If you happen to stumble across this page not knowing to what else it is connected, go to My Life In The Navy and start at the beginning with “Chapter 1- Boot Camp”.

Upon reflection some 37 years later, my Navy “career” was a quite interesting period in my life but I wouldn’t choose to go through it again.  The time away from my civilian job put me considerably behind the 8-ball.  The “football heroes” who had back, knee, or shoulder injuries and such and had, thus, avoided the draft, were way ahead of me and I was now the dummy on the job.  That fact contributed greatly to my choosing, in 1972, to quit being an Assistant National Bank Examiner and join SBA.  (See “My Start With SBA” on this site.)

Physically, I must say that Dr. Pearl did a wonderful job on my back.  As this is written, he is still practicing up in Bar Harbor, Maine and I have been in contact with him.  Given the likely advances in spinal surgery since 1970, I’d imagine that whatever he did way back then would now be considered “meatball surgery” from the Dark Ages.  The VA judged me to be recovered sufficiently that they cut my disability from 40% to 20% in 1972.  I WAS hospitalized with back pain when Reagan was shot in March of 1981 and then again in August of that year, but those instances were from my simply not being careful enough. In one instance, I was bending down to set my VCR and the other time, while on my knees,  I reached and stretched to clean the far side of my bath tub.  I have now learned that EVERY time I bend or try to lift, I MUST think about my back.  I did get foolish once, in about 1997, and tried to go bowling.  That event yielded me two steroid shots ($900, fully covered by my HMO), which fixed me up.  All in all, back-wise, I’m in pretty good shape.  I don’t like to walk very far and standing for a prolonged period will give me a wee bit of sciatic pain down my left leg. Had I listened to Dr. Pearl, I wouldn’t even have these minor problems.  (I’ve grown much fatter and don’t believe in exercise.)  My proofreader has problems with both a cervical disk and her tailbone but avoids surgery, saying “I’ve seen people end up in wheelchairs after back surgery.  I’d rather live with my pain than chance it.”  Any pain I feel coming on now is self-treated with just a few days’ bed rest and aspirin. If anything major occurs, I won’t hesitate to seek him out again.

Written in January, 2008 by


Ronald E. Hontz

33 Whitcraft Lane

Shrewsbury PA 17361

(717) 235-5791

cell phone (717) 309-1402