They called him “Fat Boy” with affection even though he wasn’t fat. It was an honorable title bestowed on him by the football team, in recognition of work well done as a fullback. He lettered in football two years running and he wore his letterman’s sweater for the senior photos with pride, because it was the only thing he was really good at in high school.
He almost didn’t graduate, thanks to failing grades. He wasn’t a good student. In the first place, he was a wiseacre who didn’t hesitate to mouth off to teachers, and in the second place, he had no use for school. He got kicked out of Driver’s Ed. when he got smart with one of the teacher’s questions, “What’s the first thing you do when you’re ready to drive a car?” she asked.
“Turn the key on!” he hollered from the back row. He knew more about driving a car, he said, than any teacher sitting at a desk. That was the end of his driver’s ed. career.
When it was clear he couldn’t graduate with his grades, he got a good tutor, the May Queen (whom he had known since first grade), and she undertook his education with dead-on seriousness. She quizzed him on math and American history in long sessions at the gas station where he worked after school every day. He barely squeaked by.
Where he was headed in life, he said, he didn’t need no stinking diploma. He was a wheeler dealer, and he was going to be in charge someday. So he married the May Queen, learned a trade, raised a family and ran his own business. He was finally in charge.
I love this photo of my pop, the light in his eyes and that gallant hair.
This is a Sepia Saturday post. For more personal glimpses of history, visit the Sepia Saturday blog here.
I'm a poet, gardener, and freelance writer who lives in California by the coast, in a small town surrounded by pastures, woods, and vineyards. Other things I am: recovering LA magazine editor and recovering alcoholic, wife of a tolerant man, mom to two beautiful daughters, mistress of beagles and cats, lover of mysteries and photography, a survivor of suicide, depression, addiction, and sundry minor ailments. I write for a living and write poetry for life.
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“Things turn out best for the people who make the best out of the way things turn out.” (Art Linkletter)
We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems. (John W. Gardner)
Survival Tip #19
My strength lies solely in my tenacity. (Louis Pasteur)
I'm a recovering Lutheran
"This life therefore is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness, not health, but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it, the process is not yet finished, but it is going on, this is not the end, but it is the road." (Martin Luther)
A Philosophy of Life
“It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible.” Samuel Johnson
Visitors are beautiful people.
My AA Recovery Story
I got sober in 1990 after a life of drug and alcohol addiction, and I had 15 wonderful years. Then I moved and left my homegroup behind. I didn't replace my sponsor, who had died. I didn't work with newcomers, and I went to only one meeting a week. Ultimately, I didn't stay sober. I experienced that strange mental twist, and I picked up. But I jumped back into the program, and my life has continually gotten better. I'm married to a man with 23 years of sobriety, and we work our program at home. AA is the hub the wheel of my life revolves around. I've been able to explore a creative side of my personality that once lived only under the influence of drugs. I have perfect moments during each of my precious days. We are none of us invulnerable to that strange mental twist that precedes the first drink, and all that stands between us and the drink is our constant thought of others. My prayer these days is: God, do your will in and through me today. If I can be an inspiration to others, then my life is rich. God bless you all.
Rosebud on Ice
If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. (Anne Bradstreet)