The start of a new year presents the opportunity to look at where I stand today in comparison to where I’ve been in the past. This little mental exercise helped me today.
January 2, 1962
Learning to explore our twin house on Mill Road of Elkins Park, PA as a 2 1/2 -year-old toddler. Younger brother John, 1 1/2, was now likely out of the play pen so we probably hung out there together each day.
January 2, 1972
Returning to school as a 6th grader at Visitation BVM after a too short winter break. I was the youngest and smallest on my school’s wrestling team and we experienced the shock of a teammate’s accidental death at home over the winter vacation. This was my first exposure to the concept of death and mortality and was still fresh in my mind as I returned to school this semester. Mom had not been healthy but she made sure that our family’s Christmas season was magical. I had no way of knowing she would die six months later. Winter weather was brutal on the Stump Hall Road farm; we struggled to keep water flowing to the animals and early morning chores sometimes meant carrying pails of hot water to help melt the ice. Even walking the long driveway to get the school bus seemed a challenge on icy mornings.
January 2, 1982
I enjoyed running the hills during the mornings at Humaco, Puerto Rico in training for the second semester of my senior year in wrestling. We would stay there at Palmas Del Mar until about January 12 when I would fly home healthy and in better shape than most of my teammates. I looked forward to getting married to Patricia, my high school romance, shortly after graduation this spring. This planning dominated much of our discussion. “Big man on campus” described me well back at my small college campus. I was the school’s only All-American that year and an outspoken activist as the editor of the student newspaper.
January 2, 1992
Struggling to rebuild my income after losing time due to an auto accident. I had difficulty using my left hand especially in cold weather. I loved my home and office at Doylestown but Stephanie was not so happy. We were having discussions about whether it was time to try have a child; this possibility was both exciting and scary but I had no clue about what it really meant.
January 2, 2002
I was open to the possibility of a new relationship after a rocky year with Barbara. My primary focus was to establish a healthy, stable and nurturing home environment to share with Josh, 8 and Arielle, 5. Right now I was “between houses” following the sale of the Pennlyn Place house in Ocean City and the purchase of my house on West Avenue. Coaching and my demanding travel schedule took up a lot of energy but I was able to bring Josh and Arielle to home matches. I seemed unstoppable on the wrestling mat and believed that I could win the national open tournament in the spring and was a long shot for an invitation to the olympic training camp. The most difficult challenge was finding practice partners so I travelled to local colleges whenever I could.
January 2, 2012
I’m re-launching my professional career after a five year break. Marriage and family life are stable. Instability at Money Island NJ has worn us out both emotionally and financially. Lori and I are most thrilled that all six of our children are thriving; we know that we could have no greater blessing. Her career is taking off and for the first time she is the primary income earner.