Having just reached the age of 67, I am now two-thirds of the way to being a centenarian. I have my “bucket list” for the rest of my days. Yet, sheer reality makes me realize I need to strike some items from the list. (Will I ever get to Greece, take a cruise or see the pyramids?)

But let’s look back for a moment. Each of us should make an inventory of the things we have done, seen or experienced in the years heretofore. It can be heartening and a reminder that life is a journey of large and small moments. Accomplishments, serendity joys, satisfaction moments, setbacks.

I’ve been in the White House three times, stood inside the Statue of Libery three times, beheld Paris from the Eiffel Tower, walked the grand streets of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and attended some competition at the Olympic Games in Mexico City in 1968. I’ve seen Big Ben, Stonehenge, Buckingham Palace, the door to No. 10 Downing Street, Michaelangelo’s original statue of David in Florence, and the tombs of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. I watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, beheld the art treasures of the Louvre in Paris and witnessed Niagara Falls and Brazil’s majestic Iguazu Falls. I’ve ridden on a gondola in the canals of Venice, enjoyed Zoolights at the Phoenix Zoo. I have walked in Time Square, beheld Central Park from the rooftop of the Empire State Building and sauntered through Greenwich Village at night. I owned a red ’65 Ford Mustang convertible for 17 years. I went 31 working years without a sick day. I’ve gotten to meet and talk to Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama, Shirley Temple Black, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, TV preacher Joel Osteen, actor Steven Baldwin, President George W. Bush, Watergate bad-boy Charles Colson, and the Peace Corps’ first director and one-time U.S. vice presidential candidate Sargent Shriver, not to mention its 10th director, Loret Ruppe.

I saw the preserved body of Pope John XXIII in a knave of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. I’ve seen the fabled White Cliffs of Dover, beheld the warm blue sea of the Mediteranean, marveled at Rodin’s statue of The Thinker in Paris, walked under the Arch de Triumph and marveled at the street flower markets of Amsterdam. I’ve been chosen for the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame and the Living Legends Hall of Fame of the Tempe Historical Museum and have been four-time Kiwanian of the Year, man-of-the-year at my church, and man of the year in the men’s residence hall of Iowa State University. Three years, I was the milker for my teams in championship wins in the Celebrity Goat-Milking contests at the Maricopa County Fair in Phoenix. I’ve changed countless diapers and lost many hours of sleep holding fussy babies. I interviewed Nobel Peace Prize winner and the Green Revolution genius Dr. Norman Boulaug. I donated 18 gallons of blood until my veins got stingy and balked. I led a student group trip to Washington, D.C., and New York City in 1967 where we woefully sang the “Iowa Corn Song” for Mayor John Lindsay at Long Island University, and I successfully arranged a 40-minute conversation with Associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice Tom Clark.

I’ve been an inspector, judge and clerk for Maricopa County elections, watched the Chicago Cubs play in Wrigley Field, enjoyed shows on Broadway, visited both Disneyland and Disney World, explored the streetscape of Dealey Plaza in Dallas where John Kennedy died and seen the purported remains of Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro in a glass case in Lima, Peru. I mark my 50th anniversary of writing for publication this year. I’ve seen the Hope Diamond and the Northern Lights. I’ve been to the top of Seattle’s Space Needle, San Antonio’s Hemisphere tower and the Washington Monument. I’ve seen how Big Oil can build wondrous things in Tulsa and honeymooned on Florida beaches.

I met presidential loser George McGovern twice and Bob Dole once. I’ve met Arizona Governors Rose Mofford, Evan Mecham, Jane Dee Hull, Fife Symington, Janet Napolatono and Jan Brewer. Throw in Sen. Ted Kennedy and singer Alice Cooper. I have read most of John Steinbook’s novels and was profoundly impacted by “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. I have interviewed Catholic Cardinals Roger Mahony, John O’Connor, Joseph Bernadin and Theodore McCarrick. I carried out news coverage of two papal visits of Pope John Paul II to the U.S. in 1979 and 1987. I covered talks by Louis Farrakhan and South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu. I once procured a Red Cross donation from Barry Goldwater. I’ve stood at the headwaters of the Mississippi River, canoed lakes of Minnesota, been humbled by the sequoia and redwood trees of California, stayed with poor rural families of central Mexico. I’ve driven through the Smokey Mountains, visited Cape Cod, wandered through the Rock’n Roll Hall of Fame, Smithsonian museums in Washington and the Mall of America.

I served as chairman of the Tempe Salvation Army Advisory Board simultaneously while serving as board president of Tempe Community Action Agency. I have delivered sermons to at least four churches. I’ve walked the streets of Munich, Lisbon, Brussels, Miami and Asuncion. I’ve visited Tafts Well, outside of Cardiff, Wales, where my Grandfather Griffiths was born in 1874.

I began driving farm tractors at age 8 and went on to plow fields, bale hay, seed and combine oats, drive a corn picker, fill silos with chopped corn and maneuver hay racks and rotary hoes. I’ve shingled roofs, dehorned calves, found four-leaf clovers, hunted for morel mushrooms and wild asparagus and have a massive collection of promotional buttons and pins. I have perfect attendance all through high school. I won the Clara Barton Award, am a George F. Hixson Fellow in Kiwanis, was an Exchange Club’s Exchangite of the Year and have never had a broken bone. I’ve never smoked a cigarette. My Iowa vanity license plate said EDITOR. My Arizona plate says NOCIRCM, a call for an end to circumcision so mindlessly forced on the helpless and defenseless.

I’ve experienced foul-mouthed Army drill sergeants in basic training, written unit morning reports and served as a mail clerk for a company of trainees. I’ve finished first in my military promotion group and taken full advantage of the G.I. bill to buy two homes and earn a master’s degree from Northwestern University. I’ve rambled across the campus of Yale, received Iowa State University’s coveted Cardinal Key award for campus leadership and won the American Soybean Association’s highest award for print media.

I interviewed the late controversial atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair a number of times. I interviewed theologian William Sloane Coffin, the crazy Topeka, Kan., hatemonger and pastor Fred Phelps, country singer Charley Pride, one-armed Giants pitcher Dave Dravecky; a number of U.S. secretaries of agriculture, including Earl Butz; theologian Robert McAfee Brown; Oscar winning ‘Last Picture Show’ actor Ben Johnson; Braves slugger Dale Murphy; ex-Cardinal star Aeneas Williams; and Motel 6 pitchman “We’ll-Leave-The-Lights-On-For-Your” Tom Bodett.

I have sat next to baseball icon Joe Garagiola for dinner and Sheriff Joe Arpaio for lunch. At Iowa State, I wore a black arm band and walked in solidarity with those marching for civil rights in Selma, Ala., in 1964. I only experienced one earthquake — in Loja, Ecuador, where I lived for two months in 1968 and wrote a 1,200-word newspaper column 7 days a week in Spanish. I proposed to my wife in 1973 against the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “People Will Say We’re in Love” on TV and recorded the whole thing.

I have written thousands of newspaper columns and tens of thousands of newspaper articles. I have published two books of local history, a 277-page church 50-year history and a 306-page Tempe Kiwanis 60-year history, plus many booklets. I have kept up the pace to produce a weekly Kiwanis newsletter for more than 23 years — a newsletter chosen tops across the Kiwanis planet for mid-size clubs in 1995 and has won 20 district contests.

I’ve given innumerable speeches, including one to atheists. I been the judge for a National Pork Queen and local dairy princesses. I have served on a jury and won a Tempe clam-eating contest. I was dispatched to Iowa’s Boys State as a junior where I was a “sheriff” and “city councilman.” I’ve delivered Meals on Wheels, been a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay, served as the company clerk for a U.S. Army advanced infantry training company, once fell in love with a girl in Uruguay, worked in the food service of a university hospital, visited 46 of the 50 states plus 22 countries, walked across the Golden Gate Bridge in the rain, reveled in Mardi Gras in New Orleans, grew a mustache that has lasted 42 years, written and delivered many eulogies, worn contact lenses, climbed Piestewa Peak in Phoenix, and suceeded another editor who went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting in 1978.

I watched the birth of both of my children and two of my four grandchildren. I have been married only once, and we will celebrate our 40th anniversary in July. I take comfort that my in-laws were married for 51 years and my parents for more than 55 years until took one of each pair.

I founded and edited a campus magazine when I was a college freshman. I was the first president of Ayres House at Iowa State University. A year later, I was first president of a 2,400-men residential hall system. I played tuba in high school, was editor of the high school newspaper and was class valeditorian.

I have correspondence from Nobel Peace Prize laureate Eli Wiesel, thelogian Norman Cousins, author Leo Buscaglia, Ed Asner, Lute Olson, Charles Kuralt, and Michael Dukakis.

I have stood on the equator in Ecuador, beheld the Leaning Tower of Pisa, gloried in the Sistine Chapel, and look upon the paintings of Mona Lisa, American Gothic and Whistler’s Mother. I have cleaned the pit of an outhouse, mowed fields of alfalfa and clover, skinny-dipped in farm creeks, milked Holstein cows morning and night for years, built large sheds, have seen, in person, the queen of Spain and seven U.S. presidents: Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Clinton, Bush 43 and Obama. I sat in Chile’s congressional chambers and stood on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. I worked in the National Press Building in Washington, D.C. I attended Red Cross board meetings in the home of Bill and Erma Bombeck in Paradise Valley, and once met philanthropist Virginia Piper there. I have serve eight three-year terms as a Presbyterian church officer (elder, deacon and trustee). I learned to say the presidents of the United States and their years in office when I was age 8. I have served on a behavior health agency board of directors for more than 25 years.

I have spoken out in voice and print against prejudice and margination of women, discrimination against gay people and the cruel indecency of male infant circumcision. I have served meals at soup kitchens, read books to Head Start children and received the Golden Rule Award from Arizona Interfaith Movement. I was the 12th recipient of Tempe’s Don Carlos Humanitarian Award and third winner of Tempe Leadership’s Outstanding Community Leadership Award. I have 79 file drawers in my house, which iw now paid off. I deeply love my wife and family.

I could die this day fully content that it’s been a full, rich, purpose-filled life — graced by good people doing good deeds and being forces to end the tyranny that comes with civilization and human failings.

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