Zorro and smoking

READER’S VIEWS - The Freeman

Here's a story about Zorro and smoking.

My best friend's father was named Zorro. He joined the Navy at 17. He was a little younger so he wanted to be like the other men. He started smoking with them.

During his 20-year service enlistment he married a beautiful woman, a cosmetologist, who gave him three children.

At 38 he had earned his military pension, so still young he went to work in electronics, receiving his next pension at 58. By that time his house was fully paid and the kids grown.

I enjoyed Zorro. One thing he liked to do was dress as the hero Zorro for Halloween parties.

His plan was to travel the world with his still very beautiful and healthy wife. Soon they would be old enough to get their social security checks, but actually with two pensions and no large bills they had complete freedom already to do as they pleased.

But then he spit up blood and spent the next 18 months suffering from lung cancer.

Weak and thin he would make me tea and give me a snack whenever I visited.

He said if he knew "how terrible" the pain would be, he would not have smoked. He also said he "didn't think it would happen" to him. He died at age 59.

His wife sat alone in the house for 5 years before she sold the home and moved in with second husband whom she met at the grocery store.

He was ten years older and did not smoke.

The Philippines has a daily average death of 321 due to tobacco-related diseases, according to the Lung Center of the Philippines. Worldwide, tobacco kills more than eight million people each year.

Richard Baker

Retired English teacher in the Philippines

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