wrote here about myself in the Ladder because I believe something I have done all my life which is what I call Seek And Discover (SAD not SAT) self encouragement which gave me a good start on my lowly voyage and I wish to share that encouragement for those out there who might need a little push.  And it shows with a little courage and belief in ones self, obstacles are merely simple things like numbers you come across in a workout.

My mother called me intelligent, independent, inquisitive, obnoxious at times and insolent when focused and She was right. I joked about her ability to bullseye with a frying pan, and the strength of her words as exceptional.  

Her words got to me, too often it was right after the threat with the frying pan…, they were harsh at the time, because I was focused, didn’t pay attention and I was wrong.  Thanks Mom, you cared, and rest knowing I finally woke up.  Humbly, I admit you were right, maybe 89% or most of the time…possibly more.

Though I attended schools, public and higher learning, I consider myself self taught.  Two of my high school teachers called me names and would have strangled me if the law allowed, but I stood my ground. And I felt the same about them…

I hated Shakespeare and did not believe in the Big Bang theory of evolution. I held the record for truancy (Truancy Cops carried my photo in their wallets with a big numero uno)  and detention, but somehow I managed to make two rapid advances skipping grades two and eight because I was skilled in reading, science and math, comprehensive skills above my classmates.   That was from my teaching, not what I achieved at one of the worst schools in NY.  And graduating two years earlier out me in higher learning, a city school, where most of the girls were like older sisters.   I got adopted a lot…

And I credit to an insatiable desire to read and combined with great librarian friends, well two of them, one at school and the other at the public library.  The Librarian at the Eastern Parkway location in Brooklyn was my mentor…almost a tutor and loved my inquisitiveness.  Had the truant cops been smarter , they would have simply found me at the library.  The library was my school, and my mentor was spectacular.   I should have named it Jacobs Higher High.

She was my coach, ultimately I graduated two years earlier at just sixteen and three months  Sometimes self taught is better.  Maybe,  just maybe some kid out there will find out good things are out there and you just have to seek, bypass distractions and you will discover.  The world today does not give you an E-ticket like Disney did in the 80’s for the rides, unfortunately the rich bastards will cheat and it seems some college kids got E-Tickets in the current scandal…  

Welcome to my world at 77 years old (effective 03/14/2020).  I don’t drink, ones enough, no excess, my drugs are by Cardiology Associates and CVS, I quit smoking cold turkey in 1978,  I joined a gym at 74 for ticker strength… I enjoy Aviation, Fly and Saltwater Fly Fishing, Arduino Computing, Creative Level Cooking for Patients, ( I am a care-giver) Commercial Photographer and inventing, creating, building “ things”. I make a lot of fishing gear for those who cannot afford some things… and consulting in Dealer Development projects.

I was married over three decades to the most wonderful woman in the world till she passed from Cancer in 2007.  She was my rock... not a day goes by I don’t miss her. We traveled together
 to conferences, trade shows, unique and wonderful places, the best part was WE were privileged to meet incredible real purposeful people, and unfortunately some that weren’t.  I never found a replacement...   

Her passing made me a care-giver to others with the dreaded disease.  My current support is to a two time multiple myeloma patient who went through a trial program that has turned six months expectancy into ( August 12) we  celebrated six years.  I taught her good food is the best medicine and TV diners will kill you.  Her Doctors agreed, and are amazed at her rehabilitation which from a trial program exceeded all expectations and every day is a new record. 

I served my country in wars, made it through a higher education school working part time in the culinary world, and photographing Weddings on weekends.  After I finished with the Military I still have supported my brothers in arms,  serving them with recognition for the troops as a contractor, did charitable work for decades, and some uncharitable work I cannot speak of.

I hold certificates in open water scuba diving, flew as Pilot in Command, owned, serviced and flew MY real planes for thirty plus something years, did corporate work, certified Range Officer in IPSC Competition, manufactured my own products for the Photography industry  in Journalism, Commercial, Wedding and Corporate photography.  I mentor children,  and…  

Life, it’s been fair; both exciting;  rewarding;  painful and complete; but living is good, better than the alternatives, and I sleep well at night… alternating with two Tylenol PM, a cup of Earl Grey. I’m happy with a nights rest and creative writing and my other hobbies…at least it’s not war… yet.  

But today in 2020 our country is faced with severe denigrating change by someone who would have dwelled well with an office next door to the Fuehrer.  Read on and see exactly how this one man has destroyed much of what we are about and what the future holds…

In the beginning there was light, somewhat… finding the switch helped, paying the Con Edison Electric bill made it happen and in 1943 to be exact, I opened my eyes at Brooklyn Jewish Hospital born to a middle income family, raised in Brooklyn NY, (photo) on Montgomery Street in Crown Heights.  

My life travels included spending a few years in Montego Bay, Jamaica and last class travel accommodations extensively over the globe courtesy of the military, back seat in some neat planes rearranging landscape with explosives in foreign soil.   

I was a typical Brooklyn wise guy!  I occasionally speak the Kings English, preferring Brooklyn based meta-phonetic syllabication (aka Street English, Brooklynise, Slang) and that explains my poor writing skills.  I’m really not a writer…I am a story teller from Brooklyn,  who tells it as it is… 

I script, write, scribble, notate, alter, in my own patois which is a mixture of obnoxious statements embedded in extended run-on-sentences.  

My one real strength is that I am an avid reader and researcher because I never found another or better word for curiosity seeker.  

Since kindergarten, reading to me was my outlet to a new bigger world, and escape from the boring dreary neighborhood I lived in.  Dreams of foreign, intriguing, mysterious places, and meeting special persons different from me.  Much was done under a blanket with flashlight when my mother thought I was asleep.  My world was measured in batteries and there was no TV, cellphones and no internet. 

My mentor, I was helped by a great librarian, a lady,  proper,  much older, and a friend at the Brooklyn library at Eastern Parkway and Schenectady Ave.   It was my home away from home and accelerated my reading and comprehending skills.  She was my coach and taught me reading was a tool to take you wherever you wanted to go or to whom you wished to be.  

The payoff, reading and self educating, allowed me to skip several grades, I never attended the second, nor the eighth grade, I simply tested too high,  and graduated high school two years early at just sixteen and three months.  I was glad to get out, it was a troubled High School, poor teaching, community relation problems, and could be dangerous.  The city eventually gave up and closed it.   

Off to schools of higher learning, for a couple years, then the Military again as a way to get out of the neighborhood.  I developed other passions, cooking, aviation and photography. 

My mother was a wonderful creative chef who never used a cook book.  I learned by watching.  I was fortunate and learned and earned the business end of food working in a restaurant.  Soda jerk, to chef helper to sous chef.  Both paid for college tuition school which was a paltry eight dollars a credit.  My boss there was tough but a good teacher.

My extended family pushed me… I thank my grandfather who spoke little English but communicated  from a great humble and loving mind.   At seven I was repairing toasters with Grandpa and a gasoline blow torch powered soldering tool about as big as me.

Persistence came from my uncles, Jesse and Hy who taught me tough wins; they were tough, fighters and survivors of WWII in the Philippines.

My Uncle Morris, my favorite taught me Lithography, and Photography doing the color separations of printing thru graphic arts and lots of Album covers for RCA, together with kindness, very forgiving, and photography;  The photography, a gift from the Gods became a fixture for the rest of my life…

I have for better than 56 closer to sixty years being, creating, owning, designing, and manufacturing, doing my own Photography as a store owner, lab owner, photojournalist and a writer.  It started for me when someone left a paper bag left sitting on a park bench in the Zoo area in NYCs Central Park.   

Today we would call the bomb squad.  I was fourteen, a junior, and was naturally, playing hooky from school.  I grabbed the bag after eyeing it for an hour, artfully dodging the truant officers who carried my picture in their wallets with the number one on the front.  

With no one claiming it, I stood on top of the park bench and yelled the sacred words "finders keepers".   With the legalities out of the way, and running for my life using every back trail in Central park stumbling over a sleeping body here or there. Finally the subway and home...  

I had mischievously become the owner of an AIRES IIIL 35mm Rangefinder Camera, the first of the Japanese clones of a Leica.  It took nice pictures of the Dinosaurs at the Museum of Natural History in NYC, the Statue of Liberty and other sites when I played hooky and got caught.  

The camera saved my ass, showing that I was doing something to help my education got me off easier.   The hot film in those days was Verichrome....Plus-X in B&W more modern terms and flashbulbs.

Today after being involved in several photo operations, I design and manufacture much of my own gear like battery packs, flash cables, brackets and product shooting tables. Tearfully, the little Aires either got lost or I left it somewhere. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

Yes , I can be agitating to a degree, I still have the nasty habit of playing the Devil’s Advocate because without a challenge, the adverse or the consequence of things is never discussed with reality, you have to look at both sides today because one side is usually not real.  

The camera was my tool for reality when it bailed me out of a science class I challenged.  Cameras and pictures show a different side of Sara Palin at election time, as I followed her around with the Press Pool for six weeks on tour in Florida, I reached for the camera.  In her case backstage, I would have preferred a 12 gauge.  She is the lying arrogant narcissistic female version of Donald T-RUMP and just as sick.  And like Trumps family her family all belong in jail with her. 

Good enough in lithography at 13 capable of working in a union print shop, except for my age.  I had to be 16 for a journeyman’s card but I passed the exam.

My Uncle Eddie, like Morris was an inventor who taught me electronics and creativeness.  He has the original patent for inventing the Home Humidifier by KAZ, used to treat dry coughing like Whooping Cough. 

The most important thing I picked up because I am inquisitive, was learning to use the five points of light in journalism.  Who, When, What, Where, and Why, they open doors…  you ask the questions,  to get answers, which were the most important thing in my world, I researched everything, still do,  and made my own decisions.  I just call it being independently nosy. 

And aviation was a big interest, playing hooky got me to airports and the Naval Air Station at Floyd Bennett Field with its Corsair fighters, Dakotas (DC-3’s) and Catalina Seaplanes. I drew a love of aviation, drew pictures, and shot pics with my new found camera,  and it grew. 

Later in my thirties, books I read about aviation came to fruition.  I decided that …it was a simple action, I bought and paid for my first real airplane, a Piper Lycoming powered 140.  Photo above…I owned Cessna’s and Pipers as a Pilot In Command for 32 years… self taught, in the books,  then they told me to get an instructor, (it was the law) I soloed in five hours, aced the exams at the same time and had my first license at 40 hours, the legal minimum needed in under 90 days.  Now it’s a couple thousand hours later.  It was sheer enjoyment shattered occasionally by bouts of sheer terror…

I have devoted and spent a good part, about 35 years of my life, working with charities and groups, building Military Memorials, to this day I served and I salute those who served and those who paid the ultimate price of Freedom and I have been lucky enough to live, mingle with some very patriotic good people I have had the pleasure of meeting, working with, teaching, training and survived.  I lost five fellow friends in Vietnam and a few more in our latest excursions of stupidity, I was lucky,  these wars that never end in the name of Religion and faith, and I will never forget them.

But I would be remise if I didn’t mention my time in High School as being a poignant part of my life…


06-07-2019 aljacobsladder.com