The coolest thing I can remember as a young boy was to see someone smoke a cigarette. those people to me had style and charisma. They were a sight to see and admire with great enthusiasm . In factmy mother and father smoked this great tobacco during this time. My father smoked Pallmall,while my mother smoked Tareyton. Yes, that was the name of the cigarettes. Father;s cigarettes wert strong while mother;s were light. I knew this because I would steal their cigarettes from time to time. I wanted to be cool just like them. So guess what, I started smoking. I was so cool with my new talent that I learned how to blow smoke rings and suck the smoke from my mouth into my nose. This was a hell of a feat for a twelve year old boy. I bet you there were only a few kids in the sixth grade that could accomplish feats with a cigarette the way that I did . but I wasn't the only youngster that smoked. There were about seven other kids in my smoking party. We had loads of fun smoking these great marvels of life.After school, we would go into the woodsto smoke our smokes as we called them back then. Each one of our parents smoked, so each one of us had a place to steal our smokes. Before we left, we made sure we had about 10 kitchen matches (the really long ones.) There was a necessity to have them to light up the oven. The matches would be struck on our pants sipper. I am so glad that we didn't light up anything but cigarettes with these huge contraptions). We also bought cigarettes and matches from the store. There were no restrictions on them back then. If you could talk, you could ask for cigarettes. And then again, we had a deaf mute in the neighborhood, that gave the clerk a note. I bet you he was only thirteen. America was great back then, everybody could smoke cigarettes. But if we didn't have enough money to buy them, we would steal them. They would be in plain sight close to the register. Boy it was fun if we could steal at least 4 or 5 packs. That meant that we could smoke for days without worrying about where we would get our next cigarette. When I got to middle school, I stopped going to the woods, to smoke. I would smoke on the corner so the girls could see me. They would walk pass me, speak to me and smile. I didn't know whether they smiled at me because of how cool I looked with the cigarette. Or may be how dumb I looked smoking. But know matter what was on their mind, I still felt really cool with my brown weed hanging from my lips. I went even farther with my coolness. I had my own way of opening up my cigarette. I open my cigarette package from the bottom. This showed the world that Lynn Black was not a square chump. I also hung a cigarette on my right ear. I frowned at people who put cigarettes on their left ear. I always felt that maybe they had some type of mental problem. Left ear, no way. You could not tell me that I did not have cigarette etiquette. Only a square kid would open up cigarettes from the top. And place a cigarette on his left ear. I proved to the world that I was a cool mumbo jumbo. What ever that means.
At the age of 20, I joined the army. Yes sir and maam, I was still smoking my cigarettes the. When I was in basic training, we had a lot of exercises to do. I would run fast, do push ups and rest of the crazy exercises. After each one of these activities, I would light up my trusty cigarette. I was joined by other soldiers from different states who enjoyed the same thing, I did. Bot was life wonderful. Some of my military buddies could blow smoke rings and suck the smoke through their nose just like I could. These guys were so good, I thought maybe I could figure out a way to get all of us into a television cigarette commercial. Not only were we from different states. We were different in color, sizes and accents. But one thing we had in common was the old trusty cigarette.
It seems like the fat fellows could blow the perfect rings, while the small people could suck the smoke up their noses. This was a great activity since we couldn't do anything but look forward to marching and singing dumb song. After my basic training I learned to smoke more cigarette per day. The cost of cigarettes were so cheap that I started buying them by the cartoon. This meant that I more of my smokes to enjoy. I have o mention the many pictures I took in basic training. When P pose, I had my rifle in my hands and a lit cigarette in my month. The cigarette would be a newly lit one, because the longer it was the better it looked. A gun and a cigarette were a perfect match.
After coming home from the military was an exiting time for me. I was admired by many because of my desire to become a soldier. In fact, I felt like a big shot. So instead of smoking cigarettes all the time, I needed something to make me look tough as well as cool. The ones I smoked were sweet and mild. I didn't want the image of a mild cigar so I frown when I smoked them to make it seem as if only tough and mean people could handle these bad boys. The cigars would make me sick as heck, but boy did I look like a tough and rough joker (I was 6 feet tall and weighted about 130 pounds.). At least I hoped I looked tough, (smile) .
But as time went on, my life was beginning to change. Since I had the G.I. bill, I decided to give college a try. I seemed to be a very smart student with great grades. College was the life for me. I had a chance to meet smart college professors as well as very smart students . As you know, I had to keep up my image for this new change in my life. I still smoked my cigarettes because I had grown accustomed to them. but something seemed to be missing as this time. Guess what, I started smoking a pipe. This pipe made me talk as if I was a college professor or someone who was extremely intelligent. My pipe seemed to make me talk a lot different than other I would always practice, "How now brown cow." Saying these words helped me to communicate with the college elite (smart folks). In my pipe was the finest of tobacco. I would smoke cherry blend, maple, walneet and other strange concoctions that were on the market. All of these blends smelled extremely well. I had very bad breath at the time, but the rich smell of my tobacco made up for this. I was an intellect at the time and was very proud of being one.
Well, my college life came to end without me graduating. I gave up the pipe because I didn't need it anymore. I became a commercial painter with the painter's union. The money was great and I enjoyed painting. This was fun for me. The bad thing about this job was the fumes that you had t smell. I would become sick with the fumes and much sicker when I smoked at work. But by this time, I was highly addicted to cigarettes. I figure that I should finally decide to give up smoking. but this wasn't any task to do. Not only was I getting sick at work, I had a new born at home that had asthma. I was told by the doctors to stop smoking around him if I wanted him to be well. Guess what, I tried and could not keep away from cigarettes. When I drove my car, I would throw a pack of cigarettes out of the window. I would drive about 5 miles down the road and turn back to see if they were still there. I started to put a bumper sticker on my car warning folks that the driver had a cigarette habit, so stay at least 50 feet back so he could pick up his cigarettes out of the street. One thing I thought about doing was to tie a string around the pack of cigarettes before I threw them out of the window. When IU throw them out, I would tie the string around the mirror of the car. If I was serious about quitting, I would cut the string with scissor, But with my luck I would probably throw the scissors away. I would also put them in the garbage disposal. After doing this, I wanted cry when I saw how my cigarettes looked when I pull some of them out of there.
The final straw that made me want to quit was when I saw my father with throat cancer after many years of smoking. He had a voice box to help him talk. A few months after that, my uncle had throat cancer and he also had to have a voice box. This was a frustrating thing to see. My uncle seem to adjust to this life style, while my father was having a hard time. My father continue to smoke. This was a horrible thing to see because smoke would come out of this mouth noise and the hole i his throat. I realize then that I had to do something. but what????
A friend at my job told me about this acupuncturist who helped him with a bad back ache. While there, he notice packs of cigarettes that were on the wall of this place. He asked the doctor about the reason for all of the packs of cigarettes. The doctor told him that those were the last packs of his customers. I was very impressed when he told me this. He told me to try it, so I did. But before I went there, I told family and friends about what I had planned to do. They told me that I was crazy and it was a waste of time. I was told that I had a strong mind and I could quit on my own. My mind wasn't too strong because of a dilemma that I was having at the time. I couldn't figure who was the most prettiest out of Wilma Flinstone or Betty Rubble. Well any way, I quit after one treatment. I don't know how it works, but it does.
At the moment, I haven't smoked for 25 years. Thank you Doctor Ling. You have saved my life and I'm sure a lot of other people's lives as well.
I haven't sent at least twenty five smokers to Dr. Ling over in the past 25 years. I know of only one person who did not quit as easy as she went back to smoking for a while. After I talked to her again, she went back to Dr. Ling again. Even this one who found it hard to quit has also been smoke free for a year.
Thank you for being there when I needed you real bad Dr. Ling.