Featured Column
Week of 7.18.2005
Dame Fortune
           Most of our lives turn on a simple twist of fate. A wrong step here. Some blind luck there. A decision made hurriedly. A blink while driving at a busy intersection can be followed by the sound of metal on metal and glass turning to shards.
           A decision to change jobs can contribute to a new and successful life or it can be ruinous. A soldier’s decision to move forward or remain crouching can be a matter of life or death.
            So much of our lives depend on decisions that we make, often about seemingly trivial matters, and yet, many of these decisions have repercussions that alter our lives and the lives of many around us.
            A parental spanking or a motherly hug could lead to a different future for a child. An influential grade school teacher could recast a child’s direction in life.
            It doesn’t take much for a seemingly small decision, an incident, an omission, to change the direction of one life or millions.
           Where would his life be today if President Bill Clinton had said, “Nice to meet you, Miss Lewinsky. Sorry, but I don’t have time to talk to you. I have to get home to Hillary.”
           And where would the newfound America be if George Washington had uttered, “Nah, I don’t want to be a general, I just planted some apple trees on my farm in Virginia – gotta go!”
           We would all be leading different lives today if old Thomas Jefferson would have stood up and said, “I don’t have time to write any declarations today, I have a hot pool game down the street – good luck fellas.”
           Good old Abe Lincoln had a choice, he could have said, “Slaves, Schmaves. Let those southern guys do what they want. I’m going to a good play tonight downtown.”
           Albert Einstein could have scratched his wise head and said, “Relativity, ach, who cares. Light goes fast, that’s all I know. Flip a switch, the light comes on. Now that’s fast. I’m gonna take a nap now.”
         There wouldn’t have been a D-day in 1944 if General Eisenhower would have turned towards his associate generals and calmly said, “Gee, I dunno, the weather’s bad, I got a headache like you wouldn’t believe. Call me when the sun comes out.”
           The course of world history would have changed drastically if Harry Truman would have said, “What’s an atom bomb, never heard of such a silly thing. Let’s stick to good old-fashioned dynamite. It worked for my father, it’ll work for us. Atom bomb, hah!”
           Think of what would have happened in 1963 if John F. Kennedy would have turned to lovely Jacqueline and told her, “Honey, I don’t want to go to Texas next week, let’s stay home and go sailing.”
           President Nixon could have said, “Tell those guys to quit breaking into offices. I won’t stand for anything crooked like that.”
           Babe Ruth could have looked at his manager and said, “Forget it, Harry, I wanna stay here in Baltimore. New York’s too crowded.”
            Even evil Saddam Hussein could have changed much of the world if he would he would have said, “I’m gonna shave off my mustache, lose some weight and go to the mosque every day. Tell the boys to treat everyone nicely. And, oh, yeah, tell that Bush guy and his father I think they’re tops. Let’s invite them over for a nice cup of coffee.”
          I can hear Arnold Schwarzenegger saying, “Oh, brother, I can’t lift that – I’ll get a hernia. I just don’t go for that lifting and grunting – and that awful sweating. It’s disgusting. I think I’ll head on down to the library, but first I’m gonna stop off at the café and get a nice quiche.”
           All it takes to change a life or millions of lives is a different sentence or two.
           You sure you still want to see that silly play Mr. Lincoln?
Lives turn on a twist of fate
      Ron was born in the Bronx, New York. He was raised in Southern California and lived in Honolulu, Hawaii for three decades. He attended Inglewood High School and U.C.L.A.. His youthful goal was to become a major league baseball player. In Hawaii Ron played on a series of championship softball teams. He is an active tennis player.
      Ron’s career began at the Inglewood Daily News where as a youngster was enrolled in a publisher training program. He served as an advertising salesman, circulation manager, writer and layout and design staffer. He has been a newspaper publisher at the Oregon City Oregon Enterprise Courier, the Beloit Wisconsin Daily News, the Elizabeth, New Jersey Daily Journal and This Week Magazines (Hawaii).
      Ron lives with his wife, Marilyn, in San Diego, California. His two children, Douglas and Diane also live in the San Diego area. Ron’s interests range far and wide and are reflected in his columns diverse topics.
Ron Cruger