I was quite sure my AMA from 6 months ago would be my last for two reasons. First, at my age, you never know when the Grim Reaper might appear. But, more likely, I felt that after answering 1,000 questions, there would be no more. Yet the young people of Reddit truly surprised me with 1,000 more. I had the time of my life – really – responding to all manner of queries: so thoughtful, relevant, studious and often meaningful to me and (hopefully, my answers) to the questioners. And so (as jazz artist Count Basie said with his classic ending of “April in Paris,” One more once! PROOF

My life in brief:

  • Born lower middle class in San Antonio in 1925

  • Public school grades 1-11

  • Joined Marine V-12 program in 1943, but was spared deployment to Japan by the atomic bomb

  • After the war earned three degrees in Illinois and Michigan through the G.I. Bill

  • Spent my working years in education, teaching from kindergarten to university level - but the most meaningful work as as a junior high school principal in an inner city school for 15 years

  • Moved to Washington, DC for retirement after my wife passed away

And I'll preempt two of the most frequent (and interesting) questions I get:

On my attitude towards DEATH: I was amazed that people felt so deeply about it. Yet my honest response was that it's a subject that I've given almost no thought to it – and never have. It's something that I can do nothing – or little – about so why worry? And I generally added that I that see my life as a (beautiful?) flower that remains that way for some time, and then, when life no longer has meaning, returns to the earth.

How I've maintained my health: 1. Lifelong support of a caring family and friends. 2. Continued interaction with young people throughout my life. 3. Enough income to satisfy my somewhat simple wants and needs but not so much that I worry about the accumulation of wealth. 4. The help of a supportive, caring government. 5. A positive outlook on life, and 6. Satisfying and meaningful employment.

I will do my best to answer every single question! Should there be another deluge of questions, it could take me the full six months, as it did previously, to answers them all. I use a weekly blog to share some of my thoughts so I'd encourage you to "tune into my (usually) weekly blog at


You'll not only find the status of my responding, but also to learn more of my attempts to reflect on 90+ years of living.

Comments: 185 • Responses: 67  • Date: 

coryrenton58 karma

What is something you saw firsthand that has been misreported and is now is incorrectly entered in historical record?

dcretiree158 karma

That's the most interesting question and I really should take more time to consider specific events – maybe I can get back to you later. Certainly I have never seen anything like the handling of "truth" by the Trump administration. But for a long-term reporting of history, I think it has taken quite some time for many to realize that Franklin Roosevelt was far exceeded by his wife Eleanor in espousing liberal causes. And from the incarceration of Japanese on the West Coast to turning back Jewish refugees he was no paragon of virtue.

lumirgaidin9 karma

This needs all the up votes. FDR was a bastard. Eleanor was a woman way before her time.

Sundownerz24 karma

FDR was president during one of the most difficult periods of American history. He didn't do much for sovial issues, I guess, but a bastard? I'm not sure that's fair.

lumirgaidin1 karma

I stand by my statement.

im_probably_tripping10 karma

I'd listen to your point if you could explain why you think FDR was a bastard.

lumirgaidin16 karma

Oy vey. OK. Yes, my completely unpopular opinion that he was a bastard is just that, an opinion. But hey...I also think The Big Lebowski is an overrated movie, so I'm full of those types of opinions. So here goes...

When the Supreme Court ruled that 11 out of his 16 New Deal agencies were unconstitutional, he basically waged war on them. He attempted to make it so for every Supreme Court judge over 70, the president could appoint an additional judge or justice. When this was rejected in congress, a congress that was MOSTLY MADE UP OF HIS OWN PARTY, he started to campaign against his own party members.

It got so bad and he had so much power that he scared the justices into basically upholding all his regulatory measures.

The New Deal upset the federal budget, created a gigantic deficit for the US during the great depression, and seriously, Keynesian economics is kind of shit. The new deal actually prolonged the great depression. Sure, some aspects of it were OKAY, but mostly it was shit.

Executive order 6102 in 1933 made it illegal for anyone in the US to own gold. Had to be turned over to the federal reserve. The secret service got involved and STOLE gold. This wasn't overturned until 19fucking74.

The National Recovery Act formed code authorities. This allowed large corporations to regulate quality, wages, prices, etc... This in turn helped lead to massive companies that formed monopolies.

During the great depression, the Agricultural Adjustment Act, passed by FDR, mandated farmers to slaughter excess livestock and burn crops. This was to keep prices high and get people to move out of the cities. People were fucking starving.

He covered up the Katyn massacre.

Should I even mention the Japanese internment? Or the refugee German Jews that were turned away from the coast of Florida in 1941 because HE WAS AFRAID OF MILITANT NAZIS AND SPIES...history seems to be repeating itself here, eh?

He promised to desegregate the armed forces and fully reneged on that.

I'm done. Hope I've explained(with poor formatting) why I personally think he was a bastard.

morecoffee8972 karma

This FDR aggression will not stand , Man!

lumirgaidin2 karma

He's been dead so long. I don't hate the man, I just think he, along with a literal(yes) shit-ton of other politicians, made things harder on the American people in the end.

dcretiree1 karma

So busy answering questions I haven't fully answered this threat, but I believe the New Deal coupled with the Great Society have been two of the greatest step forwards for rescuing the "common man" from the elites of the society. And they surely are the ones who voted for Hillary but the ones that accompany Mr. Trump to the White House.

theturbolemming51 karma

Hi Grandpa! It's Jake. Here's a question for you: What was the biggest challenge you and Regina faced raising a family?

dcretiree59 karma

Oh my, is there nothing sacred in my family? Must I disclose all of my – and my wife's – peccadilloes? My first thought (and safest answer) was the difficulty in leaving an idyllic lifestyle in Ann Arbor with children loving their elementary, junior high and to a lesser degree, high school and moving to Washington DC (where we only stayed a year). But since I am pledged to honesty, further deeper thought reminds me of several aspects of the cultural change in lifestyle – particularly having our offsprings cohabitating before they were married. But how utterly wonderful has been the result. One is never too old to learn!

dcxiii6 karma

Great use of 'peccadilloes'. Haven't heard that word since reading Christie's Poirot! :)

dcretiree2 karma

Thanks. I wonder what the derivation of the word is.

Carnatic_enthusiast2 karma

What was/is your favorite part of Ann Arbor?

Were/Are you a Michigan football fan? If so how do you feel about how Harbaugh is handling the team and how do you compare the future of UM/OSU to the "Ten-Year War" of Bo/Woody?

dcretiree1 karma

Oh my, so many questions to answer and so little time to think back to my days in the Ann Arbor area since 1948. I could rave on and on like the first time – was it in 49 – when we were at the train station to welcome the team back after their victory in the Rose Bowl.

What an exciting city to raise a family in and be a part of the Michigan family. We made every Friday night, family night and the children chose what to do. We usually went swimming in a building that was known for having the "woman's pool". And then we had chocolate ice cream sodas at the union. I love Harbaugh's enthusiasm in college football in general but to spare a bit about the professionalization of the sport.

We loved living about four blocks Stadium so the children could sell apples to the arriving crowd.

So glad I can still return to Ann Arbor frequently because my son and family live there and he is ombudsman for students.

SWAGPAD17 karma

Whats your best one liner life advice?

dcretiree55 karma

To truly know oneself and be receptive to the thoughts and feelings of others.

blaissed15 karma

How did you arrive at satisfying and meaningful employment? How long have you been in the same industry? Any advice for millennials heading into a job market that doesn't seem to value longevity in employees?

dcretiree9 karma

The world is so much different now than the one I entered right after WWII, that I am reluctant to give advice. Since I enjoyed children in school the teaching profession was a natural for me when I realized that there was no way I wanted to be a Christian minister. Making the progression from teacher to principal to assistant superintendent to university work and back to my first love, a junior high school principal, gave me variety, challenges and adequate income (though honestly with a fair inheritance along the way.) Education at any level provides adequate vacation time. The state of Michigan has provided an adequate retirement program, and I think this is extremely important for one to think about. There are a great many things to balance in choosing one's employment and the complexity of today's world has made it much more difficult I know. Good luck to you.

olster_15 karma

What do you regret doing and not doing in life?

dcretiree35 karma

I hope you been able to read between the lines of my introduction enough to see that I feel extremely fortunate in virtually everything I've been able to do in my 91 years. I do regret that I never traveled to what we used to call the Orient or Australia and New Zealand. And on a more personal note I regret that I did not have more confidence when in my early professional life I was placed in some rather esoteric leader ship positions that I could have made more of a contribution had I had more confidence and experience. Thanks for the opportunity to reminisce.

THE__COB7 karma

What DO you regret doing in life?

dcretiree31 karma

My, you really want to push me on this. I really have few regrets, but there is one aspect that I truly deeply regret but it is complicated to explain. But here goes. The mainline, liberal Christian church has been one of the cornerstones in the building of my life. And I recognize that these churches and the more fundamental African-American churches have been a vital force in my lifetime in espousing change and improvement in American society. Yet it was only in the last 10 years or so that I realized how much this institution because of its continued focus on doctrine that I believe most thoughtful members do not believe has been the cause of its decline in membership. My solution has been membership in the Unitarian/Universalist church. The institution that Jefferson felt all Americans would be a part of within 100 years and reflects much of the thinking of the transcendentalists like Ralph Waldo Emerson. But that only scratches the surface of my feeling. Thanks for asking

jtsangg13 karma

What are your good/bad/ curious thoughts on millennials?

dcretiree45 karma

I really must admit that I have trouble generalizing about groups. However! I am generally thrilled with the idealism of youth and their openness and desire for change toward a more inclusive society. I feel however that their total absorption on their tablets and phones causes them to miss much of the beauty of the life going on around them. I also feel that their age group has helped create the divided society we have in America. Robert Putnam's book, "bowling alone" introduced us to this phenomenon that has only grown with the advent of the social media.

And I must also add I feel there is an impatience for change and a failure to recognize that the arc of justice as indeed moved steadily (until the recent election) in a positive direction

kellykellykellyyy4 karma

Awesome sociological shout out to Putnam!

dcretiree1 karma

Don't you just wish that his book could have a greater impact on America? I heard him talk on his new book, "Our Kids" at the Aspen Institute where the president of the Institute said he felt it was the most important book in the last 10 years

hlwroc11 karma

As someone who has seen many changes to our country, what do you think of Donald Trump?

dcretiree62 karma

This first question strikes an extremely sore point with me. I find everything about the man to be abhorrent – his divisive campaign and the values he discloses in his lifestyle represent to me the worst of America. While I NEVEER saw him on television, I believe he exemplifies the worst of American showmanship. He has however brought to the fore (and used to his advantage) the fact that a changing world has caused the loss of much of America's middle class.

I have hopes however that the goodness of American society will unite and see us through.

moana8810 karma

How has the riverwalk changed over the years?

dcretiree14 karma

I remember the river before there was a Riverwalk. And I recall that there was a very progressive mayor named Maury Maverick who initiated the program. Further I proudly claim to have been one of the oarsmen for the first parade on the river – we were polers pushing from the rear of the barge with long poles.

How beautiful it was to see the beautiful plantings and restaurants joining the magnificent cypress trees. I could wax for a long time about my love of San Antonio and I was there with relatives a year ago and I'll be back in April to welcome some of my German relatives. One of the beauties at that time was that all of the restaurants and stores were local.

You might also be interested in the slogan that was given San Antonio at that time, "One of America's four unique cities". You have to supply the other three, but San Antonio must be one. I add Santa Fe, New Orleans, San Francisco. How about you?

kilowatkins9 karma

How do you feel about the way food has evolved over the years? It seems like you've gone from very unprocessed to very processed foods over your lifetime.

dcretiree8 karma

Perhaps it's a carryover from the depression years when we were happy to have any food, but I enjoy eating most anything and am not particular about its source. Certainly our eating habits and the proliferation of restaurants is one of the most dramatic changes I have seen in my lifetime. Most important to me I think continues to be getting good value for the money I spent and I really don't enjoy food and extremely fancy/expensive restaurants when I don't really know what I'm eating.

Stepintomyparlor7 karma

What's one thing you want today's teens to know?

dcretiree18 karma

Quite a challenging question. There are so many things I enjoy discussing with young people, but one that is certainly at the top or near there is their impatience for change. While I also commend this characteristic, I do feel they tend to look for immediate results and improvement in society not realizing that social movements and improvement often come about only through years of diligent pursuit.*I. E. – The Bernie phenomenon.

Along with this is also the desire/need to experience everything right now!

I know this makes me sound like an old fuddy duddy (even my Dragon dictation device can"t spell that) but living that lifestyle has been very good to me.

boogiemange6 karma

If you could bring back one fad that you have seen within your life time, what would it be?

dcretiree16 karma

Fun think about. Miniature golf, the big band era and on a broader scale a much slower lifestyle. Sorry I couldn't limit it to one.

tegu53095 karma

What is the worst trend in music that you recall or know of?

dcretiree13 karma

I joined the vast number of adults who had a bit of trouble accepting any new music that came along. While I've grown to love most of the "new" like the Beatles, I still have yet to appreciate hip-hop or atonal classical music.

SoundBearier4 karma

As a San Antonian... which city is better, Dallas or Houston, and why is the answer Houston?

dcretiree6 karma

Because it's near Galveston because it is near Galveston, but nothing holds a candle to the Alamo city.

LLL90002 karma

My grandfather Joe Horne was a business man in San Antonio and I have very fond memories of visiting there as a child. I love San Antonio!

dcretiree1 karma

I'm very glad I'll be able to spend a weekend San Antonio during bluebonnet season this year.

havinit4 karma

My grandpa died 2 years ago. He also joined in 1943.. the air force. He had no flying experience, and his training was literally getting in the plane, and told what the joystick does. His instructor flew with him the first few rounds, and then he practiced on his own... always flying around flag poles. He told me the instructor never thought he was any good at it.

But he also was spared deployment because of the bomb. He ended up getting a job as an artist for soup cans and buying a house, getting married and had a few kids.

I know all of this because I stayed with him the last few years of his life due to his failing health. It was rough, but I got to know him better than I ever had.

So, my question to you is, can you believe how much the world has changed since then? And, how do you view today's wars going forward, in comparison? I am asking this in the context that it must have been scary to not know which way the entire world was going to end up in 1943... and I feel that way today where it seems like the world is going to change significantly in the next 50 years, and I am not sure it's for the better.

dcretiree3 karma

Yours is indeed a heartwarming message. Thanks. How fortunate your grandfather had you around to help. I feel the same way with a grandson now living here in DC who has helped me with my "blog problems". I'm curious, where did your grandfather get his flight training? San Antonio?

Indeed the world is tremendously different from the much more simple, slow-paced confident "small" world in which he and I grew up. While there were dire times during the war (I particularly felt this when Hitler and Stalin join forces in an alliance), I never really recall being scared. There was a confidence that good would win over evil.

I believe that this resulted in our truly believing in the truth of American exceptionalism! In spite of our slow progress toward justice for all I've always felt this way – until now. I am dismayed that Trump was able to find at least 40% of Americans ready to follow his type of leadership that renounces so much of what I believe it.

However I am heartened. I believe that young people and women are finding their voice and that with patience and determination the next 50 years can even be better.

Interesting that your grandfather and I shared so much of the same – including being spared by the bomb. I was getting ready to invade Japan.

LivingInTheVoid4 karma

What's the single thing we should worry about most? What's the single thing we should appreciate the most?

dcretiree16 karma

Currently I would have to say it is the threat of bigotry and hatred and renunciation of American principles introduced by Donald Trump in American society.

I can't help but be appreciative of the beauty and miracle of each day and the opportunities we have had in America too often built at the expense of minorities and the underprivileged.

archer-sc4 karma

Do you wish you were born in a different time period?

dcretiree7 karma

Because of my white middle-class status I can think of a better time to live. And a large part of it is because I have seen more progress in the area of civil rights for all's types of individuals that I could ever imagine would've occurred from my Texas upbringing. I only hope the next generation will feel the same.

diveboydive4 karma


dcretiree7 karma

There really is nothing dramatic that I would change. I'd probably be a little more outspoken in expressing my opinions, even though they may have gotten me into trouble.

goopave3 karma

Thanks so much for answering questions.

What are some hobbies that you have, and, throughout your life how have you juggled those hobbies while also caring for a family and maintaining a career? Did you ever find it difficult to maintain a sense of self?

What are some of your simple pleasures?

What is your favorite season?

dcretiree3 karma

Thanks so much for asking about some of the "hidden recesses" of my life. Growing up in a male centered world with one wage earner the choices were easy for me. I love my work, but I love my family equally well and I enjoyed doing things around the house that enable us to live a good lifestyle on a limited budget. From reroofing the house to making children's toys out of wood to being in leadership roles in my liberal church to making sure that every Friday night was family night when the children got to plan the evening the simple pleasures were great events. Family life is not given to keeping up with the Joneses or training to Excel in a single sport. As an educator having two months off the summer was a godsend (although I'm an agnostic atheist.

liteNbrite2 karma

Hello, thanks again for doing another AMA.

I'm actually a college student in Chicago curious of pursuing my career after graduation in Seattle. I have 2 questions: 1. Can you tell us one of your favorite memories with your wife we you first started seeing each other? 2. Of all place to retire, why Washington?

dcretiree9 karma

How great to get two questions that strike an emotional chord with me. Regina and I met at North Central College in nearby Naperville. As the first girl I ever loved it was a thrill to leave the library, walk down to the candy kitchen and get an ice cream treat and then walked her to her female dormitory with a fond good night on the front porch.

My last job, the one I enjoyed most for 15 years was as the principal of a 50-50 black/white inner-city school in Michigan. When my wife died there was nothing holding me in that city since my children had all moved away. I visited my son who left Ann Arbor for a few years in Washington DC and I was hooked. What a wonderful city to retire in so much to do, so much of it free, so many opportunities to volunteer magnificent location on the East Coast with both local and international transportation easily available.

I've never had a regret

bloodw3rx2 karma

Who do you think is the best looking actress in pop culture these days?

dcretiree2 karma

One of the things I've learned to cope withis forgetting names. But that's always been a problem with me I must say though that I enjoy looking at the current actresses as long as they reflect the beauty of the Rit Hayaworths , the Greer Garson's and the Ingrid Bergman's of my era.

We don't lose our appreciation of beauty with age

Mahimah2 karma

What kind of cake do you want on your next birthday?

dcretiree3 karma

I'm not hard to please, I love any kind of cake, even fruitcake. And I've recently discovered the very reasonable cakes at whole foods. I guess however my favorite with the German chocolate cake from that well-known bakery in New York City (sorry a senior moment – it just came to be the Magnolia bakery. To die for!

rosshmartin2 karma

Console gaming or PC gaming?

dcretiree1 karma

This is totally out of my frame of reference. Sorry

GooseRider9601 karma

What would you recommend for someone going out into the "real world"?

dcretiree1 karma

Do all you can to truly know yourself – your interest your abilities your limitations and what you really value. Take every advantage you can to meet people and have broad experiences

_lish_1 karma

If you could re-do one thing, make a different decision in your past - do you have something that you would change?

dcretiree1 karma

Given the marvelous opportunities I have been given and the fullness of my life I have few regrets. As I explained however in a previous similar question I do wish I had had more confidence earlier in my life when I was "too early placed in prestigious position" to advocate changes in education I now believe in so very strongly.

Moag141 karma

How was your experience in the Marines?

dcretiree2 karma

OMG, you hit me where it hurts. I'm fully aware of the suffering and evil of the war and every time that someone thanks me for my service, I blush a bit. My three years three months and 10 days help take me from a naïve kid to Billy my confidence so that I can have a very fulfilling life. The government has done far more for me than I ever did in the way of service in the military. But it certainly could've been different perhaps had the bomb not been dropped because I was getting ready to invade Japan. And then an injury in college sports were I was under the G.I. Bill kept me from going to Korea. My service took me from Texas to the East Coast to the West Coast where my last job was being in charge of a "dormitory" for officers at Camp Pendleton in California. And even there the perks were to have weekends in Hollywood.

manswos1 karma

Did you ever see Elvis live?

Where is your favourite overseas holiday destination?

Are you a whiskey drinker?

dcretiree3 karma

Why would I want to see Elvis? When I was stationed at Camp Pendleton in California I had many weekends in Hollywood seeing radio shows that ranged from Sinatra to Duffy's Tavern to Dinah Shore to Stan Kenton's band at the Hollywood Palladium and the Duke Ellington at an outdoor venue in San Antonio. How's that for name dropping. I used to think Hawaii was my favorite overseas destination, but having visited the small town in Germany where my grandfather came from I've really enjoyed the beauties of Germany and Austria.

Raised as a teetotaler, I still have great difficulty mixing drinks so I'll take my bourbon straight on the rocks.

evannyc1 karma

Given the enormous technological and social shifts you've experienced, do you have any advice for younger people likely to see similar shifts in our lifetime? How do you keep up with all of the change over the course of a lifetime?

dcretiree6 karma

Other than possibly being required for work, why does one always need to get the latest, expensive notebook or phone? I really appreciate our new social interactive techniques and the miracles they have brought about but why must they constantly need to be in use? The only way I've really been able to at least try to keep up is by having a grandson available to help me.

dksk34431 karma

What are your favorite memories from times when most of us weren't even alive? Do like society better now or earlier in your life?

dcretiree4 karma

My memories of growing up in pre-WWII San Antonio were nothing but joyful even though we had to be considered lower middle-class. To me life was free of pressure, we could go anywhere we wanted (of course I'm a white middle-class male) and extended family were nearby. There was an absence of pressure and great joy found in the simple things of life.

Sounds ideal, and I felt it was. Yet today there are so many more opportunities for travel, for expansive learning opportunities and to me most gratifying is an increasing recognition of bringing opportunities to all.

Thus I feel that society is better generally for more and more people but I only wish life were not so frenetic in pursuit of constant entertainment and enjoyment

WhatAngelicaSaid1 karma

What is your proudest achievement? Also, what advice would you give to a young teenager? thanks!

dcretiree5 karma

My 15 years as principal of a 50/50 black/white school that was in disarray when I became principal in 1970 was by far the most satisfying and proudest work I ever did as we brought the students together. And then seeing one of my former African-American students who came from one of the most disadvantaged homes could imagine become the principle of that school was particularly gratifying.

The advice I would give anyone would be to truly know oneself and one's abilities and limitations and reach out to all kinds of people in loving friendship is most important. Seek out as many experiences as possible. Good luck to you

UntalentedAsian1 karma

How did it feel living thru the cold war? Were you scared at any level by events such as the cuban missle crisis?

dcretiree1 karma

I find it interesting that I really had no great sense of fear during any of those periods. I'm not sure if it was living in the Midwest at that time rather than living in DC as I do now or if it is my general respect and feeling of confidence in leaders that good decisions would be made.

I'm sorry that that same confidence and leadership is not exist now.

Jamondo1 karma

What has been the biggest culture change throughout your lifetime?

dcretiree2 karma

The speed of change might be the biggest change I have seen in my 90+ years. The pace of life is so much faster today and even family life in the home do not provide as much leisure space as we had in my growing up years. And I personally feel that much of this is a result of our having created so many necessities in life that one income in a home can rarely provide adequate income.

I've also been pleasantly astonished at the degree of social change being generally accepted so rapidly. Of course books of been written on all of this that explain it better than I

coryrenton1 karma

I've read that general attitudes towards abortion in America were much more matter-of-fact and pragmatic in the past. Is that true to your recollection?

dcretiree2 karma

I'm not sure it's attitude is much as unwillingness to face what was really going on. Of course I lived in a rather puritanical home situation and environment and there was never any discussion of the topic. One would've looked with horror at a child being born out of wedlock.

samwise09121 karma

On a personal level, what are a few of your favorite films?

erasedtapes5 karma

Why are you a bot that just asks what people's favorite films are?

dcretiree4 karma

OMG! I just had to answer this one right now because it's gotten such a following. I'm so unsophisticated in answering questions I'm not sure the best way to follow up with so many of you who seem to somewhat ridicule a logical question. First my answer – this is hard for me to answer because there are so many that I have enjoyed many go back to the past like gaslight,Spellbound, Maltese falcon, rear window, and one of my more recent all-time favorites, Anatomy of a Murder. And of course I truly enjoy any good Broadway musical brought to the screen because of my affection for the American musical from The Music Man to Sweeney Todd. And most recently I did enjoy Fences and I and Lion. I know I've left out many because my moods change as well as does my memory ability. And for the record I personally like it when people recommend movies to me because there are so many great ones – as well as very bad ones there often highly recommended.

Chanchumaetrius1 karma

OK, that's weird. Maybe he's just really boring?

erasedtapes3 karma

If that's an actual person copying and pasting the same question on every single AMA, I'll be kind of impressed, really.

samwise091210 karma

Nope! Just one person copy pasting. I take all the answers and plonk them into a spreadsheet with all kinds of info about the film. Helps me deal with my anxiety.

Chanchumaetrius3 karma

In that case, good luck bud.

dcretiree1 karma

OMG! I just had to answer this one right now because it's gotten such a following. I'm so unsophisticated in answering questions I'm not sure the best way to follow up with so many of you who seem to somewhat ridicule a logical question. First my answer – this is hard for me to answer because there are so many that I have enjoyed many go back to the past like gaslight,Spellbound, Maltese falcon, rear window, and one of my more recent all-time favorites, Anatomy of a Murder. And of course I truly enjoy any good Broadway musical brought to the screen because of my affection for the American musical from The Music Man to Sweeney Todd. And most recently I did enjoy Fences and I and Lion. I know I've left out many because my moods change as well as does my memory ability. And for the record I personally like it when people recommend movies to me because there are so many great ones – as well as very bad ones there often highly recommended.

dcretiree1 karma

OMG! I just had to answer this one right now because it's gotten such a following. I'm so unsophisticated in answering questions I'm not sure the best way to follow up with so many of you who seem to somewhat ridicule a logical question. First my answer – this is hard for me to answer because there are so many that I have enjoyed many go back to the past like gaslight,Spellbound, Maltese falcon, rear window, and one of my more recent all-time favorites, Anatomy of a Murder. And of course I truly enjoy any good Broadway musical brought to the screen because of my affection for the American musical from The Music Man to Sweeney Todd. And most recently I did enjoy Fences and I and Lion. I know I've left out many because my moods change as well as does my memory ability. And for the record I personally like it when people recommend movies to me because there are so many great ones – as well as very bad ones there often highly recommended.

dcretiree1 karma

OMG! I just had to answer this one right now because it's gotten such a following. I'm so unsophisticated in answering questions I'm not sure the best way to follow up with so many of you who seem to somewhat ridicule a logical question. First my answer – this is hard for me to answer because there are so many that I have enjoyed many go back to the past like gaslight,Spellbound, Maltese falcon, rear window, and one of my more recent all-time favorites, Anatomy of a Murder. And of course I truly enjoy any good Broadway musical brought to the screen because of my affection for the American musical from The Music Man to Sweeney Todd. And most recently I did enjoy Fences and I and Lion. I know I've left out many because my moods change as well as does my memory ability. And for the record I personally like it when people recommend movies to me because there are so many great ones – as well as very bad ones there often highly recommended.

dcretiree1 karma

OMG! I just had to answer this one right now because it's gotten such a following. I'm so unsophisticated in answering questions I'm not sure the best way to follow up with so many of you who seem to somewhat ridicule a logical question. First my answer – this is hard for me to answer because there are so many that I have enjoyed many go back to the past like gaslight,Spellbound, Maltese falcon, rear window, and one of my more recent all-time favorites, Anatomy of a Murder. And of course I truly enjoy any good Broadway musical brought to the screen because of my affection for the American musical from The Music Man to Sweeney Todd. And most recently I did enjoy Fences and I and Lion. I know I've left out many because my moods change as well as does my memory ability. And for the record I personally like it when people recommend movies to me because there are so many great ones – as well as very bad ones there often highly recommended.

fasehed1 karma

This is a very basic question for such an interesting life. But, what are your favorite things to do on your freetime?

dcretiree2 karma

In all candor it really is quite a revealing question – how we use our free time says a great deal about us. For me it is changed through the years, but sports have always been dominating. But my family was growing up I found it necessary to do a great many things around the house that I enjoy both because of the accomplishment and saving money. I've also enjoyed working with wood work making toys. Unfortunately I never had or provided time for reading but that has been one of the things I've enjoyed most was more time available in retirement. And from a values point of view, attending church has been very vital to me, not because I believe in the "miracles" but it has been a source of friendship and the means of public service.

Thanks for the interesting question

coryrenton1 karma

What are some bits of cultural ephemera you recall from your youth that you are not able to find evidence of having existed online (fads, early TV shows, slang, etc...)?

dcretiree1 karma

The only thing that truly comes to my mind immediately is the loss of radio shows. How they dominated our evenings much the same as television does today. I wonder how much we had to use our imagination in making it possible. Some of my favorites were Amos and Andy, Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Burns and Allen.

A true cultural ephemera (to use your fascinating term) might have been the nights when The Brown Bomber (Joe Lewis) defended his title. You could walk down the streets of San Antonio in the summer when all the windows were open because there was no air-conditioning and everyone was pulling for him.

I also recall the first time one of my classmates in the sixth grade came to school with a "Burr" haircut. Ms. Nicholson and that should be spelled on my Dragon dictation machine M ISS because married teachers were not allowed to teach said, as she tried to grab his hair, "No one can be in my classroom whose hair I cannot grab."

And in so far as slang, we learn to substitute, darn, for damn because we were not supposed to swear. Your father's mustache was before my time

ajpalkia1 karma

What was it like to live through world war II? Was the pressure to serve in the military as high as it sounded in history classes?

dcretiree1 karma

Not only were those exciting years, but it was a period in which after the attack on Pearl Harbor there is great unity of purpose in our country. And you might well remember that before the war there is great division with an active group working to do almost anything to keep us out of another European war. There is a general acceptance of responding to the military because it was perceived as treating all Americans equal through the draft system. Most felt we were truly engaged in a divided world of good versus evil and were eager to do their part.

Interesting to think about it in the way you put it. Every time you had a candy bar you saved the foil wrapper – were conscious of conserving things. How different from the difficulty we face now in trying to save our fragile world.

raphmonsta1 karma

I've been thinking about the state of America today, or more specifically I have been thinking about the state of change we are currently in. Now I'm just a senior in high school, but I've noticed that what's going on right now is not something that happens every four years, that huge protests going on every other day is not something normal; and I've been wondering, what it was like during other periods of social (political, economic, etc.) upheaval, and if you think any of them can be compared to today? Edit: I almost forgot, thanks so much for doing this AMA, its been really interesting to hear what you have to say!

dcretiree2 karma

If you get a chance you might check out my blog that I referenced in my AMA because I this week referred to the many other protests that have gone on through the years – all through my lifetime. Even when I forgot to mention was the protest after WWI when veterans pitched tents in downtown Washington protesting the fact that they had not been given their promised pensions. Interesting that the general who led the charge to get rid of them was Douglas MacArthur. And of course certainly they grew more and more intense but at a different level with the civil rights movement. Actually I've grown to see these as positive revolutions – and certainly revolutions I can support as long as they remain ppeaceful and conform to what I feel is progress in the direction of the quality for all human beings.

In a matter of comparison I lived most of my Vietnam years in Ann Arbor where the protest were quite intense and then was here in DC for one year 1949 – 70. That was the kind of escalation of hostility that I hope not to see again.

Chanchumaetrius1 karma

What do you think is the key to being a good educator?

dcretiree1 karma

Truly loving and enjoying children. And then willing to give up lots of time to help individuals and study ways of being more effective.

And then using the summer to recharge your batteries.

Good luck

xetricsgo1 karma

What time do you wake up? Trying to validate the stereotype that the elderly wake up very early

dcretiree3 karma

I do find that I tire much earlier and go to bed about 10 o'clock after reading for about 30 minutes. Linda and I then get up about 7:30 AM and after breakfast spend about two hours reading the Washington Post.

What does that do to your stereotype?

velavelanovsky1 karma

I am a 23 year old professional film photographer; I don't own any digital photography equipment. You are a man who is not in the field who has seen first hand the immense changes photography has gone through. How do you feel about the accessibility of it in the modern world?

dcretiree1 karma

It's really a topic I've never given thought to other than astonishment at the constant I see going on about. How much film we would've wasted in the old days! And I was amazed that the photographer for Oprah magazine spent about 3 1/2 hours with me and one picture was used in their publication recently. I recall what fun I had with my first brown and then the more modern camera that took a picture about the size of a postage stamp. I'm looking forward to the new show at our national Gallery of Art featuring many of the works of (is it Dorothea Lange?)

I guess I'd have to say, "so many pictures being taken and for what purpose? "

I hope this is helpful, any further questions?

Throttl1 karma

I have a question I hope you would not mind answering: did your wife's passing help you more easily accept death itself, and the impermanence of things?

Ps - I've sent you a private message to your inbox that I hope you could reply too, as well. Thanks for the AMA.

dcretiree1 karma

A very interesting thought, but I've never felt a connection between my long term concept of death and my wife's unexpected and untimely aneurysm that caused her death. Family and my commitment to her in our last goodbyes (whether she was aware of them or not) to be both grandfather and grandmother to our grandchildren helped sustain me as did - for one year - keeping a diary of my feelings.

And in a day or two I shall look forward to taking more time to hopefully give more insight into those things that give life meaning irrespective of the plight of the world around us. Thank you for sharing with me.

gotatickethelp1 karma

I'm in my mid 20s with big ambitions of changing the lives of middle eastern refugees. Currently in medical school to do so. I've heard for many older folk that by the time I begin working, my personal responsibilities will shadow my drive to actually fulfill this dream. What are your thoughts about this? How much did your goals evolve as you went through your 20s,30s, 40s and beyond?

dcretiree1 karma

One of the most remarkable and amazing things to me as I have grown older is to see the idealism of young people. Please don't be dissuaded from negative thoughts. More and more I have seen that being useful and making a difference is the most important thing in life.

I do feel that one of the most negative aspects I've seen is how many people have not been able to resist the urge to put themselves and their own comforts above everything else. But that is one of the things that we do have the opportunity to control.

Good luck to you perhaps we can keep in touch through my blog

ExTremeHYPE991 karma

How cool was it seeing the earth develop so much? Like the cars, technology, even the way people dressed. That must've been awesome.

dcretiree1 karma

I really felt fortunate to live in a time when there has been so much technical progress. I only wish we would have moved further in the area of equality for all and world peace. I leave with that regret in the fact that my departure (hopefully sometime off yet) that I have lived to see the election of this president whom I believe brings out the worst in the American character. Sorry I just couldn't resist that overwhelming thought.

jamiedee1 karma

Favorite Pokemon?

dcretiree1 karma

This is totally out of my frame of reference. Sorry

RednoseJew1 karma

Can you talk about what it was like when alcohol became legal again?

dcretiree1 karma

There are two reasons I can't truly answer your question primarily because I was raised in the household that was known as teetotalers. My father stated that he had seen what alcohol addiction had done to people and while he might've enjoyed beer he wanted to set a good example for us. Consequently I really have no knowledge of probation because it was always prohibited to us. I distinctly remember attending classes of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union where we were shown in a test tube what alcohol would do to an egg – just think what it would do inside your gut.

My how times have changed. I am now a social drinker but still don't know how to make an adequate cocktail

janetelvira1 karma

If you could go back to a particular era in your life, what would it be?

dcretiree1 karma

I have been so fortunate that it's hard for me to single out one era. Even though we were lower middle-class growing up in San Antonio through high school was a marvelous time of carefree freedom. College was great with the thrill of falling in love for the first time and marrying my first love. The. After WWII (sorry about that dictation error) and raising my family in Ann Arbor was particularly spectacular and retirement here in DC has been a marvelous time. How can I possibly choose between them? In some ways I would also add and maybe this would top the list being principal of a 50-50 black/white school in the 60s and 70s with the family enjoying life on the shores of Lake Michigan was particularly satisfying. Certainly it was my most gratifying time meeting the challenge of that school.

5_somewhere1 karma

Where was your first flight to, and how did you feel about getting on an airplane?

dcretiree1 karma

It was in 1945 and I had just been commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps at Quantico, Virginia. Recently opened National Airport was serviced by Eastern Airlines, naturally a prop driven to motored airplane took me to San Antonio was perhaps a half dozen stops along the way. It was nothing but a thrill and excitement and good food along the way.

RinkyInky1 karma

What is the best meal you ever had?

dcretiree1 karma

That's an unusual question, and it's somewhat depends upon the circumstances. As a kid growing up in the depression we rarely eat out at restaurants – in fact there were few of them as I recall in those days. My father worked as a secretary at one of the military bases in San Antonio. Each Thanksgiving we were invited to a copious family-style Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings – even candies to take home – and even free (forbidden) cigarettes.

In my adult life I've had so many good meals it's hard to single out any one although I'm not really a fan of very fancy foods. But the meal we had recently on a Viking Cruise in their specialty Italian restaurant was quite memorable.

Funded think about both.

Cash_Cab1 karma

What was your reaction to the atomic bombs?

dcretiree1 karma

Since I was getting ready to invade Japan, it was a welcome relief. I I must admit that I gave no thought to the moral questions involved.

Apensley1 karma

What's your earliest memory?

dcretiree2 karma

It's hard to distinguish between actual memory and memory through recall through pictures and discussions of the past. But I think I can honestly say it was falling in love with my first grade teacher. And that was only because when I grew up education in Texas was so far behind we neither had kindergarten nor 12th grade. Truly I graduated as a senior in the 11th grade.

Are is my first memory the scar that runs from the tip of my index finger to my wrist. It was caused by touching our gas heater. We were poor so my parents never took me to the doctor only doing something about it – I know not what – when the rotting flesh began to smell.

Thanks for helping me recall the past

GodofWar12341 karma

Why did you join the Marines?

What were your rank when you got out?

How long did you stay in the Marine Corps?

How do you view programs like JROTC?

What advice would you give to a Marine Corps JROTC cadet who wants to serve his country by becoming a Marine after high school? :)

Do you have any leadership advice and general advice on life?

How do you deal with pain/stress?

How many times have you been rejected by a girl? How did you cope?

Are you confident? If so, how?

No disrespects, but...do you just so happen to have any dating advice or advice on how to approach a girl and maybe ask her out...?

dcretiree2 karma

My that's a lot to answer. I'll go down the questions one by one. As a high school senior (and that's the 11th grade in Texas at that time) the recruiter came and promised that we would get 16 months of college equal to two years academically before being sent to boot camp and then officer training. I don't know if it was patriotism or the good deal but my buddies and I signed up on the spot. I don't think I even talked to my parents.

I was commissioned a second lieutenant and had to commit to stay in the reserve for six years. During that time I was promoted to first Lieut. and fortunately/unfortunately because of a injury in college sports after the war was spared going to Korea.

My active duty was 3 1/2 years and I received an honorable discharge met the end of the six years. I feel embarrassed when I am thanked for my service

The JROTC of my use in Texas high schools was sort of an elite joke. I feel however modern programs particularly in college and as an assistance youth in high schools can have great value.

I would encourage you to go for it.

Do everything you can to truly know yourself – your strengths, your interests and your ability. Take advantage of every opportunity to meet and greet and make contact with others.

Dealing with pain and stress. That's why I feel healthcare is so important for – get all the help you can in dealing with pain with any psychological problem. But also make sure you look at the beauty and the opportunities of every day.

In high school I was very shy and really not interested in girls. And some of that was because I was timid and shy. Fortunately even after the Marine Corps I fell in love with only one girl and fortunately we were married – but my heart was broken by her once because she gave me the ring back stating she needed time to be on her own. I was miserable but persevered and it paid off.

I think there's a lesson in that. I tried to date others but always felt that I was being dishonest.

One of the things I've really regretted is my lack of confidence – particularly in giving addresses, but I've learned to cope with it and find it a very common situation with many many people

No feeling of being disrespected in the least. Be honest about yourself and have topics of interest you would like to share with someone else. Truly showing interest in the other person.

Hope this helps – I'm not even proofreading it – good luck don't hesitate to send further messages

Nike170 karma

I saw one of your previous comments on you not liking President Trump, I personally like him. I like how it's America first, how he will help keep American culture alive from the mass immigration of another society ( I don't know where you live now, but you must have noticed the huge demographic changes in southern California and transition politically), how he's working with Russia to keep peace between our nations unlike Hillary who was keen to show off to Russia and potentially get us in a war with them, and making sure America is a christian nation. What do you think?

dcretiree4 karma

I can't truly tell you how much it means to me to be able to discuss politics with someone who has a different opinion from mine. It's the kind of dialogue I feel has been sadly missing is our country has become more and more polarized. I respect your views because they represent your giving thoughtful concern to the problems our country faces. They are greater than any I have seen in my lifetime and it all this time I have never seen anyone to more to divide people then Donald Trump. He and his entire life and lifestyle reflect so much of what I feel is wrong was America. The one thing I give him credit for that many of us "elites" have not been sensitive enough to is the trauma that so many people are facing as middle-class jobs are disappearing.

I firmly believe in American exceptionalism! We have exceptionally espoused democratic principles and equality for all – we have through our history welcomed immigrants and people in need. However we were also exceptionally inconsiderate in our treatment of Native Americans and built our comfortable culture on the back of slaves. Indeed we have called ourselves a Christian nation but in my view of Christianity Donald Trump in his life and treatment of women and employees and emphasizing the acquisition of wealth shows nothing of the spirit of Christianity. In her work with children and the disadvantaged I feel Hillary really showed what it means to be a Christian. Certainly her view of separation of church and state shows her much more accepting of people of other faiths than Trump who would cast all Muslims in the same mold.

I'm sorry to be so direct and forthright, but I truly feel that Trump represents the autocratic dictatorial approach that I have opposed all my life. Appreciative of having my grandfather and grandmother as immigrants from Germany over 100 years ago I am most appreciative of anything that broadens the scope of multiculturalism in our country.

I've so many questions to answer you'll excuse me if I don't even proofread these thoughts – excuse any mistakes. I hope we can talk further.

wohlstand-1 karma

What you feel about Trump is not necessarily the truth. It might seem real to you as we all live by our feeling. But it is widely distributed by clickbait media who just get the most clicks when they run negative Trump stories - often not true. Remember when almost all world media picked up the story of Trump making up a swedish terrorist attack? Well he never said that. He only talked of the current events in sweden which clearly was referring to their problems with refugees. Not even close to a terrorist attack. And there is 100s of examples where US media has done similiar things. So (y)our feelings may be being lead astray for clickbait by a press that is not really free anymore but owned by certain interests (6 companies own basically all media).

dcretiree2 karma

Thanks for expressing your view, but I shall continue to find more factual facts in The Washington Post in articles that are researched and analyzed by well-educated people than the fly-by-night expression of people on the social media and the bias of Fox News. I find it totally remarkable that I have never in my life seen anyone as flippant with the news and how great he is and will improve and America that is so terrible (that he constantly references).

KingTund-2 karma

hahaha 'America first' 'keep American culture alive' 'working with Russia to keep peace between our nations' 'America is a christian nation'

god, what a joke.

dcretiree7 karma

I hope you saw my response – I truly feel it important that we have meaningful dialogue rather than deprecating a person with a different idea than ours

optimisticsinglemom-3 karma

How do I obtain my Florida Rn License when I'm facing eviction? I'm a 42 yr old single Mom with a 3 yr old child. I'm facing very difficult times. If I don't come up with a solution in 2 days we will be facing eviction. I had been working from home but I was stiffed by the shipping company I was working for. I can't afford daycare. The Father doesn't contribute anything and the the State of Fl is pursuing this. I also have my RN Degree but it is quite costly to obtain your Florida Rn License. I'm looking for any used NCLEX Review books or Study Courses for Boards. I have so much potential but I desperately need help, advice and suggestions. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. The thought of us being homeless is heartbreaking. I have reached out to 211 and United Way but they do not have any referrals for rental assistance at this time. I have to overcome us being evicted then I can concentrate on obtaining my Florida Rn License so I can provide my son a good life and pay it forward. I'm praying that God opens doors and I'm praying for a miracle because I don't have much time left. I don't have a support system nor anywhere to go. Thank you for the time for reading this and I pray that we don't get evicted. I've already received my 3 day notice. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm humbly asking for help because I'm drowning and I can't do this on my own. I can't accomplish all of this on my own. God Bless You.

dcretiree1 karma

I'm sorry that with the many questions I've received, I am just getting to yours after three days. At this distance I can only suggest what I would do for a person here and that is referred them to a church that has a particular interest in helping people in need. Certainly there are so many that are government at the federal level is making it difficult for now. Yet here in Washington I know there are many churches that have support services for people just like you – when organize government services are not available to them.

Indeed I can, and many churches will support through prayer, but fortunately there are many – generally large churches that are committed to helping people – may you find those where you live

Cera_is_Tops-7 karma

Do you ever feel like a fraud?

dcretiree2 karma

I guess I really don't understand the system because I just noticed that this gives you a -5 points. Whatever that means. Actually I think it's quite a good question and indeed I have, particularly those times when I was forced into position where I may have used bad judgment or was put in a position where I had to defend a policy that I did not fully agree with.

It's a good question in that I think we need to face the fact that there often times we need to compromise – and that is it necessary a bad thing

Simpdogg-12 karma

How old where you the last time you managed to successfully have intercourse?

maninblack4584 karma

If OP had replied "ask your mom" I would have deemed a god.

dcretiree3 karma

There are any number of ways to continue to have meaningful physical relationships.