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After 65 years about the only thing, that's remained in tiptop shape is my hearing. I attribute that to the dislike of loud music, loud people, a loud TV, and deafening noise in general. I used to ace all my hearing tests at work but, whenever I'd tell my wife to lower the volume on her TV, she would say that I had super sensitive ears. It may have been a plus at work but not so much at home. Oh, if only my children had known that I heard what they uttered under their breath as I was lecturing them. I wonder if my parents heard what I used to mumble back? Sometimes it makes life easier if you ignore the things you're not supposed to hear.

I don't see how people can study or take tests while listening to music. I'm not criticizing because my children did that and still did pretty well. I guess my small brain is not into multitasking. I remember when radios were first allowed in our workplace and how it pleased the young workers because they said it was like working in a graveyard. At first the younger workers took advantage of the privilege by fighting over music preference and volume but when they were given an ultimatum of compromise or back to the way it used to be; they compromised and worked as if the radio wasn't there. The members of my car pool used to turn on a radio before putting the key in the ignition as we departed. I was totally opposite. The front seat passenger had to put on the radio. Come to think of it, we were always talking, so no one was really listening, but I guess it was on, just in case in case there was a rare pause in our conversation.

I used to get up at 6:00 AM Saturday morning, pour myself a cup of coffee, and read my Advocate, so I could have that part of the morning done before the family woke up. I would then go outside where my black labrador named Spike would bark his good morning, wag his tail and come to sit next to me. We just sat there and listened to the birds chirping as we watched the squirrels jumping from limb to lamb. I remember one rare occasion where I heard my wife asking my daughter " who is your dad talking to" at that time the patio door sprung open and my daughter yelled back at her mom" he's talking to Spike" and then in a flash my loyal dog left me, as if I didn't exist, to go greet my daughter. He gave her that same bark and tail wag. I think it was Jon Stewart, who said “a dog only loyalty is to the person who gave him his last biscuit."

Several years ago I took my wife to see a dentist in Goliad. I was born and raised in Victoria, but I never spent much time in Goliad. I stepped outside to drink my coffee and read my paper, but I was taken aback by the silence in that area. Right across the street there was a courthouse, where lawyers were walking with their clients to court, but I didn't see any traffic, hear any horns honking, or people talking. It may have been an unusual day for that area, but it was really nice that day. I've told my wife that it reminded me of a place from the old “Twilight Zone" television series. It's not that I want complete silence every minute of the day; it’s just the rare occasion that makes it special.