Sunday, July 7, 2013

WOW - the blessings of insomnia - I just realized that I haven't posted in eons

I am in a Writers Group here at Windsor Gardens. This weeks topic is "Worry vs. Wonder" Here's what I wrote. It is really a restating of a bit of Stumbling Through the Sixties.

From Worry to Wonder

By Howie Flomberg

As most of the members of the Windsor Gardens Writers Group know – in retirement I choose to write. I do it not for the money, but for the opportunity to express myself. If I did it for the money – I would make a lot more behind the counter at a 7-11. I’ve written a few textbooks, but the first thing I’ve written, purely for the fun of it, is Stumbling Through the Sixties. I’ve noticed a copy or two passing from hand to hand. When I see that happening I smile. People are reading and enjoying my words. That’s why I write.  But on to the topic, most of you know how I got involved in computers. The story bears retelling, as it seems to deal with this week’s topic.
When I flunked out of college I was worried. I was prime draft bait and the Army, Navy and Marines were all drafting. This was 1965 and the Vietnam War was heating up. I knew where the soldiers and marines were headed and I had no desire to dress up like the wrapper of a crackerjack box. Air Force seemed the optimal solution. After passing the pre-induction physical, the first test I’d passed in about a year, I enlisted in the Air Force.
I took a series of aptitude tests and did well on them all. Worry – what career field should I choose? My recruiter advised Electronics. “With your scores you should get anything you want.”
I followed his advice. While we were in Basic Training we went for Career Advisement. I sat down with an Airman second-class, worry. He had been in the Air Force about a year more than me. My first choice was easy – Autopilot repair – I could work for the airlines when I got out. Second choice was also easy – Radio Repair – again, airlines. Both fields involved a few months outside of Chicago – not a bad option. Third choice, I had no idea - Worry. The counselor recommended “computers” as my third choice. This was 1966. “Don’t worry, with your scores you’ll get one of your first two choices.
About two weeks later while we were involved in an activity called KP. Our sergeant called us out. “Ladies – I have your orders” we gathered around him as he read them. “Flomberg, 30533, computer technician, 47 weeks in Keesler AFB.
What the hell is a computer? What do I do for a job when I get out? What do they use them for? WORRY. Forty-seven weeks plus some leave time was a year in Biloxi Mississippi. How do I survive that? Worry.
Wonder – Keesler wasn’t that bad. The school was tough and challenging.  I actually enjoyed it. I was trained on early computers and had no trouble finishing college, grad school and finding a job,

Morale of the story – Worry is a total waste of time. You can always count on the needs of the Air Force.


  1. Teach me to make a promise. Had net problems all night. :-( Nevertheless, well written and I can't agree with you more. Thought provoking, thanks

  2. Well written, what a great compliment, thanks. Howie