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Health and Wellness, Music, Photography, Travel/Adventure

“Happy Birthday, Andy”

May 28, 2021

Celebrating Andy’s 74th birthday over a fabulous Korean feast.

“The Mirror of Friendship”

A friend holds the mirror of self-esteem.

You can see at a glance someone you admire.

But the beauty of that reflection, to me, it seems,

is the glow of concern from the friendship fire.

……..Dennis Adams (Summer, 1977)

About the poem

When I was about 27 years old (1977), I was at the Defense Language Institute (DLI) studying basic Korean, in Monterey, California. It was an intensive, one-year long course.

During that time one of my Korean instructors introduced me to her niece and asked if I would sing with her for some cultural event they held at DLI for each new class that came through. We studied the culture, customs and arts, as well as the language.

Her name was Cho, Gun Hui but Americans have a hard time remembering Gun-Hui so she adopted the name of Connie (it was the closest-sounding American name to Gun Hui) which she thought would be easier to remember.

I already had lived in Korea for one year and I liked Korean music and had learned several Korean songs, so I was happy she asked me to sing with her niece.

She was a beautiful Korean girl. She sang really well (much better than I) and we became friends. We practiced the songs that we were going to perform for the cultural event, and in so doing, got to know each other fairly well.

I was inspired to write a short poem (the one above) about friendship and I gave a copy to her.

She liked the poem. So she went to a frame shop to have them etch the poem onto a mirror and frame it, and then she gave it to me as a going away gift (I was almost finished with the one-year Korean language program by then).

I was moved by the thoughtfulness of her gift and her friendship.

But, after that summer, we were destined to go our separate ways, and we never did have contact again. But I have good memories of her and the short time I spent with her.

I told my son, Tim, about the poem, and the story behind it…………

No! Wait a minute…..

I told my son, Tim, about the poem, and the story behind it…….

No! Sorry! Just one more minute.

I told my son, Tim, about the poem, and the story behind it…….

Oh my gosh! Sorry!………..

I told my son, Tim, about the poem, and the story behind it……..


“HmmThe Mirror of Friendship, he murmured, while contemplating the story.

Then he continued, “Dad, that’s such a clever way of saying the only friend you have is yourself!” 😂😂


I don’t know why I even try…..😳😩


My favorite line in that poem is “…the glow of concern from the friendship fire.

When you are really good friends with someone there is always a genuine caring and concern emanating from both sides.

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Health and Wellness, Music, Photography, Travel/Adventure

Caribbean Cruise: Day 3

March 23, 2020

At Sea – Mon. 1/27

There were so many fun things to do, every hour of the day, while we were at sea, but we weren’t inclined to do any of them.

Although, if I go on a cruise again (and I probably will), I will be inclined to do a few more things than I did this time. Since it was my first cruise, I was more like an observor, just getting a feel for the whole experience.

This morning, “Eager Me”was going to get up early and go play basketball but “Bad Me” decided to sleep in.

I slept in until about 8 a.m.

I went out to the balcony to check the weather (which became a morning ritual for me). This is what I saw.

The sea was so calm and the clouds were just hanging there, like a “Real-life Painting”.

The beauty of the clouds and sea reminded me of this beautiful song by Lizz that she wrote together with Maia Sharp. The song is on Lizz’s CD titled, “Freedom and Surrender”.

Click on “Real-life Painting” (above) to hear the song and then click on “Freedom and Surrender” to get a glimpse into the beauty of Lizz’s soul and the depth of her character.

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Health and Wellness, Music, Photography, Travel/Adventure

Caribbean Cruise: Day 2

March 23, 2020

Nassau, Bahamas – Sun. 1/26

We slept well and woke up a few hours before arriving at Nassau. We had breakfast and just looked around our floating hotel.

As we arrived at the Bahamas, you could see the resort Atlantis on Paradise Island, in the distance.

The pilot headed for the space between the two other cruise ships which had already arrived (above photo, on the right) at the cruise port.

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Health and Wellness, Music, Photography, Travel/Adventure

Caribbean Cruise: Day 1

March 23, 2020

Embarking from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida – Sat. 1/25

We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale, in the afternoon on Saturday, to board the cruise ship. It was scheduled to depart at 11 p.m. that evening. That gave the passengers all day to get there and get on board without any long lines or waiting.

We would arrive in the Bahamas about noon the next day.

Before we headed out, we had a practice drill, to teach us what we’d do in the event of having to abandon ship.

We had to gather at our Muster Station “B” (just below our balcony where the tender boats were hanging on the side of the ship) and receive further instructions about boarding the tender boats to safety. The drill lasted for about 30 minutes.

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Health and Wellness, Music, Photography, Travel/Adventure

“Here’s To You, Uncle!”

March 22, 2020

I asked Uncle Walt, “Do you just really like Jimmy Buffet or is that a parrot on your head?”

(This picture was recently taken in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, while he and I were on a Caribbean Cruise)

The parrot kept repeating, “Polly want a selfie!”

My Traveling Uncle

Last year, in November, I called my Uncle Walt to tell him, “Happy Birthday!”. He turned 82 years old and he’s still going strong.

He’s my traveling uncle. He’s always had wanderlust. He’s been to over 70 countries during his lifetime. He was in the Navy for a few years and he said he loved being at sea.

After that he worked for the government, as a “silly-vilian”. Well, that’s what I called him. I was in the military at the time. (And he is kinda silly sometimes 😁) . But he is very funny most of the time and has many interesting experiences to share.

He’d look for job openings which required travel. He wasn’t too finicky about what job he did, as long as he could travel.

He’s an avid reader. He’s knowledgeable about geography and history and he keeps current with the news and political scene.

He still travels and he still drives a car. He helps his 92-year old sister (My Aunt Helen) go get groceries.

He knows about a million songs and their lyrics and he sings all the time.

He has countless stories to tell about the travels and experiences he’s had during his lifetime. And he rarely tells the same story twice.

He speaks some Spanish. He spends quite a bit of time in Panama.

Even though single and fancy free to roam the world, he’s always cared about the family. He’s always stayed in touch with everyone, including all his nieces and nephews. He never married but said he almost did once, to a German girl, named Heidi (But that’s another story!).

Our paths (his and mine) have crossed often, throughout the years, in many different places, and we’ve shared a lot of good experiences together. And he’s been a good influence in my life in many ways.

So while I was on the phone talking with him, we talked about traveling and I casually mentioned to him that I’d like to go to the Caribbean for my next trip. I didn’t have a plan to go anytime soon, but thought I’d like to see that area of the world next.

So about a month later, early in January, Uncle Walt called me and said he had found a good deal on a 10-day cruise to the Western side of the Caribbean and asked if that’s something I’d like to do.

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