Give the man a chance has two edges

November 29th, 2016 by John Morris

In Italy, eight years ago, my cousin Vittorio Pompilli spoke to me about then President-elect Barack Obama.  His voice had a serious cast to it as he asked me to “give the man a chance.”  I answered that I would, of course, do so.

When I returned to America, I’d rehear his words every time some conflicted Conservative ranted about the horrors to come with a Black man as our leader.  My response was, “Give the man a chance.”  The kinder folks would just question my judgment while others shunned me.  Their loss.

Now it is eight years later, and we have another polarizing President-elect coming in.  The sage advice I got from Vittorio is as spot-on today as it was then.

Problem is that it is always about “whose ox is being gored.”  In 2008, Liberals hoisted their champion on their shoulder to carry him to his destiny.  They strutted and swaggered which was their right since their candidate won.  Those who snip at their heels were branded sore losers, racists or unAmerican.  I still remember Nancy Pelosi claiming the superior position because, “we won.”  She was right.

Now we have the specter of Donald Trump posed to defile the Oval Office, if you listen to the Liberal cable news shows.

I get it if it’s time for some payback.  Or maybe it’s time for a reset.

Author Viktor Frankl* survived the Holocaust and did ground breaking social work on his and others experiences.  He locked-in his results with this sound bite, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”   This means no matter what has happens, free people control their future.

I offer this example.

In 2000, then President-elect GW Bush’s transition team met with all kinds of damaging pranks from Clintons’ squad making the transfer of power clumsy.  Fast forward sixteen years and the retiring President Barack Obama reports about how warm and helpful Bush and his team were for him.  The Bushs went as far as to give the Obamas advice on raising children in the White House.

So take that all you Dubya haters.  The man took Clinton’s abuse but played the class card when it was his turn.

Yes, we should give Trump a chance.  When he does something you don’t like – and he will – then come out swinging.

If you really gave him a chance, I’ll listen to you.


When we all want our Mommies.

November 26th, 2016 by John Morris

Last year, Lyn and I watched our grandsons, JJ & Will while their Moms were on vacation.  Will was aged two and very much a Mommy’s boy.  If daughter, Beth chatted with a friend, Will would push his way to her and rub up against her legs.  This was his signal he wanted his Mommy to pay attention only to him.  His need for her attention was deep.

During Will’s stay with us he would ask for his Mommy.  We’d offered the agreed respond, “Mommy and Momma are on vacation.  They are coming back; they always come back.”  Usually a hug would reinforce the point, and he’d move on.  But late at night, Will would prove harder to console.  The little guy would wake and start repeatedly crying, “Mommy” louder and with more heart tugging angst each time.

It came to me, that at some level, he actually believed crying would bring his Mother 2,000 miles in the middle of the night.  All he believed he needed to do was cry louder and longer until it worked.  Sadly, we had to let him cry himself out usually two hours later.

I thought more about the blind faith he showed by believing his Mommy would come storming out of some cosmic void to his aid.

Then I found a corollary in adults.  Grown men would lay wounded on a battlefield, and when all hope vanishes, they’d cry out for their Mommies.  Who can blame them?

They and Will shared the same unassailable belief their Moms would swoop in during their time of need.

Such is the power our Mother have on us.  It is also a tribute to the remarkable jobs they’ve done.

This blog is dedicated to one of life’s best Moms: Laura P. Mascherino Reutter



The old boy writing this blog wears many hats: Vietnam Veteran, husband & father, salesman and techno-dude. After my service with the Army Security Agency, I operated a sign company for nineteen years, The sign industry changed after CAD/CAM machines made the task easy enough for the non-talented. I sold my company and never looked back.

Life has granted me a life partner better than I deserve. My wife, Lyn is a transplanted Kansas gal. Her bliss is teaching kindergarten and first grade.

I am the most proud of my children. My son, Adam lives an international life teaching English and living in Sozhou, China. He is married to one of life's truly lovely women, Yuri Kim. My daughter, Beth grew up in a small town and found her way in life means working and living in major cities like Chicago and New York. She and her life partner, Julie Sterling married in LaJolla, California in 2010.

I like getting the newest gadgets, but also I like to use things until they are useless, i.e., my last personal car was an 88 Honda Prelude Si.

I wrote a Vietnam Veteran newsletter for nine years. During this journey, I learned I like to write. It is a harmless exercise that rewards honest effort while tolerating failure gracefully. I been away from it for too long. My son gave me the blog, and it was a lifeline back to writing.

My best advice is to show the world what you can do but to accept only your opinion of who and what you are.

Update: In August 2008, my job became one of the half-million jobs that went away that month. I took the following year getting the home ready for my official retirement.

In October 2009, I took a part-time job as a saleman at the vaulted Maxwell's Hardware.

On November 29, 2011, I reached my 66th birthday, and I officially started Social Security. I intend to stay with Maxwell's as long as I can contribute.