Noteworthy Anniversary

Twenty five years ago, June 27 1984 I quit smoking. I started smoking around age ten or so, and by the time I was twelve I was smoking at least a pack a day. Smoking ruled my life for at least a dozen years. Every aspect of my life revolved around my need to smoke. I lied, cheated, stole and did what ever I could in order to support my habit. I would walk four miles to school each day, so I could use my bus money to buy a pack of Newport. Aside from the physical addiction, I was emotionally attached to my cigarettes. I hated that I smoked, especially since I made my living as a woodwind player. I was being transferred from the Navy School of Music to Navy Band Orlando, my first duty station. I was going to drive from Virginia Beach to Orlando in a fifteen year old VW Fastback. I smoked a cigarette before I got in the car, and I visualized myself driving away from my habit. In about a week or so, the physical craving had gone away, and I felt great. No one knew me at my new band, and they had no idea that I was a smoker. To give you an idea just how strong the hold was for me, to this day, in many of my dreams I have a cigarette in my hand.