If you could go back in time and give your teenage self some advice, what would you tell him?

I asked myself this very question two and a half years ago and wrote my younger self the following letter and published it on my Life Experiences blog on my sixty-third birthday.  I don’t think I can say it any better now. ------ October 8, 2018 To: Paul Moorman @ 18 From: Paul Moorman @ 63 Dear Self, Happy birthday! If the theories we’ve learned about time travel are true, you will never be able to read this letter, but in case this does somehow fall into your hands, I’ll try not to give too much of our future away. But hey, now that you know you’ve made it to our sixty-third birthday, maybe I’ve given too much away already, but I’ll try to be careful. You’ve already figured out that the co-ed Chaminade-Julienne is really different than our all-male Chaminade. You’ll get through it and have stories to tell the rest of our life. College will be much better. We’ll really hit our stride. The simple message of this letter is “don’t change a thing”. Not that life won’t throw us curve balls

Tell me about some of your favorite Easter memories. What made them so special?

Easter is the celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and a cherished holiday, its only rival being Christmas.  The entire family would dress up in their best clothes, attend Mass at Our Lady of Mercy and go out for brunch.  Our family did not eat out very often so that in and of itself was special.  It’s also a kind of unofficial start to spring, so by Easter, the days were getting longer, temperatures warmer and we were a couple of months away from our summer break from school.   A day or two before Easter my siblings and I would get to color a few eggs for the Sunday afternoon hunt and deciding what color, or better yet, colors to use caused much deliberation.  A hard-boiled egg would be suspended on a copper wire which was bent to hold the egg on its bottom half.  If one color was desired, the egg would be carefully rolled off the wire at the bottom of the glass of dye where it would lay submerged, soaking up the dye.  The dye started out as a tablet, the proper amount of vinegar

What was the hardest class you took in school (K-12)? Looking back, why do you think it was so difficult for you?

I was a pretty good student and really didn’t have all that much trouble with any of the classes I took through high school. I remember that early on I was very good at handwriting and spelling and would compete regularly with two girls in my class for who was the best. Math and science were always interesting to me and I would apply myself in those subjects the most. I was serious about school and for my entire third grade, if memory serves me correctly on the grade, I finished all my homework assignments in the minutes I had between one class and the next, never taking anything home. The only issue I had in grade school was my fourth-grade teacher, Sister Terrance, who had an issue with the top ten or so children in her class, and that was told to me by my father after a parent-teacher conference. He said to behave but agreed she was a piece of work. In college, I managed a 3.84 GPA, basically five A’s for every B, and nothing less than a B, although it was close in English an

Growing up, who was your favorite aunt or uncle? Why was he/she so special to you?

There are a lot of choices to pick from with my Dad having two brothers and three sisters and my Mom having three sisters and one brother, not counting the oldest brother she never knew, who died before he turned five months old.  But the choice of favorite has to go to my Aunt Loretta, my Mom’s next oldest sister and six years her senior.  Like my Mom, Aunt Loretta was a very kind person and was always willing to sit down and have a chat.  Perhaps she is my favorite because we share the same birthday, October 8, and that somehow made her extra special. Loretta married Joe Ryan and had five children.  Pat and Larry were much older than I was, but their two daughters, Mary and Nancy, were fairly close in age and are two of my favorite cousins.  Sadly, their first daughter, Barbara Ann, died ten days after being born.  It seems so sad, but losing a child was common back then.  Perhaps Grandpa Maurice and Grandma Clara helped her through her grieving, having been through it themselves.  L

Tell me a funny story about one of your siblings

My older brother Greg and his friends bought an old school bus and rented a campsite along the Stillwater River at the Triple R Ranch, located a few miles west of Troy, Ohio at the intersection of State Route 55 and Kessler-Frederick Road.  They got to be good friends with the owners of the farm, Bill and Helen, and would frequently help out with farm duties like getting firewood for bonfires and hauling hay for the horses.  When I turned 16 years old, they allowed Greg’s little brother to tag along, and while I didn’t drink beer as they did, I was useful for driving them into town for more, and I made sure to bring along a few bags of snacks to share.  After awhile I was accepted as part of the gang. We went to “The Bus” pretty much every weekend, driving up on Friday night and coming back sometime on Sunday.  In addition to helping on the farm, we played football, fired shotguns, canoed, raised a vegetable garden, went skinny dipping after dark in the summer, and skated when the rive

What was the neighborhood you grew up in like?

 I grew up on Ashwood Avenue in the North Riverdale section of Dayton, Ohio.  In 1955 my parents bought this house, the largest on the block, not that 1,173 square feet is all that big, particularly when it would eventually hold seven people.  My parents were in the process of moving from Vandalia and by the time I arrived on October 8th, they brought me home to the only house I would live in for my first twenty-two years.   North Riverdale was mainly single-family homes with some apartments and mostly populated by empty-nesters.  We had a variety of businesses within a few miles, plenty of parks, schools, cafes, and a library.  There was Shawen Acres, now known as the Montgomery County Children's Home, a scary place to deliver fifteen Sunday newspapers in the dark.  The area had quite a number of alleys, something you don’t see much of today, and many garages were accessed that way, which provided convenient places to mount a basketball hoop, a favorite pastime of mine. Ashwood Av

Tell me about your scariest experience as a child

It didn’t take even a second to pull up my scariest memory, but I took time trying to recall others that might be more intense.  I recalled being about ten years old, in fourth grade, going to the doctor for bad stomach pains, going straight from there to the hospital, and getting an appendectomy.  I laid in a strange hospital for three days, mostly alone, not able to stand up, and being relieved when finally discharged to go home.  I also recalled the few spankings my father administered, all well-deserved of course, but that short time between being told you’re getting one and it being over is well-etched in my memory.  Finally, like the curious little boys and girls that we all are, when I was about four years old, the equally young girl next door and I, well, showed each other what made us male and female.  We were caught in the act, my mother angrier at me than I had ever seen, and I spent the next two hours waiting in my bedroom, scared out of my mind, for my father to get home.