25 things you may not know (or even care to know) about me
- I was a scrawny little kid who was frequently ill. One of my elementary school teachers even referred to me as “sickly.”
- I played football with reckless abandon from junior high through college, though I have no interest whatsoever in watching games on the gridiron any longer.
- My favorite color is blue. More than half the shirts in my closet are some shade of blue.
- I graduated from college thanks to football, the military draft and amphetamines. After earning my undergraduate degree, I went to law school–½ quarter at the University of Tennessee and ½ day at Vanderbilt.
- I kicked my addiction to alcohol around 25 years ago, though I still enjoy a beer (usually a Highland Gaelic Ale) with my pizza or burrito.
- I am not involved in any form of organized religion, though I endeavor to follow the teachings of Christ, as well as those of Buddha, Vishnu, Confucius, Krishna, Gandhi, Bob Dylan, Howard Hanger and The Big Kahuna, among others.
- My cat Bandit has informed me that he wants me to awaken earlier to meditate.
- I’m not sure what happens when one leaves this mortal form, and while I certainly acknowledge that we all pass that way, I often live like I’ve got all the time in the world.
- I once drank four to six cups of coffee a day but have recently switched to green tea.
- I’ve backpacked almost all of the North Carolina-Tennessee sections of the Appalachian Trail.
- I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, but I’ve got great rhythm.
- Sometimes I have a powerful sense of my connection with every human, every living thing on the planet, and sometimes I act as if everyone is a supporting actor in my personal drama.
- I never tire of the zany antics of Seinfeld and the gang, and due to a generous gift from my mother for a recent birthday, I now own DVDs of the entire series.
- When I play games, I passionately endeavor to win, though I no longer attach my self worth to their outcome.
- I once considered myself a really lousy dancer, but learned differently after participating in dance classes once a week for almost a year with some friends in Austin.
- If I eat one cookie, I want three more. If I eat three, I want to devour the whole bag. Therefore I no longer indulge in desserts or candy (see #5).
- I completed my first marathon in Austin in 1995 and met my wife Shonnie while training for it. Since moving to Western North Carolina, Shonnie and I now strongly prefer trail runs and races, and we’ve completed the arduous Shut-In Trail Race twice.
- For more than 50 years, Levi 501s were once the only jeans I’d consider wearing, but given the declining quality of Levi products now that they’re produced offshore, I’m shopping around.
- My intention is to never pay retail.
- Shonnie and I have almost a three-decade age difference. Of course, Shonnie has always been mature for her age (and old soul?), and since I was intoxicated for 25 years, during which almost no personal growth took place, we’re closer to the same emotional age than you might imagine.
- I have two daughters who I love with all my heart—Lilla, age 45, and Gracelyn, age two-and-three-quarters—and two grandkids who I adore—Molly, age 17 and Jack, age 14.
- I devour my food with extreme gusto. Gracelyn is following suit.
- I have quite a bandanna collection and use them for napkins, blowing my nose, headbands and, in a pinch, toilet paper. By the way, the color of the bandanna hanging out of my back pocket is usually chosen to match my outfit du jour and has nothing to do with the hanky code.
- Though I was once declared I’d never trust anyone over 30, I’ve reached the milestone birthday of 70 and intend to be around to see Gracelyn into adulthood. Toward that end, my blood pressure is 118/68, I weigh five pounds less than I did in high school (170) and recent tests show I have virtually a zero percent chance of heart attack or stroke.
- I once asked Norman Mailer if he was still stabbing his wife (see #5).
FYI, I posted an earlier version of this list on Facebook in 2010.