I was born in the south. I live in the south and will die in the south. This is only a small part of the memories I share.
This is NOT a hub to condone, promote, or urge you or anyone to take-up the deadly habit of smoking cigarettes, pipes, and cigars. Regardless of what the tobacco lobbyists bark about on Capitol Hill will tell you. Tobacco is dangerous and deadly. Nicotine is a drug. How much more to you have to be lovingly-warned? Tobacco? Leave it alone. Thanks, K.A.
Why, I'm Asking
is the smoking of a cigarette such a tool that is used in the clandestine teenage rites of passage ranging from the years of the early 1950's to the late 970'S? There has to be a link in the psychology of teenage guys (and girls) that would prod these age groups and genders to somehow put a cigarette in their mouth and hit it with a match and then start down a very stupid and deadly pathway that does have an end. A cold, lifeless end. I cannot tell you in (a) reason why? Could be peer pressure. Every teenager, me and your included, know all about the cool kids who use us less-than-cool kids for a handful of bathroom tissue or a welcome mat. Yes, this is serious. And I am serious. I hope only one young person reads this and opens their eyes to leave the cigarettes (and other things that are smoked) and live.
Is Kenny old-fashioned? Or is he behind the times? Yes and Yes, I reply. Without any apology. For me to apologize would cause kids who believed my words to just take on that I don't care attitude and then smoking would not be a deadly-habit. But no matter if my words are believed or not, nicotine is a devil. There is no way that nicotine can give life, only take it.
My Personal Passage of Rites Began
on a hot summer day in June. I thought that I had sneaked around enough to have a smoke so my dad and mom would not scold me and lecture me to stop (like I am here), but that did not work out.
I was sitting on our front porch and had just left my hiding place around one of dad's storage sheds that he kept in the back of our home and I was really not doing much of anything when my dad, whom I did not see coming around the house, spoke to me in a very loud, angry male parent's voice: If you keep doing this, do it in front of me!!! Busted! He had seen me taking in a "taboo smoke" and he was upset. Now I do not blame him. Now when dad told me of the smoking thing, I did not know if he were setting me up for a bigger, roughe trap, or just go along and keep my mouth shut.
The test came that next Friday night at home. In our living room. Mom was out visiting her relatives and it was just dad and myself to settle-down and watch some TV. I noticed dad each time that he would reach for his left shirt pocket and grab a smoke, light it and enjoy himself. Would? Should I dare? I argued with myself for about half an hour. Then with one swift move, I reached for the pack of cigarettes that dad had laid on the coffee table near our TV. I felt his eyes stick to me. But I did smoke the cigarette wich to me, ws a valiant, life-changing moment at that time.
Dad Had Predicted
that if I took up smoking, I would be addicted. Like most bull-headed teenagers, I disagreed. But in years to come I could see that my dad was right. Although I did not argue with him. Nor did he rub it in by telling me that he told me so, but even with the fact that he understood me, I tried to live a normal teenage life and hang with my buddies who smoked
At first, lighting-up and smoking was big deal. not so I thought. We looked so adult riding around every weekend with our car windows open and all of us holding a cigarette in our moth and trying our best to look s cool as James Dean in his film, 'Rebel Without a Cause.' Let me save you some time. I failed. But did not know how in the years that I smoked when I became an addult. Still, I though that there ws no harm in smoking because millions of Amercans light-up and smoke each day, so why not me?
The years passed and the older I beame, the more I smoked. At my job, I smoked almost a pack and a half a day. In the eaarly 70's, most every business had a pro-smoking policy, so who were we to rock the boat?
There Was a Lot Comedy and Error
that happened in our cars while we rode around our twosn and smoking cigarettes. One Christmas Eve, we were in my car and to be honest, there were five of us and a pack of penny bottle rockets that we would light and toss to the ground and wherever it hit, well we would be long gone before we were caught. Then came that one moment when I was driving and someone in the backseat lit the fuse of another bottle rocket and what we did not realize was we had not remembered to roll down the car windows. Uh, oh!o
Needless to say, that the five of us were scrambling just like someone had threw a real U.S. Army hand grenade and at the strategic time, we covered our ears and felt the explosion of the rocket, but like a flash, we rolled-down the windows to let the smoke be blown out of my car. By the way, the temperature on that night was around 22 degrees. But we loved it. For us, this was the greatest time to h ve with each other shooting penny bottle rockets, smoking cigarettes and living it up. Fact is: none of us had dates that night.
When We Gew Up
some of us went to college. Some went to the military. And people like me stayed in our hometown to work and raise families. It's funny how the minds and attitudes change over night. When we had been married a few years, we never went riding, shooting bottle rockets again. Yes. These were sad times.
Most of us continued to smoke. I tried to quit several years, but no dice. Then as if the hand of God came down and pointed-out just how stupid we were for sticking a piece of paper that had tobacco in it, then light it up with a cigarette lighter and try to get pleasure from the entire thing. I sometimes how much money we wasted by just buying a pack of cigarettes which the price increased almost monthly, but we kept smoking.
That was until in my late 30's when I noticed that shooting pains inside my chest started one day and became more serious as the days went by. So to not be stupid, I went for a physical and believe it or not, the doctor said that I was okay, all except some black areas on my lungs. Upon hearing that, I was scared. And you do not need me to tell you why. Turns out, thank God, that the black areas was due to cigarettes.
Fact is a big percentage of cigarette smokers will suffer from the painful effects of Emphysema, Bronchitis, as well as COPD and it was not until the late 1960's did this research come to light. Thankfully the research continues in how Cancer that is caused by cigarette smoking can be stopped and wishfully, become a distant memory.
In a few years from that, I gave it up. not boasting, but in about three weeks, I felt better. i had more energy. Even my complexion cleared up and I was so happy. Although still battle the affects from three strokes, and Fibromyalgia, again, no boasting, and in closing, if this hub as spoken to you about stopping the lethal habit of smoking, trust me. You can quit. You can add years to your life. And for this, thank God
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© 2020 Kenneth Avery