Intelligence comes from ignorance as wisdom comes from naivete and there is nothing like gathering both from people who represent a diverse swath of nations throughout the world. As cultures require contact with each other in order to grow and remain viable, and not succumb to atrophy, man too requires contact with men of different beliefs and practices. No one nation or culture or religion has a hold on logic or is immune to extremism. I feel blessed that I've had the opportunity to absorb and learn about aspects of life that I'm sure I wouldn't have learned otherwise. In fact, my whole belief system was changed over the past forty-five years through this contact. I began to do some research on my family and what I learned, coupled with what I had experienced in my life, literally brought me to tears in gratitude and admiration, and hopefully in wisdom. If you like to sit down and listen to stories told by, say, an old friend, an uncle, or a person with wrinkles on his face, grey in his hair, and a sparkle of wisdom in his eyes, coupled with a smile on his face, then you should so bother. If you don't, then stop right here and go pick up and read a book on vampires or love's lost or whatever turns your fancy. My life has been tragic and wondrous and I have what I call life lessons that I believe you will find helpful in your life. I'll even go so far as to say that, given even a fraction of introspection in you, your life will be significantly altered after you've read this book. I know that doesn't sound humble but I also know this to be true. I have learned, forgot, and made up many a good story. Keep this in mind when you read these chapters (stories) compiled within this book. Are they all true? Mostly, with only the most embarrassing events removed. An old retired Air Force fighter pilot once told me "I have secrets only God and I know - and that's the way it will remain."