dr a w n t o hi m a nd w a nt t o know m or e B ut s oon, t he t a bl e c onve r s a t i on t ur ns t o hi gh s c hool d a ys a nd w e r e m i ni s c e a bout S r E l a i ne S i s t e r S us a n ( t he 6 2 hi s t or y t e a c he r ) a nd S r R e gi na w ho w oul d t e r r i f y us w i t h s t or i e s of da m na t i on s houl d w e s uc c um b t o t he pl e a s ur e s of t he f l e s h. T he c onve r s a t i on c ont i nue s t hi s w a y: ba c k a nd f or t h f r o m t he pa s t t o t he pr e s e nt a nd oc c a s i ona l l y l ooki ng f or w a r d t o our f ut u r e pl a ns

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158 A f t e r di nne r I w a l k t o t he ba r f or a n a f t e r di nne r d r i nk. H ol d i ng a K a hl ua a nd c r m e I t a l k w i t h P a m w ho l e a ns on he r c a ne I r e m e m be r he r w e l l f r om s c hool S he ha d t he n a nd s t i l l ha s now a s a r doni c a nd c a us t i c w i t Y e t now s he di s pl a ys a vul ne r a bi l i t y t ha t w a s n t a ppa r e nt t he n a t l e a s t not t o m e P e r ha ps i t i s he r di s e a s e I f e e l a s i m pa t i c o w i t h he r a nd he r i l l ne s s M y r he um a t oi d a r t hr i t i s s e e m s l i ke not hi ng c om pa r e d t o M S but i t doe s i m pa c t m y m obi l i t y a nd c a us e s m e t o l i ve i n c hr oni c pa i n W e s ha r e s t or i e s a bout our f a m i l i e s S he t e l l s m e he r s on r e t ur ne d f r om I r a q l a s t ye a r a nd i s not doi ng w e l l H e s l i ke a di f f e r e nt pe r s o n s i nc e he w e nt a w a y. H e ha s pos t t r a um a t i c s t r e s s di s or de r a nd ha s a ha r d t i m e f unc t i oni ng. A s I l i s t e n t o he r t a l e I a m s i l e nt l y gr a t e f ul t ha t m y t w e nt y ni ne ye a r ol d s on ha s not e xpe r i e nc e d t hi s S he s a ys I t w a s he l l w he n he w a s ove r t he r e E ve r y da y, I f e a r e d a ns w e r i ng t he phone W he n he c a m e hom e I t hought i t w oul d be ove r B ut i t s n ot T he w a r s t i l l r a ge s i n hi m a nd I a m s o a ngr y. T e a r s f i l l m y e ye s a s I s e e he r pa i n, a nd m y c l os e t o t he s ur f a c e a nge r a t t he P r e s i de nt a nd gove r nm e nt w ho us e young m e n a nd w om e n a s c a nnon f odde r r i s e s t o t he s ur f a c e T he r e a r e no w or ds t o m a ke t hi s be t t e r bu t I ha ve t o s a y s om e t hi ng, P a m I a m s o s or r y t hi s ha ppe ne d t o your s on. I t i s s o un f a i r D a r l e ne j oi ns our c onve r s a t i on, a nd w e qui c kl y m o ve on t o o t he r l e s s s e r i ous t opi c s S he i s e l e ga nt l y dr e s s e d i n a s t yl i s h pi nk s w e a t e r d r e s s T hi n be a ut i f ul l y out f i t t e d a nd c oi f f e d, s he w oul d be e a s y t o r e s e nt w e r e i t not f or he r s ni de a nd c yni c a l hum or w hi c h i m m e di a t e l y e nde a r s he r t o m e W e m a ke f un o f o ur pa i ns a nd ou r a ge t oge t he r a s w e c l os e dow n t he pl a c e T he w a i t e r s a r e c l e a ni ng up, but t he y don t s e e m t o m i nd ou r s t a yi ng. I know I don t w a nt t he e ve ni ng t o e nd. T he g r oup c onve r s a t i on l a s t s t i l l a f t e r e l e ve n. I m ove f r o m

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159 gr oup t o g r oup, t he r e s e a r c he r i n m e e nga ge d i n a n i nt e r na l ba t t l e w i t h t he e xc i t e d c l a s s m a t e I be c om e T he r e s e a r c he r l i s t e ns ; t he c l a s s m a t e l a ugh s a nd vi e s f or t he f l oor t o t e l l m y s t or y I r e m i nd m ys e l f t ha t I a m a n a ut oe nt hnogr a phe r a nd I c a n t e l l m y s t or y t oo. S o you a r e c om p l e t i ng a di s s e r t a t i on, F a t he r H a r r i s on a s ks Y e s I r e s pond, a nd I a m w r i t i ng a bout t hi s c l a s s I w onde r i f t h i s m a ke s m y c l a s s m a t e s ne r vous I t doe s n t s e e m t o c ur t a i l t he c onve r s a t i on. I s t r uggl e w i t h t r y i ng t o c om e up w i t h a di s s e r t a t i on e l e va t or s pe e c h. I w a nt t o know t he l i f e s t or i e s a nd t ur ni ng poi nt s of m y c l a s s m a t e s a nd s how how w e a r e a gi ng a nd p l a nni n g our f ut u r e W ha t a gr e a t i de a J i m M e a ne y r e s ponds I c a n t w a i t t o r e a d i t P a m a dds O ne by one t he pa r t i c i pa nt s l e a ve O l d f r i e nds onc e young t oge t he r hug a nd c a l l out S e e you a t t he c of f e e ; or S e e you a t t he f o r t y f i f t h r e uni on E ve n t ua l l y w e bi d goodbye t o m os t o f t he a t t e nde e s S e ve r a l s a y t he y w i l l a t t e nd t he c of f e e t om or r ow P a m D a r l e ne N or e ne a nd I s i t t oge t he r a f t e r e ve r y one e l s e l e a ve s a nd s ha r e a dr i nk a nd l a ugh s t oge t he r A nd, of c our s e w e gos s i p a bout t he pe opl e w ho a t t e nde d t oni ght a nd a l s o t hos e w ho di dn t c om e E ve r ybody l ooks pr e t t y good I s t a r t W ha t ha ppe ne d t o F a t he r C ot t e r ? I t hought he w a s goi ng t o c om e P a m a s ks F a t he r C ot t e r w a s our pr i nc i pa l a f t e r F a t he r H a r r i s on. H e w a s young a nd hot a nd w e s e c r e t l y c a l l e d hi m hot l i ps N ot l ong a f t e r w e gr a dua t e d, he l e f t t he p r i e s t hood w i t h S r L a ur i e A nn w ho l e f t t he c onve nt a nd t he y ha ve be e n m a r r i e d s i nc e

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160 I don t know N o r e ne s a i d. I t h i nk i t w a s s om e t hi ng a bout one o f hi s f i ve c hi l dr e n. I a s k a bout S t e ve R a vi l l e w ho w a s c o pr e s i de nt of t he s t ude nt c ounc i l w i t h m e I ha d dr i nks w i t h hi m a c oupl e o f ye a r s a go N or e ne r e pl i e s H e i s pr e s i de nt of s om e t e l e c om c om pa ny. A nd on w e go W e t a l k a nd l a ugh unt i l i t i s obv i ous t ha t t he r e s t a ur a nt s t a f f i s r e a dy t o go hom e W a l ki ng out t oge t he r a r m i n a r m w e w a i t f or t he va l e t s t o br i ng ou r c a r s I s e c r e t l y hope t ha t m i ne w i l l be l a s t but t ha t i s not t o be M y di r t y F o r e s t e r c om e s f i r s t a nd I hug N or e ne J e r om e D a r l e ne a nd P a m a nd ge t i n. P a ul know s how ne r vous I w a s a nd he c om pl i m e n t s m e on t he s uc c e s s of t he e ve ni ng. I f e e l qui e t s i l e nt l y m ul l i ng ove r t he pe o pl e a nd c onve r s a t i ons A f t e r w e a r r i ve hom e a nd c ha nge I s i t up a s P a ul goe s t o s l e e p, bu t I a m una bl e t o s e t t l e dow n qui t e ye t T a ki ng out m y not e book I w r i t e dow n f i e l d not e s a bout t he e ve ni ng. A nd I c opy ove r t hos e I t ook on a s c r a p o f pa pe r a t t he d i nne r a s m y c l a s s m a t e s i nt r oduc e d t he m s e l ve s I a l s o l ook ove r m y not e s f o r t he f oc us gr oup t om or r ow a nd j ot dow n a f e w que s t i ons t ha t I w a nt t o a s k. A t s i xt y, I s t i l l ha ve l ot s of i ns e c ur i t i e s a c ha r a c t e r i s t i c t ha t i s ve r y di s a ppoi nt i ng t o m e I t hough t I w oul d be ove r t ha t by now I f e e l c onf i de nt a bout a l ot of t hi ngs : t ha t I a m s m a r t a nd c a n hol d a c onve r s a t i on; t ha t I a m e d uc a t e d, i nt e r e s t i ng, a nd t hought f u l I f e e l c onf i de nt i n m y a bi l i t y t o pa r e nt a nd gr a ndpa r e nt m os t o f t he t i m e B ut t he r e a r e m a j or t hi ngs I ha ve n t a c c om pl i s he d i n m y ye a r s M y c a r e e r ha s be e n a l l ove r t he pl a c e a nd a t s i xt y I a m s t a r t i ng a ne w o ne M y f i na nc e s a r e f a r f r om f l ui d a s I ha ve s pe nt m uc h of m y l i f e a s a s i ngl e pa r e nt doi ng s oc i a l w or k a nd t e a c hi ng. I c a nnot e nvi s i on e ve r r e t i r i ng. F i na nc i a l l y, i t w on t be pos s i bl e B ut e v e n i f i t w e r e a t l e a s t a t t hi s poi nt I

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161 c a n t s e e pul l i ng ba c k f r om t he r uc kus o f l i f e A t l e a s t f or now I s t i l l w a nt t o be i n t he t hi c k of i t I r e a l i z e d t oni gh t a s I l i s t e ne d t o m y c ohor t t ha t w e a l l ha ve s om e a r e a s w he r e w e t hi nk w e f a l l s hor t D a r l e ne w a nt e d c hi l d r e n. O t he r s l os t j obs a nd, l i ke m e f a c e r e c r e a t i ng t he m s e l ve s i n l a t e r l i f e S om e s t r uggl e f i ndi ng a nd m a i nt a i ni ng ha ppy, f ul f i l l i ng r e l a t i ons hi ps O ne of our c l a s s m a t e s t ol d m e t on i g ht t ha t he ha s be e n a n a l c ohol i c m os t o f hi s l i f e a nd onl y t hr e e ye a r s a go w i t h t he he l p of A l c ohol i c s A nonym ous be c a m e s obe r P e r ha ps t ha t i s t he s t or y he r e L ooki ng dow n t he p i ke a t t he l a s t s i xt y ye a r s none o f us ha s m a de i t t hi s f a r unt a r ni s he d by di s a ppoi nt m e nt a nd f a i l ur e P e r ha ps t ha t i s w ha t t he s i xt i e s w i l l be a bout : m a ki ng pe a c e w i t h a l l of t he f r a gm e nt s a nd pi e c e s of ou r l i ve s B ut w or ki ng t ha t ou t w i l l ha ve t o t a ke pl a c e a not he r da y. I a m t i r e d. I t ha s be e n a l ong da y. I put dow n m y pe n, t ur n o f f t he ni ght l i ght ne xt t o t h e be d, a nd j oi n m y hus ba nd s nor i ng ne xt t o m e

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162 F oc us G r oup N ar r at i v e T he m or n i ng of t he s c he dul e d f oc us gr oup I a w a k e e a r l y. L a s t ni gh t s bi r t hda y pa r t y w a s a s uc c e s s a nd I a m l ooki ng f or w a r d t o c ont i nui ng t he c onve r s a t i on a nd c a m a r a de r i e A s I hur r i e dl y dr e s s I m a ke m e nt a l n ot e s of a l l I ha ve t o do t o m a ke t he pl a nne d e ve nt ha ppe n by e l e ve n t hi s m or ni ng M y br ot he r a nd s i s t e r i n l a w ha ve gr a c i ous l y of f e r e d m e t he i r hom e f o r t he oc c a s i on. I t s i t s on t he ba nks of t he C ha t t a hooc he e R i ve r i n R os w e l l a s ubur b o f A t l a n t a a nd i s i n a ne i ghbo r hood f i l l e d w i t h e l a bor a t e hom e s bor de r i n g a gol f c our s e B a r b a nd B i l l ha ve c r e a t e d a s pa c e t ha t i s f i l l e d w i t h be a ut i f ul a r t i f a c t s f r om t he i r w or l d t r a ve l s a n d f ur ni s he d w i t h e l e ga nt t e a k a nd l e a t he r F l ow e r s a r e e ve r yw he r e a nd t he l i vi ng a r e a s a r e m e t i c ul ous l y a r r a nge d a nd unc l ut t e r e d. I r e f l e c t upon m y hom e i n S a f e t y H a r bo r F l or i da A l t hough i t i s i n a pl e a s a nt m i ddl e c l a s s ne i ghbor hood on a c ul de s a c w hi c h i s a s a f e a nd i nvi t i ng pl a y a r e a f or m y gr a n d ki ds m y ho m e r e f l e c t s m y l i f e a bi t c l ut t e r e d a nd w or n. M y l i vi ng r oom f ur ni t u r e w hi c h ha s n t be e n r e pl a c e d f o r ove r t e n ye a r s i s t a t t e r e d a nd s t a i ne d, a nd t he m os t s i gni f i c a nt a r t i c l e s on d i s pl a y a r e m y gr a ndki ds t oys a nd pi c t ur e s a nd a n oc c a s i ona l pi e c e of a r t t ha t I ha ve c ol l e c t e d. O t he r s ha ve de s c r i be d m y hom e a s a r t s y a nd w a r m but I s e e i t a s a bi t r a gge d a nd r e f l e c t i ng m y s t r a i ne d f i na nc e s M y da ught e r t e l l s m e I ha ve a hous e dys m or phi c di s or de r O n a m o r e a na l yt i c a l a nd l e s s s e l f de pr e c a t i ng l e v e l I r e c ogni z e t ha t m y hom e a nd m y br ot he r s hom e r e f l e c t c hoi c e s t ha t w e ha ve m a de t hr oughout ou r l i ve s a nd a l s o s om e of t he i ne qui t i e s of ou r c ul t ur e t ha t p r i vi l e ge t he m a l e ge nde r a nd w or k s uc h a s l a w a nd bus i ne s s ove r nur t ur i ng c a r i ng w or k l i ke s oc i a l w or k a nd e duc a t i on. Y e t s om e t hi ng

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163 a bout be i ng ba c k i n m y hom e t ow n t e nds t o i gn i t e m y ol d i ns e c ur i t i e s a nd i na de qua c i e s a nd I a m s e c r e t l y gl a d t ha t I don t ha ve t o di s pl a y m y hom e B r us hi ng of f t he s e t hought s I r us h dow ns t a i r s a nd s ol i c i t t he he l p of m y hus ba nd, a nd w e he a d out t o ga t he r w ha t I ne e d t o hos t t he c of f e e s oc i a l N ot w a nt i ng t o put a n a ddi t i ona l bur de n on m y b r ot he r a nd s i s t e r i n l a w I ha ve or de r e d f ood f or t he m o r ni ng. I ga t he r t he i ndi vi dua l qui c he s a nd ba ge l s a t P a ne r a m a ke a qui c k s t op a t P ubl i x f o r f r ui t a nd j ui c e pi c k up s om e f l ow e r s a nd a r r i ve b a c k w hi l e e ve r yone e l s e i s s t i l l e a t i ng br e a kf a s t I a m ne r vous I w i s h t ha t I ha d t i m e t o vi s i t a nd c a t c h up w i t h m y br o t he r w hom I don t of t e n s e e but I w a nt e ve r yt hi ng t o be s e t up j us t r i ght f or t hi s di s c us s i on. N ot onl y i s m y r e s e a r c h f or m y di s s e r t a t i on a t s t a ke he r e bu t a l s o I f e e l a r e s pons i bi l i t y t o m a ke t hi s e ve nt bot h e nj oya bl e a nd m e a ni ngf ul f or m y c l a s s m a t e s T he y a r e goi ng out o f t he i r w a y t o he l p m e a nd I w a nt t hi s e xpe r i e nc e t o ha ve va l ue f or t he m L a s t n i ght a f t e r t he di nne r a nd be f o r e w r i t i ng m y f i e l dnot e s I m a de s ur e t o r e r e a d pa r t s o f m y t e xt book on f oc us gr oups a nd t o r e vi e w m y gui di ng que s t i ons I r e m i nd m ys e l f t o pr ovi de s om e s t r uc t ur e but a l s o t o l e t t he g r oup be o r ga ni c a nd t o l e t i t s m e a ni ng e m e r ge B a r b a nd I s e t up i n t he ba s e m e nt w hi c h i s a l ove l y l i vi ng s pa c e t ha t i nc l ude s a f a m i l y r oom poo l t a bl e ki t c he n a nd w or k out a r e a I t i s pr i va t e a nd out o f t he w a y, a nd w e w on t be d i s t ur be d he r e B a r b s t a s t e f ul pot t e r y di s pl a ys t he f r ui t qu i c he s a nd ba ge l s a t t r a c t i ve l y C of f e e br e w s i n a bi g pot a nd c r ys t a l pi t c he r s of j ui c e a r e p l a c e d on i c e d di s pl a ys T he c ouc he s a nd c ha i r s a r e s pa c e d c a r e f ul l y i n a c i r c l e w i t h m y t w o t a pe r e c or de r s pos i t i one d on oppos i t e s i de s of t he r oo m s t oc ke d w i t h e xt r a ba t t e r i e s a nd t a pe s I t i s a p l e a s a nt s pa c e a nd I a m r e a dy t o go.

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164 A t j us t be f or e e l e ve n, t he pa r t i c i pa nt s be gi n t o a r r i ve I a m e xpe c t i ng a bout t e n pa r t i c i pa nt s a nd I a m hope f ul t ha t t he y a l l s how u p. T he doo r be l l r i ngs a bout 10: 55 a nd I r us h t o a ns w e r i t F i r s t t o a r r i ve i s J ohn, w i t h hi s w i f e S ha r on. S he pr of f e r s a hom e m a de c a ke a nd w e c ha t a s I s how t he m dow n t o t he m e e t i ng r oom N o r e ne a nd J e r om e s how up ne xt t he n G r e g P a m a nd L a ur e n t hi a F i na l l y a f t e r di r e c t i ng he r t o ou r l oc a t i on by c e l l phone a l os t D a r l e n e a r r i ve s a nd w e a l l ga t he r dow ns t a i r s M i na c a l l s a t t he l a s t m i nut e a nd i s not a bl e t o m a ke i t I a m di s a ppoi nt e d s i nc e s he w a s m y be s t f r i e nd i n hi gh s c hool a nd s he w a s n t a bl e t o m a ke i t l a s t ni ght e i t he r W e ha ve ni ne pa r t i c i pa nt s c ount i ng m e a nd i nc l udi ng t w o s pous e s a good nu m be r f or a di s c us s i on. W he n I a r r i ve dow ns t a i r s w i t h D a r l e ne t he c ha t t e r i s l oud a nd l i ve l y. W e ha d l a s t ni ght t o c a t c h up a nd r e ne w our f r i e nds hi ps a nd t h e r e i s a c om f o r t f a m i l i a r i t y a nd e xc i t e m e nt t hi s m or ni ng a s w e g a t he r t oge t he r G r e g, our c l a s s pr e s i de nt w a s a l w a ys a c l a s s c l ow n, a nd he ha s us a l l l a ughi ng T he m ood i s l i ght a nd c onvi vi a l A f t e r a ha l f hour of t a l ki ng a nd e a t i ng, I r e l uc t a nt l y m ove t o r e i n t he m i n a nd br i ng us t o t he di s c us s i on. I m ove t ow a r ds t he c ha i r s a nd c ouc he s s e t up i n a c i r c l e i n t he l i vi ng a r e a a nd s i t dow n, hopi ng t ha t t he ot he r s w i l l f ol l ow T he y s oon do, a nd I be gi n. F i r s t I w a nt t o t ha nk you a l l f or t a ki ng you r t i m e a nd s om e of yo u, t r a ve l i ng hundr e ds of m i l e s t o be he r e I pa us e a nd l ook a r ound t he r oom D a r l e ne s i t t i ng ne xt t o m e ha s be e n on t he P s yc hol ogy f a c ul t y of G e or gi a S t a t e U ni ve r s i t y f or ye a r s a nd I a m a w a r e t ha t s he i s f a m i l i a r w i t h f oc us gr oups I don t w a nt t o l ook l i ke I don t know w ha t I a m doi ng A s you k now I a m c onduc t i ng r e s e a r c h on our c l a s s a gr oup o f l e a di ng a ge ba by boom e r s t ur ni ng s i xt y. I a m pa r t i c ul a r l y i nt e r e s t e d i n t ur ni n g poi nt s a nd e xpl or i ng t he f a c t or s t ha t

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165 ha ve s ha pe d a nd i nf l ue nc e d our l i ve s S o f a r s o g ood. T he y a r e a l l s t i l l s m i l i n g a nd l ooki ng a t m e T he i r body l a ngua ge i s e nga ge d. A nd I pos e t he f i r s t que s t i on, W ha t w e r e your pl a ns a nd goa l s w he n you g r a dua t e d f r o m hi gh s c hool ? W ha t di d you a nt i c i pa t e your l i f e t o be l i ke ? T hus be gi ns a n a l m os t t hr e e hour c onve r s a t i on t ha t f l oods out of t he pa r t i c i pa nt s l i ke O l d F a i t hf ul s pe w i ng a t Y e l l ow s t one A s e a c h pa r t i c i pa nt s pe a ks t he f l oodga t e s ope n, a nd t he i r a ns w e r s f l y out I t t a ke s ove r a n hou r t o c ove r t he f i r s t que s t i on. E ve r yone l i ke s t o t e l l hi s o r he r s t or y, pa r t i c ul a r l y w he n t he r e i s c o m m on gr ound E ve n t he m o r e qui e t a nd t a c i t ur n pa r t i c i pa nt s s pe a k e a ge r l y a bout t he i r l i ve s a nd i t t a ke s e f f or t t o ge t t he gr oup t o b r e a k f o r a f e w m i nut e s ha l f w a y t h r ough. I n a c t ua l i t y, i n t he t hr e e hou r s t i m e w e s pe nd t oge t he r onl y f our qu e s t i ons a r e pos e d. T he f i r s t w a s f ol l ow e d by A r e you s t i l l C a t hol i c a nd how ha s r e l i gi on i nf l ue nc e d your l i f e ? T he l a s t t w o que s t i ons w e r e : W ha t i f a ny, w e r e t he i nf l ue nc e s of t he s i xt i e s a nd t he c ount e r c ul t ur a l m ove m e nt s on you r l i ve s ? A n d f i na l l y, H ow do you pl a n on s pe ndi ng t he r e s t of your l i f e ? A f t e r t he g r oup, I e m a i l e d t he pa r t i c i pa nt s a nd a s ke d t he m a que s t i on t ha t I di dn t ha ve t i m e t o a s k a t t h e ga t he r i ng: W ha t ha s s us t a i ne d you t hr oughout t he c ha l l e nge s a nd l os s e s of l i f e ? A s I a na l yz e t he r e s pons e s I br e a k t he m up i nt o f i ve a r e a s : pl a nne d ve r s us r a ndom ne s s of l i f e ; r e l i gi on a nd s pi r i t ua l i t y; l e a r ni ng a nd e duc a t i on; gi vi ng ba c k; a nd f i na l l y, s our c e s of our r e s i l i e nc e T he s e c a t e gor i e s e m e r ge d out of t he i nt e r vi e w s a nd t he t he m e s e m e r ge d out of bot h t he i nt e r vi e w s a nd t he f oc us gr oup. I di dn t e nvi s i on t he s e c a t e gor i e s a t t he be gi nni ng o f t hi s p r oc e s s but r a t h e r t he y e m e r ge d f r om i t

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166 P l anne d V e r s us R andom ne s s of L i f e A s I be gi n t he f oc us gr oup I l ook out t he w i ndow s on t hi s s un ny f a l l da y a nd ga z e a t t he C ha t t a hooc he e R i ve r f l ow i ng be s i de t he ho us e S i t t i ng on t he br ow n l e a t he r s of a w i t h D a r l e ne on one s i de a nd N or e ne on t he ot he r I ga t he r m y t hought s t o be gi n. J e r om e a nd D a r l e ne a r e bot h ve r y c onc e r ne d a bout m y t a pe r e c or de r s J e r om e t a ke s r e s pons i bi l i t y f or c ha ngi ng t he t a pe s on one D a r l e ne pr oba bl y r e m e m be r i ng t he pa i n o f he r ow n di s s e r t a t i on s a ys N ow m a ke s ur e t ha t i s w or ki ng. I don t w a nt you t o m i s s t hi s da t a I a m t ouc he d by t he i r s uppor t a nd c onc e r n f or m y s uc c e s s w i t h t hi s ve nt ur e a nd I w onde r i f t he y c a m e he r e t oda y t o he l p m e or i f t h e y w e r e ge nui ne l y i nt e r e s t e d i n t he c onve r s a t i on. I c ons i de r i t i s pr oba bl y bot h. T a ki ng a s w i g o f m y hot c of f e e I di ve i n. Y ou k now w he n I l ook a t m y l i f e now a nd I t hi nk a bout m y t i m e a t P i us I di dn t ha ve a c l ue a bout t he c ha l l e nge s I w oul d e xpe r i e nc e or t he w a y m y l i f e w oul d t u r n out W hy, I w a nt e d t o be a nun f or G od s s a ke I w oul dn t ha ve be l i e ve d t ha t a t s i xt y I w oul d be on m y t hi r d hus ba nd. ( L a ught e r ) I w onde r w ha t w e r e your goa l s i n hi gh s c hool a nd di d your l i f e t ur n out how you e nvi s i one d i t or not ? I w a i t e d t o s e e w ho w oul d go f i r s t T he t e a c he r i n m e i s c ons c i ous of ba l a nc i ng oppor t uni t i e s f or t he e xt r ove r t s a nd t he i nt r ove r t s t o s pe a k. I a m p l e a s e d w he n P a m w ho i s qui e t e r t ha n s om e o f us s pe a ks up a nd be gi ns he r t a l e P a m a nd I ha d s om e bondi ng m om e nt s t he ni gh t b e f or e a nd I know of he r l i f e l ong s t r uggl e w i t h M ul t i pl e S c l e r os i s S i t t i ng ne xt t o D a r l e ne P a m s s ur pr i s i ng s t or y unr a ve l s : I ha d no i nt e r e s t i n goi ng t o c ol l e ge I w a s c onvi n c e d t ha t i f you w a nt e d a n e duc a t i on, you c oul d ge t i t a t a publ i c l i br a r y I w a nt e d t o be a p i l ot

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167 M y D a d w a s a pi l ot i n W or l d W a r I I I n 1965 no a i r l i ne s hi r e d w om e n pi l ot s but I ha d i t a l l f i gu r e d ou t I w a s goi ng t o a s k m y f a t he r t o us e t he m one y pl a nne d f or c ol l e ge f o r l e s s ons t he n I w a s goi ng t o ge t a j ob a t a c a r go c om pa ny. M y f a t he r j us t l a ughe d a t m e H e t hought i t w a s hys t e r i c a l H e l a ughe d hi s e ye s out B ut I w a s n t goi ng t o l e t t ha t de t e r m e S o, I w e nt t o a c a r e e r ni ght a t t he s c hool I a ppr oa c he d t he A i r F or c e r e c r ui t e r H e s a i d, H one y, w e don t t a ke w om e n B ut s w e e t i e i f you w a nt t o be i n t he A i r F o r c e you c a n be i n A i r T r a f f i c C ont r ol W e l l l e t you br i ng t he pl a ne s i n. I w a s a bs ol ut e l y f ur i ous a t t he c onde s c e ns i on. I t r i e d t he A r m y but t he y s a i d t he s a m e t hi ng I w a s a ngr y. S o I de c i de d t o do not hi ng F or a w hi l e I r e f us e d t o go t o c ol l e ge but I e ve nt ua l l y ga ve i n, a nd e a r ne d a de gr e e i n G e r m a n A s i t t u r n e d out a f e w ye a r s l a t e r I w a s di a gnos e d w i t h M S s o I pr oba bl y w oul dn t ha ve be e n a bl e t o f l y a nyw a y. B ut t ha t w a s m y pl a n T he G e r m a n he l pe d m e out t hough Y e a r s l a t e r I m ove d t o G e r m a ny w i t h m y hus ba nd, a nd i t c a m e i n ha ndy. T he gr oup r e a c t s l oudl y. N or e ne s a ys P a m I ha d no i de a w ha t you w e nt t hr ough I know w he n I w a nt e d t o go t o c ol l e ge t he r e w a s n t a l ot of s uppor t a nd I onl y w a nt e d t o be a t e a c he r Y e a h, I i nt e r j e c t W he n I t ol d m y D a d t ha t I w a nt e d t o go t o c ol l e ge he s a i d t ha t t he r e w a s n o poi nt Y ou a r e j us t goi ng t o ge t m a r r i e d a nd ha ve ki ds he t ol d m e I t w a s a di f f e r e nt t i m e t he n W ha t you e xpe r i e nc e d w a s s o unf a i r I r e s pond.

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168 P a m r e c a l l s I t j us t m a de m e s o a ngr y I w a s ups e t a bout be i ng pa t r oni z e d a nd l a ughe d a t Y ou kno w i t w a s n t un t i l t he l a t e e i ght i e s t ha t w om e n w e r e a l l ow e d t o be pi l ot s i n t he m i l i t a r y T he c onve r s a t i on c ont i nue s di s c us s i ng how l i m i t a t i ons a nd s t e r e ot ype s w e r e i m pos e d on t he w om e n i n our gr oup L a ur e nt hi a r e c a l l s : W e l l w he n I l e f t P i us I w a nt e d t o be a R e na i s s a nc e w om a n. I l ove d l i t e r a t ur e a nd a r t but I a l s o l ove d m a t h a nd s c i e nc e s A t t ha t t i m e I di dn t know i f t he r e w a s s uc h a t hi ng a s a R e na i s s a nc e w om a n. I ha d onl y he a r d of R e na i s s a nc e m a n. I e ve nt ua l l y w e nt t o G e or gi a T e c h t o s t udy e n gi ne e r i ng. T he r e w e r e n t m a ny w om e n t he r e t h e n, a nd t he r e w a s n t m uc h s uppor t f o r w om e n e nt e r i ng t he e ngi ne e r i ng f i e l d. A s s he s pe a ks I t hi nk a bout t he W om e n a nd C om m uni c a t i on c l a s s I t e a c h. I t e l l m y s t ude nt s a bout c ha l l e nge s w om e n of m y ge ne r a t i o n e xp e r i e nc e d br e a ki ng i nt o m a l e dom i na t e d a r e a s of t he w or k f or c e but e ve n a f t e r w a t c hi ng t he m ovi e A nc hor m a n i t doe s n t s e e m r e a l t o t he m W ha t w e e xpe r i e nc e d a s w e t r i e d t o br e a k i nt o j obs pr e vi ous l y he l d onl y by m e n w a s n t ne a r l y a s f unny a s t ha t m ovi e I t w a s of t e n f r us t r a t i ng, de f l a t i ng a nd de m e a ni ng. I t hi nk i t i s i m p or t a nt f o r younge r ge ne r a t i ons t o know w ha t t hos e of us on t he f r on t l i ne e ndur e d. I f i l e t he s e s t or i e s a w a y t o t e l l m y c l a s s ne xt w e e k. M ovi ng t he di s c us s i on a l ong, I a s k f or s om e one e l s e t o j um p i n J e r om e s t e ps i nt o t he br e a c h. I know f r om hi s na r r a t i ve t ha t he pr e vi ous l y s ha r e d w i t h m e t ha t he ha s a ve r y s pe c i f i c phi l os ophy a bout t hi s I w onde r how he w i l l t e l l i t t o t hi s gr oup M uc h of w ha t he s a ys i s f a m i l i a r but he a r i ng t he s a m e s t or y a ga i n s pe a ks t o i t s va l i di t y J e r om e r e c ount s :

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169 I r e m e m be r be i ng a s ke d w he n I w a s a bout s i x w ha t do you w a nt t o be w he n you gr ow up? E ve n t he n, I c oul dn t f a t ho m t ha t que s t i on. I t hi nk I j us t w a nt e d t o gr ow up. I be c a m e w ho I a m t h r oug h a r a ndom s e r i e s of ha ppe ns t a nc e T hi s i s a t he m e i n K unde r a s book, T he U nbe ar abl e L i ght ne s s of B e i ng I n m y ow n l i f e a s e r i e s of r a n dom c hoi c e s c onve r s a t i ons a nd e ve nt s l e d m e i n a di r e c t i on I n e ve r c oul d ha ve a nt i c i pa t e d. G r e g a gr e e s w i t h J e r om e I know I ha d no pa r t i c ul a r pl a ns I don t t hi nk I ha d a c l ue w ha t I w a nt e d t o do e i t he r I kne w I w a s e xpe c t e d t o go t o c ol l e ge s o I w e nt t o B r ow n a nd gr a dua t e d. A f t e r t ha t I w a s l os t I a m s ur pr i s e d t o he a r t hi s G r e g a l w a ys s e e m e d t o be s o s e l f di r e c t e d, t o ha ve hi s he a d on s o s t r a i ght H e c ont i nue s : I m a r r i e d r i ght a f t e r c ol l e ge but t he n t he V i e t N a m w a r s hi f t e d t hi ngs a r ound f or m e I w a s dr a f t e d, a nd w he n I r e t ur ne d f r om m y ye a r t our m y m a r r i a ge w a s gone t oo W e w e r e bot h di f f e r e nt pe opl e I f l ounde r e d a r ound f or a w hi l e I d i dn t r e a l l y c a r e m uc h I j u s t w a nt e d t o ha ve be e r m one y. B ut t he n I m e t A nn i n 77, a nd s he ha d a c hi l d f r o m a p r e vi ous m a r r i a ge s o I ha d t o s e t t l e dow n I w e nt ba c k on m i l i t a r y dut y a nd w a s s e nt t o I c e l a nd. T ha t w a s t he bi gge s t di f f e r e nc e i n m y l i f e I ha d l ot s of oppor t uni t i e s t he r e a nd m e t s om e i m por t a nt pe opl e i nc l udi ng G e o r ge B us h. A f t e r t ha t I c a m e ba c k t o W a s hi ngt on D C a nd ha ve be e n t he r e s i nc e I w or k a t t he P e nt a gon i n a non pol i t i c a l j ob a nd I ge t t o do l ot s of s i gni f i c a nt t hi ngs l i ke ne got i a t e m ul t i na t i ona l c ont r a c t s I a m one of t he

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170 pe opl e w ho ke e p t he gove r n m e nt goi ng de s pi t e t he pol i t i c a l c ha nge s B ut I ha ve t o s a y I got w he r e I a m w i t h no pl a n w ha t s oe ve r D a r l e ne c hi m e s i n w i t h he r s t or y : I w a s r e a di ng c ol l e ge c a t a l ogue s a nd a n e nt r y a bo ut ps yc hol ogy c a ught m y a t t e nt i on. I w a s s i xt e e n, a nd I de c i de d t he n I w a nt e d t o be a ps yc hol ogi s t a nd obvi ous l y, t ha t i s w ha t I a m t oda y. I ha ve t o a dm i t t hough, I di dn t ha ve a ny i de a w ha t t ha t m e a n t I w a s j us t dr a w n t o i t A nd, be c a us e of a s e r i e s of e ve nt s i nc l udi ng a f e l l ow s hi p t o H a r va r d a s a n unde r gr a dua t e I w a s a bl e t o ge t a s s i s t a nc e t o do s o. M y m ot he r d i dn t w a nt m e t o go a w a y t o gr a dua t e s c hool a nd s he r e f us e d t o he l p. I ha d t o do i t on m y ow n I s t i l l pr a c t i c e a nd l ove t he f i e l d of P s yc hol ogy. I ha ve be e n l uc ky. I ha ve be e n a bl e t o do di f f e r e nt t hi ngs i n m y f i e l d s o i t doe s n t ge t ol d. I t a ught a nd s om e t i m e s s t i l l do t e a c h a t G e or gi a S t a t e U ni ve r s i t y. I ha ve a pr i va t e p r a c t i c e a nd I e ve n be c a m e a c or por a t e m ogul a nd a l l w i t hi n t he f i e l d I s t a r t e d i n. N or e ne a dds I t s f unny how t hi ngs w or k W he n I w a s t hi r t e e n, m y s i s t e r T e r r i w a s bor n w i t h D ow ns s yndr om e S he c ont i nue s : T he r e w e r e n t a ny pr ogr a m s t he n pa r t i c ul a r l y i n t he C a t hol i c s c hool s ys t e m f or ki ds w i t h s pe c i a l ne e ds A f t e r s e e i ng w ha t m y pa r e nt s w e nt t hr ough, I de c i de d I w a nt e d t o t e a c h s pe c i a l ne e ds c hi l dr e n. P e a body w a s t he onl y s c hool t ha t of f e r e d a de gr e e i n s pe c i a l e duc a t i on a t t ha t t i m e W he n t he t i m e c a m e f or m e t o go m y pa r e nt s c oul dn t a f f o r d i t s o I w e nt t o G e or gi a S t a t e i ns t e a d. W he n I be c a m e pr e gna nt a t ni ne t e e n a nd ga ve

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171 bi r t h t o a s pe c i a l ne e ds da ught e r I gue s s I di d s pe n d m uc h of m y l i f e w or ki ng t o e duc a t e he r a nd t o f i ght f or he r t o ha ve a pl a c e w i t hi n t he e duc a t i ona l s ys t e m A nd, t o t hi s da y, I s t i l l he l p t a ke c a r e of T e r r i A s N or e ne f i ni s he s I c ons i de r how i r oni c he r s t or y i s S he di d a c c om pl i s h he r goa l but i t w a s n t i n t he w a y t ha t s he o r i gi na l l y t hough t t ha t s he w oul d. M a ybe i t i s a s t he R obe r t B ur ns poe m s a ys t ha t w e a l l l i ve ou r l i ve s de s pi t e t he be s t l a i d pl a ns of m i c e a nd m e n. M a ny of m y c l a s s m a t e s r e por t e d t he y di dn t s pe c i f i c a l l y pl a n t he i r l i ve s M y l i f e a nd t he l i ve s of J e r om e a nd G r e g, i n pa r t i c ul a r s e e m s t o be t he r e s ul t of a r a ndom s e que nc e of e ve nt s I don t know w ha t m y l i f e w oul d ha ve be e n l i ke ha d m y f i r s t l ove not be e n ki l l e d i n V i e t N a m ; i f t he f a t he r of m y c hi l dr e n di d not be c om e i l l w i t h a br a i n t um or t w e nt y s i x y e a r s a go; i f I ha dn t l a nd e d i n F l o r i da a nd on, a nd on Y e t I c ons i de r t ha t w ha t doe s s e e m t o be c ons t a nt i n m y l i f e ha s be e n c e r t a i n va l ue s a nd i nt e r e s t s E duc a t i on ha s a l w a ys be e n i m por t a nt t o m e A nd I r e m e m be r s a yi ng i n h i gh s c hool t ha t I w a nt e d t o w or k i n a n or pha na ge I di d s pe nd t he f i r s t t w o de c a de s of m y c a r e e r w or ki ng w i t h yout h w i t h e m ot i ona l be ha vi or a l a nd l e ga l pr obl e m s T he r e c e r t a i n l y i s a r a ndom e l e m e nt t o t he s t or y of our l i ve s a nd t he r oa ds w e f ol l ow bu t I be l i e ve t he r e i s a c ons i s t e nc y of va l ue s t ha t s e e m s t o pl a y out i n m y l i f e a nd i n t he s t or i e s of t he i r l i ve s t ha t m y c l a s s m a t e s t e l l t oda y.

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172 R e l i gi on and Spi r i t ual i t y A s w e w i nd dow n f r om t h i s t opi c I r e a l i z e t ha t i t t ook ove r a n hour f or t he f i r s t que s t i on. T he t i m e i s goi ng by t oo qui c kl y. I a m a w a r e t ha t w e pr oba b l y w on t be a bl e t o a ns w e r m a ny m or e s o I m ove t o t he t opi c of r e l i gi on a nd s pi r i t ua l i t y O ne t hi ng w e a l l ha ve i n c om m on i s t ha t w e s t a r t e d ou t C a t hol i c a n d a l l of us ha d a t l e a s t t w e l ve ye a r s of C a t hol i c e duc a t i on. I de c i de t o a s k t he que s t i on: H ow m a ny of you s t i l l c ons i de r your s e l ve s C a t hol i c ? T he que s t i on i s m e t w i t h l a u ght e r a nd a s w e go a r ound t he r oom onl y L a ur e nt hi a une qui voc a l l y s a ys s he i s S he r e por t s M y hus ba nd, D w i ght a nd I a r e s t i l l ve r y de vout C a t hol i c s S he l a ughs a s s he l ooks a r ound a nd s a ys I gue s s I a m t he onl y one I t hi nk s he i s s ur p r i s e d. S o a m I P a m s a ys I s t i l l go t o c hur c h s om e t i m e s but I do n t be l i e ve w ha t t he y t e l l m e a nym or e S he c ont i nue s H e l l s i nc e V i e t N a m a nd N i xon, I don t be l i e ve a da m n t h i ng a ny a ut hor i t y t e l l s m e a nd t ha t i nc l ude s r e l i gi on. I go t o t he C a t hol i c s e r vi c e s f or w e ddi ngs a nd f une r a l s a t hol i da ys a nd out of ha bi t T he r i t ua l i s f a m i l i a r a nd c om f or t i ng t o m e N or e ne gr a bs t he s ym bol i c c onve r s a t i ona l ba t on: A f t e r w ha t ha ppe ne d t o m y da ught e r I be c a m e a n a t he i s t I f i gu r e d i f t he r e w a s a G od, t he y w oul d ne ve r a l l ow t he s uf f e r i ng t ha t s he a nd t he ot he r c hi l dr e n i n t he hos pi t a l e ndur e d. S he c ont i nue s W he n I be c a m e pr e gna nt a t t w e nt y, I i ni t i a l l y w e nt f o r a n a bor t i on, but t he doc t or r e f us e d t o pe r f or m i t B e f or e t ha t m y D ow ns S yndr om e s i s t e r w a s bor n l a t e i n l i f e t o m y m o t he r a nd he r bi r t h c ha nge d t he l i f e o f m y f a m i l y I f t he c hur c h w e r e not oppos e d t o bi r t h c ont r ol ou r l i ve s c oul d ha ve be e n ve r y di f f e r e nt

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173 N or e ne l i ke o t he r s i n t he gr oup c l a i m s not t o be l i e ve i n a G od, but s he doe s c ons i de r he r s e l f t o be s pi r i t ua l S he t e l l s us i t i s r e f l e c t e d i n he r l ove of f a m i l y a nd ga r de ni ng. I l ove f l ow e r s s he t e l l s us I w oul d l ove t o be a m a s t e r ga r de ne r I a m a t a r e a l l y s t r a nge pl a c e i n m y l i f e pr o f e s s i ona l l y now but I a m s t i l l ve r y, ve r y ha ppy J e r om e a nd I ha ve be e n m a r r i e d f or f i f t e e n ye a r s n ow I know w ha t ha ppy i s A c i r c l e o f l ove s ur r ounds m e I c a n f e e l t ha t l ove I a m s ur p r i s e d by m y c l a s s m a t e s r e s pons e s W e a l l s t a r t e d out C a t hol i c but now out of t hos e pr e s e nt onl y one c l a i m s t o be a p r a c t i c i ng C a t hol i c J e r om e s br a nd of a t he i s m i s a ppe a l i ng t o m e a l t hough he c a m e t o t h i s c onc l us i on m uc h e a r l i e r i n l i f e t ha n I di d. H e r e t e l l s t he s t or y he t ol d m e i n hi s na r r a t i ve a bout hi s t a ki ng on of t he m a nt l e of a t he i s m dur i ng a c onve r s a t i on w i t h a p r i e s t a t a ge e l e ve n. H e t e l l s us : I t ( C a t hol i c i s m ) j us t s t oppe d m a ki ng s e ns e t o m e I w a s c ool w i t h t he J e s u s s t or y, but I p r a ye d t o G od w he n I w a s a ki d a nd n ot hi ng ha ppe ne d. I w a s s ke pt i c a l I a s ke d F a t he r V i nc e nt i f I ha d t o b e l i e ve e ve r yt hi ng, a nd he s a i d, S e e t hi s s t a i ne d gl a s s w i ndow I f i t i s br o ke n i n t he c o r ne r t he w hol e w i ndow i s br oke n I t i s t he s a m e w i t h t he b e l i e f s of t he c hu r c h. Y ou c a n t pi c k a nd c hoos e S o, I de c i de d t o c hoos e t o be l i e ve none of i t F r om t he n on, I w a s a c ove r t a t he i s t I m a r ve l a t how p r e c oc i ous J e r om e w a s W hi l e J e r om e w a s r e a di ng B ur r oughs I w a s r e a di ng N a nc y D r e w W e di d c om e t o t he s a m e c o nc l us i on, t hough. I j us t c a m e t o i t a bi t l a t e r A f t e r J e r om e J ohn j um ps i n a nd r e c ount s hi s r e l i g i ous i nf l ue nc e s A f t e r I gr a dua t e d f r om hi gh s c hool I s pe nt a c oupl e o f m o nt hs a t t he T r a ppi s t m ona s t e r y out s i de

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174 A t l a nt a i n C onye r s A s he t a l ks I r e m e m be r t hi s m ona s t e r y. I ha ve vi s i t e d t he r e m a ny t i m e s a nd I ha ve f ond m e m or i e s o f i t I t i s a be a ut i f ul a nd s e r e ne pl a c e s e t ba c k i n a w oode d r e m ot e a r e a I ha ve w a l ke d t he g r ounds l i s t e ne d t o t he m onks c ha nt i ng, a nd bought t he i r t a s t y a nd nut r i t i ous br e a d a nd hone y. A t t he e nd o f hi s l i f e m y f a t he r l i ve d i n C onye r s a nd du r i ng m y l a s t vi s i t w i t h hi m w e w e nt t he r e f o r a v i s i t T oge t he r w e s a t i n t he pe w a nd pr a ye d ( m e a l a ps e d a nd doubt i ng e x C a t hol i c ; a nd he a S out he r n B a pt i s t ) O n t he w a y hom e w e s a ng ol d s pi r i t ua l s t o ge t he r I t w a s t he l a s t t i m e I s a w hi m a l i ve O ne ye a r l a t e r he di e d i n hi s s l e e p f r om c o m pl i c a t i ons of P a r k i ns on s di s e a s e J ohn m e nt i ons t ha t w hi l e a t t he m ona s t e r y, he r e a d T hom a s M e r t on s Se v e n St or y M ount ai n. A ga i n, I m a r ve l a t our c om m ona l i t y. I ha ve be e n a f a n o f M e r t on s s i nc e t a ki ng a c l a s s w i t h D r F a s c hi ng i n t he m i d ni ne t i e s on T he S pi r i t ua l i t y a nd E t hi c s of T hom a s M e r t on. A s I m us e a bout M e r t on J ohn m ove s on: I t hought a bout t he m e a ni ng of l i f e e a r l y on C a t ho l i c i s m i nf l ue nc e d m e f r o m a n e a r l y a ge but I don t c l a i m t o be a C a t hol i c or e ve n a C hr i s t i a n now M y unc l e w a s a B a pt i s t m i ni s t e r H e pr e a c he d a bout l i vi ng O ne of m y f a vor i t e s e r m ons I he a r d s e ve r a l t i m e s i n hi s c h ur c h w a s a bout c ha r i t y H e di dn t t a l k a bout he l l f i r e a nd da m na t i on H e t a l ke d of l i v i ng a nd he us e d t he l i f e of C hr i s t a nd t he B i bl e H e s a i d t he n: T he f i na l e l e va t i on o f c ha r i t y i s not t o t hi nk a ny ha r m I r e m e m be r t hi s t o t hi s da y, a nd t r y t o a ppl y i t i n m y l i f e W e a l l m a ke m i s t a ke s E ve r y l i f e ha s good a nd ba d F or e xa m pl e I l ook a t t hi s w hol e M i c ha e l V i c k t hi ng w i t h t he dogs W ha t he di d w a s hor r i bl e bu t he i s not T hr ough m y unc l e I l e a r ne d t o s e pa r a t e t he s i nne r f r o m t he s i n A not he r i nf l ue nc e on m y s pi r i t ua l l i f e ha ppe ne d a

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175 f e w ye a r s a go i n C a l i f or ni a w he n I he a r d t he D a l i L a m a s pe a k. H e w a s a s ke d, W ha t i s t he pu r pos e of m a n on e a r t h? H e s a i d, T o s e e k ha ppi ne s s I w a nt t o be c ha r i t a bl e do good w or k a nd be ha ppy. T he D a l i L a m a i s s om e one I r e s pe c t a nd I of t e n d e s c r i be m ys e l f a s a n a t h e i s t w i t h B uddhi s t t e nde nc i e s L i s t e ni ng t o J ohn, I a m t ouc h e d a nd i m pr e s s e d w i t h hi s hum i l i t y a nd s i m pl i c i t y. A nd, I a m a m a z e d a t how m uc h I ha ve i n c om m on w i t h t he s e c l a s s m a t e s of m i ne I r e a l l y di dn t e xpe c t t o S om e how I ha ve t hi s ha bi t of s e e i ng m ys e l f a s di f f e r e nt f r om ot he r s I w onde r a s I l i s t e n t o t he m i f t hi s i s s om e t hi ng I i m pos e upon m ys e l f ; a n ol d t a pe pe r ha ps t ha t ha s out w o r n i t s us e f ul ne s s D a r l e ne i nt e nt l y l i s t e ns t o t he ot he r s s t or i e s a s t he t opi c f l i e s a r ound t he r oo m T he n, s he b e gi ns t o s pe a k i n he r qui e t una s s um i ng w a y: I no l onge r p r a c t i c e C a t hol i c i s m but t he C a t hol i c upbr i ngi ng i s p r e s e nt i n e ve r yt hi ng I do a nd a m I t i s unc ons c i ous N ow I w oul d s a y t ha t I a m s pi r i t ua l but not ne c e s s a r i l y r e l i gi ous I s e e s pi r i t u a l i t y i n e ve r yt hi ng a nd ha ve pr a c t i c e s i n m y l i f e t o e nc our a ge i t F o r e xa m pl e I ha ve a s pi r i t ua l pr a c t i c e w he r e I e nvi s i on m ys e l f be i ng a w hi t e r os e I t a m a z e s m e now how of t e n now I s e e w hi t e r os e s E ve n t hi s m o r ni ng, I f ound w hi t e r os e t ow e l s i n t he ba t hr oom he r e A s I l i s t e n t o a l l of t hi s I a m s ur pr i s e d t ha t s o f e w of t he c l a s s m a t e s he r e c ons i de r t he m s e l ve s C a t hol i c M y s i s t e r i n l a w a nd m y br ot he r w ho a r e t h r e e ye a r s ol de r t e l l m e t ha t a t t he i r r e c e nt P i us r e uni on, m os t o f t hos e pr e s e nt w e r e s t i l l C a t ho l i c B a r b t hi nks t ha t t he r e i s a bi g di f f e r e nc e i n our a ge gr oups H e r a ge c ohor t g r a dua t e d be f or e t he s oc i a l

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176 a nd c i vi l r i gh t s r e vol ut i ons of t he s i xt i e s a nd s e ve n t i e s w he r e a s m y c l a s s w a s c om i ng of a ge i n t he m i ds t of i t S he s ugge s t s t ha t t he i nf l ue n c e of t he s e m ove m e nt s c a us e d us t o c ha l l e nge e xi s t i ng i ns t i t ut i ons i nc l udi ng t he c hur c h. I t hi nk s he m a y be r i ght M y ow n r e l i gi ous / s pi r i t ua l j ou r ne y ha s be e n ve r y d i f f e r e nt f r om m y s t i l l pr a c t i c i ng br ot he r a nd s i s t e r i n l a w but m o r e s i m i l a r t o w ha t m y c l a s s m a t e s t e l l he r e t oda y. I t e l l m y c l a s s m a t e s M a ny of your s t or i e s a r e ve r y s i m i l a r t o m i ne I di dn t e xpe c t t ha t t o be t he c a s e : D i s gus t e d w i t h C a t hol i c i s m a nd de s pi t e m y e xt r e m e r e l i gi os i t y o f hi gh s c hool da ys I l e f t t he C hu r c h ne ve r t o r e t u r n du r i n g m y ye a r s a t m y C a t hol i c c ol l e ge A s w i t h J e r om e i t j us t d i dn t m a ke s e ns e t o m e a nym or e M y c ol l e ge w a s a c r os s t he s t r e e t f r om C a t hol i c U ni ve r s i t y, a nd w hi l e t he r e I go t i nvol ve d w i t h t he B e r r i ga ns P e opl e s M a s s w hi c h w a s a n upda t e d, non a ut ho r i t a r i a n popul ous a ppr oa c h t o C a t hol i c i s m B ut e ve nt ua l l y e ve n t ha t di dn t m a ke s e ns e t o m e a nym or e I gue s s t hough, you c oul d c a l l m e a r e l i g i ous / s pi r i t ua l s e e ke r I a l m os t c onve r t e d t o J uda i s m m y s e ni or ye a r i n c ol l e ge w he n I t ook a c our s e i n t he H i s t or y of J uda i s m A f t e r t ha t I dr oppe d out of or ga ni z e d r e l i gi on, but r e a d l o t s of s pi r i t ua l books I t r i e d a va r i e t y o f t h i ngs I be c a m e a f ol l ow e r of M e he r B a ba f or a w hi l e ; a nd f i na l l y s e t t l e d i nt o a ki nd of a gnos t i c / B uddhi s t / pa nt he i s t a ppr oa c h t o l i f e M y onl y ve nt ur e i nt o or ga ni z e d r e l i gi on w a s j oi ni n g a U ni t a r i a n U ni ve r s a l i s t c hur c h, w hi c h a l l ow e d m e t o be a l l of t hos e t hi ngs I t i s t he r e t ha t I r a i s e d m y c hi l d r e n.

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177 I n 2001, I f i ni s he d a n M A i n r e l i gi ous s t udi e s a n d w r ot e a t he s i s on t he t opi c of S pi r i t ua l but not R e l i gi ous A s I r e f l e c t upon m y r e l i gi ous / s pi r i t ua l j our ne y, a nd l i s t e n t o t hos e o f m y c l a s s m a t e s w e ha ve a l ot i n c om m on M a ny of us ha ve s t e ppe d out of t he bounds of R om a n C a t hol i c i s m B ut I do a gr e e w i t h J e r om e s s t a t e m e nt : O nc e you a r e C a t hol i c pa r t i c ul a r l y a s w e w e r e s oc i a l i z e d i n t he pa r oc hi a l s c hool s you c a n ne ve r not be C a t hol i c I ha ve s e e n t he s a m e t hi ng w i t h m y J e w i s h f r i e nds Y ou m a y not p r a c t i c e t he r e l i gi on, but t he C a t hol i c i s s t i l l i n your bl ood. I ha ve n t c ons i de r e d m ys e l f a p r a c t i c i ng C a t hol i c f or a l m os t f or t y ye a r s but I a m c ons c i ous a nd a w a r e t ha t t he s oc i a l i z a t i on pr oc e s s i n t he C a t hol i c C hur c h s ha pe d m y va l ue s a nd f or m e d m y i de nt i t y e a r l y on. A nd e ve n w he n I di s c l a i m t he r e l i gi on t hos e va l ue s c o n t i nue t o i n f or m a nd s ha pe t he di r e c t i on of m y l i f e t oda y T he C a t hol i c i s m w e w e r e r a i s e d i n va l ue d e duc a t i on, e qui t y, c om pa s s i on a nd s oc i a l j us t i c e M y na r r a t i ve a nd t he na r r a t i ve s of m y c l a s s m a t e s va l i da t e t he s e va l ue s i n our l i ve s H a nd i n ha nd w i t h t he C a t hol i c va l ue s t he a nt i a ut hor i t a r i a n/ a nt i e s t a bl i s hm e nt t he m e of t he s i xt i e s pl a ys out i n ou r l i ve s a t l e a s t i n how t he m a j or i t y a ppr oa c he s r e l i gi os i t y. I t i s t i m e f or a b r e a k. I r e a l l y ha ve t o go t o t a ke a b r e a k a nd a t t hi s poi nt w e ha ve be e n t a l ki ng f or a l m os t ni ne t y m i nut e s N obody r e a l l y s e e m s t o w a nt t o s t op but m y phys i ol ogi c a l ne e ds c a l l t o be m e t a nd I a m s ur e m y c l a s s m a t e s m us t ha ve s om e of t he s a m e de m a nds I de c l a r e a br e a k, a nd t he c ha t t e r c ont i nue s a s e ve r yone ge t s up a nd m ove s t o w a r d t he f ood a nd w a i t s f or a t u r n a t t he one ba t hr oom dow ns t a i r s

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178 L e ar ni ng and E duc at i on W i t h c of f e e c ups f i l l e d a nd pl a t e s f ul l of ba ge l s a nd f r ui t w e f i na l l y a m bl e ba c k t o t he gr oup di s c us s i on. I t s not e a s y c or r a l l i ng t hi s g r oup. W e s ur e c a n t a l k I t i s a c ha l l e nge t o c a t c h up on f or t y ye a r s i n j us t a f e w h our s but w e s ur e a r e g i vi ng i t our be s t s hot I t i s ge t t i ng l a t e a nd w e ha ve j us t be gun t o s c r a t c h t he s ur f a c e I f i nd m ys e l f w i s hi ng I ha d s t a r t e d t hi s ye s t e r da y, a nd done i t i n t w o pa r t s B ut i t i s t oo l a t e f or t ha t now T hi s i s m y onl y c ha nc e s o I pus h f o r w a r d. I m e nt a l l y s or t t hr ough pot e nt i a l que s t i ons t o de t e r m i ne w ha t a r e t he m os t i m po r t a nt t opi c s t o di s c us s I c ons i de r w ha t m a ke s t hi s g r ou p uni que F o r one t h i ng, a l l of us s i t t i ng i n t hi s r oom a r e t he p r oduc t s of t w e l ve ye a r s of C a t hol i c e duc a t i on ( s om e of us s i xt e e n) a nd a C a t hol i c e duc a t i on t ha t i s di f f e r e nt f r om t he c ont e m por a r y br a nd. A l m os t a l l of ou r t e a c he r s f o r t he f i r s t e i ght ye a r s w e r e nu ns T hi s i s not t he c a s e i n pa r oc hi a l s c hool s t oda y, w i t h r e l i g i ous s t a f f i ng l i m i t e d by f e w e r a nd f e w e r w om e n a nd m e n j oi ni ng r e l i gi ous or de r s T he s e nuns di d br i ng s om e s pe c i a l c ha l l e nge s l i ke t he w a r ni ngs not t o w e a r pa t e nt l e a t he r s hoe s t o a voi d boys s e e i ng up ou r s ki r t s bu t t h e y a l s o w e r e a de di c a t e d a nd e duc a t e d gr oup of t e a c he r s L ooki ng ba c k on i t I be l i e ve t ha t m y hi gh s c hool e duc a t i on w a s i n m a ny w a ys be t t e r t ha n t he e duc a t i on r e c e i ve d t oda y by m a ny s t ude nt s a t a publ i c uni ve r s i t y. W ha t hi gh s c hool now t e a c he s E xi s t e nt i a l P hi l os ophy a s D a r l e ne r e c ount s t a ki ng i n he r s e ni or ye a r a t P i us ? I c a n r e m e m be r s om e of m y c l a s s e s t o t hi s da y, pa r t i c ul a r l y m y E ngl i s h c l a s s e s T he books I r e a d t he r e a nd t he di s c us s i ons t ha t e ns ue d w e r e t he m i dw i ve s t o m y i nt e l l e c t ua l c ur i os i t y.

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179 M y hi gh s c hool e duc a t i on i ns t i l l e d a l ove of l e a r n i ng t ha t m ot i va t e s m e t oda y a t t he a ge of s i xt y one t o w r i t e a di s s e r t a t i on a nd do r e s e a r c h. L i s t e ni ng t o m y c l a s s m a t e s t e l l t he i r s t or i e s m a ke s m e r e a l i z e t ha t I a m not a n a be r r a t i on T he l ove of know l e dge a nd l e a r ni ng s e e m s t o pe r m e a t e m y c l a s s m a t e s l i f e s t or i e s L a ur e nt hi a r e c a l l s t ha t he r goa l a f t e r hi gh s c hool w a s t o s pe a k L a t i n, a nd t o l e a r n t o l e a r n, t o l e a r n! I w e nt t o O gl e t ho r pe a nd de c i de d t o s t udy s c i e nc e A f t e r O gl e t hor pe I w e nt t o G e or gi a T e c h, a nd s t udi e d e ngi ne e r i ng. I a m s t i l l l e a r ni ng t oda y. D a r l e ne t e l l s a bout s t udyi ng a t O gl e t hor pe t oo W hi l e t he r e s he e a r ne d a f e l l ow s hi p t o H a r va r d, w he r e s he s a ys s he w a s m e s m e r i z e d by t he num be r a nd be a ut y o f t he l i br a r i e s S he e ve nt ua l l y w e nt t o S out he r n I l l i no i s f or a P h. D i n ps yc hol ogy. I w e nt ba c k t o s c hool t hi s ye a r s he t e l l s us t o e a r n a de gr e e i n P s yc hopha r m a c ol ogy. I w a nt t o be a bl e t o pr e s c r i be dr ugs a nd t r e a t m y pa t i e nt s w i t h t he e nt i r e s pe c t r um of t ool s J e r om e j um ps i nt o t he f r a y: I n c ol l e ge I j us t r e a l l y e nj oye d l e a r ni ng B ut I d i dn t c onne c t l e a r ni ng w i t h c a s h i nc om e I e nj oye d goi ng t o t he l i br a r y a nd r e a di ng. I a l w a ys ha ve l ove d r e a di ng f r om a n e a r l y a ge goi ng t o boo ks t or e s a nd r e a di ng t he be a t poe t s a t a ge s t e n a nd e l e ve n. A s I di s c ove r e d t he be a t s I w a s f a s c i na t e d, e s pe c i a l l y by K e r oua c a nd e ve n w e nt t o S a n F r a nc i s c o t o t he C i t y L i ght s books t or e I gue s s l i ke T hom a s M or e I ha ve a r e a l t hi r s t f o r know l e dge N ot a l l s pe a k w i t h s uc h e nt hus i a s m f or e duc a t i on a nd de gr e e s G r e g r e c ount s a t t e ndi ng B r ow n a nd g r a dua t i ng w i t h a de gr e e i n I nt e r na t i ona l B us i ne s s but be i ng

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180 pr e t t y s ha l l ow N or e ne dr oppe d out o f c ol l e ge a t t he bi r t h of he r t w i ns a nd P a m r e s i s t e d goi ng t o c ol l e ge but e ve nt ua l l y w a s t a l ke d i nt o G e or gi a S t a t e by a boy f r i e nd J ohn r e l a t e s t ha t he w a s m ot i va t e d by t he va l ue o f w or k, not by a dr i ve f or e duc a t i on. H i s gr a ndf a t he r t a ught hi m t he va l ue of phys i c a l l a bor a nd w he n he g r a dua t e d f r om hi gh s c hool t ha t w a s w ha t he w a nt e d t o do J ohn r e m e m be r s A s a c hi l d I w oul d ge t t oge t he r w i t h m y g r a ndf a t he r a nd f a m i l y m e m be r s a nd j us t do ha r d s w e a t y w or k M a ybe i t w a s be i ng w i t h m y gr a ndf a t he r but t ha t w a s ve r y r e w a r di ng t o m e T hi s w a s i n oppos i t i on t o hi s f a t he r w hom he s a ys c ol l e c t e d de gr e e s : H e e a r ne d a M a s t e r s i n e l e c t r i c a l e ngi ne e r i ng f r om G e or gi a T e c h a f t e r W or l d W a r I I on t he G I bi l l H e c ol l e c t e d ot he r de gr e e s a l ong t he w a y, P s yc hol ogy f or one M y m ot he r a nd D a d bot h pa s s e d a w a y l a s t ye a r a nd a s I w a s c l e a ni ng hi s t hi ngs I f ound f ou r m a s t e r s de gr e e s I a m not s ur e I f ound t he m a l l W he n I l e f t hi gh s c hool I di dn t w a nt t o go t o c ol l e ge I w a nt e d t o w or k a nd I di d I ha ve ne ve r be e n t ha t bi g on hi ghe r e duc a t i on, but I a m gl a d t ha t our hi gh s c hool t a ught us t o t hi n k. U nl i ke s o m a ny of t he s t ude nt s t ha t I t e a c h a t t he U ni ve r s i t y of S ou t h F l o r i da w ho vi e w e duc a t i on a s a ne c e s s a r y e vi l t o e ndur e a l ong t he pa t h t o m one t a r y s uc c e s s I ha ve a r e s pe c t r e ve r e nc e a nd i ns a t i a bl e a ppe t i t e f or l e a r ni ng. T hi s a ppe t i t e w a s nu r t ur e d by t e a c he r s a nd c l a s s r oom e xpe r i e nc e s t ha t e nc our a ge d m e t o t hi nk c r e a t i ve l y a nd t o e m br a c e t he w or l d of i de a s a nd i nf or m a t i on T w o out of s e ve n of us a r e pu r s ui ng a dva nc e d de gr e e s i n our s i xt i e s a n unc om m on a c t i vi t y f or s e xa ge na r i a ns L i s t e ni ng t o m y c l a s s m a t e s s t or i e s I f i nd t ha t m a ny of us s e e m t o ha ve m a i nt a i ne d t hi s unque nc ha bl e

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181 t hi r s t f or a l i f e t i m e L ooki ng ba c k, I t h i nk w e w e r e be ne f i c i a r i e s of a n e xc e pt i ona l a nd out s t a ndi ng hi gh s c hool e duc a t i on t ha t ha s put us a l l i n good s t e a d f or our l i f e t i m e s

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182 V ol unt e e r i ng/ A c t i v i s m I l ook a t m y w a t c h a nd a m a m a z e d t o s e e t ha t i t i s a l r e a dy one o c l oc k. T he gr oup w a s s c he dul e d f r om e l e ve n t i l l one T he r e i s s t i l l s o m uc h m or e t o c ove r I a s k t he gr oup i s t he y c a n s t a y a w hi l e l onge r T he y e nt hus i a s t i c a l l y a gr e e T he que s t i on of gi vi ng ba c k w e i ghs i n m y m i nd. D o w e a nd i f s o, how do w e f e e l a s e ns e of s oc i a l r e s pons i bi l i t y t o pos i t i ve l y i m pa c t our w or l d? W e w e r e t he ge ne r a t i on t ha t w a s s ha pe d by J ohn F K e nne dy, a nd i n pa r t i c ul a r hi s s t a t e m e nt A s k not w ha t t he c ount r y c a n do f or you bu t w ha t you c a n do f or your c ount r y. I know i t i s i m por t a nt f o r m e pa r t i c ul a r l y a s I t hi nk a bout a gi n g a nd dyi ng, t o m a ke a c ont r i but i on. I w a nt t o l e a ve t he w o r l d a be t t e r pl a c e T h r oughout t he m or ni ng pe r s on a f t e r pe r s o n s pe a ks a bout w a nt i ng t o gi ve ba c k. I t s e e m s t o be a uni ve r s a l t he m e J ohn be gi ns t hi s c onve r s a t i ona l t hr e a d: N ow t ha t w o r k l i f e i s ba s i c a l l y ove r I l ooke d a r ou nd f or t he ne xt t hi ng t o do. M y w i f e w a s vol unt e e r i ng f or t he a r t s c ounc i l a nd t he y ne e de d s om e one t o t a ke pi c t ur e s s o I s t a r t e d t a ki ng pi c t ur e s f or t he m T hi s got m e s t a r t e d on m y c om m i t m e nt t o vol unt e e r i s m W e ha ve done a l ot of t hi ngs a nd w or k f o r s i x o r e i ght vol unt e e r i ng o r g a ni z a t i ons I w a nt t o f i gur e out w ha t I w a nt t o w or k on ne x t R i ght now I a m w o r ki ng on a l ot of e nvi r onm e nt a l c a us e s D a r l e ne s e e m e d vi s i b l y e xc i t e d a s s he j um p e d i n a nd t ol d us a bout he r s uc c e s s f ul e f f or t a f e w ye a r s a go t o s a ve a bl ue l i ne t r i but a r y of t he C ha t t a hooc he e R i ve r ne a r he r hom e :

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183 I w a s e nr a ge d t h a t t he y w e r e goi ng t o bui l d a s t a di um on t hi s t r i but a r y a nd de s t r oy a pr ot e c t e d e c os ys t e m I w e nt a r ound t o a l l m y ne i ghbor s got s i gna t ur e s a nd di d l ot s of r e s e a r c h. I w e nt t o t he c ount y c om m i s s i one r s m e e t i ng, a nd ga ve ve r y s pe c i f i c i n f or m a t i on a nd r e c om m e nda t i ons a bout t he pr ot e c t i on o f t he ha bi t a t T he c om m i s s i on vot e d pos i t i ve l y on m y r e c om m e nda t i ons w i t hout t he s l i ght e s t c ha nge I a m pr oude r of t ha t t ha n j us t a bout a nyt hi ng I ve done O t he r s i n t he g r oup s pe a k of t he i r a c t i vi s m a nd c on t r i but i ons L a ur e nt h i a a nd he r hus ba nd br ought s uppl i e s t o t he vi c t i m s of K a t r i na a nd ha ve t r a ve l e d i nt e r na t i ona l l y t o br i ng r e l i e f t o f a m i ne vi c t i m s G r e g t a l ks o f hi s e f f or t s t o m e nt o r young publ i c s e r va nt s a nd i nt e r ns w he n t he y c om e t o W a s hi ngt on. W hy t he s on o f t he w om a n w ho ow ns t he r e s t a ur a nt w e w e nt t o l a s t ni ght i s t he m ot he r of on e of m y m e nt e e s N or e ne l e a ds w om e n s l e a de r s hi p t r i ps a nd hi ke s i nt o t he w oods ne a r he r hom e i n N or t h C a r ol i na t o e nc our a ge w om e n t o ha ve s e l f c onf i de nc e a nd t o b e m or e a c t i ve A s I l i s t e n t o m y c l a s s m a t e s I c ons i de r m y ow n vo l unt e e r i ng hi s t or y. S om e t i m e s I t hi nk t e a c hi ng i s l i ke vol unt e e r w o r k, i n pa r t i c ul a r a dj unc t w or k f or w hi c h I a m pa i d s o l i t t l e a nd gi ve n no be ne f i t s I c e r t a i nl y c ons i de r t e a c hi ng t o be s oc i a l a c t i vi s m I know t ha t I a m m ot i va t e d t o t e a c h be c a us e I be l i e ve t ha t t he r e i s not hi ng m or e i m por t a nt t ha n i ns pi r i ng s t ude nt s t o t hi nk a nd t o ope n t he i r m i nds I n a ddi t i on I ha ve be e n a c t i ve i n t he l a s t e l e c t i ons w i t h M ove O n a nd ot he r l i be r a l gr ou ps A nd, I vol unt e e r e d f or ye a r s i n m y U ni t a r i a n U ni ve r s a l i s t c hur c h, t e a c hi ng S unda y s c hool a nd i n a va r i e t y of o t he r pos i t i ons B e s i de s t ha t I w r i t e l ot s of l e t t e r s t o t he e di t o r ; t r a ve l e d t o D C t w i c e t o p r ot e s t t he w a r i n I r a q; a nd c a n oc c a s i ona l l y be f ound ha ngi ng ou t on s t r e e t c or ne r s pa r t i c i pa t i ng i n l oc a l

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184 pe a c e vi gi l s M y c l a s s m a t e s i ns pi r e m e t o w a nt t o do m or e A f t e r m y di s s e r t a t i on, I t hi nk.

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185 C onc l us i on A f t e r t hr e e hour s of f a s t pa c e d pi ng pong di s c us s i on, w e a r e a l l t i r e d, a nd s om e i nc l udi ng m ys e l f ha ve t o t r a ve l m a ny hou r s t o a r r i ve hom e f or w or k t om or r ow I t f e e l s a s i f w e ha ve ba r e l y s c r a t c he d t he s ur f a c e but I a m w e a r y, a nd I s e ns e a w e a r i ne s s i n t he pa r t i c i pa nt s I ha ve be e n t hr ough t w o t a pe s ba c k a nd f r ont a nd e ve n t hough t he r e i s m or e t o s a y, I s e ns e i t i s t i m e t o e nd t he gr oup W e be gi n t o r e l uc t a nt l y s a y ou r goodby e s A ge nui ne a f f e c t i on ha s g r ow n out of our s ha r e d h i s t or y a nd our t i m e t oge t he r t hi s w e e ke nd W e hug a nd ki s s e a c h ot he r goodbye s a yi ng t ha t w e w i l l ke e p i n t ouc h. G r e g r e m i nds us I t s onl y t w o ye a r s t i l l our f or t y f i f t h r e uni on! W he n t he l a s t pe r s on i s out t he door I hu r r i e dl y c l e a n up our s pa c e a s m y f a m i l y i s w a i t i ng f or m e f o r t he e i ght hou r dr i ve ba c k hom e I pou r m ys e l f i nt o t he c r ow de d c a r I f e e l e xha us t e d a nd e xhi l a r a t e d a t t he s a m e t i m e F or m os t of t he l ong dr i ve hom e I a m qui e t pr oc e s s i ng t he c onve r s a t i on m y c l a s s m a t e s a nd I ha d t oge t he r A s I r e pl a y t he di s c us s i on i n m y m i nd, I c ons i de r t ha t t he r e i s one que s t i on I f a i l e d t o a s k t ha t I w ou l d r e a l l y l i ke t o know W he n I a r r i ve d hom e t ha t e ve ni ng, I w r ot e t hi s e m a i l t o t he gr oup m e m be r s T he que s t i on i s a bout r e s i l i e nc e a nd he r e i s t he e m a i l I s e nt t o t he m a nd t he i r r e s pons e s t ha t f ol l ow e d: D e a r D a r l e ne G r e g J e r om e J ohn, N o r e ne P a m L a ur e nt hi a I t hough t a bout your s t or i e s on m y j our ne y hom e ye s t e r da y. I di dn't ge t hom e unt i l a f t e r 1 a m a nd I w a s t i r e d, a nd s t i l l a m t oda y, but I w a s l os t i n t hought a bout our ge t t oge t he r t hi s pa s t w e e ke nd. I a m t oo t i r e d t o w r i t e e l oque nt l y, but you r s t or i e s i ns pi r e m ot i va t e m ove e nt e r t a i n, a nd

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186 i m pr e s s m e T he g r oup ha s e xpe r i e nc e d w a r l os s ( of c hi l d r e n, s pous e s pa r e nt s a nd s i bl i ngs ) i l l ne s s a nd c ha l l e nge s t o ou r w or l dvi e w Y e t w e a r e s t i l l ki c ki ng E a c h i n our ow n w a y a r e gr ow i n g a nd c ha ngi ng. W ha t a n a m a z i ng gr oup o f pe opl e I t ha nk you s o m uc h f or t a ki ng t i m e out of your bus y w e e ke nd f or t he f oc us gr oup ye s t e r da y. I a m ve r y a ppr e c i a t i ve o f a l l your s uppor t I be l i e ve t ha t our j oi nt s t or y i s i m po r t a nt a nd t ha t ot he r s w i l l be i ns pi r e d a nd m ove d by you r s t or i e s A s I w a s dr i vi ng dow n t he l ong a nd bor i ng I 75 I r e m e m be r e d a que s t i on I w a nt e d t o a s k you. I ha t e t o a s k m or e b ut i f you c oul d t a ke j us t a f e w m or e m i nut e s t o a ns w e r t h i s que s t i on: T o w ha t or w hom do you a t t r i but e yo ur r e s i l i e nc y/ s t r e ngt h? I t w a s r e a l l y w onde r f ul t o s e e you a l l a nd t o s pe nd t i m e w i t h you I hope t ha t t hi s ye a r a nd t he ye a r s t o c om e br i ng he a l t h, a n oppor t uni t y f or c ont r i but i on, l e a r ni ng, l ove a nd f un O h ye a h, a nd don't f o r ge t i t 's our t i m e t o s a ve t he w o r l d. L e t 's ge t on i t A l l of t ha t e xt r a t i m e w e ne e d a pr oj e c t r i ght ? M a r y P ool e D a r l e ne w a s t he f i r s t t o r e s pond i n he r us ua l t houg ht f ul a nd m e a ni ng f ul w a y: H i M a r y, I a l s o ha ve t hought a l ot a bout our m e e t i ng, e s pe c i a l l y t he que s t i on you r a i s e R e s i l i e nc e i s s om e t hi ng I ha ve t hough t of f o r ye a r s but f o r w hi c h

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187 t he r e i s l i t t l e e m pi r i c a l r e s e a r c h: w hy do s om e pe o pl e do s o w e l l w i t h a dve r s i t y a nd ot he r s c om e a pa r t ? W ha t m a de m e r e s i l i e nt ? I ha ve t o r e s e r ve t he r i ght t o a dd t o t h i s a ns w e r l a t e r but I s ur e ha ve be e n bl e s s e d w i t h a l ot of pe opl e out s i de m y f a m i l y of or i gi n w ho l ove d a nd s uppor t e d m e F a m i l i e s w ho t ook m e i n a nd be c a m e m y s t a nd i n" f a m i l y w he n m y f a m i l y w a s di s c r e e t l y but t r ul y f a l l i ng a pa r t a f t e r ou r f a t he r di e d; f r i e nds s i nc e t he e a r l y ye a r s a nd f r i e nds w ho ha ve l a s t e d a s f r i e nds m a ny ye a r s ; t e a c he r s w ho e nc our a ge d m e a nd be l i e ve d i n m e T w o m e n ( m a ybe m or e but t w o i n pa r t i c ul a r ) w ho l ove d m e a s a pe r s on a nd a s a w om a n. M y ow n s e ns e of opt i m i s m t ha t i s p r oba bl y a pe r s ona l i t y c ha r a c t e r i s t i c M y a ppa r e nt a bi l i t y t o pi c k a nd c hoos e w ha t i n C a t hol i c i s m s pi r i t ua l l y s uppor t e d m e ( g l a d I di d n't e ve r t a l k t o F a t he r V i nc e nt a bout t hi s l i ke J e r om e di d ) B e i ng a ps yc hol ogi s t ha vi ng ha d a t r ul y gi f t e d ps yc hol ogi s t a s m y t r a i ni ng t he r a pi s t M i ne w a s gi f t e d: hi gh on c om pa s s i on, i nt e l l i ge nc e a nd t a l e nt ye t di r e c t a nd f i r m S he w a s e s pe c i a l l y w i l l i ng t o t e l l m e w he n I w a s m i s s i ng t he boa t on m ys e l f ( or ki ddi ng m ys e l f ) Y e t I c oul d s t i l l t e l l s he w a s doi ng t hi s f r o m t he ki nde s t of pe r s pe c t i ve s S he ha s he r ow n s t r ong s e ns e of s pi r i t ua l i t y, w hi c h a l l ow e d he r t o a ns w e r que s t i ons I ha d but w i t hout i nt r udi ng he r be l i e f s t he m s e l ve s ont o m e M y s pi r i t ua l i t y c ha nge s a nd hope f u l l y g r ow s a s I do: f or e xa m pl e I j u s t a dde d be c om i ng t he w hi t e r os e t hi s pa s t ye a r a s one of m y s pi r i t ua l

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188 goa l s S pe a ki ng a bout i t i n t he gr oup w a s t he f i r s t t i m e I s a i d i t out l oud t o a nyone be yond t hos e w i t h w hom I ha ve m or e ps yc hol ogi c a l l y i nt i m a t e r e l a t i ons hi ps I t r y t o pr a c t i c e m y g oa l s e a c h da y, w hi c h no doubt he l ps r e i nf or c e t he m Y ou di d a gr e a t j ob w i t h t he m e e t i ng: r e a l l y go od que s t i ons a l l ow i ng r e l a t i ng a nd c onne c t i ng t o oc c ur s how i ng you c a r e d, e t c I c a n't t ha nk you a nd t he ot he r gr oup m e m be r s e nough. I 'l l be t h i nk i n g a bout t hi s f or qui t e a w hi l e M a ybe one ot he r t h i ng, w hi c h I not i c e d i n m os t of t he ot he r pe opl e i n t he gr oup: a c e r t a i n l a c k of a nge r ( i n a pos i t i ve s e ns e ) a bout s i t ua t i ons t he y ha d no c ont r ol ove r M a ybe t he a nge r i s t he r e but not m uc h w a s e xpr e s s e d. I ns t e a d, t he r e s e e m e d t o be a f oc us on a l t e r na t i ve s ot he r w a ys of pr oc e e di ng, r e l a t i ng be i ng e t c E ve n w he n a ng e r w a s e xpr e s s e d, i t w a s e xpr e s s e d i n l e t 's f i x t hi s m ode not i n a bl a m i ng m ode T he r e i s one de m ogr a phi c o f t he gr oup w hi c h n o doubt ha d a n i nf l ue nc e on a l l of us be i ng r e s i l i e nt : i nt e l l i ge nc e a nd t he r e s ul t a nt e duc a t i on a l ong w i t h a c om m i t m e nt t o l i f e l e a r ni n g. S t P i us s t ude nt s e ve n on t he a ve r a ge a r e unus ua l l y i nt e l l i ge nt I on c e ha d m y doc t or a l c a ndi da t e s do a pr a c t i c um a t S t P i us on i nt e l l e c t ua l a s s e s s m e nt A t t ha t t i m e t he gui da nc e c ouns e l or s ha r e d w i t h m e w ha t m y s t ude nt s f ound on t he t e s t s : i nt e l l e c t ua l l e ve l s s i gni f i c a nt l y a bove t he a ve r a ge r a nge I don't know i f i n t e l l i ge nc e m e di a t e s a nge r / bl a m i ng but m y gue s s i s t ha t i n c om bi na t i on w i t h r e l a t i ons hi ps a nd s pi r i t ua l di s c i p l i ne i t doe s T he r e i s

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189 not hi ng w r ong w i t h a nge r : i t 's a n e m ot i on. B ut t h i s gr oup s e e m e d t o ha ve f ound ( p r oba bl y va r i ous ) w a ys t o r e s ol ve i t r a t he r t ha n be di m i ni s he d or e xc e s s i v e l y i nf l ue nc e d by i t A ga i n, he a r t f e l t t ha nks f or doi ng t hi s I r e a l i z e y ou a r e t r y i ng t o be D r P ool e but t he w a y you w e nt a bout i t w a s t r ul y i ns pi r i ng. K e e p i n t ouc h. D a r l e ne G r e g s r e s pons e w a s t he ne xt t o c om e : M a r y, I r e a l l y e nj oye d a l l a s pe c t s of t he 60t h bi r t hda y w e e ke nd. R e ga r di ng your que s t i on be l ow I don't ha ve t o t hi nk l ong a bo ut t he s our c e of s t r e ngt h a nd r e s i l i e nc y. M y pa r e nt s w e r e ve r y s t e a dy f or m e a l l a l ong t he w a y. T he y pr ovi de d t he p r i va t e e duc a t i on s t a r t i ng w i t h t he 4t h gr a de T h e y s uppor t e d m e i n a t hl e t i c s a c a de m i c s s c out s pa r t t i m e j obs s c hool s e l e c t i on you na m e i t O ve r a l l t hi s s uppor t i m pa c t e d m e ve r y pos i t i ve l y a nd I t hi nk I 'm a be t t e r hus ba nd/ f a t he r be c a us e of i t G ot t o go s e l l a i r pl a ne s T ha nks a ga i n f o r e ve r yt hi ng. R e ga r ds a nd ha ppy bi r t hda y, G r e g A nd f i na l l y, f r om J ohn: M a r y a nd F r i e nds A s m uc h a s i t m a y f e e l a s t hough l i f e f a m i l y a nd c a r e e r j us t ha ppe n, t he s e a r e bui l t t h r ough our e xpe r i e nc e s i n f o r m a t i v e ye a r s a nd t hr ough l i f e e xpe r i e nc e s

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190 A ny a m ount of s t r e ngt h a nd r e s i l i e nc y i n m y l i f e f a m i l y, a nd c a r e e r c om e f r om t he s e [ t o m e nt i on a f e w : U pbr i ngi ng by pa r e nt s w ho put t he c hi l dr e n's m o r a l l e a r ni ng a nd e duc a t i on f i r s t E duc a t i ona l di s c i pl i ne a nd l e a r ni ng how t o l e a r n f r om S i s t e r M a r y R ut h( l e s s ) a nd m a ny ot he r s e ve n t hough I w a s a B / C s t ude nt P r ot e s t a nt w or k e t hi c a nd l ove o f t he out door s f r o m m y G r a ndf a t he r I r a C a l vi n W a l t e r s S pi r i t ua l gui da nc e f r om bot h m y C a t hol i c a nd B a p t i s t r ol e m ode l s : F a t he r L a w r e nc e S c hw a r t z a nd R e v. W i l l i a m S m i t h. E ndur a nc e di s c i pl i ne a nd m o r a l c our a ge f r om t i m e i n t he M a r i ne C or ps a nd a S c ot s I r i s h he r i t a ge M y w i f e F u m i ko ( S ha r on) w ho ha s a gr e a t c ha r i t a bl e s oul a nd i s t hought f ul t o t he e xt r e m e M y s on a nd da ught e r i n l a w w ho a r e m a r ve l ous pa r e nt s L e a r ni ng s o m e t hi ng f r om e ve r yone t ha t t ouc he d m y l i f e a l ong t he w a y, bot h pe r s ona l l y a nd p r of e s s i ona l l y. M y hi ghe r pow e r T he w e e ke nd w a s w onde r f ul a nd I hope w e a l l r e c onne c t a ga i n f or ou r 45 ye a r a nni ve r s a r y. J ohn

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191 I w a i t f or t he r e s pons e s i n t he da ys f ol l ow i ng t h e w e e ke nd. N or e ne a nd J e r om e r a r e l y r e s pond t o e m a i l s a nd none of t he ot he r pa r t i c i pa nt s di d e i t he r I di dn t t a ke i t a s di s i nt e r e s t E ve r yone l i ke m e r e t u r ne d t o bus y l i v e s T he a ns w e r s t ha t I di d r e c e i ve f r om D a r l e ne G r e g a nd J ohn w e r e t hought f ul a nd i ns i ght f ul I r e f l e c t upon t he s our c e of m y r e s i l i e nc e V i c t or F r a nkl ( 1959) i n M an s Se ar c h f or M e ani ng, w r o t e t ha t i n H i t l e r s c onc e nt r a t i on c a m ps of W or l d W a r I I t he c a pt i ve s w ho w e r e m or e l i ke l y t o s ur vi ve w e r e t ho s e w ho ha d a s e ns e of l ovi ng a nd be i ng l ove d, a nd t hos e w ho e ve n a m i ds t t ha t hor r i d e nvi r onm e nt f ound m e a ni ngf u l w or k t o do. S i nc e I f i r s t r e a d F r a nkl w he n I w a s s e ve nt e e n ye a r s ol d, t hi s ha s be e n a gui di ng pr i nc i pl e f o r m y l i f e I ha ve l ove d a nd be e n l ove d by m y pa r e nt s by l ove r s a nd f r i e nds by m y c hi l d r e n a nd g r a ndc hi l dr e n. A nd I ha ve be e n a bl e t o do w or k t ha t ha s f e l t s i gni f i c a nt I n a ddi t i on, t he r e w e r e t e a c he r s a nd ot he r s i n m y l i f e w ho be l i e ve d i n m e a nd w ho of f e r e d m e s uppor t a nd gui da nc e a l ong t he w a y. O t he r s s how e d m e ki ndne s s w he n I ne e de d a boos t I n a ddi t i on I t h i nk s om e of i t ha s be e n l uc k. T he r e ha ve be e n a f e w s i m pl e t w i s t s of f a t e t ha t c oul d ha ve t a ke n m e i n a di f f e r e nt m o r e ne ga t i ve di r e c t i on, w e r e i t not f or good f or t une M a ny ha ve que s t i one d t he s our c e of r e s i l i e nc e A s m y c l a s s m a t e s w ho r e s ponde d t o t hi s que s t i on s ugge s t e d, t he s uppor t of l ove d one s w ho s t a nd by us a nd be l i e ve i n us i s ba s i c t o a l l of us I n a ddi t i on, ha vi ng pe r s ona l c ha r a c t e r i s t i c s of i nt e l l i ge nc e s t a m i na a nd a pos i t i ve or i e nt a t i on t o l i f e a l ong w i t h s om e ki nd of s pi r i t ua l di s c i pl i ne s e e m s t o be c om m on. A nd, c e r t a i nl y, i t m us t be not e d t ha t t hi s gr oup ha s a n a s s um e d pr i vi l e ge of r a c e e duc a t i on, a nd s oc i o e c onom i c s t a t us t ha t c e r t a i nl y doe s n t hur t O ur f a m i l i e s ha d t he e c onom i c r e s our c e s t o pa y f or a pr i va t e h i gh s c hool e duc a t i on. T he pr i vi l e ge pa i d

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192 of f a nd w e t ook a dva nt a ge of our s oc i e t a l pos i t i on a nd c ha nne l e d i t i nt o e duc a t i on, c a r e e r s a nd f a m i l y

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193 A f t e r w or d I t w a s gr a t i f y i ng t o m e t ha t t he pa r t i c i pa nt s i n t he bi r t hda y c e l e br a t i on a nd t he f oc us gr oup s a i d t ha t t he pr oc e s s of t he di s c us s i on w a s he l pf ul t o t he m I ha d a s e ns e t ha t t hi s ga t he r i ng w a s di f f e r e nt f r om pa s t r e uni ons be c a us e t he f or m a t a l l ow e d us t o go de e pe r a nd t o be pe r s ona l l y r e f l e c t i ve a bout our l i ve s a nd t he pr oc e s s of a gi ng. S ha r i ng ou r s t or i e s br ought us c l os e r t oge t he r a nd he l pe d us i n di vi dua l l y t o pu t our l i ve s i n pe r s pe c t i ve P e r s ona l l y, i t f e e l s ve r y c om f or t i ng t o be i n a gr oup t ha t ha s s o m a ny s ha r e d e xpe r i e nc e s a nd va l ue s A nd, I a m f i l l e d w i t h g r a t i t ude a w e a nd r e s pe c t f or t hos e w ho t r us t e d m e w i t h t he i r s t or y P e r ha ps e ve r yone f e e l s t hi s w a y but I be l i e ve t ha t I a m a pa r t of a n e xc e pt i ona l c ohor t M y pe r s ona l goa l o f p r ovi di ng a c ont e xt f or t ur ni ng s i xt y ha s be e n m e t T hi s gr oup i s a c c om pl i s h e d, f or w a r d t hi nki ng, a nd i nt e n t on a gi ng i n a he a l t hy p r oduc t i ve a nd c r e a t i ve w a y. B e i ng w i t h t he m t hi s w e e ke nd ha s i ns pi r e d m e t o do t he s a m e

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194 C ha pt e r T w e l ve I n t he E nd i s m y B e gi nni ng T S E l l i ot T hi s s t or y be ga n a l m os t a ye a r a nd a ha l f a go w he n I be ga n c h r o ni c l i ng t he c l a s s of 65 s f or t i e t h r e uni on a nd our e nt r a nc e i nt o t he s e xa ge na r i a n de c a de L i ke a l l a ut oe t hnogr a phi c e xpl or a t i ons t h i s one ha s be e n a pe r s ona l j our ne y a s w e l l a s a n out w a r d ga z e a t t he ot he r I be ga n w a nt i ng t o he a r a nd t e l l t he s t or i e s of m y c l a s s m a t e s a nd s e l f i s hl y t r yi ng t o m a ke s e ns e of t hi s a gi ng pa s s a g e t ha t s ym bol i z e d t o m e c r os s i ng ove r i nt o a r e a l m unc ha r t e d a nd unw e l c om e A s I be ga n, I w r ot e H undr e ds of books a r t i c l e s a nd c om m e r c i a l s di s c us s t he l i ve s of boom e r s a nd pr e di c t how w e w i l l a ge I t i s t i m e f or us t o t e l l ou r ow n s t or y. T hi s i s w ha t I ha ve a t t e m pt e d t o do i n t h i s di s s e r t a t i on: t o l e t t he boom e r s s pe a k f or t he m s e l ve s A t t he e nd o f t hi s pr oc e s s I a m l e f t t o m a ke s e ns e of t he s e s t or i e s a nd t o c ons i de r w ha t t he y t e l l us a bou t t he boom e r s l i f e c our s e a nd how w e a r e a gi ng. L ooki ng ba c k on m y s t or y a nd t he s t or i e s of N o r e n e J e r om e D a r l e ne a nd M i c ha e l a s w e l l a s t he na r r a t i ve s t ol d by t he ot he r f oc us gr o up m e m be r s I r e f l e c t upon t he a na l ys i s of m y ge ne r a t i on b y W i l bur w ho s ugge s t e d t ha t t he boom e r s a r e a bunc h of na r c i s s i s t s c ons um e d w i t h t he i r ow n ge ne r a t i ona l hubr i s ( W i l bur 2002 p 35) Q ue e na n de s c r i be d t hi s c ohor t a s a bunc h o f gr e e dy, r ut h l e s s s e l l out s ( Q ue e na n, 2001, p. 13) G i l l on ( 2004, p. 290) s ugge s t e d t he boom e r s w ho di s pl a ye d t r a i t s t ha t c ha l l e nge d a ut hor i t y, f oc us e d on s e l f f ul f i l l m e nt a nd a l t e r e d i ns t i t ut i ons a nd l ooke d t ow a r d t he a ge of A qua r i us now l ook ba c k l ongi ngl y a t a n i de a l i z e d, s i m pl e r t i m e

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195 M y e xpe r i e nc e of m y f e l l ow m e m be r s of t he c l a s s of 65 w ho e nt r us t e d m e w i t h t he i r s t or i e s t e l l s m e t ha t w e a r e a nyt hi ng but na r c i s s i s t gr e e dy, a nd r ut hl e s s s e l l out s A l m os t a l l of us a r e l ooki ng f o r w a ys t o g i ve ba c k a s t he y be gi n t o c ons i de r t he i r ne xt s t e ps S om e but not a l l c on s i de r r e t i r e m e nt i n t he not t oo f a r di s t a nt f ut u r e ; but t he i r i de a i s t o ha ve a r e t i r e m e nt w i t h a pu r pos e D a r l e n e i s a n a c t i vi s t f o r e nvi r onm e nt a l c onc e r ns J ohn i s i nvol ve d i n a va r i e t y o f vol unt e e r or ga ni z a t i ons a nd he e nc our a ge d a l l of us i n t he f oc us gr oup t o us e our l a t e r ye a r s t o c ha nge t he w or l d. G r e g m e nt or s young publ i c s e r va nt s J e r om e ha s be e n r e c ogni z e d f or t h e pr ogr e s s i ve c ul t ur e of hi s bus i ne s s a nd t ol d us t ha t he w a nt e d t o c r e a t e a f unc t i ona l w or k f a m i l y s i nc e t he f a m i l y of hi s bi r t h w a s a nyt hi ng bu t f unc t i ona l M i c ha e l s t a r t e d a nd m a na ge s a w e b s i t e t o f i nd e m pl oym e nt f or r e c e nt l y s e ve r e d m i l i t a r y pe r s onne l N or e ne l e a ds w i l de r ne s s hi ke s f or w om e n t o i nc r e a s e f i t ne s s a nd c onf i de nc e L a ur e n t hi a w or ke d on K a t r i na r e l i e f a nd ha s t r a ve l e d i nt e r na t i ona l l y f or f a m i ne r e l i e f I a m i nvo l ve d i n a va r i e t y of s oc i a l i s s ue s a nd a c t i ve l y w or k pol i t i c a l l y a nd c ul t u r a l l y t o c ha l l e nge t he i nj us t i c e s a nd i ne qui t i e s of our t i m e W i t hout e xc e pt i on, e a c h i ndi vi dua l pe r s ona l l y a ddr e s s e s s om e i s s ue r e l e va nt t o t he c om m on good a nd t o m a ki ng t he w or l d a be t t e r pl a c e P e r ha ps i t i s t ha t w e be c om e m or e hum bl e w i t h a g e but I di dn t not e a ny ge ne r a t i ona l hubr i s E a c h of us ha s be e n l e ve l e d by s om e t hi ng t ha t ha s ha ppe ne d t o us O ne c l a s s m a t e c onf e s s e d t o a l i f e t i m e of a l c ohol a ddi c t i on. H e ha s be e n s obe r f or t hr e e ye a r s but he c on f i de d r e g r e t t i ng t he da m a ge hi s dr i nki ng c a us e d, e s pe c i a l l y t o hi s l ove d one s O ne c l a s s m a t e l os t e ve r yt hi ng i n a f i na nc i a l r e ve r s a l A l l ha ve s t ood by a nd be e n he l pl e s s i n t h e f a c e of t he de a t h o f l ove d one s S e ve r a l c onf r ont e d t he l i m i t i ng e xpe r i e nc e of c hr oni c a nd l i f e a l t e r i ng i l l ne s s e s M a ny ha ve be e n t o w a r a nd e xpe r i e nc e d

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196 i t s t r a ge dy, o r ha d c hi l dr e n w ho w e r e l e f t pe r m a ne nt l y a l t e r e d by w a r s phys i c a l a nd ps yc hol ogi c a l i m pa c t M y c l a s s m e m be r s di d not s e e m t o be l ongi ng f or t he good ol d da ys a s G i l l on ( 2004) s ugge s t e d. I f a nyt hi ng, t he pa r t i c i pa nt s l oo ke d ba c k on t he pa s t a s di f f i c ul t a nd c ha l l e ngi ng. I t w a s s ur pr i s i ng t o m e t ha t out o f a r a ndom gr oup o f f i ve c l a s s m a t e s t hr e e ha d e xpe r i e nc e d a bus e a s c hi l dr e n. A pa r i s h p r i e s t a bus e d M i c ha e l ; I e xpe r i e nc e d s e xua l a bus e a s a c hi l d; a nd J e r om e s f a t he r w a s phys i c a l l y a bus i ve a nd t hr e a t e ne d hi s l i f e S i xt y pe r c e nt o f m y pa r t i c i pa nt s ( t he f i ve i nc l udi ng m e w ho r e c ou nt e d t he i r l i f e na r r a t i ve s ) w e r e vi c t i m s o f c hi l dhood a bus e D e s pi t e t he s m a l l s a m pl e t ha t s t a gge r i ng s t a t i s t i c T hos e w ho w e r e n t a bus e d N or e ne a nd D a r l e ne bot h ha d e a r l y l i f e a l t e r i ng e xpe r i e nc e s t ha t t r a um a t i z e d t he i r c hi l dhood m e m or i e s N o r e ne s m ot he r ga ve bi r t h t o a D ow ns s yndr om e ba by w he n N or e ne w a s t hi r t e e n ; a nd D a r l e ne s f a t he r di e d w he n s he w a s t hi r t e e n, t h r ow i ng he r f a m i l y l i f e i nt o c ha os N one i n t he g r oup e xpe r i e nc e d a n i dyl l i c c hi l dhood. T he r e s e e m e d t o be m or e of a g r a t i t ude f or t he l i ve s t he y now ha ve t ha n nos t a l gi a f or t i m e s pa s t T he i ndi vi dua l s I obs e r ve d w e r e a t hought f ul a nd r e f l e c t i ve gr oup. P e r ha ps i t w a s t he s i t ua t i on, but t he y w e r e l ooki ng ba c k a t l i ve s c ons c i ous l y a nd l ooki ng f or w a r d t o t he ye a r s t o c om e i nt e ndi ng t o m a ke t he m c ount A f t e r m y s t udy, I a gr e e w i t h M a r ga r e t G ul l e t t e w ho i n he r book, A ge d by C ul t ur e obs e r v e s t ha t boom e r s a r e m uc h t oo he t e r oge ne ous t o ha ve a s i ngl e c ha r a c t e r o r opi ni o n ( G ul l e t t e 2004, p. 44) M y c l a s s m a t e s de m ons t r a t e m a ny s i m i l a r i t i e s but t he r e a r e di f f e r e nc e s t oo A s a w hol e i t i s a ve r y e duc a t e d gr oup. O f t he ni ne t ot a l pa r t i c i pa nt s ( f i ve na r r a t i ve

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197 pa r t i c i pa nt s pl us f ou r a ddi t i ona l f oc us gr oup pa r t i c i pa nt s ) s e ve n ha ve B a c he l or s de gr e e s f our ha ve e a r ne d gr a dua t e de g r e e s a nd on e a P h. D T w o of us i nc l udi ng m ys e l f a r e c ur r e nt l y e nr ol l e d i n gr a dua t e de gr e e pr ogr a m s A l t hough I di d not a s k t he pa r t i c i pa nt s t o r e por t t he i r e c onom i c s t a t us i t w a s obvi ous f r om c onve r s a t i ons hom e s a nd l i f e s t yl e s t ha t t h i s i s a n a f f l ue nt gr o up I n a dd i t i on, s e ve n of t he ni ne de s c r i be t he m s e l ve s a s l i be r a l D e m oc r a t s w i t h t w o di s s e nt i ng R e publ i c a ns G e ogr a phi c a l l y, s e ve n of t he ni ne r e m a i n i n t he A t l a nt a a r e a G r e g l i ve s i n W a s hi ngt on, D C a nd I l i ve i n F l or i da T he r e pr e s e nt a t i ve m e m be r s o f t he c l a s s of 65 l i v e up t o p r e di c t i ons w he n i t c om e s t o r e l i gi on a nd r e l i gi os i t y I n A G e ne r at i on of Se e k e r s ( 1994) a nd Spi r i t ual M ar k e t pl ac e ( 1999) W a de R oof de s c r i be s m y c ohor t a s dr i ve n by a que s t not s o m uc h f or gr oup i de nt i t y a nd s oc i a l l oc a t i on a s f or a n a ut he nt i c i nne r l i f e a nd pe r s onhood ( R oof 1999 p 7) H e pr o j e c t s t ha t t hi s gr oup w i l l r e m a ke A m e r i c a n r e l i gi on. A s w e di s c us s e d r e l i gi on a nd s pi r i t ua l i t y i n t he f oc us gr oup a nd na r r a t i ve s i t w a s obvi ous t ha t t hi s c ohor t w a s r e m a ki ng r e l i gi on a c c or di ng t o t he i r i nt e l l e c t ua l phi l os ophi c a l a nd p r a c t i c a l r e a l i t y F r om a g r oup t ha t s t a r t e d out C a t hol i c a nd w ho w e r e t he pr oduc t s o f t w e l ve ye a r s of C a t hol i c e duc a t i on, onl y t w o hol d ont o t he t r a di t i o na l C a t hol i c r e l i gi on of t he i r yout h O n e t hi r d o f t he gr oup s e l f i de nt i f y a s a t he i s t F ou r of t he ni ne de s c r i be t he i r r e l i g i os i t y a s a s ync r e t i c c om pos i t e i nt e gr a t i ng di f f e r e nt r e l i gi ou s i nf l ue nc e s A nd, f i ve out o f t he ni ne pa r t i c i pa nt s ( 55% ) de f i ne t he m s e l ve s a s s pi r i t ua l but not r e l i gi ous R obe r t F ul l e r i n hi s book, Spi r i t ual but not R e l i gi ous ( 2001) r e por t e d t ha t a ppr oxi m a t e l y 20 % of t he U S popul a t i on w oul d f i t i nt o t hi s c a t e gor y ( Z i nnba ue r e t a l 1997 ) T hi s w a s a l s o di s c us s e d i n m y M A t he s i s a t t he U ni ve r s i t y of S out h F l or i da ( 2 001) w hi c h e xpl or e d t hi s s e gm e nt

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198 of our popul a t i ons w ho de f i ne t he i r r e l i gi os i t y i n t hi s w a y. T hi s gr oup i s hi ghl y i ndi vi dua l i s t i c a nd unc onve nt i ona l w he n i t c om e s t o r e l i gi ous be l i e f s a nd pr a c t i c e s C l a s s m a t e s l i ve s w e r e a l s o i nf l ue nc e d by t he c ul t u r a l i nf l ue nc e s of our t i m e t ha t i m pa c t e d our l i f e t r a j e c t or i e s P a m s a i d, A f t e r N i xon a nd V i e t N a m I ha ve ne ve r t r us t e d a not he r a ut hor i t y J e r om e r e por t e d t ha t t he be a t w r i t e r s a nd poe t s w hom he r e a d du r i ng hi s c hi l dhood s ha pe d hi s uni que s t yl e a nd h i s w a y of t hi nki ng I n a ddi t i on, J e r om e r e c a l l e d t ha t hi s w or l dv i e w w a s f or m e d by t he m us i c of ou r yout h H e t ol d m e N a r r a t i ve s l i ke t ha t o f D yl a n a nd ot he r s c r e a t e d a s pa c e f or m e t o que s t i on m y l i f e a nd I f e e l a s i f m y s t or y ha s e m e r ge d i n f l ue nc e d by a n d w i t h t hi s m us i c a l l a nds c a pe a s a ba c kgr ound. G r e g, M i c ha e l a nd J ohn s l i ve s w e r e s ha pe d by t he i r m i l i t a r y e xpe r i e nc e i n V i e t N a m T he ye a r a nd t he e ve nt s of 1968 dr a m a t i c a l l y a l t e r e d m y w or l d v i e w a nd t he c hoi c e s I m a de t ha t s ha pe d t he di r e c t i on of m y l i f e I n a n a c t of i nt e l l e c t ua l r e be l l i on, I t hr e w of f t he s ha c kl e s of be l i e f a nd c hur c h a nd I s t a r t e d t o que s t i on t he c ul t ur a l pond i n w hi c h I w a s s w i m m i ng. I ne ve r a c c e pt e d t hi ngs bl i ndl y a ga i n. T o t hi s da y I que s t i on a l l i ns t i t ut i ons a nd pow e r a n d I ha ve r a i s e d m y c hi l dr e n t o do t he s a m e J us t a s t he s e c ond w a ve of f e m i ni s m w a s c r e s t i ng, our c l a s s e nt e r e d t he w or k f or c e E a r l y on s e ve r a l o f t he w om e n pa r t i c i pa nt s c ha l l e nge d t he c a r e e r a nd l i f e l i m i t a t i ons i m pos e d upon t he m P a m pus he d t he e nve l ope t o pur s ue he r dr e a m t o be a pi l ot a nd m e t f r us t r a t i on a nd c onde s c e ns i on a t e ve r y t ur n. D a r l e ne be ga n a c a r e e r i n ps yc hot he r a py t ha t w a s dom i na t e d by m e n a nd l i ve d t he c ha l l e nge of ba l a nc i ng a s uc c e s s f ul bus i ne s s a nd he r de s i r e t o ha ve a f a m i l y. N or e n e w a s a bl e t o c r e a t e he r ow n bus i ne s s a r ound t he de m a nds of c a r i ng f or a c r i t i c a l l y di s a bl e d c hi l d. L a ur e nt hi a de a l t w i t h p r e j udi c e a ga i ns t

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199 w om e n i n t he f i e l d o f e ngi ne e r i ng A nd, unl i ke ou r m ot he r s be f o r e us e ve r y w om a n i nt e r vi e w e d s pe nt m os t of he r a du l t l i f e e a r ni ng a l i vi ng. T he w om e n i n our c l a s s c l e a r l y w e r e on t he l e a di n g e dge of c ha ngi ng r ol e s f o r w om e n i n t he w o r kpl a c e a s w e l l a s i n i nt e r pe r s ona l r e l a t i ons hi ps N one of t he w om e n w ho t ol d t he i r l i f e s t or i e s l i ve d i n t r a di t i ona l r e l a t i ons hi ps B ot h N or e ne a nd I ha ve be e n di vor c e d a nd a r e s e l f s uppor t i ng a nd i nde pe nde nt D a r l e ne m a r r i e d ve r y l a t e i n l i f e ( i n he r l a t e f o r t i e s ) ha s no c hi l dr e n a nd m a i nt a i ns t w o hom e s I n s um m a r y, t he pe r s ona l na r r a t i ve s a nd t he s t or i e s f r om t he f oc us gr oup s upp or t G ul l e t t e s s t a t e m e nt t ha t boom e r s t e r e ot ype s a r e ove r s i m pl i f i c a t i ons of t he i ndi vi dua l l i f e s t or i e s C ul t ur a l i nf l ue nc e s on a ge ne r a t i on a r e pa r t o f t he s t or y, but c e r t a i nl y not a l l of i t S he goe s on t o s a y t ha t t he t r ue hol y G r a i l of t he s oc i a l s c i e nc e s i s t he e m bodi e d ps yc he i n c ul t ur e ove r t i m e ( p. 141) T he s t or i e s t ol d i n t he s e pa ge s i l l us t r a t e t hi s T he y e m e r ge a s a bl e nd of t he e xt e r i o r c ul t u r a l ge ne r a t i ona l a nd f a m i l i a l i nf l ue nc e s t ha t i nt e r a c t w i t h t he i nt e r i o r s e l f t o c r e a t e a l i f e s t or y T he i ndi vi dua l na r r a t i ve s a r e c ons t a nt l y unf ol di ng t h r ough a b l e nd of i nt e r na l a n d e xt e r na l i nf l ue nc e s T ur ni ng P oi nt s T ur ni ng po i nt s a l t e r l i f e t r a j e c t or i e s a nd c ha nge t he l i f e c ou r s e T u r ni ng poi n t s a r e de f i ne d a s e ve nt s a s c r uc i a l l y i m po r t a nt m om e nt s i n a l i f e hi s t or y . T he r e a r e t w o e s s e nt i a l f e a t ur e s of t ur ni ng poi nt s : t he y a r e m o r e t ha n t e m por a r y de t our s i n t he c ur r e nt t r a j e c t or y, a nd t he y a r e know a bl e onl y a f t e r t he f a c t ( W he a t on a nd G ot l i b, 1997, p. 1 ) T he f i ve i ndi vi dua l s w ho r e c or de d t he i r l i f e na r r a t i ve s w e r e i ns t r uc t e d t o do s o by r e c ount i ng t he i r l i f e t ur ni ng poi nt s

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200 T ur ni ng s i xt y i s a good m om e nt t o l ook a t t ur ni ng poi nt s T he r e i s e nough pa s s a ge of t i m e t o ha ve l i ve d a l i f e a nd t o ha ve pe r s pe c t i ve e nough t o l ook ba c k on e ve nt s t o s e e t he m a s l i f e a l t e r i ng one s M or e c ur r e nt e ve nt s s u c h a s J e r om e s r e c e nt di a gnos i s of he a r t di s e a s e ha ve not pl a ye d out e nough i n our l i f e pa t h t o de t e r m i ne t he i nt e ns i t y of i t s i m pa c t J e r om e s a i d t hi s hi m s e l f a s he r e c a l l e d hi s di a gnos i s i n hi s l i f e na r r a t i ve W e t he r i ngt on ( i n W he a t on a nd G ot l i b e ds 1997 p. 225) r e por t s t ha t : T he m a j or i t y of ps yc hol ogi c a l t ur ni ng poi nt s ( 65 % ove r t h r e e s t udi e s ) a r e a s s oc i a t e d w i t h ha vi ng e xpe r i e nc e d a s e ve r e e ve nt or c hr oni c l ong t e r m di f f i c ul t y. A bo ut 15% a r e a s s oc i a t e d w i t h pos i t i ve l i f e t r a ns i t i ons but t he s e l i f e t r a ns i t i ons w e r e de t e r m i ne d t o ha ve c a us e d or r e s ol ve d a n ongoi ng di f f i c ul t y i n t he pe r s on s l i f e I n a ddi t i on W e t he r i ngt on f ound t ha t a l t hough ol de r a dul t s ( ove r 55) r e por t j us t a s m a ny s e ve r e e ve nt s a s younge r pa r t i c i pa nt s t he y a r e l e s s l i ke l y t o s e e t he s e a s t ur ni ng poi nt s ( p. 226) A s I c ons i de r t hi s i nf o r m a t i on i n t he l i ght of t he s e l f de s c r i be d t ur ni ng poi nt s i n t he l i ve s of m y pa r t i c i pa nt s I s e e t ha t m o s t oc c ur r e d i n c hi l dhood o r e a r l y a dul t hood. I n a ddi t i on, a m a j or i t y of t he t u r ni ng p oi nt s i nvol ve d l os s or t r a um a of s om e ki nd. A s I c ode d t he s e l f i de nt i f i e d t ur ni ng poi nt s f or m y f i ve na r r a t i ve s ubj e c t s I gr oupe d t he m i nt o t he f ol l ow i ng c a t e gor i e s : he a l t h de a t h, e duc a t i on, f a m i l y a bus e m ov i ng, a nd bus i ne s s a nd w or k l i f e T he hi ghe s t num be r of t ur ni ng poi nt s ( 9 ) i nvol ve d f a m i l y t r a ns i t i ons a nd t he s e c oul d be pos i t i ve or ne ga t i ve F o r e xa m pl e pa r t i c i pa nt s not e d m a r r i a ge di vo r c e b i r t h of c hi l d r e n, a nd bi r t h of gr a ndc hi l dr e n a s t ur ni ng po i nt s

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201 A l s o hi gh on t he l i s t of t ur ni ng poi nt s ( 9) w e r e e du c a t i ona l e xpe r i e nc e s D a r l e ne r e c a l l e d r e c e i vi ng a f e l l ow s hi p t o H a r va r d t ha t c ha nge d he r e xpe c t a t i ons a nd goa l s a nd ga ve he r a n i de a o f w ha t s he c oul d be c om e J e r om e r e a d a ut hor s w ho c ha l l e nge d hi s w a y of t hi nki ng a t a n e a r l y a ge a nd he w a s a bl e t o go t o E m or y U ni ve r s i t y, w he r e he c ont i nue d t o de ve l op hi s l ove of l e a r ni ng. N o r e ne w a s di s a ppoi nt e d be c a us e s h e c oul d not go t o P e a body U ni ve r s i t y t o s t udy e xc e pt i ona l e duc a t i on a nd w e nt t o G e or gi a S t a t e i ns t e a d. S he l e f t t he r e a f t e r t w o ye a r s a nd di d not r e t ur n. M i c ha e l f l ounde r e d e a r l y on, f a i l i ng out of c ol l e ge a nd on l y r e t u r ni ng l a t e r I t w a s a f t e r hi s f a i l e d c ol l e ge e xpe r i e nc e s t ha t he e nl i s t e d i n t he m i l i t a r y a nd e ve nt ua l l y m a d e i t a c a r e e r I w a s t r a ns f or m e d by m y c ol l e ge e xpe r i e nc e i n W a s hi ngt on D C A nd, a l l o f us w e r e i n f l ue nc e d by ou r e xc e l l e nt hi gh s c hool e duc a t i on a t P i us t ha t i m bue d m a ny of us w i t h a l ove a nd a ppr e c i a t i on f or l i f e l ong l e a r ni ng E i ght pe opl e m e nt i on e d i s s ue s of he a l t h. D a r l e ne r e por t e d t ha t he r w or l d c ha nge d w he n a t e l e ve n s he w a s hos pi t a l i z e d w i t h r he um a t i c he a r t di s e a s e a nd s a w s uf f e r i ng a nd de a t h a nd pr i vi l e ge f or t he f i r s t t i m e N or e ne s l i f e c ha nge d dr a s t i c a l l y a t t he bi r t h of he r D ow ns s yndr om e s i s t e r a nd a ga i n a t t he bi r t h of h e r s e ve r e l y di s a bl e d da ught e r I w a s i m pa c t e d by m y m ot he r s de pr e s s i on a nd hos pi t a l i z a t i on w he n I w a s a c hi l d, by m y hus ba nd s br a i n t um or a nd l a t e r by m y ow n di a gn os i s of R he um a t oi d A r t hr i t i s J e r om e r e f l e c t s upon w ha t t he c ons e que nc e s w i l l be of hi s r e c e nt di a gnos i s of c a r ot i d a r t e r y di s e a s e N e xt on t he l i s t of l i f e t u r ni ng po i nt s i s t he de a t h o f a l ove d one a nd t hi s w a s m e nt i one d s i x t i m e s a s a l i f e a l t e r i ng e ve nt D a r l e ne l os t he r f a t he r a s a c hi l d a nd he r f a m i l y f e l l a pa r t a f t e r hi s de a t h. L a t e r s he l os t he r onl y p r e gna nc y t o m i s c a r r i a ge w hi c h

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202 l e a ve s he r now a t s i xt y, l ongi ng f or a c hi l d B ot h N or e ne a nd J e r om e w e r e t r a ns f or m e d by t he de a t h o f S ha r on N o r e ne s da ught e r A nd N or e ne r e por t s t ha t t he de a t h o f he r f a t he r f ou r ye a r s a go ha s c ha nge d he r l i f e a nd t he l i f e of he r m o t he r w ho now l i ve s ne a r he r M i c ha e l w i t ne s s e d a nd f e l t r e s pons i bl e f or t he de a t h of hi s f a t he r w ho di e d w he n he w a s onl y t w e l ve T he de a t h of H os a l ove r ki l l e d i n V i e t N a m i n 1968, s e t of f a r a nt a nd a nge r a t w a r a nd t he gove r n m e nt a nd e s t a bl i s hm e nt t ha t c ont i nue s t o i nf or m m y l i f e t oda y. B us i ne s s or w or k l i f e e ve nt s w e r e l i s t e d s i x t i m e s a s l i f e t ur ni ng poi nt s J e r om e di s c us s e s how he r a ndom l y e nde d up i n a bus i ne s s f or w hi c h he ha d no pr e pa r a t i on but w hi c h s e t hi m on hi s l i f e pa t h. L a t e r he a ga i n s e e m i ngl y r a ndom l y he a de d a bus i ne s s w hi c h he now ow ns M i c ha e l r e c ount s t he s i gni f i c a nc e of hi s m i l i t a r y l i f e a nd t he n a ga i n, t he c ha l l e nge s w i t h ge t t i ng out of t he m i l i t a r y a f t e r m a ny ye a r s N or e ne w a s a bl e t o t r a ns f or m e xpe r i e nc e s he ha d i nt o he r ow n bus i ne s s w hi c h s he ha s ha d f or s e ve r a l de c a de s B e i ng t he ow ne r o f he r ow n bus i ne s s a l l ow e d he r t he f l e xi bi l i t y i n s c he dul i ng t o c a r e f or he r da ught e r D a r l e ne l e f t a n a c a de m i c c a r e e r a nd e nt e r e d i nt o a pa r t ne r s hi p a nd a bus i ne s s t ha t s he ha s be e n a pa r t of f or t hi r t y ye a r s S he de s c r i be s he r s e l f a s a c or por a t e m ogul M y l a y of f f r om t he a dm i ni s t r a t i on s i de of t he uni ve r s i t y w a s t he i m pe t us f or m y P h D M ovi ng a r ound t he c ount r y w a s a not he r l i f e c ha ng i ng m om e nt f or m a ny of us J e r om e t a l ks of m ovi ng f r o m A l a ba m a t o C ol um bu s G e or gi a a nd t he n a ga i n t o A t l a nt a a s s i gni f i c a nt t o hi s l i f e j our ne y M y f a m i l y s m ov e t o A t l a nt a s e t m e of f on a di f f e r e nt di r e c t i on t ha n m y l i f e w oul d ha ve be e n i n C he ye nne M i c ha e l m ove d t o G e r m a ny w i t h t he m i l i t a r y a nd m e t hi s w i f e o f t hi r t y pl us ye a r s t h e r e

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203 A s w a s a l r e a dy m e nt i one d, t h r e e of t he na r r a t i ve p a r t i c i pa nt s r e por t e d phys i c a l s e xua l a nd e m ot i ona l a bus e T hi s a bus e a l t e r e d t h e l i f e t r a j e c t or y of i t s vi c t i m s M i c ha e l r e c ount s how t hi s ha s ha unt e d hi m hi s w hol e l i f e a nd i m pa c t e d hi s de s i r e t o ha ve c hi l dr e n a nd hi s e duc a t i on. A s r e c e nt l y a s t e n ye a r s a go M i c ha e l c onf r ont e d hi s a bus e r a nd t he di oc e s e of A t l a nt a J e r om e s f a t he r s ph ys i c a l a bus e c a us e d t he ge ogr a phi c m ove s a nd a l s o s ha pe d J e r om e s w a y of be i ng i n t he w or l d, a nd t he w or k a nd pe r s ona l f a m i l y he ha s c r e a t e d. P e r s ona l l y, i t ha s t a ke n de c a de s of r e f l e c t i on, t he r a py a nd f i na l l y r e c onc i l i a t i on, t o be a t pe a c e w i t h m y a bus e W hi l e m a ny of us e xpr e s s e d t ur ni ng poi nt s i n s i m i l a r c a t e gor i e s J e r om e s t u r ni ng poi nt s a r e uni que U nl i ke t he r e s t o f us w ho r e por t l i f e a l t e r i ng e ve nt s he a t t r i but e s m os t of hi s t ur n i ng poi nt s t o r a ndom c onve r s a t i ons F i r s t t he r e i s t he c onve r s a t i on t ha t he ha d w i t h F a t he r V i nc e nt a bout C a t hol i c i s m f r om w hi c h he e m e r ge d a s a s e l f de f i ne d c ove r t a t he i s t T w o oc c ur r e d i n ba r s O ne c onve r s a t i on a t hi s l oc a l w a t e r i ng hol e m ot i va t e d hi m t o e xpl o r e w hi t e w a t e r c a noe i ng. T h i s i n t ur n l e d hi m t o a l i f e t i m e of out door hi ki ng c a noe i ng a nd a c t i vi t i e s w hi c h he r e por t s ha s be e n hi s r e l i gi ous r e pl a c e m e nt f o r C a t hol i c i s m A not he r e ve ni ng he t a l ke d w i t h hi s t he n gi r l f r i e nd i n a ba r a nd t he y de c i de d t o qui t t he i r j obs a nd t r a ve l t he c ount r y T hi s l e d hi m t o a n a ppr e c i a t i on of a di f f e r e nt ki nd of w or k t ha n he w a s us e t o w hi c h i n f l ue nc e d hi s c a r e e r c hoi c e s N ot l ong a f t e r hi s r e t u r n f r om t hi s t r i p he r e c e i ve d a phone c a l l f r om a f r i e nd, w ho c onvi nc e d hi m t o go t o a t e m por a r y j ob a t a f a c t or y. T hi s be c a m e a c a r e e r a nd ha s s ha pe d hi s c ur r e nt bus i ne s s A not he r c onve r s a t i on oc c ur r e d a t a pa r t y w i t h a w om a n w ho m ot i va t e d hi m t o l e a ve hi s j ob a nd m ove ba c k t o A t l a nt a A nd l a s t l y a c onve r s a t i on w i t h N or e ne a t t he t w e nt y f i f t h r e uni on l e d t o t he i r m a r r i a ge

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204 B ut no m a t t e r t he r e a s on f o r t u r ni ng poi n t s e a c h p a r t i c i pa nt i n t h i s r e s e a r c h e a s i l y r e c a l l e d t he m T he y s e e m t o be a n e a s y w a y of m a r ki ng a pe r s ona l l i f e c our s e o r hi s t or y T he t e l l e r s of t he s e s na r r a t i ve s us ua l l y be ga n c hr o nol ogi c a l l y, a nd t he i r s t or i e s un f ol de d, be gi nni ng w i t h t he i r c hi l dhoods M os t of t he s i gni f i c a nt t ur ni ng poi nt s a ppe a r e d be f o r e a dul t hood. T he l i f e c our s e a ppe a r s t o be m or e e a s i l y a l t e r e d be f o r e a dul t hood, w he n w or l dvi e w s phi l os ophi e s a nd l i f e s t yl e s be c om e m or e s e t L i f e t r a j e c t or i e s do c ha nge a f t e r a dul t hood, but not a s f r e que nt l y. I n a ddi t i on l os s a nd t r a um a i n t he c hi l dhood ye a r s l e a ve a n i nde l i bl e m a r k T hi s m a r k c a n m ove i ndi vi dua l s i n a pos i t i ve di r e c t i on, but i t i nva r i a bl y c a us e s pa i n a nd c ha nge T he I m pac t of t h e Si x t i e s A s s t a t e d i n t he i nt r oduc t i on, t hi s c l a s s gr a dua t e d f r om hi gh s c hool i n 1965 a nd t ur ne d t w e nt y one i n 1968 A s I f i ni s h t hi s i n t he ye a r 2008, r e t r os pe c t i ve s a bound on t ha t pi vot a l ye a r : t he f or t i e t h a nni ve r s a r y o f M a r t i n L ut he r K i ng s de a t h; t he f o r t i e t h a nni ve r s a r y of R obe r t K e nne dy s de a t h; a nd t he f o r t i e t h a nni ve r s a r y o f m y c l a s s r e a c hi ng l e ga l a dul t hood. A ne w T om B r oka w book c a m e out t hi s pa s t ye a r e nt i t l e d B oom V oi c e s of t he Si x t i e s ( B r oka w 2007 ) H e c a l l s t h i s book a r e uni on of t h e C l a s s of 68, i nt e r vi e w i ng va r i ous know n a nd unknow n voi c e s o f t hi s e r a a s ki ng que s t i ons a bout w ha t w a s t he l a s t i ng i m pa c t of t hi s t i m e A ut hor i t y, he a l t h, s e xua l i t y, ge nde r pol i t i c s w or k m us i c a nd s oc i a l r ol e s a r e a l l t opi c s t ha t B r oka w c ons i de r s c ha nge d due t o t he i m pa c t of t hi s ge ne r a t i on T he na r r a t i ve s of m y c l a s s m a t e s a nd m ys e l f r e f l e c t t he r e l e va nc e of t he s e t opi c s t o ou r l i ve s

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205 P a m s a i d i t be s t a bout a ut hor i t y S i nc e N i xon a n d V i e t N a m I ha ve ne ve r t r us t e d a nyone i n pow e r T hi s di s t r us t of i ns t i t ut i ons a nd e s t a bl i s he d pow e r a f f e c t e d t he r e l i gi os i t y of m y pa r t i c i pa nt s S e ve r a l of us e xpr e s s e d no de s i r e t o be l ong t o t he i ns t i t ut i on of r e l i gi on, but s t i l l s e e our s e l ve s a s i ndi vi dua l l y s pi r i t ua l T o s om e I s uppos e w e w oul d l ook l i ke a c onve nt i ona l gr oup. A l l t ha t I i n t e r vi e w e d w e r e he t e r os e xua l f or e xa m pl e W e do r e t a i n s om e of t he va l ue s of ou r t r a di t i ona l f i f t i e s a nd e a r l y s i xt i e s C a t hol i c e duc a t i on. L i ke m e m o s t ha ve a s e ns e of pr opr i e t y a nd m a nne r s w hi c h m a y s e e m a l i t t l e ol d s c hool t o s om e I know i t doe s t o m y c hi l dr e n. B ut de s pi t e t ha t m os t o f us c ha l l e nge d t he s t a t us quo i n s om e w a y t hr oughout our l i ve s S e ve r a l m e m be r s of t hi s gr oup a r e e nt r e pr e ne ur s : D a r l e ne N or e ne a nd J e r om e R a t he r t ha n f i t t i ng i nt o a j ob o r c o m pa ny, t he y c r e a t e d t he i r ow n. P e r ha ps t ha t i s a de f i ni ng c ha r a c t e r i s t i c W he t he r i t i s w or k r e l i gi on, m a r r i a ge or pol i t i c s m a ny of us c hos e t o r e de f i ne i t a c c or di ng t o ou r ow n t e r m s r a t he r t ha n a c c e pt s om e one e l s e s de f i ni t i on of i t J e r om e s poke e l oque nt l y a bout t he i n f l ue nc e of t he m us i c of t hi s ge ne r a t i on. L i ke hi m I ha ve l i ve d m y l i f e t o t he be a t of a s ound t r a c k. M us i c ha s bot h c r e a t e d a nd r e f l e c t e d m y r e a l i t y. M y s oc i a l c ons c i e nc e a nd a c t i on w a s f e d by f ol k m us i c i a ns l i ke P e t e S e e ge r ; pr ot e s t s ongs of P hi l O c hs a nd o t he r s ; a nd na r r a t i ve s f r om t he s t or y w e a ve r s l i ke B ob D yl a n a nd K r i s K r i s t of f e r s on. T he T i m e s T h e y a r e A C ha ngi n w a s bot h a n a nt he m a nd a w i s h. T hi s m us i c w a s on f i r e a nd i t f e d t he f l a m e s of t he s oc i a l m ove m e nt s of t he t i m e s A nd i t nur t ur e d t he i nne r l i f e t ha t R o of ( 1999 ) a nd ot he r s r e por t i s s o i m por t a nt t o m y c oho r t I know t ha t i t f e d a nd c ont i nue s t o f e e d m y i nne r l i f e I ha ve c a r r i e d on a l i f e l ong l ove a f f a i r w i t h K r i s K r i s t of f e r s on, a t t r a c t e d a s m uc h by hi s m i nd a s hi s s oul f ul a nd i nt e l l i ge nt bl ue e ye s B r oka w i nt e r vi e w s K r i s i n B oom a nd I

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206 f ound out t ha t w e bot h r e a c t e d t he s a m e w a y t o 19 68. B r oka w r e por t s T he L B J w i t hdr a w a l a l ong w i t h t he ot he r t r a um a t i c e ve nt s of 1968 t he T e t O f f e ns i ve i n V i e t na m a nd t he m ur de r s o f D r K i ng a nd B obby K e nne dy w a s t he t ur ni ng poi nt i n hi s t h i nki ng. T ha t w a s w he n he s t a r t e d no t be l i e vi ng a nyt hi ng h e w a s he a r i ng ( B r oka w 2007, p. 264) B r oka w r e por t s K r i s t of f e r s on s a ys he di d a one e i ght y i n 1968 H e c ha nge d f r o m a s t r a i ght a nd na r r ow c r e w c ut m i l i t a r y of f i c e r R hode s s c hol a r a nd c a ndi da t e f or a pr of e s s or s hi p i n E ngl i s h a t W e s t P oi nt t o a c a vor t i ng a nd r e be l l i ous a r t i s t a nd s oc i a l c om m e nt a t or W hi l e not s o dr a m a t i c I c ha nge d f r om a good l i t t l e C a t hol i c g i r l w e a r i ng w hi t e gl ove s a nd a c c e pt i ng w ha t I w a s t ol d t o t he c yni c a l s om e t i m e s a ngr y, a nd i c onoc l a s t i c pe r s on t ha t I ha ve be e n f or t he l a s t f ou r de c a de s O ur r e a c t i on, K r i s s a nd m i ne t o t he t u r m oi l a nd hypoc r i s y of 1968, w a s a c om m on one T hi s unw i l l i ngne s s t o a c c e pt w ha t w e w e r e t ol d e s t a bl i s hm e nt va l ue s a n d c a noni c a l na r r a t i ve s w a s r e f l e c t e d i n m os t of t he s t or i e s of m y c l a s s m a t e s O bvi ous l y, not a l l boom e r s r e a c t e d t he s a m e t o 19 68 a s K r i s a nd I di d T he r e w e r e de e p di vi s i ons t ha t a r e r e f l e c t e d i n t he pol i t i c a l a nd c ul t ur a l di v i s i ons of 2008 B i l l C l i nt on, i nt e r v i e w e d by B r oka w f or h i s book, s a i d: I f you t hought s om e t hi ng good c a m e out of t he S i x t i e s you a r e pr oba bl y a D e m oc r a t ; i f you t hought t he S i x t i e s w e r e ba d, you a r e pr oba bl y a R e publ i c a n ( B r oka w 20 07, p. xi v) I don t know i f i t i s t ha t s i m pl e but c e r t a i nl y t he e ve nt s a nd c ul t ur a l c ha nge a t t ha t t i m e w a s i nt e r pr e t e d d i f f e r e nt l y by e a c h i nd i vi dua l a nd ha s pl a ye d ou t di f f e r e nt l y i n e a c h l i f e a nd i n ou r c ul t u r e a s a w hol e T he s a m e c a n b e s a i d f or m y c l a s s m a t e pa r t i c i pa nt s

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207 but I t hi nk i t i s s a f e t o s a y t ha t m os t w oul d be a l i g ne d w i t h t he g r oup w ho s a y t ha t s om e t hi ng pos i t i ve c a m e out of t he S i xt i e s A gi ng I t i s not s ur pr i s i ng f or a ge ne r a t i on w ho c ha l l e nge d a l l e l s e t ha t m y c ohor t a l s o c ha l l e nge s t he c a noni c a l na r r a t i ve a bout t he de c l i n e of a gi ng A s pr e vi ous l y di s c us s e d, t he i de a of a gi ng i s s oc i a l l y c ons t r uc t e d by t he l a n gua ge a nd c ul t ur a l p r a c t i c e s s ur r oundi ng i t T he c onc e pt o f a gi ng a nd de c l i ne i s a pa r t of our c ul t ur a l s t or y. M os t i n m y r e s e a r c h gr oup s e e m t o be de l i be r a t e l y c ount e r i ng t hi s na r r a t i ve N or e ne J e r om e a nd M i c ha e l s pe nd a l ot of t he i r phys i c a l a nd m e nt a l e n e r gi e s w or ki ng t he i r bodi e s t o s t a ve of f phys i c a l de t e r i o r a t i on. D a r l e ne a nd I bot h a r e pur s ui ng a dva nc e d de gr e e s i n our s i xt i e s a nd ne i t he r o f us i s buyi ng i nt o m e nt a l de c l i ne I t i s e a r l y i n our a gi ng pr oc e s s but e a c h of t he pa r t i c i pa nt s i n m y r e s e a r c h s e e m e d i nt e nt on c ons c i ous l y a gi ng a nd l i vi ng out t he i r c onc l udi ng c ha pt e r s M os t not a bl e t o m e i s t he de s i r e on t he pa r t of m y c l a s s m a t e s t o s pe nd t he i r r e m a i ni ng ye a r s m a ki ng a di f f e r e nc e a nd gi vi ng ba c k. T he r e w a s a ve r y a ni m a t e d a nd de l i be r a t e di s c us s i on i n t he f oc us gr oup a bout vol u nt e e r i ng a nd ha r ne s s i ng t he s i gni f i c a nt pow e r of ou r ge ne r a t i on A s boom e r s be gi n t o r e t i r e w e a r e he a l t hy, f i l l e d w i t h e ne r gy a nd ot he r r e s our c e s a nd e xpr e s s e d a f oc us not s o m uc h on c om f o r t a nd p l e a s ur e but on pa yi ng ba c k f or t he p r i vi l e ge a bunda nc e a nd e xpe r i e nc e of ou r l i ve s S om e do w a nt t o t r a ve l a s t he y be c om e f r e e of j obs a nd c a r e e r s but t ha t i s not t he m a i n f oc us F e w vol unt e e r e d i nf o r m a t i on a bout how t he y a nt i c i pa t e a nd t hi nk a bout t he i r ow n de a t h t hough t he r e w a s m uc h di s c us s i on a bout t he de a t h of ot he r s T he r e i s how e ve r a

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208 ve r y pa l pa bl e a c know l e dgm e nt t ha t t i m e i s r unni n g out T ha t a w a r e ne s s s e e m s t o c r e a t e a n ur ge nc y t o be r e f l e c t i ve J e r om e m os t poi gna nt l y s poke of a gi ng a nd m or t a l i t y i n hi s na r r a t i ve a s he c l os e d: I don t know w ha t i t ha s i n s t or e f o r m e but I ha ve r e a c he d t he t i m e w he n I c a n r e f l e c t a nd w he n I c a n t r y t o f i gu r e out how a nd i n w ha t w a y I a m goi ng t o c hoos e t o e qui p m ys e l f a t t he e nd of m y l i f e I a s k m ys e l f w ha t do I w a nt a nd c hoos e t o do a t t hi s poi nt ? H ow do I l e a r n t o g r ow ol de r ? T ha t s t a t e m e nt s a ys s o m uc h a bout J e r om e a nd a bout our ge ne r a t i on. A f t e r l i vi ng f o r de c a de s w i t h a n a t t i t ude t ha t w e c a n c r e a t e a ne w w or l d a c c or di ng t o our va l ue s a nd de s i r e s w e a ppr oa c h a gi ng t he s a m e w a y. I t i s not a r e i f i e d, e s t a bl i s he d pr oc e s s t ha t w e e nt e r i nt o, but a l i f e e xpe r i e nc e t ha t w e c a n ( t o s o m e de gr e e ) c ons c i ous l y c r e a t e A gi ng c a n be i nf l ue nc e d by how w e a ppr oa c h i t a nd by o ur a c t i ons a nd c hoi c e s C onc l us i on W he n I be ga n t hi s c onve r s a t i on w i t h m y c l a s s m a t e s I ha d no i de a w ha t t o e xpe c t A s a qua l i t a t i ve r e s e a r c he r a nd s t ude nt o f E l l i s a nd B oc hne r I a m a w a r e of t he pow e r o f s t or i e s H e a r i ng m y c l a s s m a t e s r e c ount t he i r s t or i e s s om e t ha t s hook m e t o m y c o r e a nd ot he r s t ha t m ove d m e t o t e a r s l e f t m e w i t h a vi s c e r a l unde r s t a ndi ng a nd a pp r e c i a t i on of t he pow e r of na r r a t i ve A s I be ga n t hi s a u t oe t hnogr a phy l ooki ng a t t he l i v e s a nd t ur ni ng poi n t s of m y hi gh s c hool c l a s s m a t e s I e nt e r e d a n ongoi ng c onve r s a t i on a bout boom e r s t ur ni ng poi nt s a gi ng, a nd t he i m pa c t of t hi s l a r ge a nd pow e r f ul ge ne r a t i on. I di d not know w he r e t he pr oc e s s w oul d t a ke m e no r di d I e xpe c t s pe c i f i c a ns w e r s M y doc um e nt i ng o f t he s e

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209 i ndi vi dua l s s t or i e s a nd t ur ni ng poi nt s doe s not c l a i m t o be r e pr e s e nt a t i ve of a n e nt i r e ge ne r a t i on. I t i s i ns t e a d a pe r s ona l t r i p i nt o a gi ng a nd m e a ni ng a nd l os s a nd c onne c t i on t ha t I w a s a bl e t o s ha r e w i t h s om e of m y hi gh s c hool c l a s s m a t e s T he i r l i ve d e xpe r i e nc e t e l l s us s om e t hi ng a bout t he i r i ndi vi dua l l i ve s but i t a l s o t e l l s us s om e t hi ng a bout t he l i ve s of a l l o f us N one e s c a pe d pa i n, l os s a nd di s a ppoi nt m e nt s M os t i f not a l l t r a ns c e nde d t he s e a nd c r e a t e d l i ve s of m e a ni ng a m i ds t t he de br i s A l l c ont i nue t o w r i ng out of l i f e m e a ni ng j oy a nd pl e a s ur e ; a nd l ook f or w a r d t o c ont i nui ng t he s a m e a s t he y a ge W e a r e a pr i vi l e ge d gr oup: p r i vi l e ge d by r a c e by e c onom i c s by e duc a t i on, a nd pe r ha ps by our pos i t i on i n h i s t or y. I c a nnot t hi nk of a not he r t i m e i n w hi c h I w oul d r a t he r ha ve l i ve d. G r ow i ng up w he n w e d i d w a s f r i ght e ni ng, hope f ul e xc i t i ng f r a ught w i t h c ha nge a nd c r e a t i vi t y T h i s r e s e a r c h e xpe r i e nc e ha s t r a ns f or m e d m y a gi ng j our n e y a nd i t ha s i nf or m e d how I m a ke s e ns e of m y l i f e c our s e a nd how I a nt i c i pa t e t he ye a r s t o c om e M y c l a s s m a t e s i ns pi r e m e I a m ve r y gr a t e f ul t o t h e m f or ope ni ng up w i t h t he i r l i f e s t or i e s M i c ha e l t ol d m e t ha t he ha d ne ve r t ol d a n yone but hi s w i f e m ot he r a nd s i bl i ngs a bout hi s a bus e O t he r c l a s s m a t e s a l s o w e r e s ur pr i s i ngl y ope n a nd c our a ge ous a nd s ha r e d t he i r s e c r e t s w i t h m e I ha ve t r i e d i n t hi s w o r k t o ha ndl e t he m w i t h t e nde r l ovi ng c a r e M a r ga r e t G ul l e t t e i n A gi ng by C ul t ur e r e f l e c t s : T he l i f e c our s e s houl d m a ke i t s c l a i m t o a ki nd of s a c r e dne s s T hi s i s di f f e r e nt f r om t he s a nc t i t y of l i f e ; a bi ol og i c a l bi r t h gi f t a nd e s s e nc e t ha t a dhe r e s i n e a c h of us a t e ve r y m om e nt a nd m a ke s m ur de r a c r i m e T he

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210 l i f e c our s e de pe nds on t hi s o r i gi na l gi f t bu t i s di s t i nc t i n de m a ndi ng t ha t w e a c know l e dge t he i nc r e a s i ng va l ue of a l i f e l i ve d i n t i m e ( G ul l e t t e 2004, p 96) W i t ne s s i ng a nd w r i t i ng t he s e s t or i e s ha s be e n a s pi r i t ua l e xpe r i e nc e f o r m e E a c h s t or y f e e l s s a c r e d, a nd t e l l i ng i t ha s be e n a r e s pons i bi l i t y a nd a pr i vi l e ge I t ha s c ha nge d how I l ook a t e ve r yone s t ude nt s I t e a c h, s t r a nge r s i n a c of f e e s hop. W hi l e t he y m a y l ook ge ne r i c I know t ha t i f I ha d t he oppor t uni t y t o di s c ove r i t t he y t oo w oul d ha ve a s a c r e d s t or y. B e c a us e of t ha t I a m m ov e d t o t r e a t a l l I m e e t w i t h r e ve r e nc e M y c l a s s m a t e s na r r a t i ve s ha ve c onvi nc e d m e of t he p ow e r a nd i m por t a nc e of s t or i e s I a m now a be l i e ve r ; i f not i n t he C a t hol i c C hur c h, gove r nm e nt or e c onom i c i de ol ogy, a t l e a s t I c a n s a y I be l i e ve i n s om e t hi ng

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211 E pi l ogue F e br uar y 6 t h 2008 T he m or ni ng i s f oggy a nd s o a m I a s I a r i s e e a r l y o n m y s i xt y f i r s t bi r t hda y. I j um p i nt o a qui c k s how e r a nd c u r s or i l y gl a nc e a t m y s h ow e r c ur t a i n p r i nt e d w i t h voc a bul a r y w or ds I t r y t o l e a r n one w or d a da y, a t t e m pt i ng t o ke e p t he br a i n c i r c ui t r y w or ki ng M a ybe I l l m a ke i t t w o i n hono r of m y bi r t hda y. A f t e r a ye a r w i t h t hi s s how e r c ur t a i n gi ve n t o m e on m y s i xt i e t h bi r t h da y, t he r e a r e f e w w or ds l e f t t o l e a r n. M y e ye s l i ght on m e l l i f l uous w hi c h m e a ns s m oot h t a l ke r I a m s u r e I w i l l ha ve us e f or t hi s one A f t e r dr e s s i ng hur r i e dl y, I c r a w l ove r s l e e pi ng gr a ndki ds dog, a nd hus ba nd, a nd da r t out t he door w i t h a c up o f c of f e e a nd m y br i e f c a s e i n ha nd. D a m n, I t hi nk I t i s 6: 30 a nd I a m due t o t e a c h a t 7 a m i n dow nt ow n S t P e t e r s bur g, a t l e a s t a ha l f hour a w a y. A s I s e t t l e i n t o m y c om m ut e I t a ke a de e p b r e a t h, a n d c ons i de r f or t he f i r s t t i m e a n a m a z i ng a nd a bs ur d r e a l i t y: I ha ve s ur vi ve d m y s i xt i e t h ye a r a nd I a m now s i xt y one L ooki ng f o r w a r d t o m y s i xt i e t h y e a r I w a s a nxi ous a nd m e l a nc hol y. I f I ha d know n w ha t t hi s ye a r w a s t o e nt a i l I w oul d ha ve be e n e ve n m or e t r e pi da t i ous T hi s pa s t ye a r w a s one of t he t op f ou r c ha l l e ngi ng a nd di f f i c ul t y e a r s of m y l i f e T he ot he r t hr e e w e r e t he t um ul t uous 1968; t he ye a r o f m y di vor c e f r om m y c hi l dr e n s f a t he r ; a nd t he ye a r bo t h of m y pa r e nt s di e d. T h i s one w a s di f f i c ul t be c a us e of l os s t oo, but i t ha d i t s ow n uni que f l a vor T ur ni ng s i xt y w a s huge f or m e a s m y s t ude nt s w oul d s a y. I t r e pr e s e nt s a m a r ke r t ha t c ha l l e nge d m y s e ns e of be i ng a nd s e c ur i t y i n m y ow n s ki n a nd i n t he w or l d i t s e l f A s I a nt i c i pa t e d a nd be ga n t hi s ye a r a va r i e t y of c ha l l e nge s a nd l oos e da ngl i ng e nds

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212 c a l l e d t o m y a t t e nt i on A s m y s i xt i e t h ye a r pa s s e d by, I e xpe r i e nc e d t he de a t h of t he f a t he r of m y c hi l d r e n, a l i f e a l t e r i ng f i na nc i a l l os s r e c ur r e nc e of m y R he um a t oi d A r t hr i t i s a nd a s t he ye a r c l os e d, t he t e r r i f y i ng m u r de r / s ui c i de of a m o t he r / f a t he r a nd t w o young c hi l dr e n w ho w e r e f r i e nds of m y f a m i l y. T h e e ve nt s of t hi s ye a r ha ve a l t e r e d m y l i f e f o r e ve r S om e how i n t hi s ye a r I be gr udg i ngl y i nc or po r a t e d t he i de a of s i xt y i n t o m y i de nt i t y. I t ha s n t be e n e a s y. B ut now a ye a r l a t e r t he s hoc k ha s w or n of f a nd I a m m o r e a t pe a c e w i t h m y p l a c e i n t he c yc l e of l i f e Y e t I ha ve a l s o t he pa i n f u l a w a r e ne s s t ha t t he s a nds of t i m e a r e r unni ng qui c kl y t hr ough. T he r a di o r e m i nds m e t hi s m o r ni ng t ha t i t i s a l s o A s h W e dne s da y. O n t h i s da y, m i l l i ons of C a t hol i c s ha ve a s he s pl a c e d upon t he i r f or e he a ds t o r e m i nd t he m t ha t t he y a r e i n a c yc l e of dus t t o dus t I ga ve t h i s pr a c t i c e up a l ong t i m e a go, ye t t he c om bi na t i on of t ur ni ng s i xt y one a nd a s he s r e m i nd m e ye t a ga i n of m y not s o di s t a nt m or t a l i t y. I n t he pa s t ye a r I ha ve be e n s i f t i ng t h r ough t he m a t t e r of m y l i f e a nd t he l i ve s of m y c l a s s m a t e s t o s e e w ha t r e m a i ns a f t e r t he ha r ds hi ps di s a ppoi nt m e nt s a nd l os s e s of a l i f e t i m e I a m s o gr a t e f ul t ha t I c hos e t he t op i c I di d f or m y di s s e r t a t i on. W e r e i t not f o r t hi s e xpe r i e nc e I don t know how I w oul d ha ve m a de i t t hr ough t hi s pa s t ye a r R e c onne c t i ng w i t h m y a ge c ohor t t he s e pe opl e f r om m y pa s t w ho w e r e bor n t he s a m e ye a r a s I a nd w ho s ha r e s i m i l a r f o r m a t i ve e xpe r i e nc e s ha s i ns pi r e d a nd s us t a i ne d m e W he n I f e e l s or r y f or m y f i na nc i a l r e ve r s a l s I t hi n k a bout N or e ne w ho l os t t he u l t i m a t e he r da u ght e r W he n I a m ove r w he l m e d by t he de m a nds a nd ne e ds of m y c om pl i c a t e d f a m i l y, I t h i nk of D a r l e ne w ho gr i e ve s t ha t s he ne v e r ha d a da ught e r or s on. W he n t he s a dne s s of m y c hi l dhood a nd e a r l y l os s e s c r e e p i nt o m y c ons c i ous ne s s I c ons i de r

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213 J e r om e s f a t he r s hoot i ng a t hi m i n a hi gh c ha i r a n d M i c ha e l w i t ne s s i ng t he de a t h of hi s f a t he r a nd e xpe r i e nc i ng t he be t r a ya l a nd a bus e by a C a t hol i c pr i e s t T he y a r e s t i l l s t a ndi ng, a nd s o a m I H e a r i ng a nd w a t c hi ng t he m l i vi ng a nd l a ughi ng a nd goi ng on de s pi t e t he i r l os s e s a nd t he i r he a r t a c he s r e m i nds m e t ha t I c a n ke e p m o vi ng f or w a r d. T he s e w e r e pe opl e I kne w f r om t he pa s t but s t or i e s I ha d ne ve r he a r d B e s i de s t he ni ne pe opl e w ho honor e d m e w i t h t he i r s t or i e s I a m r e m i nde d t ha t t he r e a r e m a ny m or e s t or i e s out t h e r e T hos e voi c e s not he a r d o f t he one hundr e d e l e ve n r e m a i ni ng c l a s s m a t e s undoubt e dl y w oul d t e l l s i m i l a r l y c om pl e x a nd i ns pi r a t i ona l s t or i e s T he ye a r ha s c om e t o a n e nd a nd s o t oo ha s t hi s j o ur ne y of m y di s s e r t a t i on. A s t he y c onc l ude I a m m or e a t p e a c e t ha n w he n I s t a r t e d T he e xpe r i e nc e e nr i c he d m y l i f e A s m y c l a s s m a t e s t e l l m e a bout t he i r f ut u r e pl a ns I a m m ot i va t e d t o a ddr e s s s om e of m y a gi ng i s s ue s pa r t i c ul a r l y m y body. I he a r N or e ne r e c ount he r bi c yc l i ng hi ki ng a nd r ow i ng e f f o r t s t o s t a y i n s ha pe J e r om e a nd M i c ha e l t e l l a bout t he i r hund r e d m i l e bi c yc l e t r i ps a nd G r e g r e po r t s hi s goa l t o hi ke t he e nt i r e A ppa l a c hi a n T r a i l T he i r s uc c e s s m ove s m e t o w a nt t o a ddr e s s m y l a c k o f phys i c a l f i t ne s s T he r e w a s a t i m e w he n I w a s a r unne r a hi k e r a nd a bi c yc l i s t t oo. I t s e e m s s o l ong a go I c ons i de r t ha t I c a n i nt e nt i ona l l y w or k on m y body t o ke e p i t a s he a l t hy a s I t r y t o k e e p m y m i nd. Y e t I r e c ogni z e t ha t I w i l l ne ve r a ga i n r un e i ght m i l e s nor b i c yc l e a r oun d t he c ount r y T hos e da ys a r e gone M y kne e s a r e s hot a nd m y phys i c a l a bi l i t y ha s c ha nge d. I t r y t o r e a l i s t i c a l l y c ons i de r w ha t a r e a s I c a n i m p r ove i n t he ye a r s t o c om e t o m a ke t he m os t i m pa c t be f or e t he s a nds of t i m e r un out T he l i m i t a t i ons s a dde n m e J us t t hi s w e e k, t he S t P e t e r s bur g T i m e s S e ni o r i t y s e c t i on ha d a n a r t i c l e on t he pr oc e s s of a gi ng. T he a ut hor R obe r t J e nki ns ( J ul y 29

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214 2008) quot e s t he ge r i a t r i c i a n D r R obe r t P a l m e r H e c a l l s 65 74 t he young ol d I m not s ur e w ha t t ha t m a ke s m e a nd t he ot he r m e m be r s of ou r c l a s s but i t i s s om e how c om f or t i ng t o know I ha ve not ye t r e a c he d t he of f i c i a l de s i gna t i on of ol d T ha t w i l l be s oon e nough. F or now I l i ve i n t ha t ba r do be t w e e n young a nd ol d t r yi ng t o ge t us e t o t hi s ne w pha s e of l i f e W he n I be ga n t hi s s e a r c h, I hope d t o unc ove r a ut h e nt i c na r r a t i ve s t ha t i ns pi r e t hos e e nt e r i ng t he dom a i n of t he ol d w i t h e xa m pl e s of i n t e r e s t i ng, e nga ge d a nd pa s s i ona t e ol de r pe opl e F e w popul a r e xa m pl e s of v i t a l e l de r s a r e p r of f e r e d a bout t hos e w ho a r e s t i l l c ons c i ous l y c r e a t i ng t he i r l i ve s l e a r ni ng a nd m a ki ng a c ont r i but i on I dug f o r hone s t s t or i e s t ha t r e f l e c t m y l i f e a l i f e i n p r oc e s s w i t h a l l of i t s i m pe r f e c t i ons a nd l i m i t a t i ons I f ound w ha t I w a s l ooki ng f or i n t he s t or i e s of m y c l a s s m a t e s : c om pa ni ons hi p a nd i ns pi r a t i on f or t hi s l i f e t r a ns i t i on I a m s t i l l da nc i ng, s i ngi ng, a nd f i ght i ng t he good f i ght T hi s ye a r I a ppr e c i a t e m o r e t ha n e ve r e a c h br e a t h I t a ke D e s pi t e t he i ns a ni t y o f r a ndom vi ol e nc e t he e c onom y, ga s pr i c e s a nd t he B us h pol i t i c s of g r e e d, s e pa r a t i on, a nd pow e r I a m hope f ul B a r a c k O ba m a s pe a ks t oda y a s t he e l e c t i on m ove s t hr ough t he i r c yc l e s H e p r e s e nt s a n a m a z i ng oppor t uni t y f or a c ha nge of na t i ona l pe r s pe c t i ve I or i gi na l l y s uppor t e d m y f e l l ow boom e r H i l l a r y, w ho w a s bor n t he s a m e ye a r I w a s O v e r t i m e t he ne xt ge ne r a t i on, e s pe c i a l l y m y da ught e r c onve r t e d m e a nd I c a m e t o be l i e ve t ha t O ba m a i s c l os e r t o m y i de a l s s ha pe d i n t he s oc i a l m ove m e nt s of t he s i xt i e s W e ne e d a ne w w a y of l ooki ng a t t he w or l d, a nd I a m w i l l i ng t o t a ke m y a gi ng boom e r body on boa r d w i t h hi m a nd e nga ge i n t he a uda c i t y of hope G od know s w e c a n us e a l i t t l e hope

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215 M y ge ne r a t i on ha s ha d i t s s a y, a nd w e w i l l c ont i nu e t o m a ke ou r c ont r i bu t i on f o r a s l ong a s w e a r e a r ound O u r s t or y t he s t or y o f S t P i us X C l a s s of 65 i s not ove r ye t W e a r e j us t be gi nni ng a not he r c ha pt e r P e r ha ps w e a r e c om i ng t o t he e nd o f t he s t or y, but I pr e di c t t he r e a r e s t i l l s om e i nt e r e s t i ng t w i s t s a nd t u r ns l e f t i n t he pl o t

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216 F r om E as t C ok e r b y T S E l l i o t t H om e i s w he r e one s t a r t s f r om A s w e gr ow ol de r T he w or l d be c om e s s t r a nge r t he pa t t e r n m o r e c om pl i c a t e d O f de a d a nd l i v i ng. N ot t he i nt e ns e m om e nt I s ol a t e d, w i t h no be f or e a nd a f t e r B ut a l i f e t i m e bur ni ng i n e ve r y m om e nt A nd not t he l i f e t i m e o f one m a n onl y B ut of ol d s t one s t ha t c a nno t be de c i phe r e d T he r e i s a t i m e f o r t he e ve ni ng unde r s t a r l i ght A t i m e f o r t he e ve ni ng unde r l a m pl i ght ( T he e ve ni ng w i t h t he pho t ogr a ph a l bum ) L ove i s m os t ne a r l y i t s e l f W he n he r e a nd now c e a s e t o m a t t e r O l d m e n ought t o be e xpl or e r s H e r e or t he r e doe s not m a t t e r W e m us t be s t i l l a nd s t i l l m ovi ng I nt o a not he r i nt e ns i t y F or a f ur t he r uni on, a de e pe r c om m uni on T hr ough t he da r k c ol d a nd t he e m pt y de s ol a t i on, T he w a ve c r y, t he w i nd c r y t he va s t w a t e r s O f t he pe t r e l a nd t he por poi s e I n m y e nd i s m y be gi nni ng.

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217 B i b l i ogr ap h y A A R P 2006 B oom e r s t ur ni ng 60. K now l e dge M a na ge m e nt W a s hi ngt on, D C A da m s T ony. 2008 A R e vi e w of N a r r a t i ve E t hi c s Q ual i t at i v e I nqui r y V 14, N o. 2, ( 175 194) A l bom M i t c h. 1997. T ue s day s w i t h M or r i e N e w Y or k: R a nd om H ous e A pt e d, M i c ha e l di r e c t or a nd p r oduc e r 1998 T he 7 U p Se r i e s L ondon: G r a na da P r oduc t i ons B e c ke r E r ne s t 1973 T he de ni al of de at h N e w Y or k: S i m on S c hus t e r B e ha r R ut h. 1996. T he v ul ne r abl e obs e r v e r : A nt hr opol ogy t hat br e ak s y our he a r t B os t on: B e a c on P r e s s B e r ge r P a nd L uc km a nn, T 1967. T he s oc i al c o ns t r uc t i on of r e al i t y N e w Y o r k: R a ndom H ous e B ooks B l um e r H 1969. Sy m bol i c i nt e r ac t i oni s m : P e r s pe c t i v e and m e t hod. E ngl e w ood C l i f f s N J : P r e nt i c e H a l l B oc hne r A P & W a ug h J B 1995. T a l ki ng w i t h a s a m ode l f or w r i t i ng a bout : I m pl i c a t i ons of R or t ye a n pr a gm a t i s m I n L L a ngs dor f & A R S m i t h ( E ds ) R e c ov e r i ng pr agm at i s m s v oi c e : T he c l as s i c al t r adi t i on, R or t y and t he phi l os ophy of c om m uni c at i on ( 211 233) A l ba ny, N Y : S t a t e U ni ve r s i t y o f N e w Y or k P r e s s

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228 S e l l e r s R onni e e d. 2006. Si x t y t hi ngs t o do w he n y ou t ur n s i x t y P or t l a nd, M a i ne : R onni e S e l l e r s P r oduc t i ons S ha m e s L a ur e nc e a nd B a r t on P e t e r 2004 N ot f ade aw ay : A s hor t l i f e w e l l l i v e d. N e w Y or k: H a r pe r C ol l i ns P ubl i s he r s S he e hy, G a i l 1984 P as s age s : P r e di c t abl e C r i s e s of E v e r y day L i f e N e w Y or k: B a nt a m B ooks S he r ka t D E 1998 C ount e r c ul t u r e or C ont i nui t y ? C om pe t i ng I nf l ue nc e s on B a by B oom e r s R e l i gi ous O r i e nt a t i ons Soc i al F or c e s S t e i nhor n, L e ona r d 2006 T he gr e at e r ge ne r at i o n: i n de f e ns e of t he baby boom l e gac y N e w Y or k: S t M a r t i n s P r e s s T e dl oc k, B 1991. F r om pa r t i c i pa nt obs e r va t i on t o t he obs e r va t i on o f pa r t i c i pa t i on: T he e m e r ge nc e of na r r a t i ve e t hnogr a phy. J our nal of A n t hr opol ogi c al R e s e ar c h 41, ( 69 94) T e r ke l S t uds 2002. W i l l t he c i r c l e be unbr ok e n? R e f l e c t i ons on de at h r e bi r t h, and hunge r f or a f ai t h. N e w Y o r k: B a l l a nt i ne B ooks T ul l i s O w e n, J A ; M c R a e C ; A da m s T E ; V i t a l e A 2008 ( I n P r e s s ) t r ut h T r oubl e s pa pe r a c c e pt e d f or publ i c a t i on i n Q ua l i t a t i ve I nqui r y 15 ( 2) U pdi ke J ohn. 1998. O l i ve r s E vol ut i on E s qui r e ( 67 68 ) A pr i l U ni t e d S t a t e s C ongr e s s S e na t e S pe c i a l C om m i t t e e on A gi ng. 2001. L ong t e r m c ar e : w ho w i l l c ar e f or t he agi ng baby boom e r s ? U ni t e d S t a t e s C ongr e s s S e na t e S pe c i a l C om m i t t e e on A gi ng. 2000 T he boom e r s ar e c om i ng: c hal l e nge s of agi ng i n t he ne w m i l l e nni u m

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230 A bout t he A ut hor M a r y P ool e c om pl e t e d he r B A i n S oc i ol ogy a t T r i ni t y C ol l e ge i n W a s hi ngt on D C i n 1970. S he e a r ne d he r M A i n R e l i gi ous S t udi e s a t t he U ni ve r s i t y o f S out h F l o r i da i n 2001. W hi l e pur s ui ng he r P h D i n c om m uni c a t i o n a t t he U ni ve r s i t y of S out h F l or i da s he t a ught c our s e s i n publ i c s pe a ki ng, w om e n a nd ge nde r c om m uni c a t i on, he a l t h c om m uni c a t i on a nd i nt e r pe r s ona l c om m un i c a t i on. H e r r e s e a r c h i nt e r e s t s i nc l ude w om e n a nd ge nd e r i s s ue s he a l t h c om m uni c a t i on a nd na r r a t i ve m e t hodol ogy M a r y l i ke s t o c om b i ne he r a c a de m i c i nt e r e s t s of r e l i g i on a nd c om m uni c a t i on, a nd r e s e a r c h how pe opl e c r e a t e a n d m a i nt a i n l i ve s of m e a ni ng. B e s i de s t e a c hi ng a nd w r i t i ng, M a r y s pe nds he r t i m e w i t h he r c hi l dr e n a nd gr a ndc hi l dr e n. I n a ddi t i on, s he i s pol i t i c a l l y e nga ge d a nd vol unt e e r s he r t i m e w i t h l oc a l a c t i vi s t or ga ni z a t i ons


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The class of '65 :
b boomers at sixty recall turning points that shaped their lives
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by Mary C. Poole.
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[Tampa, Fla] :
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2008.
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Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2008.
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ABSTRACT: This dissertation explores the lives of baby boomers turning sixty as they use narrative to review their past by focusing on turning points. They reflect upon their present, and anticipate their future. The story begins at the St. Pius X High School Class of 1965's fortieth reunion, and proceeds to a class sixtieth birthday celebration and focus group. In addition, five members of the class record their life stories retrospectively. This research explores issues of identity, both personal and generational; the social construction of aging; grief, loss and death; and resilience, meaning, and spirituality. Methods used are autoethnography, narrative, participant observation, and writing as inquiry.
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Mode of access: World Wide Web.
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Advisor: Ellis, Carolyn, Ph.D.
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Loss
Autoethnography
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