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My wig days

Someone asked me the other day why I write these columns, Growing Up. I had to think about it for a minute. Originally, I intended for them to convey how much times have changed since I was born in 1955 compared to today. How we, both kids and adults, were so much freer back then compared to today. Unless you were alive in the late ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, early ‘80s, it’s hard to understand how much this country has changed. Even the days pre-9/11 compared to today, what a change. Then, as I began writing more of them, as was the case with my flying columns, I found out how much I enjoy writing them. I probably wouldn’t reflect on some of these past events from my life if I didn’t go looking for one to write every week. What I write about are mostly fun experiences from my past, compared to the problems we face today. I think there is another reason as well. Over my life span thus far, believe it or not, I’ve run into more than a few worried parents who are concerned because their kid is showing no real drive, no real focus, and isn’t doing well in school. As a result, they worry that their child won’t succeed in life. I point to myself as an example, and I tell them how badly I did in school, how I never had any drive to make good grades, but in the end, I found my passions in life – first aviation, and then journalism – and I turned out okay and gained skills and an education. If I can do it, anyone’s kid can, but first one must find their passion and the drive will follow. Most of the time, I can see some relief in their eyes when I tell them my story and poor early academic experience. Other times, if they know me well, I can see this look in their eyes that actually makes him or her look more anxious – “So my kid may end up like Wendorf?” Afraid so. Anyway, on to this week’s column. Okay, I’ll admit it. If I had been an adult who had to interact with me as a teen, I probably wouldn’t have liked me either. In fact, I might still be in prison for homicide. “That kid drove me freakin’ insane, judge. I didn’t mean to strangle him, but he ...

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