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Author, Steve Stinnett is stopping by. Yay! Check this out.

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289THE LIFE OF A BABY BOOMER1966

I’m excited to have Steve Stinnett stopping by today to talk about his memoir. The two top pictures are of Steve and the bottom picture is of him and his best friend, both then and now, Terry Bringham. You guys rock!

 

What inspired you to write your book, LIFE OF A BABY BOOMER?

It was during my last year of teaching and I thought it would be a perfect finish to my career if I could inspire others to fulfill their dreams by learning about my story.

 

I know in your book you talk about your experience being labeled as ‘retarded’ and having to ride on the short bus to a special class every day. What are some of the ways you coped with that stigma?

I simply ignored those words and actions other people had about me because I knew who I was and their attitude didn’t faze me. The treatment by others who thought me ‘stupid’ or ‘retarded’ made me more determined to work hard all my life in order to achieve my goals. I’m glad that people, especially children, are no longer labeled in such a negative way. Those are ugly words to use about anybody.

 

You also talk about the psychological abuse you suffered at the hands of your stepfather. How hard was it to write about those experiences?

I had to wait until my mother and my stepfather were dead because I still didn’t want to hurt my mother by making her relive the experiences. But then I had to write the book, hoping that I could encourage others who might have suffered psychological abuse as children.

 

Did you find it emotionally releasing to confront some of those issues from your childhood?

No, those feelings have always been with me and they’ve stayed with me my entire life. The wounds didn’t disappear, but my faith gave me the tools to cope with what happened during that time period. I believe it was not that uncommon within my generation to be treated harshly as a child and I was not the only one to come from a highly dysfunctional family.

 

In your book, you talk about how your faith in God kept you going when you got discouraged. How important is your faith in achieving your goals?

My faith is very important because it has given me the direction I need. I believe people must have faith, otherwise, they’ll end up feeling empty and searching for a purpose, even though they’ve achieved the goals they thought mattered most in life.

 

You share a lot of your Navy experiences when you were in Vietnam. How did those experiences affect you once you got out of the Navy?

The Navy gave me experiences in facing difficult decisions due to the learning environment involved with different cultures and society which I encountered during that time period.

 

Once you became a civilian, you worked as a youth counselor at the California Youth Authority. Did your previous experiences influence how you responded to those incarcerated young men?

Yes very much so, since I tended to associate with ‘troubled’ youth in my childhood I was able to accept them for who they were and not what they had done. My past experiences inspired me to help youth offenders by appreciating the difficulties they encountered and teaching them how to be better people through the use of associative behavioral conditioning.

 

At the end of your career, you became a history teacher in the Ceres School District. If any of your past students read your book, what would you like them to take away from it?

I would say that I’d hope they’d learn that life experiences, whether positive or negative, can help them in achieving their goals. Faith will break down the negative barriers that create roadblocks in their lives. In other words, they should do the best they can with what they have, ignore the critics, and fulfill their dreams.

 

Wow! Thank you for stopping by. If you would like to purchase Steve’s book, THE LIFE OF A BABY Boomer, it is at Amazon:

http://amzn.to/136UYp2  and at Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/18geUYV

Please feel free to leave any comments you have for Steve, and thanks for taking the time to stop by.

Bren 

 

Neuschwanstein Castle or Magic Kingdom Castle?

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001 (2)???????????????????????????????Well, the picture on the top is of the castle at Magic Kingdom and the one below it is of  Neuschwanstein Castle  in Germany, but the similarities are definitely there. I have to say that both places are magical places to visit.

As a child, King Ludwig II told his governess, “I want to remain an eternal mystery to myself and others,” and he certainly succeeded. His Bavarian government declared Ludwig II insane and deposed him in 1886. Poor Ludwig lived in his magical castle for less than a year. The day after he was deposed, he died under mysterious circumstances in Lake Starnberg, together with the psychiatrist who had declared him insane–an eternal mystery indeed! Seven days later, his castle was open to the public.

But when visiting Neuschwanstein Castle, I couldn’t help relating and feeling empathy for this crazy, romantic king. He had a dream and made it come true–  it is good to be king–until they declare you insane, that is. He had several rooms dedicated to the music of Richard Wagner, and some say they were more than just friends–but who knows for sure? All I know for certain is that the view from any room is sure to take your breath away and it does feel like a magical place.

Walt Disney is said to have patterned his castle at Disneyland, as well as the castle at Magic Kingdom, on this fairy tale castle of Neuschwanstein, and I think the photos speak for themselves. I go to Disney World http://http://http://bookit.com/us/florida/walt-disney-world/? at least once a week when I’m home and it still gives me that magical feeling when I’m there. Am I a kid at heart? Most likely I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. So sorry, I just had a John Lennon flashback! LOL! I think that Walt Disney was a dreamer in the same way that good old King Ludwig was a dreamer–not that there’s anything wrong with that. Now a Seinfeld moment, forgive me.

I guess my real point is that dreams are magical and it’s great to have dreams in our lives. Any place that gives us that sense of wonder, whether it’s a real castle, a pretend castle, or some fantastic place in nature, is something to treasure in our lives and share with our friends and family. We only have this one life and I think we owe it to ourselves to live it in the most magical way possible. What I’m trying to say is we all have our magical kingdom within us and let’s just enjoy that special place and never, ever give up on our dreams.

Thanks for stopping by and I’d love to hear your opinions on the subject of dreams and magic.

Bren

HAVE A MAGICAL DAY!

 

Trip to Germany

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????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Hi! Just got back from my trip to Germany. It’s an amazing place filled with the recent historical past that we can nearly catch in the palms of our hands. It’s difficult to believe that the Holocaust happened less than seventy years ago and the Berlin Wall came down less than thirty years ago.  The picture on the left shows remains of the wall. The gray building in the background is the former Luftwaffe, which became a government administration building for the Communist party after the war. What’s sometimes hard to imagine for some, if they haven’t seen any cold war movies, is the fact that there were actually two walls and a strip of no man’s land between them, complete with trip wires, dogs, machine guns, and searchlights. One man who worked in the admin building set up a sort of zip line and carried himself, his wife, and his little daughter across to freedom in West Berlin. Once again, amazing! In the picture on the right, I am straddling, in a very undignified way I admit, the demarcation line in another part of the city between East and West Berlin which went through the entire city.

When visiting Dachau, it’s much more difficult to post pictures because  it’s impossible to capture the horror  of what the prisoners went through in simple pictures. This was the first concentration camp opened in Germany and over 200,000 prisoners went through its gates and history will probably never be sure how many actually died behind those walls. Even though there was no evidence of mass murder of prisoners taking place in Dachau, still the terror and despair of the prisoners are embedded in the stones and soil of the place and no pictures could depict the emotions I felt. All of Germany’s children are taught what happened during World War II and they have many field trips to the concentration camps, so hopefully, through confrontation of darkest evil, it won’t happen again.

In Berlin there is a monument to the six million Jews who died during the Holocaust. http://www.aviewoncities.com/berlin/holocaustmemorial.htm The top two pictures are of this monument, but it’s better to be there to get the meaning of the artist. When walking through the stones sometimes there’s a feeling of being lost and alone, and the uneven steps leave a sense of being off-balance and confused. I believe the artist leaves it to each person to interpret what the monument represents.

I find that traveling teaches me something about myself as much as it does about the culture and the history of the country I’m traveling in. In confronting the beauty and genius of Germany, as well as the darkness and evil in its past, I understand better why I choose to write about darkness and light in a paranormal context. I believe that human beings are capable of the greatest good and possibility, but darkness and evil dwells among us and we must remain ever vigilant to its destructive possibilities.

Wow! I did not mean to get so heavy in this post. Next post I’ll write about mad King Ludwig II’s fairy tale castle that looks much like the Disney castle. I had a great trip and I did not just think dark and somber thoughts, but the political turmoil of the 20th century is very much reflected in Germany and it’s impossible not to consider it all in context on a journey there.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

Bren

Facebook Reconnecting Old Friends

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In the top left corner: Me, Janet, Rosemary, Linda G.  In the top right corner: Me, David G. Linda G.  Below: Pepe, Me, Linda G.

Through the magic of Facebook, I reconnected with some very dear friends from childhood, from grammar school, from junior high, and from high school. I moved across the country, never expecting to hear from these old friends because, unfortunately, we’d already drifted apart even before the move, and yet thanks to Facebook, we did manage to reconnect. The pictures are faded now, but the memories remain most vivid. (And yes, my hair was naturally blonde!)LOL!

Sharing those memories and laughter, even though sometimes it’s just LOL!,  we realize that as much as people and situations change, somehow, there’s still something within us that remains the same. We’re recognized by our personality prints  the same the way we’re identified by our fingerprints. It’s something we might hear in a turn of phrase or a bit of laughter over the phone, but that moment hits us when we think, yes, that’s my friend, that’s the person I shared so many good times  with and I’m glad we got the opportunity to get together again.

We’re even fortunate enough to be able to peek into our friends’ lives through pictures of them and their families on Facebook. We get to see the issues that are important in their lives and the things they enjoy doing by the things they post. It’s what makes them special and who they are and we are fortunate to be able to feel a connection because, even if we’re different, we’re also alike in so many ways. And it’s amazing to see how many different twists and turns we all take to get to where we now are and to discover how interesting our friends’ lives have turned out.

Facebook has made the possibility of maintaining friendships easier and it’s a shame if we don’t take the time to nurture relationships from our past because those memories are an important part of what makes us who we are in the present, and they give us something to look forward to in the future, knowing that our friends are still out there, only the touch of a fingertip away. Friendships are fragile and easily disappear if we’re not willing to make the effort to stay in touch with those who have meant so much to us over the years. Friends are those wonderful people who let us be ourselves and not have to worry about how we’re being perceived. We can laugh together, we can cry together, and at the end of the day we know that everything’s going to be all right as long as we have friends like these.

Do you have any old friends that you reconnected with on Facebook or other social media? I’d love to hear about it. Thanks for stopping by.

 

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