Sunday, March 27, 2011

Passion to Communicate

I'm kicking around the possibility of writing a book again. Update 11:30am: The idea has been a recurring thought, I haven't written any book yet. Sorry If I led anyone wrong.

Seeing that in the past 4-1/2 years, I've not only written over 1300 blog posts among my 4 public blogs, ranging from life in my favorite small town(Rittman, Ohio), my favorite radio stations, potshots at a local radio host, dealing with losses in my family, my blogging friends, my high school friends, etc-Cliff Note: I've written about alot of stuff since August, 2006! I think that I should write about my lifelong passion, communication.

In my mind, this book would have some fact, some fiction, much poetry, and recognition of many friends who have become a great means of support.

I was with several alumni of my high school this past Friday. During the course of the time I spent there, I talked about my brother, Richard. I told Karen, who graduated a year ahead of me about him. She was crying as she told me that she liked his demeanor and his passion for sports. Another friend, Gary, expressed his sympathy. He had saw him in the nursing home, as his father was a resident there.

There were others there who bragged on my Facebook activity, especially my Question of the Day. I told them about my blogging friends. There was silence, almost tears, when I mentioned the tragic story of Suzanne, aka Liquid. There were others who wanted to friend me on Facebook. I told them to make sure which Cliff Feightner they friended, though they might friend him after they read "Views From Sandhausen."

Matter of fact, I hope "Views" is a best seller. Maybe when I get my book done, the name "Cliff Feightner" may sell a few copies outside my ring of friends.

I do feel that I have the groundwork laid for at least a couple of books. Would they be best sellers? I don't know, but it's something I need to do. I have many friends who have faith in me, probably more faith than I have in myself.

I just have to get off my too large you-know-what and get to work.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Why, why, why?

One problem this age of the internet has increased is the problem of loneliness. The world has come closer together, but is has also drifted further apart. We can communicate with others from the privacy of our own homes without leaving the privacy of our own homes. And sometimes we are our own prisoners. An d we also can't reach out and give the physical touch some people so sorely need.

The high school classmates I have renewed friendship with in the past year were shocked to hear that one of our fellow alumni had gone out and taken his life a week ago last Wednesday. Chances are many of us wouldn't haven't have even known about this had it not been for Facebook. Regardless, it still had us wondering, why? Arrangements were sent via email and I'm sure many had attended. I had obligations with my job at the time, so regretfully, I could not attend.

This morning on my way to work, I stopped for my coffee and snacks for work. Beth had told me that she had talked to one of our school friends who happened to be close to the deceased classmate. Jeff told her that his friend had been suffering from alcoholism. This was a way he had to handle his problems. He was showing some of the other classic symptoms, such as reporting to work late. And he also crawled into his own shell.

I know that this has always been a problem with those who are dealing with addictions, but I wonder if this internet age has hindered recovery in many cases. I know there are some recovery bloggers who read my blog. Maybe they, and others can shed some light.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Should I now say WOW?

Or maybe just a simple "thank you"?

There are times that I wonder if I will ever blog again, mainly after I've not posted anything here in over two weeks. I sometimes don't come around for days at a time, and when I do, I check my site meter and see that there are really some who care about what I may write here. I am humbled by this.
I share the same name as a real writer. "The other" Cliff Feightner has just published a book about his assignment in Europe, called "Views From Sandhausen." and is working on another. Here is a link to his blog, called "FlaAuthor's Blog".

So if you are liking the writings of this Cliff Feightner, check out "the other" as well.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Did I do the right thing?

A few posts down I wrote about my "Question of the Day," which I post every day on Facebook. My wife, Kathy suggested I post this last night as a question on Facebook. I hesitated, but decided to bring it to my blogging audience for 2 reasons; One is the fact that there will be a larger audience since I post links to my blog post on my FB page, and two, this will be more than the 420 character limit on a status update, which is how I normally post my daily question.

Our son has bipolar disorder and some severe learning disabilities. This has made him unemployable and he is on disability. Although he lives on his own, I have to help him manage his finances, which means some of my days off from work are spent helping him do his grocery shopping as well tending to other needs he may have.

Yesterday we got to the end of his shopping and he wanted to go into one more store. Because of my actions, the store will remain nameless. Because of the weather, Kathy and I both had aching legs and decided to sit this one out. I went into the store and after giving my son some guidance, gave him the money he had left. I thought he put the money in his pocket. I went back out into the car. After several minutes, I went back into the store to see what was keeping him. He told me that he had dropped his money and when he went back to pick it up, another customer picked it up and said that they would take it to the front of the store and give it to the cashier, which they didn't.

I went back out to the car to let Kathy know what was happening then returned into the store. I asked the cashier if there had been $32.00 returned to her, she said no. I then cupped my hands around my mouth and proceeded with the following "ATTENTION, MY SON IS MENTALLY CHALLENGED AND HE DROPPED 32 DOLLARS INSIDE THIS STORE. THIS IS HIS SOCIAL SECURITY MONEY. IF YOU HAVE IT, PLEASE RETURN IT TO HIM. THANK YOU!" Yes, I was being a human public address system at that time.

Now the money was returned and the lady gave my son some terse comments. The store management, to say the least was embarrassed. After realizing what I did, I was embarrassed. I don't think I will return to that store anytime soon.

Did I do the right thing?

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

This, That, and a Classic Post

YEKIMI and I crossed paths again last night. I was leaving the Giant Eagle as he was entering. This time, I was on my way home from work, so I wasn't wearing my supper. We got to talking about our favorite mutual subject, radio, and how there are less and less jobs in that industry and most of those don't pay squat. Of course I had to give one of my current observations; When I left high school, I wanted to make a living wearing a headset and talking into a microphone. And now I do, but I get paid more than those who spent $15,000 to go to broadcasting school. And to be honest, I probably have a brighter future at what I'm doing right now than a majority of those folks have. But in their defense, I had the same dreams 40 years ago, I only spent $995 for the schooling.

And speaking of the job, all is well, thank you. I am starting to get into my comfort zone, not to mention some slight financial motivation is coming my way.

I mentioned in my last post about the effect bullying has on some people. I always make reference to my weight being a point of judgement from other people. I guess some think an abundance of body mass means a lack of gray matter. As a teenager, this leads to much psychological bullying. It was no different with me until my junior year of high school. What follows is a classic post from last year. I proved to my world that night that I was no dummy and respect also came my way. Here's the post, originally titled "A Star is Born-in 1973."

This post is dedicated to my classmates fromHighland High School, Medina, Ohio who have helped me to relive some memories.

I want to thank my costars Brian Avery,Janet Malek Henderson, and Sandra Ziebro Hughes, along with Gary Webster. You gave me many smiles as I relived one of my best evenings as a teenager.

Cliff Note: After the post was originally published, Sandy corrected me regarding her role. She was working backstage, helping to get the best out of those who were performing. Since the post was published, Sandy has become a major star to many of us Highland alumni. She was instrumental in organizing a get together om alumni during the holiday season.

To my other readers, these I have mentioned are some very classy folk, as are you who have supported this blog since I started writing it in August, 2006.

In the past week or so since I reconnected with many of my old high school classmates via Facebook, we have been reliving some of our better memories of high school.

Probably my best memory of high school was our junior class play, "Life With Father." I wasClarence Day, aka father. I probably got the role because of my booming voice and a booming body to match. The faculty advisor, Mrs. Ludwig, rest her soul, probably did me the biggest favor of my high school years by casting me in the role.

Instead of butchering the storyline, I will give some of my views of our production. For the storyline, click on the link above.

First, the tryouts: I went to tryout for the play one day after school. I remember getting a mimeographed sheet with some parts on it. One of my classmates, Vince Leibenguth, saw that one of the characters was named Vinnie, so he volunteered to read for Vinnie. Mrs. Ludwig immediately noted that Vinnie was a girl's part. To my later delight, Vince backed off from reading for that part. For me the tryouts went well. I found later that one of my friends had refused to take part in the play due to some of the dialog in the play.

Next, parts posted: All of us who had been to tryouts checked the bulletin board to see if we had made the play. A couple of classmates came to me all excited. I figured that I had made the play in some part. Their excitement beamed even more when they told me that I had gotten the lead role. And the offensive language was all spoken by me, several "damns."

Then practice, and practice, and more practice: Those of us in the play became good friends in a somewhat short time. I had by far and large, the most lines to memorize. One of the major benefits of my role was Rene Roach, who played Vinnie, was one of the cheerleaders, and I had to kiss her during every rehearsal. Now you know, for two reasons, that I was delighted. It didn't seem that I would ever learn the lines, or that the play would come together. But it was gelling together.

The night of the play: Everything came into place. The audience included my mom and my favorite aunt. I might had to have my lines given to me maybe twice. There was a monologue during the play, featuring yours truly. My character was reading the newspaper, and had to vent about the state of politics in New York City. While I gave the "address" I was on the stage by myself. When I left to go backstage, I was told by Mrs. Ludwig that I had gotten a standing ovation. Although we made mistakes, the play was a success. The one mistake I regret making was stepping on the only line of one of my friends, Doug Brantner.

We all went to Barnhill's, an ice cream parlor in Fairlawn, Ohio, after the play to celebrate the success of our production. And to myself, I was quietly celebrating the fact that less people thought of me as a dummy, due to my performance. And it may have helped me in my only political victory: I was elected class vice president for our senior year.