At the staff meeting last night they gave me a card signed by the bosses and fellow staff members, gift cert., ice cream cakes accompanied by speeches-one boss gets emotional when he talks about me. All because I'm semi retiring-not totally retiring and not even dead(pardon me while I look in a mirror to be sure). The owner of this huge company encourages me to send ideas directly to him that I think would improve his company. Friends from around the world say wonderful things about me, our classes at Green Acre based on a book I co-authored fill up and get great reviews. The straw that broke the camels back was an email received yesterday of a group of prisoners in Arizona who hold classes using our classroom workbook. I also have two books published and more on the way plus innumerable mag. pieces for children. And every time I get a compliment I smile and look inward and say to my self. This man you praise most likely would not have made out of his twenties. He would have died a despondent alcoholic-would never have found the love of his life, or been blessed with two wonderful daughters and an incredible granddaughter.
One day made all the difference almost 46 years ago to the day. My mother dragged me up to Green Acre Baha'i School even though I told her I wanted no part of religion. I believe I became a Baha'i that first day. I stayed the summer and painted cottages and went to an occasional class and loved every moment of it. Maybe it was the people that first attracted me or blame it on the bossanova, but in the end a particle of dust landed on me from the robe of Baha'u'llah-the founder of the Baha'i Faith and it changed my life. It is all about honesty and this is something I will say this once. Ronald Tomanio, the guy I grew up with, well he died on a bar room floor. He never did anything noteworthy or added one grain of sand or blade of grass to the world or improved it in any way. So, don't ever worry that if you praise Ronald Tomanio he will get a big head. I will take any compliments and smile-later I will take that smile and inwardly turn it into a flower which I will lay on his grave.