I’ve been tagged by two of my favorite bloggers: Jim Martin and Mark Wilson. Each wants me to share five odd or interesting facts about myself that most others would not know.
What are five things that no one knows about me? Let me see… Well, I won’t put this on the list but one thing that would probably surprise those who are aware that I am seldom at a lack for words is: I really have a hard time coming up with responses to questions like this. But, because of my appreciation for Jim and Mark, I’ll give it a whirl.
1) Most people don’t know that I can’t wink with my left eye.
There are several very good reasons for this. I’ll share a couple. The foremost reason has to do with an injury I suffered when I was about three. I was running across our back yard and ran smack-dab into a water hydrant. (Why it was in the middle of the yard is anybody’s guess.) From what I’ve been told, it was a very serious injury, which required stitches. No visible sign of the injury remains. But, there must have been nerve damage.
(A side note to this little tid-bit: After the doctor removed these stitches, my mother took me to drug store, where she was getting my prescription filled. While waiting for this we were enjoying a soda at the soda bar. I was spinning around on the stool and somehow lost my balance. I fell to the floor and cracked my head open. My mother took me back to the doctor for more stitches. A few days after these stitches were removed I fell out of the back of our pickup truck and cracked my head open in the same spot. More stitches!)
The second reason that I can’t wink my left eye has something to do, I think, with the fact that I once used my left eye to catch a fly ball. At least, I tried. One afternoon, my step-brother, who is six years older than me, was teaching me how to catch really, really high fly balls. We had been playing catch for about ten minutes when I think I said something like, “Is that all you’ve got?” Well, little brothers should not mock big brothers. He threw the ball so high that I lost sight of it. I think it slipped the surly bonds of earth and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings. Well, I had my glove in the air. I was determined that I would find it and catch it. I found it, too! About a half second before my left eye caught it and it drilled my face into the ground. I think this has something to do with the fact that I can’t wink with my left eye.
2) I once played with wild horses (Would that be “brumbies”, Mark?).
Back in those days when I was just a little tyke, about knee-high-to-a-jackrabbit, my family lived on a government installation near Shiprock, New Mexico. Well, the horses I played with were actually free-roaming feral horses (since they were once domesticated), which were descended primarily from horses brought to the Americas by the Spanish conquistadors. Each year, many would be rounded up and captured. They would be held in stock pens not far from our house. I was, for some inexplicable reason, drawn to these horses. When I was about four, I disappeared from the backyard. (I’m sure that I steered clear of the water hydrant.)
After my family had been searching for me for about an hour, some of the neighbors reported that they saw me headed towards the horse pens. My panic stricken mother, who was born on a ranch in the Texas Panhandle and knows a thing or two about horses, rushed over to find me walking around in the pen with about twenty horses that had been brought into the pens the day before. She told me that she called me in a soft and pleasant voice and I immediately started walking towards her. When I did, the horses made a path for me and seemed to follow along to make sure I got to the fence safely. So, I guess it’s correct to say that I once played with wild horses.
3) I own a motorcycle. (In fact, I’ve owned several)
It is a vintage 1982 Honda Nighthawk 750. When the engine is running well, it makes one of the most beautiful sounds ever heard by human ears. Well, that’s clearly an exaggeration. It does sound sweet, though. Motorcycles were an important part of my childhood. Having been raised in a very isolated part of the United States, it was possible for me to begin riding at a very young age. My first “bike” was a hand-me-down Honda Trail-90, which my brother gave me when he got his first car. He was 16; I was 10. Next, I purchased a Honda CL 100 with money I earned from my paper route. My payments were $23.83 per month. My next purchase was a Honda CB 350, which I purchased with money from my job at the CK Ranch. One of the biggest mistakes I made was selling this bike to one of my friends when I joined the Navy. Years later, my sweet wife finally consented to letting me purchase my current bike. To my great disappointment it sits in the garage untagged, at the moment. When we lived in the slower-paced environs of Kansas, I rode it almost every day. Safety is my major concern in my current place of abode. It just isn’t safe, in my estimation, to ride a motorcycle here.
4) I am trying to lose weight.
When I was a youngster I could eat from sun up till sundown and never gain a pound. Now it seems like everything I eat takes up permanent residence around my mid-section. My plan is simple: eat healthy and exercise. My struggle is: It’s easier to make a plan than it is to act on it. I have no doubt that your prayers and encouragement would help me to become more of a doer than a stewer in this regard.
5) I’m really good at foosball.
When you spend almost every free evening at the local recreation hall where winner takes all challengers, it’s not too difficult to develop a fairly decent game. That was my life as a teenager. Every night till closing I was at the Recreation/Restaurant/Teen Hang Out known as The Pirate’s Cove in my little home town. I can swing a pool que fairly well, also. My good friend Mickey taught me how to play pool. He went to the Pool Hall/local bar every night to take money from those who couldn’t see straight. En route, he would stop in at the Rec Hall to warm up. He taught me a lot about pool and life. Rule #1: When in doubt, DON’T! My declining eyesight makes long range accuracy a bit of a challenge these days. As far as foosball is concerned, even though my almost 48 year-old hands aren’t as quick as they used to be, I can still rip that little white ball past my teenage sons. I must admit that they are getting much better and it is getting much harder to skunk them every game. Oh. One more thing. I know I’m only supposed to write about 5 things, but this point about foosball (and pool) brings something else to mind. I am very humble, too. My new book, which is scheduled for release this spring, is: Humility and How I Attained It!
Well, that’s enough silliness for now. Whom shall I tag?
1) I tag anyone who will promise to tag Greg England. He doesn’t like these sorts of things. I didn’t know it until after I had already tagged him once before. So, I would not want to be the one who tagged him this time. But, if you’re out there reading these words and are willing to step up to the mark and tag him, then I tag you.
4) Al and
Blessings to all,
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