Saturday, September 15, 2012

Loner Or Lonely?

I am a loner. My dad is a loner and I am his son. I’ve always had a fear of being an angry, lonely, old man that nobody wanted to have anything to do with. To be a burden to my girls or an embarrassment to my granddaughters. But, inside I have always been a loner.

The past five months have taught me there is a difference between being a loner and being lonely. It started on a Thursday evening, back in late June, on an evening when I just had to get out. Used the phone to find a local Sports Bar and found one half a mile away. Walking through the door I decided I had to change my method of operation, so I introduced myself to the bartender and asked her name. She introduced me to several other people sitting around me and the conversations started. This place was like a huge hall of friends. Every time someone else comes in the people ask, “Do you know __________ ?”  This establishment has such a diversity of people, backgrounds, and stories it is amazing. People from 21 to 90 all there for a good time.

Well, good time is a relative term. You see this is where I learned the difference between being a loner and being lonely. An example is an older gentleman came in one afternoon and the group I was talking with turned their attention to him. Greeting him, asking how he was, why he hadn’t been to breakfast, or to the golf course. His response was he just didn’t care any more. They continued to talk to him and reminisced about good times they all had shared.  He wasn’t buying what they were selling. He went to the restroom and the man next to turned and said, “He lost his wife of fifty some years about two months ago.” He returned and they continued to try to pick him up and he finally said, “Just leave me alone! I don’t have anything to live for and may as well just lay down and die.”

 Well, this fellow has been back a few times since then and every time he looks worse than the time before. The staff of the bar and patrons all show their concern for him, but he just wants to be left alone to have his drink. There is a noticeable sadness in this man that I don’t really know, but everyone can see it in his walk and demeanor. A sadness brought on by the loneliness of loosing a spouse of fifty some years.

There are several widows and widowers who frequent this establishment as well as many who are divorced. They haven’t given up on the hope of life, seeing friends, and having a good time. Granted some of them aren’t alone by choice, but there is a noticeable difference between those who are alone and those who are lonely.

Yes, I am a loner by choice, but I am, thankfully, far from being lonely.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

After 2 Years .......Justice

Finally.....after what has to be an awful wait for the victims' families, Justice has been served.
Posted on August 15, 2012 at 1:58 PM
Updated yesterday at 6:13 PM

PHOENIX -- A jury has convicted a truck driver who slammed into a group of motorcycle riders in 2010 -- killing four of them and injuring five others.

Michael Jakscht, 49, was found guilty on four counts of manslaughter. He was also found guilty of five counts of aggravated assault, one count of endangerment imminent death, and three counts of endangerment physical injury. This was the second trial for Jakscht.
Today's verdict underscores my office's commitment to the pursuit of justice and the hard work of undeterred prosecutors," said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. "The selfish and senseless act of driving impaired, from alcohol, drugs or prescribed substances, inevitably will lead to tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the surviving family members of victims who lost their lives and with the victims who are still recovering."

Jakscht was the man behind the wheel of a 23,000-pound dump truck in March 2010 when the vehicle failed to stop at a traffic light along the Carefree Highway and slammed into a group of motorcycle riders that had stopped for a light.

Jakscht was charged with four counts of manslaughter and multiple counts of aggravated assault because prosecutors said he had methamphetamine in his system at the time of the crash.

Jakscht's defense lawyers had argued vigorously that their client was not impaired and that the crash was a terrible "accident" caused by a mechanical failure in the massive truck.

Jakscht's first trial last year ended with a hung jury deadlock 9 to 3 for acquittal.

The Maricopa County attorney's office decided to retry the case. Closing arguments in round two of the State v. Michael Jakscht were delivered to a new jury on Monday.

The jury is now deliberating on aggravating factors in the case.

According to the news reports last night Mr. Jakscht could face up to life in prison.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Lest We Forget

Memorial Day is more than a day to barbecue and watch the races on TV.  It is a time to reflect on those who gave their time, energy, and in some cases their life for our freedom.

Thanks to all those who have served this great country!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Happy Birthday

March 15th already? It must be time for a certain little girl to turn three!
Happy birthday Kennedy Quinn!! Three already doesn't seem possible, but if you say it, it must be true!

Poppy loves you sweet girl!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Where Does the Time Go?

Two weeks until Spring Break and the school year will be three-quarters over, already. Looked at the calendar and February 2012 will be a thing of the past this week. Checked in on the neglected blog and found I have been MIA since December.

I haven't been riding much since getting back from Hawaii last June. The rest of the summer was filled with work around the house and the new pool. I can never see paying someone to do something I can do myself and that includes manual labor in the heat of the summer.

So, in October, on Fall Break, I took a teacher friend of mine for a ride up Yarnell Hill to Prescott. It was a great day to ride. Stopped at a café on the way for breakfast, walked around Whiskey Row and looked in all the windows, walked around the town square and just enjoyed the day. Time to leave and found Petunia had an almost flat front tire. Found a place for air and they called to have some Fix-A-Flat delivered to help me limp to somewhere to get it fixed.

Stopped at the two places I knew about and neither had a tube to fit. Since it still appeared to be holding we continued to home. All seemed well and soon the ride was back to highway speed. About 15 miles from home I could detect a heavy feel when rounding a curve and slowed down, knowing that the tire was going down. Turning off the Carefree Highway was a challenge with the low tire and I slowed further. Long/short the final turn into the driveway was almost impossible and the tire was almost completely flat. It sat that way until December when I took it off to have it repaired.

Then the Friday prior to New Years I had to get out of the house and ride. North was the destination of choice. North, in December, in Arizona, is iffy at best. We had had some winter weather, but I was willing to chance it. I found I had an issue with cornering when I first left. I’m sure it was because of the flat the last time I rode, but was surprised how long it took me to overcome that feeling.

North found snow! About nine inches and a very cool twenty degrees. The roads were wet and in the shadows there were a few patches of ice. It did make for an exciting ride. Arriving at Long Valley Café the folks inside looked at me like I was crazy and maybe I was. Only when I got inside did I realize how cold I was. My concession was to sit by the heater and to retrace my ride back down the hill I came up on.

Not ready to head to the house I made my way over to Highway 89A and headed to Jerome and the long way home. The day turned out to be a great riding day and the leathers were put away long before the garage was in sight.

I have ridden to school nearly every day since. I just need to find the time to get back out on the road and get some miles in.