It is my pleasure to welcome author Chuck Jackson to Getting to Know You. Chuck is the author of three memoirs including his latest Guilt: My Companion. On his blog you will find posts on writing, book marketing and also mental health and social issues such as this recent article: https://chuckjacksonknowme.com/2018/06/13/did-someones-suicide-influence-you/
Before we find out more about Chuck and the questions he has chosen to respond to, here is his official biography.
Chuck Jackson is a retired accountant living in South East Florida. He graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a BBA in Accounting. He spent the last 25 years of his career working as the Budget Manager for a Special District in Palm Beach County. He was a member of Government Finance Officer’s Association (GFOA) and Florida’s GFOA.
He is a two-time cancer survivor and draws his strength from his faith and church activity. He is his church’s Treasurer and serves on it’s Vestry.
Since his retirement, Chuck has spent his years studying and enhancing his love for writing. In June 2016, he released his first e-book: One Month, 20 Days, and a Wake Up. In July 2017 he released his second book: What Did I Do? that is available as an e-book and paperback. He continues to work on his memoir manuscript, in anticipation of releasing a third book in 2018.
Chuck is an avid golfer and a member of a local golf club. He is married to Anthony, his partner of 33-plus years. He has a daughter and a new grandson.
Now time to find out which questions Chuck has selected to share with us.
Welcome to Getting to Know you Chuck and can you tell us what was the funniest moment of your life?
I have had so many, but I’ll tell you one that happened a few years ago. When Florida delayed legislation to legalize marriage between same sex couples. My now husband and I traveled to Connecticut to get married. We arranged a Justice of the Piece in Stanford to conduct the ceremony. We stayed with our good friend Casey in Stanford. He was the only one in attendance and acted as our witness. The Justice of the Peace owned a flower shop and when we arrived she escorted to a side room she set with a gazebo where she conducted the ceremonies.
She was short, wearing a robe with a lace collar, and with reading glasses on the end of her nose. She instantly reminded me of Judge Judy. She brought a thick book with her and stood behind a small lectern. She opened the book and began reading some beautiful quotes and poems about love and marriage. We waited patiently but wondered where this was going and when would she get to the actual legal vows.
After five minutes of her reading from the book and we were no closer to what we were here for, Casey said, “Excuse me.” She stopped reading and looked up at him over her glasses. “Are you planning on reading that whole book?”
Puzzled she replied, “Well yes.”
Casey continued, “Have you looked at these two? They are old. They will be dead before you finish.”
Her face flushed, “OH—OH yeah.” She quickly thumbed through the book to the back on began our vows.
I was laughing so hard, I don’t remember anything said after that, but she signed the license and we got our certificate.
What is your favorite TV show and why?
From back in the 70’s I have always enjoyed MASH. I was infatuated by Alan Alda and I thought he was great looking and his character was so witty. Yet, each of the characters added to the humor and sometimes seriousness of the show. Radar with being so naïve and Klinger with his cross dressing kept me laughing. McLean Stevenson as Col Henry Blake stole the show. Each of the characters added to the success.
Sally here: MASH was one of our favourites too, and here is a snippet with most of the stars in action
Even though the show took place during the Korean War, it was a parody of the Vietnam War. Since I was a pararescue medic in Vietnam, the humor and the serious side made the show more personal to me. I don’t ever recall seeing or hearing of a MASH unit in Vietnam. We used medivac helicopters to bring the wounded into area hospitals. Yet, these hospitals weren’t much different from the tent hospital portrayed in the TV series.
What was also similar was the non-stop wounded and KIAs (killed in action).
For me, MASH was able to take the seriousness of war and poke fun of its reality. They did it without losing the dignity of those that actually experienced it. The things portrayed in humor most likely never could happen.
What is your favorite childhood song and why?
In 1954, my dad, a sergeant in the Air Force, was sent to Okinawa. After a year, we joined him. That year we were separated, my mother, sister and I lived with my grandparents in Ft. Worth, Texas. At age eight, my grandfather was the most important person in my world. When he returned from work, I went everywhere with him. He didn’t drive a car and we walked most places. As we walked he would talk to me, tease me and always hold my hand.
One of our favorite TV shows to watch was Francis the Talking Mule. Granddad would imitate Francis and it would send me into hysterical laughter. Even when Granddad would tease me about it, he would sing along with me to my favorite song, “Teddy Bear Picnic”. I don’t think or hear the words without thinking of Granddad and the love he gave to me.
Sally here: I have found one of the original recordings of Teddy Bears Picnic by Henry Hall and his orchestra for you Chuck.
Do you prefer the big city or country life?
Growing up, I had the opportunity to live both places. From 1956 to 1960 we lived in a rural community in Iowa. My dad was stationed at the Air Force base that was ten miles away. Every summer beginning when I was twelve, I worked on a farm. Rural life was simpler, yet everyone worked hard to provide the essentials.
In 1970 after leaving the military, I moved to Dallas Texas and later years to San Antonio.
My years in the career as a mortician were in those cities. I also attended and graduated for the University of Texas at San Antonio. I have many memories of the long hours of working and going to school to accomplish my goals.
In the 80’s I moved to South East Florida, where I spent the remainder of my working years as an accountant. Our area would be considered suburban with the majority of the population retired. I’m retired myself and this area is conducive to my current lifestyle. We have great restaurants, recreation (golf, tennis, theater, etc.) and medical facilities. I doubt I’ll live anywhere else.
If I could choose to go back and live in one of the three types of communities, I would choose the urban city life. No one likes the traffic, but the life style is so vibrant, and the opportunities are endless if you are willing to challenge yourself. If I had the money to afford it, I would live in downtown Chicago or New York. These cities literally have a pulse and are alive twenty-four/seven.
Have you ever played a musical instrument or sang in public?
Starting in fourth grade, I think I was eleven, I began playing the trumpet. To this day, I have no idea why I had a natural talent for the trumpet. We were living in the rural area of Iowa and I played first chair trumpet in the band. When my dad was transferred to other Air Force bases and we moved to other areas of the country, I continued playing in school bands.
I had one music teacher that gave me the opportunity to learn other brass instruments. I learned to play the tuba, French horn, coronet, and trombone. In high school I also played in a dance band. We mainly played for high school dances, but we occasionally played at the NCO and Officer’s Clubs on base. I’m not sure we were that good, but we did have fun and made a few bucks.
In 1970, when I left the military and went to mortuary school, I put my trumpet in the closet and quit playing. I thought at the time I was too busy going to school and then later working to practice and keep my talent fresh. I would occasionally bring it out, but with each absent period, my talent and desire dwindled.
This is one of the things in my life I regret. I loved playing music and the self-satisfaction I received. I had a gift for playing and I allowed other things to take precedence over my passion.
I still have my trumpet. A few years ago, my husband had it restored hoping I would start playing again. I have lost all ability to play and I don’t have the desire it would take to relearn how to play. My trumpet sits beautifully on display, but silent.
Sally here: I am sure you were an amazing musician Chuck, and whilst your creativity now moves in another direction.. here is Satchmo with When the Saints Come Marching In to celebrate your trumpet years..
Chuck Jackson’s latest book was released in April – Guilt – My Companion – A Journey of Healing.
About Guilt – My Companion
Guilt—My Companion is a story based on the author’s strength and recovery from a dysfunctional family. It begins in the ‘60s during a period filled with social and personal injustice. It tells the struggle of his conscience against societies’ ignorance and prejudice. It follows his journey to recoup from personal tragedy and grief. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Live is a journey, not a destination.”.
But for this story, the journey is the destinations he took. It wasn’t where he intended, and he had little control of the paths he took. Along those paths were heartaches and defeat. He found deception, prejudice, and hate. Lay in waiting was his companion, guilt; the robber of personal pleasure. Follow his story and discover when he conquered guilt, there was nothing inhibiting his self-growth and happiness.
One of the early reviews for the book
Amazon Customer The epilogue best describes the outcome June 20, 2018
The book stayed true to the title. I found it gripping and, in many cases, difficult to comprehend the cruelty imposed upon the author. The epilogue best describes the outcome: (1) Healing involved a desire to change the habit of carrying baggage, and (2) professional help. The author, Denis Waitley, wrote that “Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” I believe that the author’s journey possessed all of these.
Without grace, he would not have made the remarkable life he has lived. Without love, he couldn’t fight against the emotional abuse of hate. Without gratitude, he couldn’t have written his books.
This book is for all of us; for the times we’ve allowed ourselves to wallow in the darkness of resentment and anger, guilt, and subsequent depression. By sharing this journey, the author opened up his heart with love, grace, and gratitude and gave us this book.
Read the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Guilt-My-Companion-Journey-Healing/dp/1717393012
Also by Chuck Jackson
Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Chuck-Jackson/e/B01IX2PBEG
And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chuck-Jackson/e/B01IX2PBEG
Website Blog: http://www.chuckjacksonknowme.com/
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/105624026158453424361
Flipboard – https://flipboard.com/@ChuckJackso2017
Thank you very much for dropping in today and Chuck would love to read your comments and answer any questions. thanks Sally