2019-01-12 / Viewpoints

The Old Timer

By Howard ‘Mac’ Mcdonald

There was a note in the paper about the shrinking student population in the school districts of Cameron and Potter counties.

Do they really need a full ship of administrators? What is the combined cost of the salary and benefit packages for the administrative roster? In view of declining enrollment and the economic realities, it essential to have all of those high-paying positions?

Education is supposed to be the name of the game. The kids should not be shortchanged because so much of the budget gets spent on the top brass.

Gasoline prices are going to bottom out and the price will go back up a lot faster than it went down.

Big business is in control of the energy marketplace and will only let things go so far before manipulating prices to suit themselves.

Eighty-eight years ago, in Donora, Pa., Shirley Ann Johnston entered this world. She is still here making my life a good place to be. Anyone one who could put up with me this long deserves a medal.

I got my wings clipped a while ago, so Shirley is my personal chauffeur whenever I have to go anywhere.

Someone said that you can tell if the car in front of you has a senior citizen driver. For the past 10 miles, his turn signal has been blinking.

On some of the freeways they have an HOV lane. You are supposed to have at least one additional passenger in your vehicle if you drive on the HOV.

There is always someone out there trying to beat the system. The police have stopped a lot of cars where the other passenger was a blow-up doll. I have often wondered if that was the only way that driver could get a girlfriend. Is riding in the front seat the driver’s only use for that plastic companion?

AARP is advertising for volunteers to help the elderly with their taxes this year. They also want people to help the old folks with their electronic gadgets.

The electronic world is moving at such a rapid pace that the elderly can’t begin to catch up. If you get a new cell phone today, it is obsolete tomorrow.

In some public rest rooms, the commodes are flushed electronically. You can’t even give your neighbor a courtesy flush unless you stand up. When they start the electronic wiping, I am going back to the old outhouse with a Sears & Roebuck catalogue.

They say you can’t stop progress, but we are making progress in the wrong direction. These nerds ought to be working on a way to help world hunger and stay out of the bathrooms.

Winter time has arrived in Apache Junction as it was 34 degrees here this morning. It is supposed to be up to 58 by 1 pm. We have bright sunshine and not a cloud can be found.

If you are inside and looking out your window, you would be fooled because it looks like summer.

People-watching is one of my favorite sports. It reminds me that not all of the nuts are in the woods.

Our new year dawned with a Republican Senate and a Democratic House. Do you think that we will ever see a functional government? I never thought I would ever see this country be this divided.

Maybe we should go back to the days when dueling was used to settle disputes. The good guy did not always win, but most of the time the trouble went away.

I never dreamed that I would still be around to see the year 2019. I lost a lot of friends to the grim reaper in 2018. If I am lucky, I might see them at the NCO Club in the sky. If I make it to July 19, I will be a 90-year-old man.

I always thought I would meet my maker with an airplane crash, but I must have had some good pilots.

The C-141 had a good safety record. The last one I remember crashing was in Vietnam at Cameron Bay. It was hit by a Marine F-4 that was landing while the C-141 was pulling onto the runway for takeoff.

My last mission to the war zone was on May 21, 1971. It was routine and that 18-hour day ended my flying career. I put in my papers to retire the next day and was on my way to Cameron County on June 1.

Even though I am not an NFL fan, I have accepted an invitation to the Super Bowl party at my son Bill’s house. There will be good company and good food and drink there. I could not care less about the game itself.

As you grow older, all of these media events become less interesting. I wonder what will come along in the new year to interest this old fool?

My computer screen has a little pop-up box that shows ads. The one on there this morning read, “There is more to life in the U.S. Air Force.”

I guess the military recruiters have stepped up their advertising. I had a very interesting time in the Air Force, but I don’t know if I would recommend it today. A lot of things have changed. With my attitude, I would not last long. I have three million-mile certificates and I don’t need any more.

Happy New Year to all my friends in the Land of Endless Mountains.

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