Actually, my first foray into the world of speech and debate was on the speech side of the equation. There were literally dozens of different event categories in which one could compete. Kevin Tomb and I were in the Extemporaneous Speaking category. At a tournament, you walk up to a table with a bunch of slips of paper on it, randomly choose one, turn it over to see what current event topic is listed on it, take 30 minutes to prepare, and then deliver a 7-minute speech on that topic.
My daughter just turned thirteen in December. She is 5 feet, 7 inches tall and is in the midst of her second year playing basketball. Her team is…
THE FIGHTING GNOMES!
I managed to start the New Year off with a rather embarrassing event. It was Monday morning, just the second day of 2017. Willow had spent the night at my apartment and I decided to fry up a couple eggs for her breakfast. We both like our eggs “over easy.” She gobbled them up and life was good – until a smoke detector went off.
“Where in the love of mud have you been?” is what my father would say to us if we got home particularly late, or if my mother had been waylaid while running an errand and it took much longer than expected. My father has always been a man of few words – even more so in recent years because of a neurodegenerative disorder he has (ataxia with tremors) that makes speech a real struggle for him. But his thriftiness in communication was present long before that.
I spent the first ten years of my life, 1968-1978, on a goat farm in Ohio. The town we lived in, Champion, was so small in those days it didn’t even have its own zip-code. My father was an electronics technician at the Youngstown airport, but in addition to working his full-time job, we also had this farm with 36 acres of land, half-a-dozen goats and a flock of chickens.
I saw the tiniest little baby at the food co-op the other day and it brought back so many memories of when Heather was pregnant with Willow. Here’s my favorite:
My Dad Works in the Golf Ball
I left Ohio, the state where I was born, when I was ten. I should say my parents moved our family out of Ohio in 1978. I don’t recall having much say in the matter. My father left Ohio for a job. He was an electronics technician by trade and was heading to a Federal Aviation Administration radar site in the Allegheny mountain range of central Pennsylvania.