Posts Tagged ‘ PSYCHOLOGY ’

I AM ME!

THE HUMAN RACE

 

     THERE’S MEANING IN EVERY BRIEF LIFE

 

I am searching

I am lurching

I am caring

I am daring

I am hellish

I am selfish

I am hypocritical

I am satirical

I am realistic

I am spiritualistic

I am beat

I am obsolete

I am abrupt

I interrupt

I am radical

I am lackadaisical

I am long-wedded

I am embedded

I am bent

I am spent

I am adorable

I am deplorable

I am dyslexic

I am artistic

I am curseless

I am hearseless

I am heathenistic

I am egotistic

I am headstrong

I am woe-be-gone

I am ancient

I am patient

I am quick-witted

I am dip-shited

I am non-racist

I am essayist

I am happy

I am pappy

I am my children

And they are me!

     — Boots LeBaron —

OLD PRO WRESTLER RELIVES THE GOOD OLD DAYS

YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW

DANTE  GRAPPLED WITH IMMIGRATION;

EVEN BEAT MAN MOUNTAIN DEAN ON THE MAT!

by Boots LeBaron

    More than a half century ago Leonardo Rica, a 22-year-old Italian-born immigrant accompanied by his mother and younger brother, arrived by ship in New York Harbor.

     Like millions of foreigners who come to America, their mission was to find a better life. They spoke no English, only Italian and Spanish.

     Leonardo, a ruggedly handsome, mustachioed 225 pounder who grew up in Argentina and trained as a Greco-Roman wrestler in Buenos Aires, was determined to become a professional wrestler.

     With no command of the English language, finding his way around New York City was at times difficult. “If I was in Brooklyn asking directions to 33rd Street and someone would call it, ‘toity-toid’ street, I’d be lost,” said Leonardo, laughing.

     A long time resident of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., Leonardo had initially intended to compete as a wrestler in the Olympics. Instead, he began “free-style” wrestling in Argentina before coming to America.  

     His childhood hero was Argentine Rocca, a world famous “no nonsense” champion known as the Bare’footed Warrior. Rocca helped bring his young protegé Leonardo into the profession where even in those days theatrics sold tickets.

     It was a non-steroid world dominated by a collection of powerful characters using box office monikers like Gorgeous George, Man Mountain Dean, The Great Moto, The Destroyer, Killer Kowalski

The Strangler, The Syrian Assassin, Chief Blue Eagle, Mr. America, Kayo, Mister Terror, The Jumper and Gentleman Jim (who was anything but a gentleman).

     As a professional wrestler, the Italian kid from Argentina became Dante.

     “I liked that name because it sounded evil. Most of the hundred or so matches I had on the East Coast, I was the straight man.”  

     Playing the bad guy, he said, “was part of the act. If the audience booed, hissed, or even threw objects into the ring, it was a successful performance. One time, a little old lady was so mad, she climbed into the ring and hit me over the head with an umbrella.”

     For Leonardo, “that was like an Academy Award nomination. Just like today, there was eye gouging, arm twisting, body slamming, lifts and drops — all sorts of spectacular moves.”

     Of course, he noted, the “big guys” who dominate the sport today could overpower most of the pros when I wrestled.

     “In those days, we didn’t rely on steroids. My enhancement drugs came from Argentina: Beef, beef, beef and more beef.

     “We were gladiators just like they are now,” he said. “We were like a team. You helped an opponent lift you over his head. He knew how to slam you to the canvas or throw you out of the ring. And you knew how to land. I can’t tell you how many times I was thrown out of that ring. More than a dozen.

     “We didn’t have mats at ringside. So the safest way to be thrown out of the ring was to land on the audience.”

     Man Mountain Dean was one opponent he couldn’t lift or heave anywhere. He sported a black beard, wore dungarees, weighed 450 pounds and was built like a Sumo wrestler.

     “I wanted to beat him,” said Leonardo. “Believe me, I tried. But lift him onto my shoulders! Are you kidding? When he finally pinned me and the referee counted me down, he refused to get off of me. When the crowd started booing, they gave me the match. So I beat Man Mountain Dean.”

     Although he wrestled on the same card with the legendary Gorgeous George, who climbed into the ring wearing a golden cape accompanied by a corner man who played the violin, Leonardo never locked arms with the glitzy celebrity who was also known as “The Orchid Man”.

     “Before every match, George would have his hair curled. Like Argentine Rocca, women were crazy about him. He’d strut around the ring pulling bobby pins out of his hair tossing them to lady admirers. They scrambled after them like hungry sharks.”

     But Dante was developing his own fan base. “Kids would circulate in the crowd selling my autographed photos for $2. That was a lot of money in those days.” Despite only a year of professional wrestling, in 2008 he was inducted into the New York State Wrestlers Hall of Fame.

     So his promising career as grappler ended abruptly in 1954 when he was drafted into the Army. When the Korean war veteran was honorably discharged, instead of returning to wrestling, he went into the wholesale jewelry and the photo-finishing business in Yonkers, New York.

    A memory he would forever cherish was the sight of the towering Statue of Liberty that greeted his family when they arrived in New York Harbor from Argentina.

     “I’ll never forget that beautiful lady holding the torch,” said Leonardo. “If she wasn’t so big, I would have hugged her. What do you expect, I was an immigrant, born in Belvedere Marittimo, a small village about 30 kilometers south of Naples in southern Italy.  

     “I was only five when my mother (Victoria), who did without to feed and cloth me, brought me to Argentina so we could be with my father (Francisco).   My mother meant everything to me. We were very poor. As an infant, she would chew up the food and spit it into a bowl to feed me.

     “She sacrificed so much. My father was a decent man with ways of the old country. He taught me to rely on common sense. Throughout life, I have tried to do that.”

     “I was an immigrant twice,” he noted. “Once as a very young boy coming from Italy to Argentina. Again, as a young man immigrating to the America. I can identify with people from any country wanting a better life.  

     “We open the door for them,” he went on. “Finally, they have something to eat, money to raise a family. Yet, there are those who complain: ‘They are taking my job!'”

     What he would tell immigrants arriving in the U.S.A. today?

     Here’s his quick reply: “You want to live an honorable life? Welcome to America! If you are a criminal, GET OUT! Never come back. Never!

     “As for sending millions back to poverty — good people who work our fields, cut our lawns, build our highways, do so many menial tasks for so little money — punishing these innocent men, women and their children is un-American. Come on! It’s so unfair to turn them away. They come here like so many of us with hope in their hearts.  

     “I believe in amnesty. They deserve it,” said Leonardo. When we met, he had three sons, grandchildren and was divorced. He lived with his brother, Carlos, an aerospace/missile scientist, in Palos Verdes, Calif.

     He died in 2012 at the age of 83. Leonardo recalled the words written by Emma Lazarus inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty:

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning

to breathe free…”

 

 

(THE HUMAN RACE, written by Boots, is an

inspirational self-help book interspersed

with stories about people, essays and light

poetry. It’s available on Kindle as well

as in paperback on Amazon)

 

WATCHING THE PREAKNESS: A THOUGHT ABOUT COURAGE

EX-JOCKEY LEARNED THE HARD WAY

 

     Stewart I. Haupman was petting a $2,300 cockatoo when I met him several years ago at his parrot shop in Redondo Beach, California. But he wasn’t always in the exotic bird business.

     He grew up in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen, a tough tenement section brimming with poverty and controlled by gangs. At the age of seven, he sold magazines and sang on weekends at Jewish weddings to help support the family

     Sharing a small two-bedroom flat in a tenement house with his parents, grandparents and a brother who had polio, he slept on a cot in the hallway.

     When he turned 14, he quit school, forged his father’s signature, and became a stable boy at the old Jamaica Race Track. A year later, he became an exercise boy at Hialeah, a track in Florida.

     It was there he got his first mount as a jockey. The third horse he raced, won! Within eight months, he had won 127 races and had become a full-fledged jockey.

     Over a period of eight years, riding for Sonny Jim Fitzsimmons, whom he described as “the dean of trainers,” he had won 832 races. “Being a jockey, that was my education. I rode and I broke yearlings for the DuPonts, the Vanderbilts, the Whitneys… “I owe a lot to those people. They taught me to be a human being. I learned to function in an area of society I never even dreamed I could be a part of.”

     As a winning jockey, the kid from Hell’s Kitchen not only rubbed elbows with the rich and famous, but found a pride within himself. “The racetrack gave me self-esteem. I had a great time. Winning a big race is an unbelievable experience.

     “You hear the crowd yelling, screaming. And You’re whipping and driving. Well, it’s exciting. You wave at the judges in the winner’s circle. There’s smiles. Applause. The track gave me the feeling of being somebody special. Like a track star.”

     During a race at Hialeah, his mount “snapped an ankle” and Steward went down in front of the pack. Trampled by six horses, he was “busted up bad” and spent nine months in the hospital, gained weight and lost that competitive edge to win.

     “To have success suddenly taken away from you — it was devastating! When you’re a kid, nobody paints you a rosy picture. Nobody tells you there’s a rose garden out there. You find it. Then, all of a sudden, it’s gone. It seems that nobody really teaches you that in life, you win a few and lose a few. You should never quit when you’re down.”

                                                               — Boots LeBaron —

 

 

PERSONALIZED OSCARS TO BEAT PREJUDICE!?

THE WILD AND WOOLLY HUMAN RACE

 

     DIVERSITY has many faces. They come in

different colors, creeds, genders, logic, ethnicity,

religions, prejudices, levels of narcissism and

variances of naivety. As the Academy of Motion

Picture Arts and Sciences proved with its Oscar

show on Sunday, we are an unpredictable species.

Each of us, in our own inimitable way, is a little

goofy. We tote these eccentricities wherever we go:

Showbiz, Wall Street, politics, the workplace,

into personal relationships, even sports. While

watching the Oscars and listening to comic Chris

Rock’s one-liners, the thought, loony as it may

sound, occurred to me: Why not create a dozen

golden statuettes each individually honoring white,

black, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay and

lesbian artists and technicians? Sure it’s a

logistical challenge. But the film industry has

a year to cope with it. To get them started, I

did a quick sketch of what these golden statuettes

might look like. Granted, it ain’t migraine proof.

But at least it’s a thought that might save the entire

celebrity industry from going bonkers.

 

Boots LeBaron

JUST WHO IN THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?!

THE HUMAN RACE

WHO ARE WE?

Lovers can be friends.

Friends can be enemies.

Enemies can be teachers.

Teachers can be preachers.

Preachers can be hypocrites.

Hypocrites can be gigolos.

Gigolos can be heart breakers.

Heart breakers can be liars.

Liars can be users.

Users can be abusers.

Abusers can be cowards.

Cowards can be heroes.

Heroes can be brutes.

Brutes can be romanticists.

Romanticists can be manipulators.

Manipulators can be politicians.

Politicians can be swindlers.

Swindlers can be believers.

Believers can be dreamers.

Dreamers can be schemers.

Schemers can be tycoons.

Tycoons can be ignoramuses.

Ignoramuses can be patsies.

Patsies can be voters.

Voters can be celebrities.

Celebrities can be impostors.

Impostors can be charmers.

Charmers can be shysters.

Shysters can be lovers.

Boots LeBaron

WHO LURKS BEHIND THAT FINAL DOOR?

CONTEMPLATING MORTALITY

What’s behind that final door?

Do I have the courage to open it?

Will I find a congenial St. Peter?

Or a menacing Satan ready to cuff me

and send me to the brimstone pit

without reading me the Miranda Act?

Or will there be a sorceress

with a ravishing smile sporting

a Miss Universe type sash with

OBLIVION printed across it?

I’m really not prepared

to leave this troubled World

where I’ve battled defiantly

over the past eighty-some years.

I still have unfinished symphonies

to complete before I open that portal

 to Valhalla where Odin might honor

me with a glimmering diploma for

a lifetime of writing meaningful

prose and creating soulful art.

Narcissistic as it might sound,

as a writer and artist, I’m proud of

of my work. So I’m not ready to take

that final step. My favorite Woody

Allen quote just about sums up my

feelings: “I don’t want to achieve

mortality through my work. I want

to achieve it by not dying.”

When I’ve finished my memoir

and published my illustrated book

of essays and human interest stories

that took me a half century to create,

I’ll  give ODIN a high-five and

welcome MISS  OBLIVION  with

open arms.

— Boots LeBaron —

WILL YOU VOTE FOR SUPERMAN OR WONDER WOMAN?

The Human Race

ONLY THE SHADOW KNOWS WHO’S THE RIGHT CANDIDATE!

Who knows what skull-duggery lurks in the hearts

of politicians running for this year’s

presidential election? Not even The Shadow

knows. Some of you might remember the

spooky crime fighter who petrified radio

audiences before the advent of television.

He had the ability to “cloud men’s minds.”

Thanks to politics, it’s not a lost art.

Today on TV, politicians and other talking

heads constantly cloud voter’s minds.

For proof, tune in to the New Hampshire

primary and listen to mudslingers doing

the hootchy-kootchy as they compete for the

the world’s most influential position: The

U.S. presidency. The current political

extravaganza is not only a sad act to

witness, but at times highly entertaining.

How do we separate the incomprehensible

gobble-dy-gookers from trustworthy

political warriors? Who will be the most

prolific fighting for our individual rights?

         It ain’t funny. The challenge for voters is monumental.

Many these well-financed combatants are

brilliant debaters. Don’t tell me a scant number

of these political saints aren’t dancing the

waltz to garner votes. They focus on whatever

issue their target audience needs to hear:

Immigration, energy, the economy, gay rights,

taxation, separation of church and State.

a woman’s right to choose, stem-cell research,

gun control… You name it. We

fall for brilliantly conceived lines delivered

by TV’s talking heads, radio babblers and scores

of Internet twiddlers voicing their slanted

messages into the ozone. Who should we trust?

Remember, Superman and Wonder Woman are

are comic book characters. Yet U.S. citizens hunger

for the kind of conscientious integrity in humans

that such superheroes are identified with.  

Who should voters with such diversified demands

know which political barrister in the race

for commander and chief is the most righteous?

How do we convince voters to first do their

home work and then turn out to vote en masse

relying on keen instincts governed by

hearsay evidence?”

Got me!

                      

           — Boots LeBaron —

SOCIETY’S POWERBALL HUMAN GAMBOL!

PUTTING A FACE ON THE HUMAN RACE

 

THE PSYCHOLOGY BEHIND SINKING YOUR LOOT IN POWERBALL

 

     The POWERBALL hysteria which ended Wednesday, January 13, 2016, revealed society’s hunger to fulfill their dreams of reaching instant billionaire status by at the very least purchasing a two buck POWERBALL ticket. Who are these millions of hopeful gamblers who lined the streets and jammed places like service stations and 7-Eleven type stores to hit life’s alleged jackpot?

     I don’t care who the new moguls are or what gold mine granted them a “promissory” existence in a better world for a two-dollar ticket to financial bliss. Sure I’d like to buy bundles of happiness. But this mass performance of men and woman who invested anything from a paltry $2.00 to as much as $10,000.00 for POWERBALL tickets, is one soap opera that exposes everybody’s psyche.

I found a few pros and cons about contemplating billionaire station in life. For example:

     Sally Stowe, an actor-director and stage producer, who soon intends to be greeting friends at her own memorial service while she is still kicking, told me, “I don’t think that my Maker could care less if I stood in line to buy a two dollar ticket that could make me a billionaire. The life I’ve shared with my husband, Charlie, and our kids, can’t be bought for ten billion. My life has been a priceless gift.”

     Bob Aaron, a retired mechanical engineer from Torrance, Calif., had never bought a LOTTO ticket. “I have no idea how much money I have saved over the decades,” he said. “If I failed to buy

a ticket and learned that I would have become a billionaire, I guess I’ll live with it. Sure, I’d take the money and run. On the other hand, if my wife, Sue, who’ve been my best friend for many years, drew a winning ticket at POWERBALL, first thing she’d do is trade her husband in for a newer model.” Bob laughed at that joke.

     Widow Marilyn Hofferlin, a resident of St. Louis, Missouri, said, “The world if falling apart. The headlines are focusing on POWERBALL. It just goes to prove how greedy we are. I didn’t buy a ticket. At the moment, biggest, most frustrating loss I can think of is when Stan Kroenke, who owns the Saint Louis Rams football team decided to move the team to Inglewood, California.

     “Right now, they are pulling down the banners at the Dome, where our Rams packed the stands. That breaks my heart more than losing out as a billionaire. My husband, Richard, if he was alive today, would totalle agree with me. I know the odds of me winning at POWERBALL is laughable. I’m 84. Life is short. I’m not so naive to think I can beat the odds.”

     Marvin Thurman from Rushville, Illinois, who buys and sells farming machinery, didn’t purchase a ticket because, “I don’t think that would be too smart of an investment. When there’s millions buying a chance, one ticket isn’t worth a hill of beans,” he said.

     Entrepreneur Tom Ruff, who years ago maxed out three credit cards to create the Tom Ruff Company, which is now a long established national head-hunting organization, said this: “I’d rather earn an honest wage than gamble against the odds trying to win a billion dollars.” Ruff, who lives in Main and enjoys a comfortable yet busy life with his fiancee, Meg, and dog, Tank, obviously wasn’t compelled to buy a POWERBALL ticket.

     Roland Hueth, an avid fisherman and former paint company executive, asked, “Do you really think you’re going luck out against hundreds of thousands of other dudes who all want to make a quick killing? It’s like casting a hook with yummy bait into an ocean that’s bubbling with fish, and not coming up with a single nibble. Donald Trump can keep his money. I don’t envy him one bit.”

                        — Boots LeBaron —

http://www.amazon.com/The-Human-Race-Boots-LeBaron/dp/1494218526

 

AMONG OTHER THINGS: ‘JOY’ TO THE WORLD!

BATTERED AND BRUISED, ‘JOY’ OVERPOWERS ‘LOVE’

           by Boots LeBaron

 

     Joy is a three letter word that’s fueled by fear, romance, humor, failure, triumph, even death.

     Regardless of how Shakespeare, Frost, Browning or Dickinson might disagree — they’re all dead poets — I’m convinced that JOY is finally capable of coming off the ropes and knocking LOVE out of the scholarly ring of life! For too many centuries Joy has played second fiddle to Love. My mission, at the moment, is to prove that Joy, despite its diminutive literary stance, is now capable of steamrolling the schmoozy four-letter expression into second place on society’s sweet talk scale. For Joy, the feisty little twit has become what Rocky Balboa was to Apollo Creed, and David and his trusty slingshot was to Goliath: A victorious underdog. The hackneyed line, “I love you,” now belongs under glass at the Smithsonian. Granted, the phrase, “You give me Joy,” might sound trite to some hang’ers on. So what? Love has become an insincere cliché (ask any bartender) while Joy packs a powerful emotional wallop! SHAZAM!!!

 

For testimonial proof read on:


MOTHER WELCOMES HER NEWBORN

DAUGHTER INTO THE WORLD

 

Lori Pettinato works at the Village

Coffee Bean in Manhattan Beach, Calif.

Recently she gave birth to daughter

Callie. “Joy,” she explained, “comes after

you’ve gone through the pain of childbirth,

screaming, grunting, gasping for breath,

forcing your child into the world…

That’s the ultimate joy of motherhood!”

 

 

MEN WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND THE TRUE

MEANING OF LOVE FOR A BABY UNLESS…

 

Seated at an adjoining table

at the Coffee Bean, Emily, an

attractive brunette, cradled

Kai, her infant son in her arms.

“Men,” she said, “will never understand the

true meaning of love for a baby

until they’ve given birth to one…”

She got me there. The closest thing

to experiencing childbirth for me

was when I had a vasectomy. And that hurt

something awful. As Emily gently caressed

her baby, she added, “Kai is my JOY.”

 

JOHN YORK, RECORD HOLDING LONG DISTANCE

SWIMMER, DIDN’T LET A PARTY CRASHER RUIN

HIS JOYFUL BIRTHDAY BASH

 

John York is a swimming coach and

record holding long distance swimmer

from Manhattan Beach, Calif. He told

me about an unforgettable 40th birthday

he celebrated in October 2000. It was

a private affair unlike any ever staged.

Anywhere. He was completing a 22-mile

round trip swim from Catalina Island to

the mainland when he bumped into an

unexpected party crasher. “It was four

in the morning,” said John. “The water

was florescent when this Great White

brushes against me. It was big.

Maybe ten or twelve feet long.

I could feel its scales but I didn’t panic.

Just kept swimming. It did scare the hell out

of my sister Barb and dad (Bob) who were

in a boat watching. We get a lot of blue sharks

in the channel. But very few Great Whites.” It

was the sixth time York made that distance swim.

The good news, of course, was that the

huge predator didn’t attack, allowing

John to complete his birthday celebration

alive and unscathed. When he finally

touched shore at Palos Verdes, he

realized that not only did a Great White

make John’s 40th unforgettable, Jaws

didn’t gobble him up. “Joyful is an

understatement,” he said. “If a big

fish ignored you while swimming the channel,

wouldn’t that be reason enough to let joy

get the best of you? It did me!” he laughed.

 

JOY SUMS UP CARDIOLOGIST BRUCE

JACKSON’S MEANINGFUL PROFESSION

 

Here are a few words about life from

my cardiologist, Bruce Jackson:

“We reinvent ourselves every day! I’d

pay good money to do what I’m doing

right now,” said Dr. Jackson. “For

me, Joy just about sums up my line

of work.”

MEET ‘PROFESSOR’ LUKE BERTALDO CORTESE,

MY SPECIAL NEEDS GRANDSON

When I asked my daughter Brooke

Cortese to explain what joy means to her,

she said, “When I come across some mothers

with or without special needs kids, a few

of them just stare at my son, Luke, who’s

developmentally delayed. They can’t figure

why I’m so content, so happy. I tell them to

look for joy. If you don’t have joy in your life,

it can be very hard to find. Thanks to Luke,

I found it. So did my family. At times, I’ve

overheard [my husband] Rocco when he’s in

a room alone with Luke. More than once,

he’s told Luke, ‘I’m so lucky… I’m

going to keep you forever!’ It’s not an act.

He’s not blowing smoke. Rocco cares

deeply for all of our mischief makers.

The words come from his heart.”

     I’ve described my grandson Luke as

“the family professor” because throughout his

twelve years of life, he has taught all of

us so much about ourselves. He’s just learning

to walk. He speaks with eyes that smile.

His twin brother Max and sister Natalia, love

him. Because of Luke, the Cortese clan

are intimately acquainted with joy.

 

SHE GRADUATED MAGNA CUM LAUDE FROM THE DMV!

For my wife, JoAnne, joy was receiving

a perfect score on a California driver’s

exam she took recently at the Department of Motor

Vehicles. She crammed for that test like her life

depended on it. When she returned home,

she called all of our kids and grand kids

with the ‘breaking news.’ Joy for my mate

was an understatement.

 

A FATHER STILL SPEAKS TO HIS U.S. ARMY

MEDIC SON KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN IN 2007

 

At midnight, on many occasions,

Tony Rogue, an architectural designer

from Carson, California told me,

he goes into his backyard to talk to

his son, Cpl. Lester G. Roque, a

23-year-old US combat medic who in

2007 was killed during an intense

firefight with the Taliban. His

outfit, the 273rd Airborne Brigade,

was ambushed high on a mountainside

in Afghanistan. “Knowing that in

those last minutes of his life, my

son was trying to save the lives of

two comrades, that was a gift my

wife Liza and I will always cherish.

He left us with a feeling of pride,

even joy, that’s almost indescribable.

Lester knows we love him. That’s what

counts.”  

PARENTHOOD NEVER ENDS FOR THIS R.N.

Nurse Yvonne Hashimoto will

testify that “parenting never ends. As a

single parent, raising three kids you love,

it was an experience that occasionally caused

me to shed a few tears of joy. Of course,

there were times I developed a twitch.” Of course, Yvonne

was joking. In fact, she admitted that one of her

many joys was “guiding the little darlings through

their teen-age years. We all mature in different

ways. That includes mothers, too. But it’s no

secret: My kids brought joy into my life. And

besides,” she went on, “now they’re too old to spank.”

 

WORLD FOCUSES ON SPACECRAFT DESIGN

AND SPACE MISSION ANALYSIS.

Physicist James Wertz is a world renowned

authority on space mission analysis and design.

When we first met and I asked what he did for

a living, he replied, “We build spacecraft.”

When I asked, “What do the spacecraft do?” He shot

me a puzzled gaze and said, “They fly into space.”

What did he expect from a guy who flunked Chemistry

at Los Angeles High School? “If you weren’t

involved in all this outer space stuff, what

would you be doing?” I asked. The husky, white

bearded president of Microcosm, Inc. replied,

“I’d probably be driving a cab.” He didn’t

crack a smile until I laughed. Here’s a guy

with five published highly technical books

about spacecraft that fly into space, with

a hell of a sense of humor. So I pressed on:

How do you feel when one of your spaceships

reach the next stage of development? “Naturally,”

he said, “I experience euphoria, a feeling of

joy… Isn’t that what we’re getting at here?”

His wife, Alice, chief financial officer of Microcosm,

explained that “Jim is incredibly passionate about

his work. And that joy relates to the work you’re

researching.” When I told Alice that I hesitated

to ask her husband if he ever thought of naming

one of his spaceship projects a Wertzmobile? She laughed

and said, “He probably wouldn’t appreciate that.”

For scientific reasons, I decided not to ask the

magic question. I didn’t want to be sent on a one way

trip to Mars because it wasn’t on my vacation list.

Besides, Matt Damon who stars as an astronaut in

the newly released blockbuster movie, “The Martian,”

had already made that trip.

 

PSYCHOLOGY PROFESSOR MEETS JOY

Joy for Don Breem, a former professor of psychology

at UCLA and Whittier College, “exhilaration is a

reaction to internal and external events. After a

heart attack, when I was released from the hospital

and discovered I was still breathing, for me, that

was a joyous occasion,” he said with a smile.

END

MEET PROF. LUKE BERTALDO CORTESE, A SPECIAL NEEDS KID

THE HUMAN RACE

THIS MOM EXUDES AN ABUNDANCE OF JOY,

THANKS TO HER DEVELOPMENTALLY- DELAYED SON

When I asked my daughter Brooke

Cortese to explain what joy means to her,

she said, “When I come across some mothers

with or without special needs kids, a few

of them just stare at my son, Luke, who’s

developmentally delayed. They can’t figure

why I’m so happy. I tell them to look

for joy. If you don’t have joy in your life,

it can be very hard to find. Thanks to Luke,

I found it. So did my family. At times, I’ve

overheard [my husband] Rocco when he’s in

a room alone with Luke. More than once,

he’s told Luke, ‘I’m so lucky… I’m

going to keep you forever!’ It’s not an act.

He’s not blowing smoke. Rocco cares

deeply for all of our mischief makers.

The words come from his heart.”

     I’ve described my grandson Luke as

“the family professor” because throughout his

twelve years of life, he has taught all of

us so much about ourselves. He’s just learning

to walk. He speaks with eyes that smile.

His twin brother Max and sister Natalia, love

him. Because of Luke, the Cortese clan

are intimately acquainted with joy.

 

                     — Papa Boots LeBaron —

 

 

 

 

 

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