To all my friends out there I made it to 65 years of age early this morning. I was born in a hospital in Galveston, Texas at age 7.5 months. I was premature and weak. My mother and father got the sad news that I probably would not make it until sunrise because of my weak condition. One young intern who had recently graduated from the University of Texas Medical School disagreed with his learned colleagues. He worked on me all night long. When the sun came up over Galveston Bay on October 24,1948, I was still alive! The doctor who saved my life was Dr. Harold Ross.
I am now officially a senior citizen. I have survived wars,military coups, economic collapses, hyper inflation, etc. I have literally lived life at the very top and at the very bottom. Most important I have had incredible good luck.
Now is a moment to think of those who should have been here to wish me a happy birthday but are not here because they died unfairly and too soon. Let me now give your their names:
From Houston: Ralph Ray Wallace III,Mike Harris, Lamar Cotton, Dave Ogelsbee, Juvetino de la Garza, William Hobbs and Johnny Limon.
From my days at Tulane University (1969-1971): Mutizwa Chirunga, Kenneth Allan Jaye, and William Schoof.
Lost on the battlefields of Vietnam: Larry Joe White, Ronald Athenasiou, Michael V. Wright, and Donald R. Irby.
Dear Friends from Los Angeles (1988-1990): Victoria Kaiser Melissa Cabral, Bill, Tatyana, and Loraine (The last three died in 1990 due to drug or alcohol addiction.)
Friends from the San Francisco Bay area: Mike Zissen, Leonard Pringle, and John R. Jolivette, Jr.
Two wonderful dogs who should have been here to lick me and give me love: Eloisa and Cassi.
I remember the ending of an episode of the original Hawaii Five-0 series (1968-1980). Danno and Steve McGarrett were both in a philosophical mood and uttered the following two lines of dialogue:
Danno: "Steve life never turns out the way that we thought it would."
Steve after a long and thoughtful pause: "No Danno it doesn't."
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