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Monday, May 2, 2016

August 10

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Anyone born between July 23 and August 22 is a Leo. Leos are proud, masterful, dramatic, generous, warm, tireless workers and natural leaders. High on confidence and low on humility. Your best friend or worst enemy.

August 10 is my birthday.

The following incidents took place on August 10 in the corresponding year.

1944 -- I was born at 2:10 p.m. on an Army Air Force base in Arkansas. It was a rainy afternoon. Someone jerked me out of my comfortable hiding spot, held me upside down and whacked me on the butt. When I finally realized what had happened, I introduced myself to everyone in the room and inquired about having some lunch.

1945 -- Japan announced its willingness to surrender to the Allies to end their phase of World War II.

1949 -- President Harry S. Truman signed a bill establishing the Department of Defense which combined the Armed Forces under the central authority of the Secretary of Defense. The only thing missing was another war.

1950 -- President Harry S. Truman called up the National Guard to active duty to fight in the Korean War.

1962 -- Age 18. I'm finally out of high school and free at last. Now all I have to do is figure out what to do with the rest of my life. I soon enrolled at the University of Minnesota with high hopes and no clue about the future.

1965 -- Age 21. I'm now legally a man and can legally inhabit the liquor establishments I previously inhabited.

1969 -- Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were murdered in Los Angeles by followers of Charles Manson. The previous evening, actress Sharon Tate and four others were slain in Beverly Hills by the same cult. Manson and his merry band of nitwits wanted to rid the world of those who did not meet their standard of human excellence.

1974 -- President Richard M. Nixon spent his first full day as a civilian after resigning his office the previous afternoon. Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as president and proclaimed, "Our long national nightmare is over." Somehow I didn't quite believe it. Perhaps our long national nightmare had a few more bumps in the road ahead.

1974 -- Age 30. One of my co-workers baked me a surprise birthday cake with 30 candles. She was three-quarters Norwegian and one-quarter dingbat. A couple of years later we were married. It lasted five years and two days, during which time I spent many sleepless nights trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life.

1977 -- The USA and Panama signed a Panama Canal Zone accord. The same afternoon, postal employee David Berkowitz was arrested in Yonkers, NY, accused of being the "Son of Sam" mass murderer responsible for six killings and the wounding of seven others. The signing of the treaty and arrest of Berkowitz were unrelated.

1991 -- Two teenagers killed nine Buddhists in a temple not far from where I lived in Arizona. They weren't overly concerned about maintaining a certain standard of human excellence. They just wanted to steal stuff.

1993 -- President William J. Clinton signed a massive deficit-reduction bill into law. Our national debt has risen every single year since and is nearly $9 trillion. Another job well done by lawmakers in our nation's capitol.

1994 -- President Clinton claimed presidential immunity when asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit of sexual harassment by Arkansas employee Paula Jones. It all had something to do with what the word "is" is.

1995 -- Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were charged with 11 counts in the Oklahoma City bombing. McVeigh was later convicted of murder. Nichols was convicted of conspiracy and involuntary manslaughter.

2000 -- President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and President Saddam Hussein of Iraq, a couple of swell guys, held talks in Baghdad about an upcoming conference on oil. They also shared redneck jokes about George Bush.

2006 -- Age 62. I'm eligible for Social Security and still trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life.

Actress Rosanna Arquette, singer Eddie Fisher and President Herbert Hoover were also born on Aug. 10. Not exactly big names, but August has always been a slow month for childbirth. Leos have large egos which tends to deplete the ozone layer. Thus, supernatural forces of human evolution have minimized August births.

Birthdays are a time for reflection, usually about trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life.

Someday I may actually figure it out.

I sure hope it doesn't have anything to do with starting over.

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Bret Burquest is an award-winning columinst and author of four novels. He can be contacted at bret@centurytel.net or newsopinion@yahoo.com.