My motto is: THE IMPOSSIBLE JUST TAKES A LITTLE LONGER ! When I look back over my 87 years on earth, regarding several things I have done, which most people would have said were impossible, I did because I did not know they could not be done. I discovered that I am the most creative just as I wake up in the morning. About two years ago I ran into a website about a person that had done the impossible, and used the power of his mind to completely repair the damage to his vertebra, that all the leading doctors said could not be done. He believed someone made him, that was a lot smarter than him, so I am going to give him the job of fixing me. However, I am going to give him a plan, so in his mind, he reconstructed his vertebra, one block at a time. He then said I will not let anyone tell me that I will not be completely healed, and it worked. That was over 20 years ago. He has be teaching people all over the world how they can use the power of their mind, combined with meditation to cure themselves of many conditions and illnesses that seem impossible to cure. To learn more about this amazing man, and his meditation method go to the Dr. Dispenza page on this website. I find I am the most creative just as I wake up in the morning. It did not know why for many years, I just knew it happened. After reading Dr. Dispenza's book: "Breaking The Habit Of Being Yourself" I now know why. On the Pat Rowden Fear page of the website, you will find a picture of the only milling machine in the world, capable of reproducing any vintage auto or truck running board rubber, which I designed and built one day at a time at about 6:00 AM over a couple of months. At age 39, I was given the opportunity to attend the University of Alberta to become a vocational education teacher. I was having a terrible time writing term papers, and could not put two words together that made any sense. I could not even come up with a good title, but all of a sudden one night I woke up at 4:00 AM, and knew exactly what to write. I would write for several hours as the words came, then set it aside for two days and looked at it. Sometimes it was just plain garbage, but most of the time all I had to do was move a few sentences around, fix the spelling and grammatical errors and hand it in. For seven years at Shaughnessy Secondary Vocational Education School in Calgary, Alberta, I successfully taught students that had consistently failed in school for the first six years of their education. Of all the things that I have accomplished this was the most challenging, yet the most rewarding. About 2 years ago I made the decision to pass on my knowledge to help the next generation, and possibly generations to come, rather than take it to the grave with me. That is why I built this website. It is my hope that within the next six months it will be found world wide using common key words.
Many of my friends have said over the years that I should write a book about my life experiences. There is not a topic that I don't have a story for. Today I have made the decision to begin. I will start posting a few of my memories, thoughts, beliefs, and opinions here. I believe the title of the book should be: "IS THERE A REASON ?"
When I look back over time there have been several events that have occurred at a certain time to be just by chance. I have no way of proving it, but to have events happen, at a certain time over and over throughout my lifetime, leads me to believe that these events happened for a reason. If there is a reason there must be a higher power, and the higher power would be God.
There is no logical reason why I am alive. My mother was supposed to be on the Titanic as a steerage passenger. Steerage passengers were locked below the deck until all the lifeboats were gone. Mom's family had tickets for the Titanic, but when they got to the dock they could not find their luggage. The ship had sailed before they found their luggage. Steerage passengers were locked below deck until all the lifeboats were gone.
I can think of at least a dozen occurrences where an event happened in my life time, and at a certain time to simply by chance, so logically thinking there must be a reason. You will seldom find me in church, because I am not a religious person, as religions were created by man, not God !! My dad used to say: "I respect all religions, but I don't agree with any of them." My mom used to say: " Hell is on earth" and for many I believe this is true. I say: " Things happen for a reason, therefore there has to be a GOD." That is my belief, but I have no way of proving it. I believe there is a reason I put together this website: "I believe it was God's plan." There is no other logical reason. I was born on May 7th, 1933, at the very height of the great depression, I was told I was a mistake, and not only that, if I was to be born I was to be a girl. If there had been birth control pills back then I suspect I would not be here today. I do remember the "dirty thirties" and the "great depression" well. My dad predicted that we would have another depression. It never happened in his lifetime, but we are now heading for a depression. All the signs are there. I remember mom lighting the coal oil lamp in the middle of the day to see in the house because the dirt in the sky completely blocked out the sun. I remember the violent lighting storms, night after night. The sheet lightning would light up the sky, and I could see for miles in the middle of the night, but there was no rain. The tumbleweeds rolled up against the fence, and the dirt-covered the tumbleweeds, allowing our cattle to walk over the fence. Those were very hard times, yet I never ate better in my life because we grew everything on the farm. Dad had no money, but as a child growing up I think I was blessed. I had a good childhood, received a good education in a small country school. I went on to high school and got the opportunity to go to university as an adult at age 39 to receive my Bachelor of Education in Vocational Education, only to be forced out of teaching automotive at Bowness High School in Calgary. Why? Because student and public safety was my number one priority, and I refused to put out more customer work than I could guarantee would leave my shop in a safe condition I also did not like using my students as unpaid slaves to make money for the school. My number one priority as an automotive teacher was the students and public safety, and I refused to put out more customer work than I could be sure was safe to be on the street. I lost my job as a teacher, with a worthless B. Ed. in Voc. Ed. degree, and a greatly reduced pension. As a result, I decided to set up a home-based business reproducing vintage vehicle running board mats. To do so I designed and built the only milling machine capable of making any pattern. We reproduced over 500 sets of mats over a period of seven years, with customers worldwide, with only one returning for alteration. Now at 87, I am again coming out of retirement with a new business venture. You say "Why would an 87 year old man do so? The answer is as simple, I guess, as it was meant to be: " God made the choice for me. Do I have any proof, no I do not, but I believe it was meant to be."
I can remember as a kid on the farm talking to my dad when he said: " John just sold his farm to his son, and is moving into Hanna to retire. Just you wait he will be dead in less than two years, so I am never going to retire." So at age 82, he was elected to the Hanna town council even though everyone in town knew he was dead. I will be 87 in May, and in good health. Most men my age are either dead or wished they were. Maybe, my reason to be alive is to make a difference before I die. Only time will tell.
Back at the time I was a teenager, many farmers who appeared to be in good health retired around age 60 to 65 and died within two years. Their whole life revolved around farming it would appear, so when they retired they had nothing to live for. So dad said: "I'm never going to retire." So at age 82, he became the dog catcher in the town of Hanna. I said to dad: "Are you not too old to be catching dogs?" He replied: "I think I'm smarter than the average dog." I had to agree, he was. After six months, the town had to lay him off because they only allowed a small amount of money for the year to catch dogs, and they had run out of money.
A lawyer on the town council told dad, "Now that he was unemployed you should run for town council." He also said: " You don't think much of these dog bylaws, you won't get anything changed, but you will have a lot of fun." So dad ran for town council but died before the election. The town phoned Edmonton to find out what to do about the situation. They said: "Dead or alive you have to have an election." Dad had been around Hanna all his life so everyone knew him and knew he had died, but they voted for him anyway. It was a landslide and hit all the papers across Canada and the USA. It was the second time in North American history that a dead man had won an election.
Is that a coincidence, or was it meant to be?
Dad decided that there had to be a way of drilling through a seam of gravel. The answer was to stop drilling when he hit gravel, and put the casing into the well, and drill inside the casing until he reached water. He charged by the foot until he hit gravel. He then charged by the hour.
This was just after the great depression, and many farmers had lost their land to banks, and land speculators. They would get dad to drill a well for them, but often complained about the cost of going through gravel. It never worked. Dad simply took them to court, and they paid up.
There were people witching for water, but dad would tell people, I can drill the well where the well witcher said water was. However, dad’s recommendation was to drill the well halfway between the house and the barn, because dad kept a very accurate log of each well he drilled, so he knew how deep the well would likely be, the flow, and the type of water he would find.
One day, dad bet a lady that he would find soft water. A bottle of whiskey, against a box of chocolates, knowing full well that the water would be hard. When he did hit water, he got the lady’s son to get a dipper full of water from the rain barrel. The lady said the water was soft, but not as soft as rain water. Dad, however did have to own up, and buy the chocolates. IS THERE A REASON? When I look back over time there have been several events that have occurred at a certain time to be just by chance. I have no way of proving it, but to have events happen, at a certain time over and over throughout my lifetime, leads me to believe that these events happened for a reason. There is no logical reason why I am alive. My mother was supposed to be on the Titanic as a steerage passenger. Steerage passengers were locked below deck until all the lifeboats were gone. Mom's family had tickets for the Titanic, but when they got to the dock they could not find their luggage. The ship had sailed before they found their luggage. I can think of at least a dozen occurrences where the event, and the time the event happened coincided to just be by chance, so it would seem there is a reason. ROBERT’S 1926 CHEVMy brother, Robert’s first car was a 1926 Chevy. Today, you simply get in the car and drive away in comfort and speed. They almost drive themselves. In fact, it appears that in the near future that will be a reality.
The 26 Chevrolet had no creature comforts, like a heater, but they were a reliable, and a fast means of transportation compared to a horse and buggy. There were no super highways, but dusty rough roads back in the thirties and early forties. The horse and buggy era was ending and the car reigned supreme. I learned to drive with dad’s 1934 Dodge, and when it was new, it would have been a pleasure to drive. But, because the steering and suspension were totally worn out, it was uncontrollable over 20 miles per hour. Although Robert’s 26 Chevy was in good condition, compared to dad’s 34 Dodge, 30 miles per hour was considered fast enough. Dad’s 34 Dodge had a synchromesh transmission, which meant you could shift from gear to gear with ease without clashing gears. It had 4 wheel hydraulic brakes, that actually worked very well. Robert’s old 26 Chevy did not have a synchromesh transmission, and had very unreliable mechanical brakes. If Robert set up the brakes to work they drug, if he set them up so they did not drag, which is what he did, they hardly worked. To shift from gear to gear, you had to match the car’s road speed to the engine speed, otherwise the gears would clash. There was no electric starter. It had to be started with a hand crank. To start the engine you put the transmission in neutral, after putting a rock in front of a front wheel. Then shoved up the spark and throttle levers. Pulled out the hand choke, and go to the front of the radiator, and pulled up on the hand crank, with your fingers loosely holding the crank handle. You never went over center, because if the engine backfired, and you were holding the crank handle tightly, the result would likely be a broken wrist. One day I was driving it and hit a bump in the road, and the windshield fell out with glass everywhere. The gas tank was in front of the windshield. It had no fuel pump. It used the force of gravity to feed the engine fuel. However if you had a head-on collision having a full tank of gasoline in your face would not be good. This was the time of the second world war and farmers could buy purple gasoline, which was the same as orange gas, but without tax. One day I went over to a neighbor's place and noticed I was low on gasoline. I saw what I thought was purple gasoline in a gasoline drum. It turned out to be purple diesel fuel. About a quarter of a mile down the road the car was surrounded by smoke. I did manage to coax the car home where it stopped. Robert had to drain all the diesel fuel out of the fuel system to get the engine to start. Once I learned to drive Robert’s car I really enjoyed driving it, and far preferred it to dad’s 34 Dodge. English 210 (Sex Ed. 101} All us vocational education students at the U. of A. in Edmonton where in classes by ourselves, except English 210. In the English class, we were mixed in with so called regular university students. This was at the height of the hippy craze, so my class consisted of us retreads, as we were known, and hippies. It should be noted that you can't put a 10 on a computer, so the best mark you could get in English 210 was a 9. I Iiked to get at least a 5.5 or better, but each time I handed a term paper my mark got lower the harder I worked. One day the professor said, "Some of you do not know what I want, so I am going to have the top three read out in class." As the first hippie got up to read her term paper, I realized what my problem was. The first day in class the prof, a hippie, said he wanted to know what we thought. I was pleased to hear that, as that was not what I found out in my other classes. Those prof's told us what to think. Unfortunately I believed the English prof. and wrote what I thought. What he actually meant was what the critics of the book we were writing a term paper on thought. That meant going to the library to see what they thought. So the next assignment was a book called "Rape of the Lock" supposedly about a lock of hair, but in reality it was full of sex symbols. Our job was to find the sex symbols. So I went to the library and found the sex symbols. Tons of them. I handed in my term paper, and guess what I got - the top mark in the class. Now I had a problem. I was told I had to read it out in front of the class of young girls and married women. I said, "I am not a good reader, would you please read it for me." He said," You wrote it, you read it." So, with a totally red face, I did just as I was told to do. It's amazing how I went from a failing grade of 4 to 9 overnight. If you think going to university for 4 years to be a vocational education teacher is necessary. It's not. What I learned at university to be a vocational teacher you could put in a thimble. However, what I learned at S.A.I.T., taking a two year course of Automotive Service Engineering was invaluable, when it came to teaching students that had consistently failed in school before being entering Shaughnessy Secondary Vocational School. THE SNOWBALL FIGHT The first year I was teaching at Shaughnessy, the snow was perfect for making snowballs so the students decided to have a snowball fight during the noon hour. The principal caught them. The student council had planned a dance for that afternoon, so in his wisdom or lack of wisdom, the principal cancelled the dance. My grade 8 class came into the classroom madder than a hatter. I said, "That I did not know what to tell them. They knew that it was against the school rules to have a snow ball fight. What can I tell you." Nothing happened that year as a result of the fight. However, the next fall my partner and I had a grade 9 class we could not teach, and did not know why. About the fifth week of the year we were asked to send out a report card with written comments only. I went to the assistant principal and ask him if I had to do it, because there was nothing positive I could say. He said, "Yes you have to." As I suspected, it just added fuel to the fire. The next day I was talking to another teacher about our problem. He said, "Give this a try, it might work. You wrote comments about the students, have them write comments about you, but don't have them sign them, and read them out in front of the class." So we did just that, swear words and all. Three things came out: They did not want to be tool man. It was a do-nothing job. They thought there was too much theory...and they mentioned the principal's name. So I said, "You were here last year so you know your tools, so the only other reason for being tool man is to make sure the tools get back in the toolroom. So I will make tool man a 15-minute job at the end of the period like the other cleanup jobs." They bought it. I said, "I disagree that there is to much theory, but for this class only we will have theory once a week." They bought it. I said, "What has Mr. Duncan got to do with this?" Then they told me about the snowball fight, and that Mr. Duncan had not only cancelled the dance. He dissolved the student council, which I did not know. I said, "Do you want to talk to Mr. Duncan?" They said yes. So I called up Mr. Duncan and told him I had a class that wanted to talk to him. He came down, and they gave it to him with both barrels. That was the fifth week of the year for the grade 9 students. We had them until the end of January. I had them write comments about us again. There was not one negative comment. WES I had a grade 8 student in my class named Wes at Shaughnessy. He tended to a class disturber every time he entered the classroom. I went to see the assistant principal about his behavior. He said that Wes was in trouble all over the school, and the next time he got in trouble he would get the strap. As Wes was only going to be in my shop for one more week before moving on to the next shop, I made the decision I was not going to be the one to have him get the strap, no matter what he did. However, the next day Wes caught me off guard and did something that annoyed me. Without thinking I said: "Wes out." The next period I had a spare period, and was in the staff room when the assistant principal came to me and ask if I would witness a strapping. I said yes, not realizing it was Wes who was to get the strapping. As Wes sat across from me he did not flinch, and you could see the rage in his face. Later, I would meet Wes in the hallway going for dinner. He would say: " I hate you Mr. Rowden." I simply replied: " I know Wes." and walked on down the hallway. This happened almost weekly till the end of the school year. Wes graduated from the school the next year, However, year after year Wes would come back to the school to visit us teachers, and thank us for putting up with his nonsense. DICK & JANE - TIM & MITTEN I remember a grade 7 class I could not teach. The first day of the class I was showing the students a cut away engine that I had put 50 numbers on for parts identification. I had pointed to and named about four items, when a student put up his hand. He said, "What is that?" I said," It is a thermostat housing, how did you know that?" He said, "I read a lot," which really surprised me, because students coming into Shaughnessy are very poor readers, and hate reading. About a week later I had a class I could not teach for no apparent reason. This one day a student said something odd, so I wrote it on the blackboard. Pretty soon I had two blackboards full of words, when the student who said he read a lot says," I hate reading" I said, "What do you mean? You said you read a lot." He said, " I hate Dick & Jane - Tim & Mitten." I said, " Is that what you are reading in English? Is there nothing about the shops?" He said:,"No, Dick & Jane - Tim and Mitten". So the next spare period I had I went to see the principal, Mr. Duncan. I said, "We have a problem in our English department". He said, "No we don't." I said,"Yes we do", and told him what my student had said. Principals will never admit they're wrong, but I did not care as long as they fix the problem, and I knew Mr. Duncan would. The next morning an English teacher came into my shop and asked, "Do you have 100 words you use in the shop? Do you have any books at a grade 4 level in the shop?" I said, "Yes take the whole lot." He then went around to all 13 shops in the school collecting words. I now had a class I could teach. 7 FATHERS I was team-teaching with Mr. Gerbrandt. We each had our own shop, but had a joint classroom, so rather than each teach the same thing, we would teach each others classes. This gave us extra time to check student's work, etc. It was my turn to teach the grade 7 students this particular day. I was teaching safety the first day of class when one of John's students stood up and put out his arm and said," Heil Hitler." So I told John he should have the student in after school and see what was going on. The student told John he had 7 fathers, and he had to sleep in the porch, otherwise his dad would beat him up, and his mother did not know if she should keep her son. And you wonder why students act out? Their parents are often worse than them. SCHOOL RULES Shortly after the snowball fight the principal decided it was time to have a look at the school rules for the students. He was looking for volunteers to go over the rules. Normally I was not fond of volunteering, but I felt I needed to see what changes we needed to make. There were four types of rules: rules that were needed, and could be enforced; rules that made some sense, but could not be enforced; and rules that made no sense. We eliminated all the rules that made no sense, that was easy. The rules that needed to be, and could be enforced stayed. We were left with the rules that made some sense but could not be enforced. We removed several, and the one I was interested in was: Thou shalt not snowball! It did have some value, but was impossible to enforce, so we removed it. There was one rule left that was in a category by itself. It was: As a student thou shalt not go in the front door of the school! The reason was that students would go out the front door and smoke on the steps, which reflected badly on the school if someone was passing by. The students at Shaughnessy felt like second class citizens, because they were bussed there from regular junior high schools, so to ask them to come in the back door would simply tell them, even more, they were second class. Therefore, we remove that rule as well. We went from over 30 rules to about four rules. MY WILD RIDE Mr. Cliff, the principal at Shaughnessy came to visit my shop one day. He said that he had a noise in the left rear wheel and that he thought he might have a miss in the engine, and would one of my students repair his car. I said we would not fix his car, but I would have a grade 7 student check it out so he could take it to a garage to get it repaired. I picked out what I thought was a good reliable student to do the job. I helped the student fix a minor problem in the left rear brake, and I went on to check other student's projects, then noticed the car was on the floor. I asked the student if he has tightened the wheel nuts, and he said he did. I said are you sure, and he said yes. I had no reason to disbelieve him. Later that day, I went to see Mr. Cliff to tell him what we had done. He asked if I had checked for the miss in the engine. I said I had forgotten to do so, but would take the car for a test drive after school. Just across the street from the school was a four-lane divided street with no traffic. I was driving along this street at about 30 miles per hour when the car became totally out of control. I managed to just keep it between the curb and center divider, as all the wheel nuts had fallen off one at a time. As the nuts came off, the car wheel would catch in the fender, and then release over and over. I found all the nuts and drove the car back to the school. Had I chosen any other street I would have had a head-on accident and been killed. If I had given the keys to the principal he would have been heading north on a four-lane undivided street against rush hour traffic, and only God knows how many people would have been killed. This taught me a lesson I never forgot. Sadly, I lost my teaching career at Bowness High School several years later because I refused to put out more customer work than I was sure was safe. Here are a few stories that I would be including in a book. Do you think there would be an interest in reading such a book if I wrote it?