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Reunion Memories by Shirley Clark

As thoughts of going to Buffalo kept coming back to me on these cool Kentucky mornings, I could not help but think of Jimmy Buffett. Do you know his music? I love to listen to his music as I drive, exercise, or just want to be by myself. He sings a lot about sailors, oceans, beaches, and how time and attitudes change

Charles Swindoll wrote that life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. But Jimmy Buffett sings about how we have to have changes in attitudes. He also says that if we were not all crazy- we would all go insane. He sings about how time passes. For instance, he says summers and winters scatter like splinters, and before you know it several years have slipped away.

Believe it or not, that is what is happening to all of us. When we look back on our lives, we realize that the past is but a memory, the future is a promise and today is a gift that is why we call it the “Present”.

To keep the past in our memories and to reach for greater heights in the future is a wonderful thing. But don’t forget to live for today, because today is truly all that we have.

When asked about your lives since leaving the Bristol, I believe many of you could say as Jimmy Buffett says “Some of it has been magic—some has been tragic—but we’ve had a good life all the way”

There is only one person whom really knows what I’m trying to say to you. For the past eleven years, I have dealt with an illness that will follow me through the rest of my life. I live each day with this thought--- THANK GOD FOR THE GOOD DAYS AND ASK HIM TO HELP ME COPE WITH THE BAD ONES.

Putting together the Bristol History Books has been a great therapy for me and I thank you for the opportunity to do it.

Remember as you go through the rest of your lives---IT IS NOT SO IMPORTANT WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU, BUT HOW YOU REACT TO IT.

God bless you

Shirley Clark

USS Bristol DD857 Historian

October, 2001

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