Today is a day that we call Halloween. My mind goes back 52 years to the time when I was a 6th grade student at Louisa May Alcott Elementary School. My teacher was a wonderful lady named Mrs. Margaret Hall. She had been born in Fort Worth. She was stocky and had black hair. She was “40 something” all of those years ago. One of her claims to fame was that the movie actress Martha Hyer had been one of her students. She was a great teacher who makes a good lasting impression on all who pass through her class. She was a tough Texas woman but also a lady who never raised her voice or used bad language, She instilled in all of us the importance of the work ethic and high standards of performance in life. Like all teachers she graded each of us on conduct and academic performance. She also would mark students on the basis of diligence and good use of time. If you liked to “goof off” or waste time, she would mark you as “idle.”
She was also insistent that the correct way to pronounce this day was Halla’en. (I suspect this is the Gaelic word where we got the name from.) She was a purist on language. This wonderful lady made a big impact on my life.


The San Francisco Giants Win The World Series

What a historical night it was last night! Elena got a recommendation from a patient for an Italian Restaurant named Buon Gusto. We watched the World Series game until inning 6. We then got in the car and drove to South San Francisco. We found parking. We went to the restaurant. As we walked through the door we knew that it was going to be a warm and a special place. We were promptly seated without a reservation. We had a wonderful Italian dinner while listening to Frank Sinatra songs and watching San Francisco battle Detroit. We finished our meal and had a dessert. The game was still going on. The owner of the restaurant, Julian, came to our table and invited us to stay. He was such a nice and gracious man. He even offered us free drinks. We were surprised to see none other than Grace Lee from CBS Channel 5 walk in with her date and go to the bar. As the game continued I broke out in a sweat despite the cool weather. What I saw was some brilliant coaching and game strategy. One SF Giants player was on first base. A second player bunted knowing that he would be put out at first. However the first SF Giants player made it to second base. A subsequent base hit drove a run in and we had won the World Series. I could not believe it for the first few minutes. Elena and I thanked Julian for his wonderful hospitality. We drove home in the cold weather happy and relieved. Luah had also heard the good news and she was excited. Poor Copernicus was frightened because of all of the fire crackers going off. I never can get enough of that Tony Bennett song: “I Left My Heart In San Francisco.”

Some Reflections On Making It To 64 Years Of Age

Now I am 64 years of age. Just before I turned 64 last night I awakened and thought of a wonderful lawyer named Nicholas Humy. At one time in his career he taught at my university-Tulane. He literally saved my life when I had a legal crisis in 1998. He took on an impossible job and worked day and night to save me. He pulled off something that was impossible in the US legal system. Sadly cancer claimed him at age 53 in 2011.
I am very fortunate to have made it to this age. I realize that what one remembers most in life is the people who were kind to them.
Please allow me to go back over 64 years and remember the people who were especially kind to me:

10-1948- Dr Harold Ross who saved my life when I came into the world sick and weak.

6-1953 A US Navy veteran named Butch who saved me from drowning in Dickinson Bayou.

9-1955 Miss Pretty, my first grade teacher.

6-1964 William Alexander who gave me my first job.

6-1970 My dear father who gave me the money to finish college.

3-1978 Monty Heying who loaned me the money to save my house from foreclosure.

4-1981 Paul Tingley and Barbara Broadhurst who saved my neck in South Africa.

6-1984 William Arthur Baldwin who loaned me the money to hire attorney Alvin Horne who saved my life and made legal history.

3-1990 Maria Antonieta Fuentes who spotted some bad people and saved my life.

12-1994 Lois Ann Franco who saved me from a legal disaster.

9-1998 Nicholas Humy along with Joao and Djenane Santos and Lovern Costner who saved my life

10-1999 Bill Seethaler who gave me a great job and a second chance in life.

3-2009 Alan Sherman and Mike Comfort who saved Elena and I from a financial disaster.

These special people are few and far between. Thank you to each and every one of you. I am where I am today because of all of you!!!!
Like · · Promote · a few seconds ago near Pacifica ·

My Prediction For The 2012 Election

My dear friends Word Press is not a political forum. But this morning I am going to predict the outcome of the presidential election. This election has many aspects of my first presidential election in 1948. President Harry Truman ran against Thomas E. Dewey of New York. Harry pulled an incredible upset and beat Dewey even after a New York Times front page headline saying that Dewey had won. The first possible outcome is that Romney wins the popular vote and Obama wins the electoral vote.

My ‘wild card” prediction is that the pollsters have not correctly identified and counted potential Hispanic voters who are going to turn out. If this is the case, Obama will win both the popular vote and electoral vote but certainly not like he did in 2008.

The Democrats will retain control of the US Senate. The Republicans will lose some seats in Congress but still retain control there.

Please do not get mad at me or think that I m crazy. I correctly predicted the Supreme Court vote on Obamacare, even down to Judge Roberts casting the decisive vote in favor.

A Beautiful Fall Saturday

Today was a beautiful day despite predictions of bad weather.I started the day at the Paciifica Democrats meeting. I saw two incredible speeches by two great public servants- State Senator Leland Yee and San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley. I then went with Elena to go shopping. We bought some food at Whole Foods Market. We got her two pairs of tennis shoes. We shopped for a low-calorie lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. We resumed shopping ad got things for the house and a great Christmas gift for my cousin,John R. Helms, Jr.

Sweat Equity

Yesterday was a beautiful day with temperatures hitting the 80’s. I worked very hard on getting the study in order. I worked up quite a sweat! Our pest control man,James Carr, came at four in the afternoon and made sure that we were protected against rats. Luah took a surplus desk from the study and it fits beautiful in her room. I cooked dinner for Elena and I. Today is warm and overcast. I worked very hard on the study; even hauling books out of the attic. This is truly what you would call “sweat equity.”

Tuesday-A Day Full Of Sweat And Hard Work

Yesterday was a day of very hard work. I started the day early working with my daughter in Sao Paulo on career strategy and graduate school of business. Around 7:30 I went to Pacifica Computer Pros. I got Elena’s new Asus laptop. It is a work of art. It is light. It starts fast like a car. It will make Elena’s life nicer. I then worked up a big sweat hauling all of the books out of the study so that the people from Giorgi Brothers Furniture could deliver two new bookcases. I also had to move furniture around in the study. In the afternoon the book cases came and they fit in the small room. My measuring skills were proved good. I worked up another sweat as I hauled all of the books back into the study. It will take at least one week to get the room into perfect shape. Elena came in and liked the book cases. She made a good suggestion on moving one of the book cases. We watched the debate together and it was great. Both candidates performed well but we gave Obama the win for the night.

The Cuban Missile Crisis Started 50 Years Ago Today

‎50 years ago today President Kennedy was given photographic evidence of the presence of Soviet medium Range ballistic missiles in Cuba. His first instinct was to launch an immediate strike against the missile emplacements in Cuba. His cabinet urged him to attack. He even drafted a speech announcing an attack. He and his brother Robert Kennedy then started to have big doubts. They decided to open communications channels with Premier Khruschev to work out a diplomatic solution.

Had Kennedy attacked, the missiles in Cuba would not have been fired to targets int he US. But a number of tactical nuclear weapons were on the island. The Soviets might have retaliated by invading West Berlin. A nuclear war would have been the inevitable outcome.

Despite all of the talk about a missile gap and US military inferiority, the Americans actually had more and better nuclear war heads. Their delivery systems were far better than what the Soviets had. In an all

out attack Russia would have been literally obliterated. Some Soviet weapons would have hit US cities. I estimate Soviet casualties would have been 70 million and US casualties would have been 20 million.

Then we would have had nuclear winter and radiation poisoning. For those who survived the life would have been hard and primitive. It might still be that way today.

One of my most treasured possessions is a bust of John F. Kennedy that sits near my computer. Thanks to his intelligence, humanity, and compassion we are all here today. He was such a special man who suffered so much to be a public servant. May we always appreciate him and never forget him.

Elena And I Return From Boston

Elena and I returned from Boston yesterday. Our dog walker was at the house when we arrived. She was cleaning up Copernicus after he got sprayed by a skunk. She is such a wonderful lady! We spent the afternoon playing catch up
Yesterday I took a tour of Harvard and it was a humbling experience. What an incredible education institution!! It was started in 605. I imagined what it was like for John F. Kennedy to study there.
After Elena finished her conference, we took a ride up to New Hampshire. We got off the interstate and rode on some charming country roads. New Hampshire is a charming and a wealthy little state, We saw a lot of beautiful country but few real fall leaves.

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library

Yesterday I took a tour of the John F. Kennedy presidential library. It was an awesome and a positive experience. The presidential library is located on the campus of the University of Mass. It is a tall and impressive white building. When I went inside I got a feeling of great warmth and hope. I felt that John F. Kennedy’s spirit was there. Everyone was warm and friendly. I went to the book store and got the usual magnets and shot glasses (for Luah). I also found an incredible book about John Kennedy. I have always wondered what would have happened in Vietnam had Kennedy lived. Three scholars from Cornell University have written an excellent book on the subject: Vietnam Had Kennedy Lived. They had the benefit of all sorts of archives recently opened and other disclosures. They also conducted hundreds of hours of oral interviews. Their conclusion was that Kennedy would have pulled out of Vietnam and we would not have had the tragedy where 58,000 Americans, 4,000 Koreans, 500 Australians, and some 2,000,000 Vietnamese died. It really gave me a lot of peace. This presidential library is uplifting and illuminating. It was a morning well spent!