Cue up Sinatra’s “My Way” for this one. It’s applicable for some of the random thoughts I’ll float your way. It’s perfect for some of the bonehead things in my past. My way is how I did some things through the years regardless of the consequences.

Topping the random list is how I managed my finances during my long and relatively successful career as a TV news reporter. The pay was good in my bachelor years. I rarely worried about the future or a time when I would no longer have a regular paycheck, fattened by all kinds of special fees. My focus was narrow. Live and enjoy the day. There were all kinds of warnings. I heard the older reporters, muttering about staying ahead of creditors to keep their homes and their children’s college funds intact. I heard the words, but blithely thought this didn’t apply to me. Maybe someday, but not now.

The local businesses must’ve smiled broadly when they saw me coming their way. I was always shown the latest fashions in clothing which led to me building a wardrobe fit for someone who I wasn’t. I became known as the natty “GQ” TV news reporter in Boston. I just lapped up the compliments, oblivious of reality. There were many suggestions from friends about financial consideration of the future. I didn’t hear them and you can’t blame my hearing deficiency for it.

The years went by with cash spent, credit cards maxed out and bills piling up, largely ignored by me. I was still the GQ reporter who dined in the finest restaurants where I was known by my first name and never worried about reservations.

It’s a familiar story. Karma finally caught up. Suddenly, I no longer was the brash young reporter but a very veteran journalist — too veteran. Eventually, I was no longer working. The randomness of all those warnings about fiscal wisdom came flapping home with the roosters — crowing about the mess I left my beleaguered wife (keeper of all our finances) and me in retirement. I sure did it my way and I try not to think about it. It’s painful in retrospect.

Photo: Rich Paschall

Speaking of news, one more random thought. Why do I insist on watching the evening news every day? It drives the other people in the house bonkers and leaves me mumbling obscenities into my dinner. When they talk over the news, it irritates me and makes it hard for me to hear their conversation or the news. My hearing devices don’t like background noise. I could turn off the news, but I need my “fix.”

One final thought: Spring training and baseball are just a few weeks away. Somewhere in the misty mid-region of my brain, I’m a little excited. The Sons of Teddy Ballgame, aka The Boston Red Sox offer little hope for success this year. I’m still excited about seeing baseball again, even though the price of seeing all the games has gotten so ridiculous we gave up on it. We only see games that are available on network TV of which there are few. I wonder how baseball expects to build a future fan base when they make it nearly impossible for regular viewers — and their kids — to actually see the games?

I’ve mostly given up on my dream, my 80-year-old dream of playing centerfield for the home team. But I’m stubborn. Tonight, to sleep, perchance to dream. Maybe the Sox will sign me to a mega contract to lead them to the World Series. Considering who is on the team, it could happen.

Categories: #GarryArmstrong, #News, Anecdote, Garry Armstrong, Getting old, Humor, journalism, Money, reporting

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7 replies

  1. Yes Garry, I‘m sure you‘re right with all your observations. Come to think ‚and not once, ever, have I read Marilyn complaining about this or that about her husband. I think she deserves a peace nobel prize for supporting you unconditionally….. but then I know just how much you love each other.
    Also I think that in the end (or at the end of one‘s life) we all pay some price for our deeds or those we didn‘t do. It‘s no good to worry over spilled milk, as the English say, just make sure that you are doing right NOW . Which I think you‘re doing, anyway! Thanks for this well ‚painted‘ picture.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t complain about the past. I don’t believe in reviewing past errors. It’s pointless, hurtful and most importantly, it doesn’t solve any problems and it makes everyone feel bad.

      Garry is more inclined to reviewing past failures than I am. It took me a long time and writing a book to resolve my feelings about the past, but I finally did it. I wish Garry would not keep beating himself up over what he didn’t do or should have done, but I can’t stop him. He IS very stubborn.

      I don’t blame him. I wasn’t great with money either and have always been overly generous inevitably with the wrong people. I should have ended up with a lot more, but somehow it always wound up in someone else’s hands. Since I can’t go back to reclaim it, all I can do is deal with what’s going on now. So far, we are managing. It could be worse. At least we are reasonably healthy and there are many people with a lot more wealth who are NOT.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Kiki, thank you for the kind words. You’re right about Marilyn. I’m a very lucky guy.


  2. Hi Garry, this is a very nice picture of you. I suppose we all make misjudgments in our youths and the payment for our mistakes comes in different ways, for some its financial, for others physical or mental degeneration, and for some its loneliness because they didn’t invest in their families. My parents, and most of my friends parents who are the same generation, didn’t provide very well for their old ages. Despite this lack of foresight, they were good parents and we have close families, so we assist our parents without any complaint or grudge because we love them and they did their best and we know we are lucky to have them.

    Liked by 1 person

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