Well here it is, day 105 and I am finally getting around to my Hall of Fame Speech. I’ve procrastinated for 5 days, but hey, I procrastinated for nearly 20 years in giving up dip. As a kid growing up in Odessa, Texas, dip was as common as the dirt that speeds for hundreds of miles in all directions in the Permian Basin. Finding someone who didn’t dip was often times futile, as they were the minority. It was simply a way of life, it’s just what you did. I dabbled a little here in there in junior high and high school, would have done more if I had the money. Also, the coaches at Permian high didn’t go for it being used anywhere in the locker rooms or practice facilities. In those days at PHS, they weren’t going to let anything endanger their chances for making a run at State. After leaving high school, I went to work in the oil fields that are plentiful in Ector and Midland counties. I had an uncle, a dipper too, who worked for Occidental Petroleum who was able to get me in as a Roughneck. Occidental at the time, and I believe still is, the biggest player in the Permian Basin. If I wouldn’t have known better I would have thought dipping and always having a tin in your pocket was a job requirement. I used more, and now that I was making money, $22,000 in those days was a fortune for an 18-year-old right out of high school, I could buy it whenever I desired. I worked for occidental for nearly 18 years, moving from Roughneck, to Derrickhand, and eventually to Tool Pusher, dipping more and more along the way. In my spare time, I did a little bull riding, again another environment where dipping was just a way of life. I had always promised my parents that I would go to college, so halfway through my time at Occidental I started attending night school. I graduated with honors and was the first member of my entire family to graduate from college. My mom and dad had their high school diplomas and grandparents on both sides were immigrants, dads from Italy, moms from Mexico. They at the most had a 6th to 8th grade education, but they were hard workers and busted their asses to make a life. It occurred to me one day that I owed to myself and to my family’s legacy of sacrifice to give up the dip. They had worked and sacrificed their entire lives to give me opportunities they never had. That’s when I knew it was time.
I’m sure as most of you know, I’m not a big let’s hold hands and get a mushy kind of a guy, the exception being the love letter I wrote to Leo on his 100th. I’m not going to give any kind of sappy, hug it out speech here. Let me start by saying one of the most fascinating things I learned here at KTC is just how many people are affected by nicotine. As I started to get to know people on here, it was interesting to see that there were people from all over the county, and yes Cantrap, Canada, that were posting here. There were teachers, preachers, lawyers, medical professionals, students, mechanics, people from all walks of life. All of us were here for the same reason. In spite of cultural, ethnic, political, and financial differences, we were all here for the same reason, nicotine addiction. I’ve had my share of run-in with some folks on here, and I know that must come as a shock to all of you. However, I’ve taken something away from each and everything I’ve read here, even if I have disagreed with it 100%. To me, I feel that’s the magic of this this site, it’s a diverse group of pissed of bastards all fighting the same battle.
To May. I don’t know if you will ever understand the depth of my gratitude to each and every one of you. I am thankful every day that I had the good fortune of quitting when I did and becoming a member of this group. I fit here better than I would anywhere else. All of you have been essential to my quit. I don’t want to name names, because I know I’ll leave someone out, but there were those special members of May, you know who you are, who I can honestly say are some of the best friends I’ve ever had. Even though we’ve never met. Hopefully that changes, I know you are people that I can lean on and depend on even of the issue isn’t related to dipping and nicotine. In addition to learning more about myself, I also had the chance to learn about others. There was one particular member here at KTC that I gave a really hard time to. I made a lot of jokes and had a lot of fun at their expense. One night I read a post this person made giving advice to a new member. He explained his background and why KTC was so important to him. He described that to him it wasn’t just a site that helped him to get off tobacco, but a site that changed his life because of the brotherhood it offers. Needless to say, it really put things in perspective. Frobozz, I would like to apologize to you for anything that I said or did that was hurtful. You really do care about people and their quits. I know how much this site means to you.
Lastly, to the “vets.” We often times didn’t agree on things, and I don’t think that will ever really change. With that said, I know for a fact I wouldn’t have made it 100 days without the advice of many of you. CMark, thank you for everything you provided for me at the beginning of my quit. What you do here and what you do for people in general, is the definition of selflessness. I would like to thank our conductors, Clemte and Vice. I don’t know how you drew the shit job of getting May 17, but I’m glad you did. In closing, I intend to be a part of KTC for the foreseeable future. I don’t know if that means on a daily basis or what going forward. I have a lot of good friends on here, and some folks that don’t like me very much. As in life, you can’t please them all, all you can do is be yourself, and I intend on staying the Mojo1991 you’ve either come to love or hate.