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Stranger In The Night

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Mayang (Mrs. Thompson) made her New Years Journey around the corner to her mother’s house a long hard five minutes away. This is a ritual we have observed for a couple of decades. Since I receive no joy from New Years Eve, and for the most part never had, even back to my youth. I remain sober at our house with the dog army, protecting them from stray pyrotechnics.

The evil man who builds them

The evil man who builds them

What is a 13A Visa

One of the worst New Years I remember was in 1963 (Yes I was a minor, well below the legal age to drink) there was a blizzard (Nor’easter) raging and only John C. and John D. Gleason (Not related but friends) and I were hanging around on Adams Street in Dorchester where we were attempting to grow up. Bitter cold, but we each had a pint bottle of vodka, but no place warm to consume it. As we were about to abandon hanging out and chalk the night up in the loss column, it dawned on one of us that the China Sky restaurant was open until one and we had enough money for the large spear ribs but not for soda. But all the Chinese Tea we could drink. Vodka and hot tea, oh yum. And so my New Years Eve traditions were formed for the rest of my life.

A quitter I’m not, but I am wise enough not to beat a dead horse and keep trying. Meet me on a Tuesday morning and offer me an adult beverage and I’m your guy. But never on the ultimate amateur night I’m not your Huckleberry in that instant.

The Damnable Singing machine

The Damnable Singing machine

As stated, Mayang is gone until the morning, just me and the dogs, a cup of hot tea (NO VODKA) and we are on the roof patio watching life transpire all around us. Who so ever was renting the Karaoke machines that day was celebrating the end to a banner profit year. There are 360 degrees on the compass and I could hear a damnable singing machine at all points.

We were (The Dog’s and I) waiting for the pyrotechnics to begin, but then the Lord in his wisdom sent us rain, bountiful splashing rain, the fireworks were limited to breaks in the inclement weather. Whoa be onto them. But the volume on the karaoke more than made up for the loss of fireworks noise. Life is nothing if not a trade off. For every push there must be a pull. (That’s what it says on the store doors)

Albeit it was cool, I sealed my bedroom, invited my dogs to shelter in place with me and turned on the A/C and went to sleep. A passage of time and the dogs call to nature awoke me. It was 0500 AM still pitch black outside the rain was drizzling and the fog has set in and it was almost silent. The optimum word being “ALMOST’ the last standing drunk, who refuses to lay down his microphone, like a voice calling out in the wilderness, “I’m alive, I’m still here, and they finely let me sing!”

My heart and respect went out to him and I raised my coffee high (Under my umbrella) in a respectful salute to the man who outlasted all others. If only someone has shot off a few M-80’s as he reached the last notes of his lonely dirge. For alas soon the children of our mountain home will arise and it will be their turn on the damnable singing machine and my lone soloist will be but a memory in the fog of the morning. We must bid an adieu to our lonely crooning Pinoy and wish him a wonderful New Year both for him and his outrageous hangover.

Into the Mystic

Into the Mystic

Sailing under the Golden Gate

Sailing under the Golden Gate

I can only compare it to setting sail out of San Francisco Bay, and as we passed through the fog under the Golden Gate Bridge our ships Master would play over the 1MC (Ship’s PA system) Into The Mystic by Van Morrison (Due to copyright infringement we are not allowed to add it to my article) But nothing can stop you from going to You-Tube and playing it while you’re reading this.

I’ll bet you thought I’d say Frank Sinatra – Strangers In The Night, didn’t you?

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Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson; has resided in the Philippines since 1993, living close to Subic Bay. I’m married to a wonderful girl named Maria (AKA Mayang).Who is from Gordon Heights in Olongapo where she grew up with her Mom & Dad and seven siblings Our two daughters are both grown up and have left the nest, the eldest married to a wonderful guy named Chris, and they have blessed us with our granddaughter Heather Colleen Our youngest daughter and her husband Cecil have blessed us with a grandson named. Jayden Logan. I’m a retired U.S. NAVY Senior Chief after 22 years of active duty. After retirement from the Navy I lived for 7 years in Puerto Rico as a Night Club owner. Then Hurricane Hugo told me to find a new line of work, I was hired by Military Sealift Command and went back to sea in Asia as a Merchant Seaman for 10 years. After 30 plus years at sea I buried my anchor on a mountain in the Philippines and am now residing in Dinalupihan (or DinBat for short), Roosevelt, Bataan where we built our home. And last but not least, anything I writes will be pure "Tongue in Cheek "If anybody is offended, I'll lose no sleep over it, but here's a quick Mea Culpa in advance!

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Jens Pasenow
Jens Pasenow
5 years ago

Thank you Paul!Happy and healthy New Year!

Karen Kennedy-Casey
Karen Kennedy-Casey
5 years ago

Paul, thank you for sharing apart of your life. You always make us laugh with your funny stories. Your brother Dan is funny also.
Wishing you & your family a very Happy New Year.

Lenny
Lenny
5 years ago

Pretty cool article … and well written dude…. Frank Sinatra………for me it’s…””””””MY WAY”””””

bigp
bigp
5 years ago

No rain here during fireworks time and I must say Olongapo has a great display as seen from my Patio. I think I seen Tommy’s fire works in the foot hills also. Happy new year.

Steve Baker
Steve Baker
5 years ago

Thanks for the report, Paul – always enjoy your columns!
Here in NC it wasn’t raining, so got the full monty of fireworks even in my little “provincial” town here…haha.
I leave Tuesday for Manila – am meeting my fiance at the airport then driving to her place in Laguna. Her family is all from Pangasinan, so its quite likely I’ll pass close to your way if we go up there. Meeting for a cold one and telling war stories would be fun!
Its starting to get cold here…can’t wait to get back in the warmer weather!
Godspeed,
Steve B.

Bob New York
Bob New York
5 years ago

Happy New Year Paul and thanks for another year of your articles here on the ” LIP ” website.

queeniebee5
queeniebee5
5 years ago

Happy New Year Paul and family. New Year’s Eve has not been a big night for me either–I prefer to ease into the new year in a more mellow way:) Videoke around our neighborhood wasn’t too obnoxious this year, but the boom of fireworks was heard from all around. One unique reveler even rode by on a motor scooter dragging a long piece of galvanized iron, throwing sparks as he blew loudly on a plastic horn. Our two outside askal dogs Tiger and Cutie, can take any given fiesta mega sound system going all night long for two nights in… Read more »

Jose Porfirio
Jose Porfirio
5 years ago

Happy |New Year to you, Mr. Paul T. and to your family. A safe and healthy year 2016. Salud.

AJ UK
AJ UK
5 years ago

Hi Paul I won’t bother you with the details of our Karaoke but the fireworks left me dumbfounded. My wife asked me to make sure the fireworks that we bought were placed safely and ready to light. So, being an engineer, I did things methodically such as having every fuse pointing to the same side of the garden and that there were no tree branches above etc. I then walked away only for about 6 others, including my wife, to walk forward and start twisting the fireworks round and moving them. They couldn’t understand my logic and even moved some… Read more »

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