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How I Became a Prince

I should have known the evening I decided to become an English major at LSU that I was destined to become a prince.

But I didn’t know.  I gave very little consideration to what I would do with an English degree.  I don’t think it was ever a consideration.  You see, I was in the last generation who perceived a college education to be a ticket to being conceived as a person of value.  It seems like a quaint thought now.  A couple of years in the service as an enlisted man and twenty-five years of teaching high school English in a small town, and ten years of working as a librarian, the value in my mind of being a college graduate was somewhat diminished.

Upon my and my wife Linda’s retirement from our jobs in education, I was left with the feeling, “That was interesting, but not altogether satisfying.”  It certainly was not the life of a prince.

When I received my first retirement check, I thought to myself, “That’s more like it.”  I could stay up as late each night as I wanted to and get up in the morning at my leisure and still receive a check in the mail each month.

Being that I’ve always liked to work, as I approached retirement, I knew it would be wise to find something to do to keep myself occupied.  Linda definitely thought it was a good idea.  I set about attempting to increase my artistic skills which were…well, nil.  I painted almost three hundred paintings of cats in an effort to develop these skills.  After Linda hounded the owners of a local gallery, I was given an art show.  People actually gave me money for my efforts.  I was beginning to feel more like a prince—an old prince—but a prince nevertheless.

Being an old “prince,” I was beginning to feel my age, and being that, like most old guys, I considered myself to be humorous, I began to write essays to be distributed to my pallbearers so they could have a laugh and I would have the last words.  Hmmm, writing seems to me to be a natural occupation of a prince.

Along the way, I accidentally got a website.  You must remember that I’m old and accidents are common among the aged.  I began placing my “pallbearers” essays on the website, began inviting other artists and authors to join me, and before I could reflect on what was happening, I had an online magazine—a princely accomplishment.

Okay, let’s sum up.  I’m free to rise in the mornings when I choose, I get monthly check from my patron the TRS, I paint images that people purchase, write essays that people read, and I’m married to a wonderful princess.

I guess the evening I chose English over philosophy as my major at LSU wasn’t a total loss.  I did finally become a prince: it just took a heck of a long time to get there.