I was recently asked to participate in a survey over on Facebook in which I would list 8 little know facts about myself. Because I am a person who can’t just state the obvious, I started listing the eight things and was concerned that my answers were to long for a Facebook post. However, since I would rather use this site to blather on about life and since everything I post here is somehow magically transformed onto the Facebook Web Site, I decided to post the facts here. The eight little known facts:
1. I was born at home in the middle of the night in Loogootee, Indiana. I have no birth certificate either because the doctor was too tired to have it recorded in the ‘big book of births’ at the county seat of Shoals, Indiana or else there is something to that cabbage patch business they tell you about when you’re little. When I went to apply for a passport and discovered I had no Birth Certificate, I actually went to Shoals and looked in that big book only to find that there were no births recorded on March 10, 1940 by my mom’s doctor. Luckily, the Catholic Church had a baptismal certificate which was accepted. However, my birth was not completely overlooked. I was declared the cutest baby in Martin County by my cousin, Bernita, who now claims she was not wearing her glasses at the time she made this declaration.
2. Our home did not have indoor plumbing until I was eleven and the outdoor privy had to serve as my reading room. I suspect that is why I much prefer bathroom doors with a quarter-moon carved in them. Even yet today, I look for a little wooden sign with a spinning arrow that indicates the ‘occupied/take a seat’ status of public restrooms. I also miss the Sears-Roebuck catalogue.
3. I was once convinced that if I could make my way to California, I could find a way to meet Annette Funicello and perhaps talk her out of her ears. I was also one of the first 5 people in Loogootee, Indiana to memorize the Mouseketeer anthem; .M — I — C — K – E – Y, etc. I also wanted to try out for American Bandstand but the only dance I knew was the two step – you know – one step, two step, slide…
4. I married Susie in 1964 and in that year, she began her quest to make me over from a young, southern, backwoods hillbilly into the suave and debonair gentleman I am today. I was like putty in her hands. Also, in that year, we attended concerts by the Beatles, the Beach Boys and the Smothers Brothers. We have also attended a few other concerts as time and money permitted but we are not two of the approximately 250,000 people I have met over the years who claim to have attended Elvis’s last concert in June of 1977 at Indianapolis’ Market Square Arena, seating capacity – 17,000.
5. I had a second job as a bartender for 6 years from 1969 through 1976. It started when I asked my boss at my primary job for a raise and he said “I can’t get you any more money but I can get you a 2nd job.” He and I job-shared the evening shift at the 500 club in the Essex House Hotel in downtown Indianapolis. At that time in Indiana, women were neither allowed to sit at the bar or walk around the room with a drink in their hand. Being a shy, naïve young man, I had a difficult time enforcing that rule. I also worked at The Indianapolis Press Club, The Atkinson Hotel (now the Omni-Severin), the Columbia Club and the Convention Center. In 1970 or 71, I had to ask Dan Blocker who played ‘Hoss’ on the TV show Bonanza to leave the bar because it was time to close. He was in town for the 500 mile race and I guess, living in California, he did not understand that bars had to close at 3 a.m. in Indiana. In 1972, I served a drink to Spiro Agnew, the Vice-president of the United States, at a reception for well-heeled Republicans . He was later forced to resign his office but it had nothing to do with the drink that I fixed. In 1973, I watched the demolition of the dynamited Lincoln Hotel from the roof of the Atkinson Hotel. In 1976, I was waiting on an elevator at the Columbia Club when Bob Hope who was that year’s 500 festival grand marshal, walked up to the elevator door as it opened and got on with his handlers. They wouldn’t let me on. I never watched anymore of his movies, not even those that also starred Dorothy Lamour. I do not, however, have any quarrel with Bing Crosby.
6. I am addicted to buying small electric appliances; toasters, mixers, blenders, electric skillets, breadmakers and in particular, Crock Pots. I cannot walk into a store where a stack of crock pots are on display without breaking into a sweat. If Susie would let me, I would have one for each day of the week. I’m also partial to Salad Shooters even though they don’t have an on/off switch.
7. If Susie would allow it, I would wear a flannel shirt every day of the week. As it is, I’m up to about 5 of the 7 now. I do not have a favorite color.
8. I had my cancerous Prostate removed in 1991 at the age of 51 and today, it still remains in a baby food jar on top of our refrigerator. I have noticed that there is evidence of some shrinkage over that 22 year timeframe. This is also a good place to mention that, over the last few years, I have lost 1 and a half inches from my mid-life 6 foot height. On the other hand, my shoe size has increased in the last five years from a 9 to a 10 and a half. It appears as if I am sliding down from the top and out the end of my feet. I am now worried that, should I live long enough, I will one day be a very short person with wears very big shoes. Perhaps I can become a Circus clown.
9. I am one of those people who, once we start writing, don’t have enough sense to stop. The Word software has decided to be indomitable about this numbering system and label this paragraph number 9 and since I can’t figure out how to make it stop, I will just have to tell you that I like to think of it as actually being fact number 8 1/2 which is — I always try, when writing my column, to include one new word that I have never used before. It has become an obsession with me but so far, I don’t think anyone has noticed.
10. Nope, not 10 – make it fact 8 3/4 — I am now concerned that I am turning into one of those old guy drivers that I used to blow my car horn at. No matter. The older I get, the easier it is to stop and smell the roses.