1969: Marijuana being sold at an open market in Laos.
I am the first sibling to reach the age of 70. My brother, Dathan, died at 55 of Hepatitis C, my brother in law, Pete, died at 65 of lymphoma, and my former brother in law, Gary, died at 53 of a heart attack. My sister in law, Pat, died at 73 in a traffic accident.
It truly baffles a lot of people that I survived a trip around the world by myself. President Obama mentioned recently that the USA waged a “secret war” in Laos, dropping more bombs there than in Germany and Japan combined. Well, guess what, I traveled to Laos three times in 1969 in order to renew my tourist visa to Thailand. This was during the Vietnam War, when the USA was trying to eliminate the Communists in Laos. What prevented me from being murdered and thrown into the Mekong River? My parents would not have known what had happened to me. I would have been just another anonymous statistic during that war.
Then, I traveled through Europe. I was very poor and stayed in student hostels, striving to live cheaply on $5.00 per day. Thank goodness no one kidnapped me and sold me as a sex slave.
When I lived in New York City, I was robbed at gun point. Hey, never argue with a gun. I gave the robber my wallet, and he let me go.
It was night time in Hawaii when I was pounced upon by a man, who had been following me from the university to my home in Manoa. I screamed so loudly that he fled down the street.
Whew! There is so much danger out there. I am amazed that I am still alive.
I eat red meat and don’t exercise. But, my heart keeps beating, and every morning I wake up to another beautiful day.