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Saturday, August 25, 2012

FINAL LIFT OFF OF THE U.S.S. NEIL ARMSTRONG , OR, HOW I BUMPED MY HEAD AND LEARNED TO LOVE CRATERS OF THE MOON

Somehow this summer has blown by and I haven't got around to getting this Blog Lifted-Off! Well, that ends tonight. I could not let the events of today, and the historical significance of this date to me, pass me by unnoticed. So, here goes My 'OFFICIAL' LIFT-OFF! I had a test fire earlier, but I really do want to start blogging. On, August 25, 2012, I hereby begin:

I just got home from a long day of campaigning on behalf of President Barack Obama, Senator Sherrod Brown, Congresswomen Martha Fudge and Betty Sutton, and many other down-ticket Democrats. This should be your clue that I happen to be a Democrat. But let me clarify. I am an Uber-Liberal. I am among the most Liberal people I know. That's another thing you should know about me...that, as a recurring theme in my life, my usual suspect position is that of an "OUTLIER". I don't think of myself as an extremist, and I never intentionally try, in a rebellious way, seek out the outlier, or far and away position. I can't help it that Americans ideologies happen to virtually all be to the right of me. I'm me...I didn't choose the spot on the continuum I happen to fall, I just think and believe as I naturally do. My absolute natural state has been to wake up every day of my life, without fail, more Liberal than when I went to sleep. This runs in the face of all the so called wisdom I received from my elders, as a youth. That is to say, I was advised that I should prepare to become ever increasingly conservative, the older you get. Well, I have to say, the most conservative I have ever been was when I heard those words...my immature past! I know politics turn many people off, so I wont be talking only about politics. My education and degrees are in Politics and related topics, my lifelong work has been in Political, Community and Service work, and it has provided most of my livelihood. It is very disheartening to me to see so many dilettante's spouting off about politics, statecraft, and government. Virtually all of them, such dour, pessimistic, anti-government, dystopian theorists with self imagined degrees and training in the science, psychology, art, and governance of statecraft. America has been poisoned by these ignorant dabblers of negativity and disedification. Statecraft requires professional training as does becoming a nuclear engineer or architect. I'm not spouting off about how we should be building the next Trident Submarine or a new Temple or Manhatten Skyscraper. It is the same thing when dilettante's spout such ignorance such as politics or government is bad. Politics is one thing and one thing only...PEOPLE...if you don't like politics or government, you don't like people.

Anyhoo...August 25, 1988 is when I met my wife. In a small town in Southern Idaho, "The Worlds First Atomic City", Arco. I was there about a week before the start of my Freshman year of College at the Largest Private 2 yr school in the nation, Ricks College.(The major gossip was that is was about to become Joseph Smith University...it is terribly disappointing that did not happen), a school affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. (some refer to us as Mormons). I was born and raised devoutly in the LDS Church, and felt a horrible guilt for not serving a 2 year mission starting at 19. For reasons I wont go into here (for a later post), I missed out on that highly regarded act of faith and obedience. So, here I am, a 25 year old Freshman at a Junior College where the student ratio is 2 to 1 women.

I arrived in Rexburg, Idaho, home of Ricks College on August 23, late in the day. I took a detour, as I am known for taking the scenic route, from Bellingham, Washington, to Corvallis, Oregon to visit my friend for 3 weeks. That trip to Corvallis warrents a post too...I went through the windshield of a car! So, I'm in Rexburg, waking up on August 24. I went to the campus and immediately looked my friend (wife's name)from Ohio up. It gave me the record that she had completed the Summer term there and was living at an apartment complex. I went there straight away, my heart pounding with such excitement...I could be seeing a dear friend that for some strange reason was fond of holding my hand for hours on end when I lived in Mansfield Ohio.I arrived at the Women's Apartments and knocked. A young woman greeted me and I asked her if a girl named Betsy lived here. She said, "I'm just moving in, but you can come on in and see if you can find her stuff."  Wow, I was just given permission to snoop through the personal belongings of dozens of young women. Did I mention that I identify as a young woman myself...well...young at that time. But yes, it is a most significant thing in my life, which I will explain in much detail another time. I am a Transgender Woman, and subset, Transsexual Woman. I hesitate to use the phrasing MTF, since in my opinion, pretending to be a male was a total falacy, and nothing but guile on my part...in short, even my sister says "I NEVER PULLED OFF BEING MALE", so I never was "M' enough to claim I'm moving from "M" to"F"....but rather "IFtGF" (Incongruent Female to Congruent Female)..I just made that up, so I'm a dilettante.

So, I'm waling from room to room, the young woman comes over to me again and say's,"You're going to have to really go in each room and inspect!" How quaint! I get to be a panty stalker! That's about how I felt. I was being egged on to snoop ever more intrusively, and my couple year advantage on these women was giving me alarm bells finally. Then, suddenly, another young woman comes up to me, "You're looking for Betsy, aren't you?" Yes. "Well, I'm sorry, but you have just missed her. She left with her room mate to move to Salinas, California." Darn. But, oh well, I do a lot of traveling with my reliable 225 slant six, Chrysler Gold colored, Plymouth Valiant, 1975, Straight. I thought to myself, I will go see her next summer.

The next day, August 25, I had a new room mate, in short shorts and flip flops, we called them thongs then. We decided to go for a ride around town. Then, suddenly, I felt the Spirit giving me strong directives to head west out into the Snake River Plains. My roomie complained every mile west I went, but I kept going anyway. 20-30-40-50 miles west. Then, about 60 miles west we came to the little town of Arco, Idaho. I didn't need gas, but I felt inspired to pull over to the left hand side of main street to the Phillips 66 station, not the right hand side to the Exxon station. Routine topping of the tank, grab my 42oz refill mug that costs 25 cents to refill with pop and walk inside the store. While drawing my sugar syrup drink, my back to the outside payment window, when I hear the distinct words....."Bob!, is that you?" I turned around, and you would not believe who I saw filling the little window where you can pay for your gas without going in the store. She recognized me only from my Willie Mays, San Francisco Giants uniform I wore in Ohio, and maybe my blonde curly hair, that was much shorter (I had it 70's glam rock long curly-girly). She came inside the store and we embraced. What a shocking surprise. We went back outside and she had come with some guy. Turns out he was just a friend, and she was datin yet some other guy. This guy was just seeing how fast they could go between mileage markers. I asked her out to the campus dance that night, and she said she had a date already (but so did I, two of them...twice as many girls as boys remember). The guy in the car said to Betsy, "No, don't go with that guy, go with him", meaning me. She said okay....and the rest is history. We saw each other every night, our paths never crossed on campus. If we hadn't met in Arco, I'm certain I would have married someone else. We first kissed September 13th on the Henry's Fork of the Snake River. I knew she went from my friend to my girlfriend and probable eternal companion on Sept. 21st near Victor, ID.  I proposed to her on October 8 on the grounds of the Idaho Falls LDS Temple, and we were married December 17, 1988, at Idaho Falls. Such good times and wonderful memories. This date mean a whole lot to me...just thought you should know.

Throw in that my first Hero in the world, Neil Armstrong, died today, and it is almost too much to bear. I forgot to mention, that the speed demon guy that was driving my future wife around the Idaho Desert, was too cheep to pay the $2 entrance fee to Craters of the Moon National Monument, so he made a U turn and headed back to Arco and Rexburg. You see, The Park is another 15-20 miles past Arco, I was on my way there, Betsy and this guy, were on their way back from the Park. The Park is significant to this story because Neil Armstrong trained for his Moon Landing at this location, because it most resembles the Moonscape, with craters, buttes, rocks, pinnacles..a science-fiction dream world. I wanted to see the park because I wanted to see were my Hero had tread just 20 years prior. After saying goodbye to Betsy, after setting up our dance date, we did go see the park, I did pay the $2 and we saw everything, roomie complaining all the while in his shorts and thongs. HA!

I have always been quite enamored of Neil Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins too.  I had all the posters, decales, and memorabilia. In 1990 I started a Star Trek Club. I was the founder, so I was the Captain. When It came time to name the ship, I definitely wanted, "U.S.S. Neil Armstrong", while anther faction strongly wanted "U.S.S. Avatar". The club almost broke in two over it, until Betsy spoke up and said, "Why would we call ourselves after a Man who thinks he's God?" That changed everyone's mind. Of course, Avatar means something completely different now. So, I got our motto to be something Neil Armstrong had said for the 20th anniversary.."(there are) PLACES TO GO BEYOND BELIEF!" Our club grew from a ragtag lot of 10 geeks to around 100 geeks before we moved back to Ohio in 1995. They never wondered why My Halloween costume was Counselor/Commander Deanna Troi's Blue Mini Dress!  I was Captain Isaak of the U.S.S. Neil Armstrong....with the Maroon and Black next Gen uniform and all the shiny pips. We went out on away missions as a team, and people got all exited. Somewhere out there are dozens of autographs given by me, to those impressed to ask me for them while in STNG uniform.

One last time.....Godspeed Neil Armstrong....May you ever find those places beyond belief, in the Undiscovered Country that is yours for eternity.  Rest In Peace, Neil Armstrong.

Until next time, This is your Uber-Liberal, Transgender Mormon, Little Girl Astronaut Wannabe, Star Trek Geek, Ice Hockey Playing, Tough Soldier Tank Commander, Captain Isaak (w/ killer namesake hurricane), Leanorah-Loreli Shawnamee Grace, Leah-Loreli (LL Hot Pink), signing off. TOODLEPIPS!

5 comments:

  1. Great introductory post, you covered more ground than a slant six in the Idaho badlands!
    I loved learning the story of how you two met again in Arco, there are no coincidences when you're being lead by the Spirit.
    Nice take off, Much Love, Laurie.

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  2. Thank you for the kind words. No, there are no coincidences when being led by the spirit. I have no regrets about loving and making a family with Betsy, she is a precious spirit. I love her now, and I will always love her. I do feel the spirit is calling me to end the chapter of my life that called for me, for reasons I'll never understand, to not be my true self. I'm both excited and scared out of my wits. My undiscovered country awaits.

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  4. I too enjoyed the story of how you and your wife met. Somethings are just meant to be. While i don't necessarily believe that there is a "one and only," i do believe that it takes a special person to be the spouse of a Trans person. Our marriages are far from "normal," regardless of whether we are out about ourselves or not. Father therefore will lead us to an appropriate person. For reasons I do not yet understand, I was not to be a mother in this life, yet I have always desperately wanted a family and children of my own. Marrying a wonderful woman and becoming a father was the only way this could happen. Some may see our marriages a mistakes, believe you me, there are not a mistake. I look forward to reading your blogs as you post them. hugs, Amber

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  5. Thank you very much for the kind words, Amber. There is definitely a plan for each of us, but we also have free will and free agency, which are very important things or else Lucifer would have been the one running things. Some people feel that our lives are all planned out beforehand in a sort of fatalistic way. I do not believe in fatalism, that we have no input to anything. I think you are saying a similar thing when you say you don't believe there is a one and only, for each of us. To hear someone else say our marriages are far from normal is oddly, quite comforting. I thought I was the only weirdo on the planet.

    I ran across a wonderful saying last night; "We are all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them, and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love." (Dr.Seuss)

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