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Coming Home

Steve Conroy
Carthage, TX 75633
Sam Houston High School
Class of 1973

yrrah_ytrid@hotmail.com
saconroy@swbell.net

Everyone always puts a picture of themselves on their webpage. Everytime I go to a class reunion, everyone always tells me: "Oh, you haven't changed a bit!" So, instead of waisting the bandwidth on my mugshot, I thought I would share with you one of my favorite images that I snapped with my phone camera one evening coming home from a long trip out of town. It's not the best quality image, but it's one of my favorites. I call it "Coming Home." It seemed appropriate to post it here.

First, let me apologize for this cheesy web page. I agree that someone who retired from the computer industry should have a better looking web interface than this. However, this is something quick that I am putting up at the request of some of my friends who seem to think you do not exist in this world unless you have a web presence. They seem to think that at my age I must have something important to say, or some contribution to make to the world that would change the course of history. Maybe itís because of my years in the industry that I keep a wide berth from things like Facebook.

Though, people that know me would probably agree that I have done more than my share to improve the human condition, I doubt that anything I would have to say would be that important or earth shattering. I donít know. Maybe this web page is just a quick response to the question: ďWhat have you been up to?Ē Donít get me wrong. Iím not against high-tech. I utilize it to the extremes at times. yrrah_ytrid@hotmail.com is an email address that will usually find me.

Age is a funny thing. It makes you sit back and ask yourself whether or not youíve led a rewarding life, and helped other people out in the process. Lord knows Iíve done some good things for other people in this world. Iíve managed to change a few laws, and kill a few giants in the process. However, Iíve always been my own worst critic. Itís my personal demon. But, itís probably what drives me, and makes me so relentless once I set myself on a task.

As hectic as itís been for me at times during my life, I enjoy the quiet side. I still live in Northeast Texas on my 160 acre farm. Its 22 miles from town, and it gets quiet here. Iíve always been an outdoor and nature lover. Thatís something I got from my dad. More and more, I find myself appreciating nature around me. Big cities drive me nuts.

A funny thing happened to me a few years ago. I got back into the music business, and Iím really enjoying it. It would seem that classic rock and roll is making a huge comeback, and thereís high demand for the musicians and bands that used to play it. I guess what goes around comes around. My old friends who remember me know that I made a pretty good living at it for many years. Well, I seem to be in high demand again. Iíve done some large R&B and classic rock gigs in Austin and Northeast Texas, working with some old friends of mine that have been in the music industry as long as I have. As you get older, your senses, hand-eye coordination, and general dexterity are supposed to suffer. I listen to earlier recordings of myself, and I was pretty good back then. However, surprisingly enough, I seem to be a bit better today! Maybe age has made me a bit more creative when it comes to music. I can see the same thing in big name artists like Eric Clapton. I donít know that he plays any faster licks, but they are definitely tastier and better sounding licks. And, it really does seem to be like riding a bicycle. Once you attain a certain amount of skill, you donít appear to lose it. However, my hands tire more quickly than they used to.

I still hold a pilotís license, ratings, and current airmanís medical certification. And, I still own a late model airplane. Not bad, considering todayís economy, and the mountains of FAA regulations. It makes it easier to get around when all of your family and friends are so scattered across the state. Even though the airspace is tighter since 9/11, itís so much of a hassle to fly on a commercial carrier. There is also a substantial ďcoolĒ factor in being able to walk into the airport while carrying anything you want in your bags, not having to take your shoes off, walking right by the screeners, and right out onto the ramp and getting into your own airplane. As expensive as it is, every time I do that, itís worth every dime. There is definitely something to be said for your own right to privacy. Besides, I could tell you things about commercial airlines that would make you avoid them like the plague. The pilots are getting younger, they are flying with fewer hours experience, and they are forgetting how to fly. Itís scary. Accidents like Air France flight 447 should have never happened. 216 people died because two young pilots forgot how to fly the airplane, and made some stupid decisions. And, they could have all been saved by a $600 piece of navigation gear that would fit in your pocket. Call me an old fuddy-duddy, but Iíll fly myself, thank you.

Well, so much for reminiscing. I do manage to make all my major high school reunions. Too bad though about shutting down olí Sam Houston High. However, when I drove by many years ago and saw the entire front lawn turned into a parking lot, I knew it was doomed. If I havenít bored you to tears yet with this dissertation, email me at yrrah_ytrid@hotmail.com or saconroy@swbell.net and weíll do some more catching up. As I said, age is a funny thing. I really miss all my old friends. And, I enjoy "coming home."

As Spock said: ďLive long, and prosper.Ē