Updated: Aug 31
Happy Market Update!
This week is a letter of the heart, and not a market update. Why? Because of the below graph that came out over the weekend from The WSJ.
One of my largest regrets in life was not receiving my Eagle Scout Badge. It’s the highest honor to be bestowed on a Scout, in my opinion. I was Order of the Arrow, Senior Patrol Leader, had way more merit badges than a Scout would ever need, and I was requested to lead a group of displaced scouts from other troops at a summer camp one summer. I was all in. So why did I not receive Eagle? Well, it turns out that my memory was not great. This past Friday, that was changed.
I called the area of my Troop (which was disbanded years ago) and reached a person who said that adults who completed everything as a Scout could apply for the award. Things were looking up. I had in fact done everything I needed to do other than turn in my request paperwork to the Counsel. She asked why. My memory was that I was angry at some adults and didn’t want them to be a part of that accomplishment. She said, well that probably won’t be a good reason. She asked if I had all the merit badge evidence cards, and I didn’t. I’m pretty sure they were destroyed in a crawl space from heavy rain 30 years ago. She then said, your old Scout Master is still alive. Perhaps give him a call. So I looked up his number and dialed. I will refer to him as SM (Scout Master).
SM answered the phone on the second ring. I identified who I was and that my father, Carl, had been with him to Philmont Scout Ranch. I tried to think of anything that might jog a 30+ year memory from a man late into his 80s. He asked, “What was your name?” I said, “My name is Tim Lindsey and my father was C…” “Oh, I remember who you are.” He spoke. It didn’t sound kind. He then asked, “Do you remember I was your confirmation sponsor at Church? That was a top 5 worst day of my life.” Not the memory I was hoping to hear. But then, my memory transported back to that exact moment as if I had hidden a package behind a door for 30 years, and it opened. I remembered my Father screaming on the church steps at everyone about the confirmation and that SM was not my father. He was. He started screaming at me for choosing “Michael” as my confirmation name. (If you are not familiar with Catholicism, this is a big deal.) My father then grabbed the family and went home.
Backstory, my family had been falling apart for years due to huge marriage problems and especially physical abuse to my brother and Mom, but mainly me. I had run away from home a week before this and was seeing them for the fist time on the steps of the church in front of SM, the Priest, neighbors, etc. Why did I choose Michael? If you are not familiar with the story, Michael is the Arch Angel that leads the charge into Hell to destroy the devil. I thought that was powerful…and I wanted to be like him.
SM drove me home. As I went to get out of his truck, he grabbed my arm. “Son, you don’t have to go in there.” Me: “Yes sir, I do.” After a brief pause, “No son, you don’t.” “Yes sir. I do.” I stepped out and went inside. I will leave the graphics out, but while my Dad screamed at me what my real name was…he beat the tar out of me with a belt from my knees to my upper back swinging as hard as he could.
Flashback to Friday, SM: “Son, rumors were you joined the military and didn’t make it.” “Well, sir. I did not get accepted into ROTC. And the next several of years of my life were a mess. I wanted to reach out about the Eagle because I have a four-year-old, and I want him to know about not giving up.” SM: “Son, you didn’t give up. Your father kept that from you. You completed everything you ended to do, and even though records can’t be produced, you warned that Eagle.” He asked what I do now, and we chatted about life. He ended with, “Well I’m glad to know you are alive. I’ve always wondered about you. Take care of that kid. You know what not to do.” And that was it.
Why do I tell you about this? Because I thought that I was seeking an accomplishment that would give me closure. But that was not the plan. I gave that man closure which, from the sounds of it, on something that may have disturbed him for three decades. I didn’t get a badge. I got a very emotional opportunity to solve something for someone else. That’s the message. And yes, I cried Friday. Reliving something I hid from myself for 3 decades that was a top five worst day for me too will do that. I’m tearing up now.
What I don’t like about that chart…a lot of things. But the community involvement decline may be the worst. Get involved. You want to change something? You have to try. Coach little league, hand out food at a shelter, talk to your neighbors. If we can’t be a community, we are all going to feel like that 16-year-old who was by himself. Don’t feel bad for me. After getting my shit together, I was determined to beat the odds of that life. My journey continues to this day. And I’m proud of where I am based on that childhood.
No charts today. I hope you can take some time to reflect on your life and what’s happening in the world. We need to help each other.
Originating Branch Manager