John Messeder


My mother’s dad smoked at least two packs of Tarreyton cigarettes a day. Raised three kids and retired after spending much of his life as an electrician for the Massachusetts Transit Authority, helping keep the trolley cars running. He was 80-something when he left us.

My dad smoked, mostly Phillip Morris brand, at least three packs a day. He served 20 years in the New York Police Department, split by a tour in the U.S. Marines during World War 2. He dedicated his personal life to paying off the mortgage on the home he build for his wife and four children. He made it 61 years.

John Messeder is an award-winning environmental columnist and social anthropologist, and lives in Gettysburg, PA. He may be contacted at

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