As I approach my 92nd birthday, and having so thoroughly enjoyed my previous AMA's, I thought I would give it another shot. My underlying reasons for doing so is twofold:

  • I believe that what "The World Needs Now" is more dialogue between divergent groups (obviously in this case, age), and

  • I sincerely believe that there are some aspects of my "ancient" America that are in danger of being forgotten and lost that might well assist future generations to enjoy the splendid life experience which was mine.


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 once again, it may take awhile, but if I am deluged with responses, I will still plan to answer every one.

Comments: 148 • Responses: 61  • Date: 

dcretiree104 karma

Once again, let me 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.

Wildcatfan332 karma

What is your stance on people kneeling during the National Anthem?

dcretiree101 karma

Thank you for asking. I tried to give all the publicity I can to something that is very dear to my heart. I can only think of the millions by school athletes this Friday will face the dilemma from peers, parents, coaches and community. Many of them have admired role models who have taken a courageous stand drawing attention to centuries of racial inequities. The dilemma heightened by patriotism, respect for the progress it is been made through the years. Where I had a high school or college game, I think I would stand for the start of the national anthem and when "the rockets red glare" words came through halfway through, I would Leal still holding my hand over my heart.

I have more the thought that our president has chosen to put people in this dilemma. His ignorance of history is underscored by his wanting more brutality in the sport not realizing that at the turn-of-the-century Pres. Theodore Roosevelt called a conference of university presidents having seen how brutal the sport had already become with 18 athletes dying that year in participation.

Dictated but not proofread

xxscorpio32 karma

Being 91 years old, if you could go back to any decade of your life, which would it be and why?

dcretiree70 karma

Other than the joy of reminiscing, I find the excitement of the present to me all I want or need. If looking at world conditions it might well be the 50s when we finally had peace for a while and we were rebuilding both the world and our country. It was also personally satisfy because of satisfaction in my work personally and with a growing family of four children

Chtorrr31 karma

What is something that everyone should learn to do in life?

dcretiree82 karma

Try to develop a positive attitude. By that I don't mean being a Pollyanna, but try to focus on what is good in one's life. And also realize the importance of reaching out and helping those in need as much as one can.

In discussing this with members of the younger generation who often speak in terms of happiness, my tendency is to want to feel useful even if it's just greedy people on the street when I approach them.

dcretiree2 karma

The importance of love and understanding the position/plight of others

drchopsalot28 karma

Pineapple on pizza or no?

theturbolemming48 karma

/u/dcretiree is my grandpa and if he answers yes to this I'm opting out of his will.

drchopsalot11 karma

Haha I ask with the intention of receiving a no. This question get a a lot of yes 's tho.

dcretiree43 karma

Of course Jake knows it's a "no." But at the rate I'm going there drinking to be no money left in the will.

theturbolemming22 karma

I think my grandpa meant "there's going to be no money left in the will" but it is mildly disturbing that he accidentally substituting "drinking..."

dcretiree25 karma

Darn! I guess I should proof read and better yet train my dictation machine to better understand my speech pattern. But it is now to bed having answered all the questions to dae.

noreallyitstrue_22 karma

Hello there! Middle school teacher here. What advice can you give me in working with this population?

dcretiree33 karma

I truly believe that trying each day to show them you are interested in them and care about them is the primary requisite. It's also important to show a love of your subject and of learning. It's a tough job especially for those who fully pour themselves into it by their preparation and taking time to their students in extra class activities

TurtlesWillFly21 karma

Hi my grandfather is also 93 and is a veteran with almost the same way of living that you seem to have(except he was in the involved mainly in the pacific at the time and was a engineer). What can you say to my grandpa that another veteran can say to another?

dcretiree37 karma

While I would like to look back at those fascinating 1940s I'd be most interested to know to what he attributes his apparently good life. For me I cite six factors. 1. The good fortune of a healthy birth was associated "privileges" surrounding it. 2. The support throughout my life of a solid family structure. 3. Good, free public schools 4. A supportive, caring government 5. Adequate financial resources to satisfy wants and desires 6. A supportive community – in my case a liberal religious community.

I know I've talked more about myself that I might like but I think it is important to look back to see what has been important to some of us in the past. But I most conscious is the fact that for many, race and social position mitigated against having some of these advantages.

Thanks for the opportunity to share with you.

coryrenton20 karma

what are some books, movies, art etc... that people consider classics today, but you remember as being thought of as trash by most everyone when it came out?

dcretiree32 karma

It's an interesting question, however we accepted pretty much everything at face value and were perhaps not as critical as people are today. Except, and this is a very, very large exception the changing musical culture. And I was even part of a rather strict religious community that considered dancing to be evil.

coryrenton19 karma

what's the oldest joke you know that you keep hearing new versions of from people who think the joke is new?

dcretiree47 karma

The knock knock jokes where the big thing in my day. I had a friend whose last name was Shewitz. We thought it was awfully funny to answer by saying, "she wets in her pants." Sorry

TrendWarrior10116 karma

Where were you when the bombing of Pearl Harbor happened? What did you do at the home front before joining the military?

dcretiree29 karma

Having a quiet Sunday afternoon at home listening to the radio and chafing at the bit as a 15-year-older to go out and play baseball. I joined the Marine Corps during my senior year in high school with the promise that I would get immediately sent to college for 16 months. Interesting that in Texas at that time we neither had kindergarten nor the 12th grade. Our human grade was our senior year. But of course in addition to studies and being on the basketball team in high school I worked at a grocery store Saturdays and often after school out of season.

illneverforget201515 karma

How can we better teach our children the enormous sacrifice made by your generation ?

dcretiree23 karma

By continuing to the progress we have made in civil rights I fear is in danger perhaps even more so than it was in the 40s. I'm appalled at the ignorance that fails to look at history and realize that our country has wrought great evil to other races and native peoples and lead understanding of the need for progress.

Dictated but not proofread

MrPapaya2213 karma

As an educator, what is the worst thing you ever saw a student do?

dcretiree44 karma

In 1970 I became principal of a highly stressed, divided, 50/50 black/white middle school. It was the most exciting and personally rewarding job I ever had. Even though in gaining control I was struck by a student. But students were not really a problem, the faculty and the parents were.

Chtorrr13 karma

What is the very best dessert?

dcretiree37 karma

I'm afraid I've broken every Health rule by my eating habits, and the worst is loving desserts.

Where do I begin? Rhubarb pie à la mode dark chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream pecan pie pralines, and anything with pecans

just_dave12 karma

Living in the 50's after ww2, where everything was going to be nuclear this and futuristic that, what future technology were you most looking forward to but never panned out?

And what came out of nowhere that blew your mind but no one saw coming (aside from the internet)?

dcretiree18 karma

I truly thought that someday I could wear a harness and elevate myself and travel wherever I wanted. But I soon discovered that was totally a fantasy. I'm sorry but nothing has been as startling as the social impact and other results from the Internet. But of a social nature the thing I feel that has had the greatest impact on lifestyles in America is the need for almost all families to have more than one income

diegojones49 karma

What made you pick DC for retirement?

dcretiree21 karma

Totally by chance. My daughter-in-law had a White House Fellowship, my wife had died and our roots were not firmly established in the community where we resided. Upon visiting them here I was captivated by the intellectual opportunities that abound here in the city. And unfortunately flight connections between here and the Midwest are both convenient and inexpensive if one looks hard enough and is flexible.

diegojones45 karma

Glad it worked for you. I live in San Antonio and was just curious how that came about.

dcretiree11 karma

I hope you find San Antonio as marvelous a place as I in which to grow up. I went to Brackenridge high school and Emerson Junior high and Robert E Lee elementary school both of which no longer exist. I love visiting the city yet

diegojones48 karma

If you come back, look me up! We'll go have a beer. We can go visit my uncle in Georgetown who flew B-17 in WWII and y'all can shoot the shit.

dcretiree16 karma

And I was just there in April. One of the favorite things I have to do there the musician Jim Cullum who used to be at the landing at the Hilton on the river. He now plays in several small clubs. If you like jazz, you must go hear him. Tell him you know his friend in Washington DC

SpoopyTheGreat9 karma

What would you say has been the most drastic change to the educational system since you began teaching? Do you like the way education is headed?

dcretiree11 karma

I seen constant efforts to change and reform the schools. I am a staunch believer that the public schools have been a bulwark in unifying and providing progress in our society. My first real concern (along with the illness of my wife) cause me to retire early. In 1986 I felt we no longer had enough financial support to assist those schools (like mine) meet the broad needs of disadvantaged children. There was much too much emphasis on making everyone become an average reader and mathematician. Other things that concern me are the changing sports and athletic aspects. We use to encourage students to have broad interest and participation. Now the push is to excellence in one sport. And while I have no figures to support this, my present observations are that we are losing the: the cohesiveness of society in part because of so many schools of choice – even at an early age: the traditional public school, the charter school, the private school and the parochial school.

Zoring_SilverPhoenix9 karma

Love this AMA! What has been the biggest change in how the world "works" since you were a kid, in your opinion?

dcretiree9 karma

Each new era brought inventions that we thought would change the world. Faster automobiles made suburbs possible. The marvels of TV would make theaters a thing of the past. But I really don't think anything is changed life for the individual and had such an effect on our country and the world is has the Internet. Both for good and for bad.

And from a personal, social point of view, two things stand out. For most every family in my childhood one modest income seem to take care of our wants and needs.

The other is the loss of agencies and social structure that United our country. In my childhood most of us got our information from one of three radio stations. Neighborhoods flourished and play was generally with people who live in the same block. You can read more about this in Robert Putnam's book, "bowling alone". It's a problem that I feel is increasing in our society

SoyMurcielago8 karma

What are your ideas for divergent groups who seemingly don't want to sit down and converse with their opposition? How do you convince someone who is diametrically opposed to your position before you even present it? In my view, this is a fundamental problem that is going to cause even worse issues in the future as we continue to switch to echo chamber news outlets and hide our heads in the sand from differing points of view than our own.

dcretiree12 karma

I totally agree with you, and I feel it is something I'm not particularly good at. To me the "good" is so obvious that I grow impatient with those I disagree with. Unfortunately now we have an example set of using inflammatory language, demeaning nicknames that serve to belittle others. I think the first step one can do is to avoid falling into THAT trap and try to meet hostile comments with civilized discussion. It may be a simple answer, but in responding to questions that are phrased with language I don't approve of, I tried to raise the level of conversation and let them know that I'm happy to talk about differences but not at the gutter level.

The simple answer, and truest one is that this is extremely difficult but so important that we work together to find an answer.

Dictated but not proof read.

PostmodernWanderlust7 karma

I am a big fan of political books written during WWII. I've slowly come to the conclusion that this is because the authors were living in times where truth was being suffocated and as the most powerful countermeasure even against bombs and bullets was to speak the truth, the whole truth, without any other agendas to the best of their human abilities. Just as one example, the urgency with which Karl Popper wrote "The Open Society And Its Enemies" from exile in New Zealand is astonishing to me.

What are your thoughts on the uniqueness of this era regarding the battle for truth and is it only replicable in times of profound darkness like WWII?

dcretiree8 karma

In my youth, I wasn't much of a reader the only true current history book I remember was political candidate, Wendel Wilkies,, "One World." I do wonder if it my own naïveté, are being isolated on military bases are controlled the press that gave us a little information or was it ignored by us that we knew so little about our treatment of the Japanese and the horrors being perpetuated on Jewish people in all of Europe. Thanks for bringing Popper's book to my attention. I really don't think the times of WWII were darker than the present.

cannotevenbelieve7 karma

What advice would you give to someone trying to figure life out?

dcretiree12 karma

I truly believe that this is an ongoing struggle/opportunity that we all face and continues at various times in our lives. For me it has been most important to find ways I can be useful. Now that my strength and endurance is limited I find I can even do it by greeting people on the street with a friendly greeting. I think it's also important as one is tempted to look at the negatives to see the positives in one's life. I also feel it important to just clear our minds, tune out the world and try to meditate.

SlyTheFoxx6 karma

Did you ever struggle with depression? If so, what things did you do to help yourself?

Hope you have a wonderful upcoming birthday!

dcretiree12 karma

Indeed I did, and many of my friends would say that I was the last person they ever felt would succumb to depression. It was when I was in my 70s and seem to be situational even though I had to be hospitalized. The most important thing is to get help and be open about it and realize that one faces a difficult battle with ups and downs ahead.

ThePoonCoon6 karma

My grandpa is 93 and still going strong just like you! He was a radioman in the army, and did things like call in artillery etc. He fought at islands in the Pacific like pelilu and a few others. He also has tons of drawings from when he was deployed. Do you think it would be a good idea to write down/video him talking about his experiences? Maybe I should even have him do an ama.

dcretiree4 karma

OMG, it would be criminal not to. Please get in touch with the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. Information like that is extremely important and the places your grandfather fought were some of the most tragic and desperately fought over of the war please immediately contact [email protected] it's one of the premier museums and Hannah has even come to DC to interview me. Certainly feel free to use my name as a reference and express my great appreciation to your grandfather

JACL21136 karma

What is the one thing you are most critical of the younger generation?

dcretiree10 karma

While I do or their enthusiasm I am concerned with their follow-through. And one example bothers me no end. While they proclaim to be interested in preserving our planet I don't see the follow-through in the simple things. And one specific in almost all developed countries there are bottle deposits for both class and plastic. It is proven effective in 10 of our states for something like 40 years but yet we always have to have a new bottle of water available to us. I believe we in my use were much more conservation minded.

24backstabMcNugget6 karma

Were people scared when they signed up for the military, considering the horrors of war, and messages about casualties?

dcretiree7 karma

Life went on at a normal pace, and I think we were shielded from knowing more about casualties except when a Goldstar would appear the window. I went to the Marines at immediately after a high school as a volunteer because it was an natural thing to do. I joined with some of my buddies, and we went through the whole experience together.

shiny_balls6 karma

Thank you for your service! As an educator and an officer!

This may be an odd question for such a dark topic but do you have any fond memories from your life as an officer?

dcretiree10 karma

When people like me for my service,, I want to, and usually do, replied that I thank my country for the opportunity to serve. Never having faced any danger, I feel it was I who totally profited by having my horizons broadened, the G.I. Bill so that I could get 3 academic degrees as well as a great many other benefits. Indeed I do not speak of my involvement, but it was my grandson who continues to put this in my vita. I'll have to speak to him. My service. Was a time of great camaraderie.

TheGeralt854 karma

Do you notice any trends coming back from like the 50s or 60s?

dcretiree12 karma

I'm sorry that the only trend I see coming back is the divisiveness which at that time was caused by lack of knowledge about the causes and conditions of the Vietnamese war. Today I unfortunately feel that is being sown by a divisive president who thinks only of his own image ignoring even the harmfulness of his words.

kirmaster4 karma

What did you learn most from your conversations with people from the middle to late 1800's? Perspective from that time today must be unreal.

My great-grandmother lived from 1899-2001 and already had some stories to tell, including hearing about the titanic on the radio when it happened.

dcretiree3 karma

How lucky you were! The major thing I have from people of that era are antiques, most of them homemade, which I treasure. Especially a wooden mousetrap. People in my year up, at least in my experience, did not talk about such things. Only two things to I know from my grandfather: He planted a Linden tree when he left Germany. It's still there were members of the family still have the farm. I've had the pleasure of climbing that and my children and grandchildren doing the same.

My wife has this precious story from her grandfather who was in a German settled area of Russia. He pestered his parents that he wanted to go to America. Tiring of his tirades, they gathered the family together told him to go outside, hid a thimble (you may not know what that means) and if he found it they said he could come to America. Not only did he find it but eventually all of his siblings and his parents also came to America

PrestonGarvey14 karma

What do you think of the NFL players kneeling during the anthem and Trump’s response to it?

dcretiree13 karma

I'm totally appalled that our president has nothing else to do than create more divisiveness in our country by drawing lines between people. I bow to no one in my love and appreciation of my country but I also Neil in support of those that are country for centuries from Native Americans to immigrants to African-Americans who have been horribly discriminated against. How insensitive he is to the dilemma he places high school athletes in this weekend who have role models, whose parents may push him in one direction, whose school, coaches teachers and principals may push in another direction and even deny him or her the opportunity to participate because of a moral stand they are taking.

And as you really want to return to all to a rougher.. Does he not know that at one time a president with true leadership skills called the conference of university presidents because football had gotten so extremely brutal. Were those years in America was truly great when 18 players were killed in one season?

Dictated but not proofread. Sorry I'm trying to answer all the questions tonight

cinnamonsugarswirls3 karma

Before I say anything, thank you immensely for your service. My 100-year-old grandfather was in the army during WWII and he just passed.

How has your attitude/outlook on life changed from your 20s/30s vs. now? Do you still have the same fears/hopes/dreams/aspirations?

Again, thank you for your service. It is an honor to be able to ask you a question :)

dcretiree5 karma

Indeed it is I who thanks my country for the opportunity to serve. My country has done so much for me in expanding my opportunities even to the extent of my getting three academic degrees because of the G.I. Bill of Rights.

Yours is a question that I have pondered a great deal. And the way you stated makes me ponder the new realizing that the values behind each of these have been constant and supportive so that I have been satisfied to remain the same. It is my outlook on the world, particularly America, this is change the most the drive for material wealth, the frenetic pace of family life, the loss of community togetherness and the emphasis in sports of achieving excellence and gaining trophies rather than participating for the fun of it is shocking to me.

Dictated but not proofread

RiotLeader3 karma

What is a typically overlooked social change you feel has been for the better? What is a typically overlooked social change you feel has been for the worst? If you don't mind expanding, why do you feel this way towards these changes?

dcretiree3 karma

There's no question in my mind that the greatest social change I witnessed has been the inclusiveness of our society. As a child I was taught – an experienced – the concept that came and preyed upon young boys. The whole host of prejudices that our society is well on the way to reject has been our greatest improvement, I feel.

The negative change is perhaps a personal idiosyncrasy – I wrote about it in a previous answer as follows:The other is the loss of agencies and social structure that United our country. In my childhood most of us got our information from one of three radio stations. Neighborhoods flourished and play was generally with people who live in the same block. You can read more about this in Robert Putnam's book, "bowling alone". It's a problem that I feel is increasing in our society.

Perhaps that is nostalgia, but I think society also pushes consumerism and that the only way to happiness is through expensive new experiences and even on the sporting scene, there's a tendency to not just play for the fun of it but to achieve excellence is represented by a trophy.

coryrenton3 karma

many movies and TV shows from the early years seem quite corny (though a few hold up) today, but did they also seem corny to audiences at the time?

dcretiree10 karma

It was such a new phenomenon that nothing was corny from Arthur Godfrey to some of the early quiz shows. And I'll great-aunt culture reach the hinterlands through concerts and lectures. With fewer choices it seemed to bring the country together.

justagirlfromiowa3 karma

Thank you for your service!

My grandfather who fought the Battle Of The Bulge is still alive, living in the Midwest. He was in the Iron Men of Metz, in the 95th Div. Infantry. His nickname was "Kid", as he was the youngest in his Division.

I grew up hearing his stories of fighting overseas, and still hear his stories today. We all (his family) encourage his stories, and enjoy listening to them.

Do you still have family that you enjoy sharing your stories with?

dcretiree6 karma

I have nothing but the greatest admiration for those who were in combat. I was spared from any of that but was getting ready to invade Japan. I'm afraid my stories, and 4 children, their spouses and nine grandchildren endure me as I tell them stories of what life was like in a previous era. My war stories however tell of leave in the Hollywood and going to Santa Anita racetrack. Don't get the wrong idea however I was a totally naïve Marine neither smoking or drinking or carousing. Of course with age I've changed one of the three and have absolutely no regrets in my life. So great you can hear your grandfather stories. I to thank him for his service. I think I country for the opportunities it has given me – but I am tremendously worried about the present

DonutMassacre643 karma

As a fellow San Antonian, how is the city different now from when you grew up? Is there anything being built that everyone just simpky knoes now as being there?

dcretiree6 karma

I love to visit it, because except for the addition of so many suburbs and the expressway cutting through the city, it remains the same to me. I don't think anything surpasses its reputation for the river, even the Alamo, the missions or one of my favorites, the King William section.

GItPirate3 karma

What do you think about the world in it's current state? Are we doomed or what?

dcretiree11 karma

Any doom that we face would be a result of our own ignorance as exemplified by what the voters did in this last election. My hope is that this younger idealistic generation will also become increasingly committed and do the grunt work that makes change possible.

writersandfilmmakers3 karma

How do you make new friends? Do they feel like friends from when u met in school? How hard is it to meet people who are super interesting?

dcretiree3 karma

This is very interesting question and thank you. And it truly shows a difference in society through the years.

My first friends were in an extended family which meant abroad spectrum of ages. Then 2 aspects of society converged to broaden my friendships: neighbors and area children who want to the same neighborhood church. My world was broadened as I walked to my elementary my elementary school, first grade – fifth grade. Ralph Waldo Emerson Junior high school, sixth grade – eighth grade brought the circle of friendships even more, and heavens there were even Latinos in the school. And now my world was greatly enhanced as I met Russians, Italians and more Latinos at George W Brackenridge high school in San Antonio, grades 9, 10 and 11. That is correct, we had no kindergarten nor 12th grade in that agent. Then of course my world and friendship opportunities were enhanced through the military and then somewhat restricted in their approach when I went to a liberal Christian college in Illinois that even forbade dancing.

To give a shorter version I would have to say that I was fortunate to have public schools that even now would be enhanced with African-American students and that I found further thoughtful friends in the liberal churches which I attended – and continue to do so. And of course the greatest benefit was meeting my wife at the college I attended.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane

egc11173 karma

Dogs or cats? What has been your favorite pet ever?

dcretiree10 karma

Sorry I'm not a pet lover. I'm too instilled with the needs of human beings to bring more mouths in the world to see. Guess I just been blessed with other forms of companionship

El_Quetzal3 karma

How (when) did you found out that the war had stared?

dcretiree3 karma

A quiet Sunday afternoon listening to the radio. In our household we were expected to be quiet after church for several hours. What a dramatic voice on the radio told us of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Quite fascinating that all America at that time was listening probably to one of three radio stations. Now the cacophony of voices would put all sorts of interpretations on the event.

coryrenton2 karma

What are some things that you remember being considered unsanitary or for poor people that are now considered luxuries (such as raw milk or horsemeat)?

dcretiree9 karma

Interesting I think of it as the other way around. I can hardly ever remember my mother telling me to wash my hands. Sorry I draw a blank and feel that the examples you give are not what most people I know would consider a luxury.

vr20522 karma


dcretiree7 karma

I'm not one to give much credence to conspiracy theories. Unfortunately I think there are those who suffer mental illness or irrational thought processes perhaps because of their socio-economic condition that are filled with delusions or comparable problems. And if Harvey O. Was convinced of some legislative problem he only became mixed up and functioned in an irrational way.

MissJosieAnne2 karma

What was it like to see more women join the workforce? What were your personal opinions on it at the time?

What were your opinions on women wearing pants and how did the slowly spreading use of hormonal birth control affect you as a man?

dcretiree3 karma

It's quite fascinating to look back and see how this gradually evolved. As a young child the only women I knew who work were single women. Women schoolteachers were fired if they were married. We naturally accepted and applauded "Rosie the riveter." I believe we males were pleased to see the developing, often revealing, changes in style and therefore accepted pants along with shorts. While many of my generation function counter to the Victorian principles there were great many of us who were totally naïve. Not only did I slowly get information, but I got it suddenly and puritanically along with the only girl I ever kissed until at time became my wife. Were those good old days?

InTupacWeTrust2 karma

Why do you think we are at 20 trillion debt?

dcretiree5 karma

It's quite fascinating that the debt was of great concern to my father in the 40s. Other than realizing that someone is making a profit from it, it hasn't been high on my priority list of concern. I'm much more concerned about the disparity of wealth in our country

GrandpaIsLit1 karma


dcretiree1 karma

I'm at a loss as how to reply to your question. I think the previous one is rather sweet.

VojislavMegas1 karma

My grandfather was a Lieutenant in the Army, and he was going to be slated for the invasion of Japan before the atom bomb. Did you, around that time, think you would be deployed to Japan? If so, were you afraid? After all, the estimates for casualties were very bleak.

dcretiree1 karma

I'm glad your grandfather and I did not have a chance to meet in Japan. I think my experience was typical of many others, we believed in the cause and were ready to do whatever we were called upon. Fortunately the handwriting was on the wall before it became realistic to us that our turn maybe next. In retrospect I realize how lucky I was and further that I was not called upon to go to Korea. I despise the fact currently that our present leadership is causing us to be torn apart like I've never seen before.

kainazzzo1 karma

How do you feel about fiat currency?

dcretiree1 karma

Sorry it's a topic I'm not up on. Do you want to take time to bring me up to speed? If it's that "bit something" I'm afraid I am a traditionalist and would prefer to depend upon the government to continue to work to give opportunity for all to gain monetary security.

cilyme1 karma

Having lived through so many now, which has been your favorite decade and why?

dcretiree2 karma

I'm surprised how often this question has been asked in all five of my AMA's. I've never really thought in decades and find the1 to be my favorite because I'm alive. If you mean an exciting time, I think it would be immediately after the war when everything seemed peaceful, new with opportunities prevailing – at least for white folks like me. For personal enjoyment I would have to say it's the 50s going in the 60s as I was established in my profession and raising a young family.

LmanDuderino1 karma

Regarding teaching, how can I get a large group of students to follow instructions together and not get riled up?

dcretiree1 karma

I find this question rather difficult to answer because of its breadth and complexity. I think I would approach it in this way: in advance preparation I would (we used to mimeograph) instructions for a half-dozen leaders to break the group in the small groups and consider the topic in that way. Have them then report back in a more subdued manner to the entire group. Let mayhem prevail in each of the small groups.

Thanks for the question, funded think about. I'd love to know more about it.

TheAverageSJW1 karma

When’s your birthday? Mine is coming up soon, too.

dcretiree1 karma

I'm jumping the gun a bit, although by some reckoning I was already conceived – given life – 92 years ago. The midwife helped my mother on December 8, 1925

dariaXbojack1 karma

How would you change the education system if you could?

dcretiree1 karma

If you want my revolutionary answer which because of my present associations cause me to lose friends I would close all private and parochial schools and re-create the neighborhood school. Here in DC the "performance level" of schools would it increase enormously, I personally believe all children would benefit and it would increase the support of the public schools and bring more unity to our country. Of course that should be preceded by breaking down the racial barriers in neighborhoods.

To be more realistic however, I would be more sensitive to the individual need and diversity of performance and ability to individual students by relaxing the emphasis on testing and making schools growing learning centers. Along with that I would make athletic teams less focused on excellence in a few students and broadening experiences for all. If we can't do that get rid of interscholastic athletics. And I say that as one who was highly competitive in both high school and college.

FridaThePerson1 karma

Can I ask you something, how was it in the military? How did the world actually look in WWII?

dcretiree2 karma

My view of the world and of the military was perhaps somewhat unique in that for me it was a totally world expanding view with unimaginable learning opportunities. And I know I wasn't alone in that regard and it is that which makes me blush a bit as people thank me for my service and causes me to try to respond with, "I think my country for the opportunities it gave me." You might remember that before World War II our country was quite divided and there were those who felt we should ignore the rest of the world. That changed when even the Republican candidate for president, Wendell Wilkie wrote a book called, "One World." As a part of this also remember that, I don't know, was the half of the military that lived a life like me – never threatened – except we knew we were getting ready for the invasion of Japan but that seems far away.

My, you make me wonder what books could yet be written? Perhaps it was WWII in which our country lost our adolescence and rejected what previous powers it done in taking colonies as had been the case throughout history. Only now, until the present at least we have "intruded" throughout the world seeking oil and thrusting our style of life and the might.

I've wandered far from your question. For me the military was a time of growth and broaden friendships with buddies throughout the country – my race of course. The world look to us as the good guys facing a common and well-defined enemy.

Thanks for letting my mind wander.

Icarus_Pulp1 karma

Hi! What would you say has been the scariest thing so far in your lifetime?

dcretiree2 karma

Interesting they both occurred when I was in an automobile. The first when I was in Colorado, driving on an interstate and I happened to not be courteous, I guess, in letting a guy in a pickup truck enter the roadway. He cut me off whenever I would try to pass him and I could clearly see the rifle in the window. He even stopped on the busy highway. Fortunately I was able to get off the highway and drove on back roads the rest of the journey always looking for a police Station.

The other occurred when my partner, Linda was driving on a British Caribbean island the highway. Forgetting we were driving on the left-hand side of the road we were going up the hill and saw the sign for the restaurant we were hunting on the right-hand side. She immediately turned right only to come and to nose to nose, hhood to hood with the truck immediately in front of us, I cried, Linda, quote what are you doing?" And she turned further right, the truck also veered to their right only peeling off our left fender. Whew!

smarshyboy1 karma

Thank you for your service and for sharing your wisdom here!

If you could go back and give one piece of advice to your 45 year old self, what would that advice be?

dcretiree2 karma

I would be even more forceful in standing up to the negative voices around me and injustices I saw others experience. Yet this can often be a difficult position. There are times to "play the game." To be more specific in my situation: I know I was effective in bringing change to the school that needed change to be more accepting and supportive of all of our students. I knew there were teachers who should've been fired, but I realized there was only so much I could do. I guess I'm saying we have to fight our battles that we feel we can win to bring needed change.

And it never changes. Even in my volunteer work, do I blow the whistle are do I continue to try more surreptitiously to bring change.

WillOfDoubleD1 karma

As a man who has lived through the 20th century in it's fullest, do you think that the world is more peaceful now or vice versa?

dcretiree2 karma

What a fascinating topic for a book, but I'm too old to write it. Perhaps you will. I recently read what King Leopold the second of Belgium did in the Congo. I recently read a Russian history as well as a history of France in the 1300s and I am appalled at the brutality of man (and I use that word advisedly.) And having just read the biography of the Native American artist, Edward Curtis, and our massacre of an entire population, I marvel at how far we have come,

But we still have so far to go. That's why want to make my last major opus to be a look at religion, because I believe that much of the worlds problems have been is initiated through religion but it is only through a understanding of the potential of religion that the world can be brought together. And just to clue you, that me be clear that I begin with the premise that all religion is man-made.

LadyHeatherJane1 karma

I'm currently studying ECE (early childhood education) based on your overall life experience what do you think are the most important things we can be teaching our children today?

dcretiree1 karma

You got my Achilles heal. I've never taught pre-school. But I have strong feelings and helped raise our four children and 9 grandchildren. So here goes.

To be curious and love learning and that the world is a fascinating place. Cultivate the love of reading.

forava71 karma

opinions and thoughts about what is going on in the NFL with these protests?

dcretiree1 karma

I recently wrote a letter to a friend about this topic that I put on face book. I is lengthy and just on that topic, but I don't know how to forward it to you. any chance you could get it on my facebook page - or write me a message back and THEN I am smart enough to reply to that. Sorry But I truly have strong feelings.

dkarma1 karma

Thanks for your service. ww2 vets!
Two questions: 1. Do you need a wheelbarrow to carry your huge balls? 2. War is hell so to juxtapose that, what's the best part of your time serving that you remember?

dcretiree6 karma

I'll ignore your first question – it smacks of the locker room talk, that I'm happy to say I did not participate in my high school and college locker rooms. I must however let you know also that it is I who expresses thanks to my country for the opportunities that it has provided me in so many ways. How fortunate I was that a bomb was dropped that prevented my invading Japan. Certainly the best part for me was the opportunity to get out of Dodge (Texas that is) and discover a broader world. Not to mention three academic degrees because of the G.I. Bill. All that we might extend such opportunities in time of peace.

Christophorus-7 karma

Why are American's so fucking dumb?

dcretiree2 karma

I totally agree with your thought although it could've been more forcefully stated for me if you left out the adjective. I truly believe that the most frustrating thing about the last election is the ignorance of the American voter in falling prey to a total charlatan. And to me it reflects on the profession I was proud to be a part of, education. Without spending more time that I have available with so many questions, I can only attribute it to the human condition of being concerned only or primarily with our own selfish position. To me it is exactly how Hitler came to power, people frustrated with the unequal distribution of wealth and a privileged class that is undeniably there regardless of how they got there – through effort or inheritance. I am one who firmly believes that Barack Obama was so right when he told (it could've been the owner of it trucking industry are railroad) "you didn't do that alone."

What's your opinion?

MaxTheLiberalSlayer2 karma

Where are you from?

dcretiree2 karma

I love to answer this question because it makes me feel so cosmopolitan. Until I went into the Marine Corps at age 17 I had a marvelous childhood in San Antonio, Texas. The Marine Corps placed me in Louisiana, South Carolina North Carolina and Quantico Virginia before my last station in California. I spent two years in Illinois finishing my bachelors degree and knowing I wanted to go to the University of Michigan began teaching in Michigan and resided there the rest of my life. That is of course until I moved in retirement here in Washington DC. My wife was from Loveland Colorado which is one of my favorite states although I love traveling throughout this country of ours.