What are some of the most interesting facts about your life?
I see my life as fairly dull and boring, One of my faults, I’ve been told, is thinking that I’m ordinary and that if I can do it, anyone can do it. Apparently that is not the case.
There was a Facebook post going around a few years ago asking the poster to list six things about themselves most people didn’t know, one of them being untrue.
Here are my six:
I saw Jimmy Buffet and two other bands for a buck.
I was a part of a checkpoint crew during a power boat race.
I have driven a stock car on a dirt track.
I was kicked off a flight because they were transporting paint.
I have ridden in a tank.
I was a member of the parachute club in college.
#1 – True. We lived in Key West when Jimmy Buffet was a local guy making music in local bars. He didn’t have a record deal – heck, he didn’t even have a record. He drove a used, beat up green pickup truck he bought from Monroe County glass (logo still on the door) because someone stole his bike. My sister played Liar’s Poker with him at the Boat Bar. My first time hearing him was at the Lantern Inn, a dive bar on Stock Island. The place was packed, standing room only, and the doors had been opened so those outside could hear. Buffett was the last band and shrimpers stood outside in the rain to hear him. He was worth it.
#2 – True. Also in Key West. The big fall event was a power boat race sponsored by Hennessy and I was first runner-up in the Miss Hennessey contest. The night before the big race there was a cocktail party for owners, drivers, sponsors and other VIPs and as first runner up, I was on the guest list. It was held on Mel Fisher’s galleon. I had a big time – and had a big hangover the next day but I boarded the boat and we set sail for our position in the Atlantic. The water was calm early on, but as the cigarette boats zoomed past, the sailboat began rocking. I must have been a lovely shade of green, because the captain told me to lean over the side of the boat and think of something like runny eggs or warm mayonnaise. After a few minutes of upchucking, I was good as new and slept the whole way back into the Bight.
#3 – True as well. Some of Daddy’s soldiers built a stock car and, having seen me drive my mother’s LTD on the curvy country roads near our village, thought I would be perfect to drive their car in a Powder Puff Derby. Other than my lead foot, I don’t know what gave them that idea, but I agreed. Bad idea. Horrible idea. No windshields in those cars so I was dirty; rough, rutted track hurt my back and the tight grip trying to steer made my hands hurt for days. It’s one of those things one and done!
#4 – Also true, also in Germany. My brother Bill and I were flying space available from Frankfurt to Little Rock, catching a ride on any Air Force plane going our way. We had been sitting in the airport for days when it was finally our turn! We would go from Frankfurt to Charleston, South Carolina, by way of Madrid. Easy peasy. We boarded the flight and were putting in our earplugs (cargo planes get a little noisy) when the loadmaster told us we’d have to leave. They had added a gallon of paint to the cargo bound for Madrid. Paint is considered hazardous material and us dependent types couldn’t travel with it.
#5 – This one is true, too. My dad was a National Guard advisor. In the summer between 2nd and 3rd grades, the Guard had a new armory facility and all of the equipment had to be moved across town. Daddy asked if I wanted to ride in the tank – pretty exciting stuff for a 7-year-old. I climbed in, put on my helmet, and away I went on the roughest ride of my entire life, dirt track included. Hats and helmets off to those tankers!
#6 A big fat lie! As you know, I wanted to be a baseball writer and was the first female on the sports staff of my college newspaper, The Tech Talk. My beat included the wrestling team and the parachute team – not baseball, but a start. In later years I was an agate clerk at The Dallas Morning News, still not a writer but at least baseball was involved. The head of the journalism department thought it would make for good copy if I joined the parachute team and being photographed jumping out of a plane would be the icing on the cake. Or the pancake on the tarmac if my chute didn’t open. I politely declined (I believe I said “Oh, hell no”) and the discussion was tabled.
Interesting? I'm not sure. But did I tell you about the time.....