Farewell 2016: Wrapping up Volume 42

Farewell 2016:  Wrapping up Volume 42

As the year winds down, this is the time I tend to get introspective and wax philosophical on the record of the past twelve months which I have kept on a daily basis.  When I key in my account of the final day of December 2016 this evening it will be the 366th entry of the 42nd volume of my personal daily journal.  Anybody reading this please be honest…..how many people do you know who have kept a personal record of every day of their life for 42 years?  The only time I did not keep a daily record of my life and times since 1 January 1975 was the time I spent in Navy boot camp.  That was the months of February, March and a few days into April 1978, however, I did write down a few days during that period that I presented as My Awkward Teenage Diary back in May of this year at Tulsa’s Comedy Parlor.

1978 Personal Journal

 My personal daily journal has on occasion had a name.  The 1979 through 1981 editions were entitled Loud Music after a trumped up discrepancy my space mates and I took on a barracks inspection in my early Navy days.

During my time in the Fleet I came to possess a green Navy log book which served as my personal daily journal for 1982, 1983 and 1984.

From 1985 to 1995 I was able to find various sorts of record ledgers at places like Staples or Office Depot which served me well for a tangible repository of my physically written daily journal entries.

1990 Personal Daily Journal

 

1992 Personal Daily Journal

 

1995 Personal Daily Journal

As of 1996 I have kept my journal on a Word file, one month, one file.  I print a hard copy at the end of each month and compile them all in a binder.  Keeping my journal on a Word file has afforded me the opportunity to insert photos when appropriate.  That sort of makes my journal a bit of a scrapbook.  As sentimental as that may seem, never dismiss the value of having a written record.  Things are much harder to forget if you have the presence of mind to write them down.  It has helped me remember details and minutia I may have quickly and long since forgotten.  Recently it helped me remember the name of the endodontist who performed my one and only root canal nearly fifteen years ago.  It also helps remind me of past successes as well as past failures in my life and I have had my fair share of each.  As I review my early journal volumes, the extent and depth of description of my daily grind of life then are admittedly quite short and shallow.  That is not to say I did not have moments of clarity and lengthy elaboration of certain cataclysmic (to me) events and moments of passage and feeling one era of life giving way to another which rated comment.  I like to believe that my personal daily journal is a matter-of-fact record of a quiet normal life punctuated by the negotiation of fallout generated by extraordinary events before the backdrop of the most unusual of times.  Keeping a daily record of how I experience reality has aided me in arriving at the meaning of life in my late sixth decade, that being our whole existence is about relationships.  Living is full of choices and trade-offs and survival and aging is about dealing with loss.  The year gone by underscores that last sentiment better than any way I could further explain.

Looking back on 2016, there were two things in my life on the uplifting side that were noteworthy.  The first was being voted 2016 Veteran of the Year by the Oklahoma Democratic Party Veterans Committee in April.

The other noteworthy happening in my life was being elected interim vice president of the Oklahoma Democratic Party Veterans Committee in July.  Going forward, I will be seeking election to a full term in that post in the coming year.

Most of the rest of 2016 was a forgettable mass of loss for me, most of my friends and associates and readers of this blog.  Losing the November General Election up and down the ballot was huge but we can all take solace in the fact that all blame produced by failing government will be the fault of someone else. That, and we have a mid-term election in two years.

It seems inadequate to say that the Grim Reaper has held a field day in the ranks of beloved entertainers in 2016.  A few touched my soul such that I dedicated entire blog posts to them.  Upon his death in January, I could not pass on commenting on The Enduring Body of Work of David Bowie.  Just a month and a half ago we took a huge loss much closer to home and his entire hometown fan base bid a tearful goodbye to Leon Russell.  I know I am omitting many names from this list of musicians, actors, writers, journalists and celebrities but the ones who stood out to me are Glenn Frey, Jimmie Haskell, Prince, Greg Lake, Keith Emerson, Merle Haggard, John Glenn, Morley Safer, Gwen Ifill, Muhammad Ali, John Saunders, Gene Wilder, Gary Shandling, Frank Sinatra Jr, Patty Duke, Nancy Reagan, Edward Albee, Garry Marshall, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Tom Hayden and these are merely the ones whose lives were adorned by achievement of fame and notoriety.  I am sure we all knew people much closer to us who we lost this past year like high school classmates and faculty.  The old saying holds true that aging is not for sissies.  Many of us not only dealt with the loss of friends and loved ones but confronted injuries and health issues, something that for many of us is only going to continue and get worse.  Through it all we have had the wonderful company of each other and many worthwhile activities and events that have made living this great life worth the effort, especially along this the most conservative stretch of Old Route 66.

Reason Rest Stop began as an outgrowth of my daily personal journal.  It has been online for two years as of this month.  It often contains references and excepts from various volumes of my daily personal journal dating back to its beginning.  Keeping a daily record is a practice I highly encourage and one I intend to continue.  We have a duty to leave a record for future generations of our life and times, what happened, how it affected us and what our actions and are thoughts were in the moment.  Any person with any amount of association with Yours Truly can rest assured that they have at least honorable mention in my personal daily account of my life.  I know there are some who prefer to not be mentioned but alas, my own human experience and my sense of how I experience reality can never be denied.  I do know there are many for whom 2016 cannot end soon enough.  We must all however stand ready to confront the challenges coming our way moving forward.  For now though let us remember this past year as it was, tend to and respect the scars it left in our lives and always remember the good times we had together.  To all my eclectic brothers, sisters, readers of Reason Rest Stop and all my other friends and associates, may you have a prosperous New Year.  Peace, out!

5 Comments

  1. townsnip hack
    Apr 21, 2017

    Thanks for the excellent information, it actually is useful.

  2. Route66Kid
    Jan 1, 2017

    I do believe I have mentioned you back during the WRHS Class of ’76’s 40th reunion…..when you needed a ride and I offered. 😉

  3. Cheryl Reese
    Dec 31, 2016

    Have I been mentioned in your journal? I wanna be mentioned in your journal!

  4. Andrew Radler
    Dec 31, 2016

    A great read Stan, as always. Yeah, I lost my brother this year, and am still in a rental while they are finishing my burnt house. But I have. Roof, food, and comfort, so I really can’t complain too much lol. I’m hoping 2017 ends up better.

  5. Carl A.
    Dec 31, 2016

    Nice!

    Here’s to Better Days in the coming weeks & months – Hope springs eternal, even in the face of the Trumps Of Doom… 😉 Have a Happy New Year, Stan!