As a kid growing up on 1206 East Congress Street, in Allentown, Pennsylvania, I had friends whose fathers had lived through the Great Depression and World War II battlefields in Europe, North Africa, and the Pacific. After the War, they traded their fatigues and dungarees for a pair of Dickies and went to work in the steel mill, on the assembly line, in the slate quarry or cement plant, or behind the wheel of a truck. They worked hard, and they spent their weekends in the Poconos or on the Jersey shore. There was an understanding among men back then: you worked hard, and in exchange you received a fair paycheck. You saved your money, you got a car, you married, and you bought a little house. You worked some more, and you had some kids. Then you worked some more, hoped you could put your kids through college, and you retired. As a kid, you watched your old man and wanted to be like him. However, there is a good chance that your old man wanted more for you than Bethlehem Steel. This was the American Dream that I grew up with, and it is the dream that has shaped my reality. I'll wager many of you here at PSF can relate. For many of us that dream has become reality, while for some it may not have panned-out. As I sit here in my smoking chair tonight, I realize that I am living the dream. I have great kids, a great wife, and the house of my dreams. I had a blast for over 20 years while serving my county, and I enjoyed every moment I spent in college as a "non-traditional student" courtesy of the GI Bill. Now I'm well into a great second career as a probation officer supervising a caseload that I dig, working for a great department full of great people, and enjoying the professional respect of my peers and superiors. I can afford to pursue my two favorite hobbies (pipe smoking and shooting), and I can afford a six-pack of good beer or a nice bottle of wine pretty much whenever I damn well please. I've got good friends, a couple of dogs, and a truck that I like. Tomorrow I'll have a house full of friends and a big spread of food on the table as we (my wife and I) host our 15th annual Super Bowl party. I'm not bragging here or trying to rub anything in anybody's noses. I'm just taking the time to acknowledge that my life is good, that I am a very lucky and fortunate man, and that I am living the dream. God bless America, one of the few places where such a dream can be fulfilled - and can be extended to my kids.