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Left Coast / Right Coast: Die Vergangenheit und Die Zukunft

The German above translates to The Past and The Future. This week, rather than dwell on the misery we’re all living through, I thought I’d put on my long range glasses (the ones that can see into the past and into the future) and just blather on.
Mike Gold living the dream in the Pacific Northwest. Photo credit: Frank Hammer.

By Mike Gold, a retired entrepreneur "living the dream in the Pacific Northwest."

The German above translates to The Past and The Future. This week, rather than dwell on the misery we’re all living through, I thought I’d put on my long range glasses (the ones that can see into the past and into the future) and just blather on.

Die Vergangenheit (the past): We all have memories. Here are some of my favorites:

Getting my driver’s license: For most teenage boys, the driver’s license is a rite of passage. In my case, growing up in New York City proper, the driving ages was 18. If you lived outside of the actual city proper, you could obtain a Junior License at the age of 16. This was a restricted permit which only allowed you to drive (outside NY City) during daylight hours and with a fully licensed driver (over 18) sitting in the passenger seat. 

Now there was no way I was going to wait until I turned 18. As it turns out, my parents owned a vacation home in New Jersey where SURPRISE you got licensed at age 17 (no restrictions). Therefore I had a legal residence in NJ. So I arranged through friends who lived in NJ to take my learner’s permit test there. No problem, passed both the permit test and the driver’s test on my first try. 

The NJ system had you take the test in any privately-owned car you wished but accompanied by a State Police licensed tester. The car I happened to get a friend to allow me to use was a gigantic late 60’s Chevrolet, fins and all. You know, the kind that was nearly 20 feet long and appeared to me to be as wide as a lane on the highway and all you could see out the back window were those massive fins.

The only really tricky part was parallel parking. The NJ test center had a set of cones placed leaving what was supposed to be a “one car space” between them. If I had been a lawyer way back then (which I am not now nor ever was) I would have protested the amount of space allotted to the test taker. But as I was always good at geometry and just about all math, I managed to “nail it” on my first try. The tester commented, "Nice job.” I was almost positive he thought I’d never get that car into that small space.

Boy/Girl Parties: I vaguely remember those starting at about twelve years old. Our very favorite game was “spin the bottle.” So you spin a milk bottle (remember those?) and for example, the girl spins. Whatever boy it stops spinning on required a boy/girl kiss. Well, we all learned to spin so the bottle would stop on whatever boy/girl we really wanted to kiss. And that’s how I learned about a golf term called A Mulligan.” We would all “invent” just about any excuse at all (such as: The coriolis effect altered the spin of the bottle) requiring another spin of the bottle on that person’s turn.

One more: Being Bar Chairman of my Fraternity in College: I attended undergraduate college in New York State. The legal drinking age back then was 18. My job as bar chairman was to procure the alcohol for an upcoming fraternity party. Now we were only about 30 miles from the Vermont border. Back then, NY State had private “package” stores which sold alcohol. Vermont had state owned stores. For whatever reason (it certainly wasn’t the free market) the prices in Vermont were about 30% below those in the private stores in NY State. So I would drive over the border to the closest Vermont State store to buy all the booze. Then carefully drive it back to our fraternity house (getting stopped with 40 bottles of hard liquor in my car could have been viewed as “intent to distribute” which would have been somewhat problematic.) The most ironic of all is that I wasn’t yet 18 years old when I was bar chairman. So I needed an “of-age” fraternity brother to come with me to make the purchase.

Die Zukunft: This “future” part is so much easier than the past. See, there is no way to prove I’m wrong. So here goes:

Corona Virus: My prediction, based upon a just released study (reported on in the Express) done at Oxford University and based upon massive data sets (it is a “model” not a “survey”) in the U.K. is that we are going to discover (as Oxford claims they already have) that in their country, about 70% of the population is already infected with the virus. 

So many of those infected are asymptomatic (no signs of any disease). The study claims that before too much longer, everyone will have some trace of the virus in their system. Then there will be nobody left to infect. The study therefore predicts that the virus will just “go away” as quietly as it arrived. 

Democratic Nominee for President: My prediction is that there is no way the Democratic party heads will allow Joe Biden to be the nominee. Nor Sanders. Instead, I predict the party and Biden will announce that Biden is retiring from the race due to “personal issues.” And that some other person (not Hillary Clinton nor Michelle Obama) will be “appointed” to run. My best bet would be someone like Governor Cuomo of NY State. And with a female (perhaps African-American) woman for VP. Someone like Kamela Harris or Amy Klobuchar.

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