Wednesday, April 11, 2012

30 Random Things... including Meadowlark Lemon!

One random thing for each Day in April...
Why not?

1. My full first name is Albert and I am the youngest of 7 children. I think that kind of accounts for some of my personality traits. Specifically... it is often said by Birth Order experts that "youngests" are natural comedians who prefer to go by a nickname... Yup... "Our next act: Albie!" Heh heh!

2. When I start to get really cold, the 2nd toe on my right foot goes numb. None of my other toes do that.

3. I usually require Junior Mints on those rare occasions when I go see a movie.

4. When I was 8 years old, I was baptized by immersion  upon my personal profession of faith. I could not yet swim and was terrified of the immersion itself, so it is said I clawed wildly at the side of the baptismal tank as I went under! I wish there was a video of that.

5. My current car is a 1990 Honda Civic. The kids like it but feel it is too small from some activities. The gas mileage, however, makes "Danielle" [I always name my cars] worth her weight in gold! Praise God for my old car.

6. I generally dislike all TV reality shows, but for some reason I like one called "Celebrity Apprentice." I think it's because it's basically a really good game and when the celebs play it, it tends to show just what kind of people they really are, both in good and bad ways. I don't know if it's wrong to find that entertaining or not, but I know it takes a lot more talent and mettle than "The Bachelor" or even "Dog The Bounty Hunter." [that guy's skip-tracing is really over-rated... he's on an island, fer cryin' out loud! :) ] Besides, it's all for charity, so that's cool.

7. I love to read other people's blogs. I find I can read about most anyone's life and experiences, especially if they are honest about it.

8. This is probably why I blog so much's the only thing I still do online. That, and I have come to believe that confession really IS good for the Soul. So... i blog, i blog, i blog...;)

9. I try to make everyone I know read stories or books by Ernest Haycox, because he is my favorite non-Bible writer. For me, his fiction is the best I have ever encountered dealing with the American character. He is usually called a "western" writer but he actually was a very universal writer, thematically speaking. His themes were spiritual, emotional, sexual, historical and social all at once, and he dealt often with the plight of the individual in an increasingly collectivized world. Not bad for a "cowboy writer."

10. My first semester of college, in my first University level English class, I got a D at midterm. This was traumatizing since I had graduated H.S. with an English scholarship and my great aspiration was to be a writer. In fact, the class itself was an "honors" course offered to me because of my ACT score in English, which was quite high. [I ain't braggin' by the way... Don't ask about the composite score... let's just say THAT was barely enough to get me into the U of A.] I ended up with a solid B, though, because my sister Hallie saved me with some practical advice on how to actually study. I do love my sister Hallie.

11. I love to read westerns. I like some TV and cinematic westerns, but the print westerns are my fave. I think westerns are a uniquely american art form, like say, Jazz... or Bluegrass music. Having said that... I will concede one thing about old-time westerns in particular: Sometimes they were remarkably well done, and yet often they were really badly written... like, for example, some of the ones from the lower-paying golden age [1920-1940] "pulps"... I am amazed that some of that stuff is still being reprinted today.  In fact, I think some of those authors would actually be surprised themselves! :)

12. I like to walk in the desert.  No matter how crazy things can get, that act always clears my head.

13. The first Bible verses I ever memorized were John 3:16 and 17. Shortly after this I memorized all the books of the Bible to earn a jar of peanut brittle in an after school Church club. Later I memorized the whole first part of Luke chapter 2 from listening to a used record of the soundtrack of the TV special "A Charlie Brown Christmas" a million times. I still love that special, too. I share it with the kids every year. The story, the jazz sounds [Vince Gualaldi!], the scripture... it is a true American classic unlike any other.

14. During my sophomore, junior, and senior years of high school at Patagonia, I wrote for the school paper, the LOBO LINGO... I found one of these issues not too long ago in my Mom's house and was surprised by a piece I wrote for the April fool's day issue. It was a fake book review and the fake book was called CHEERLEADERS GO HAWAIIAN. It was actually funnier than anything I can write now... which is kinda depressing :(

15. I love going to antique stores, though I rarely buy anything from them. Bisbee, AZ is a favorite day trip of mine for this very reason.

16. I'm an Archie Club lifetime member. At least that's what they told me back when I joined at about age 8. I lost the card, though. [To be fair I really only read the comics for Jughead. He was hilarious... one of the greatest comic book characters ever.]

17. I love comedies of all kinds, as long as they truly make me laugh.  I am very big on laughter. The Old Book itself says "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones."  I am always searching for some of that "medicine!"

18. I am, and will always remain, a firm believer in God. The longer I live and the more I see of life around me, the more certain I am of God's moving in our world. His Grace is everywhere... and so is His Mysterious Justice... Mark it down!

19. Back when I was attending college at JBU in Arkansas [about Jan. 1987], I had my heart broken so badly that I didn't think I'd ever recover. There are probably about 3 people in the world that have heard this story. Of course, very soon after, I leaned on many good friends and I healed just fine. Looking back, what happened paled in comparison to later heart-breaks, such as being divorced and some serious losses of loved ones, but it's funny how you think of those youthful disappointments off and on through your life.

20. If I were ever forced to tell you what movie I have seen the most times in my life my answer would be embarrassing. The winner, hands down, is the Jim Varney re-make of "The Beverly Hillbillies" from 1993.

21. I love hymns. My current church doesn't use them much, but I love them just the same. I think they are a great resource since they were often written by people who went through many trials long before we came on the scene. Plus, they are usually remarkably poetic... which is what made them last. I don't know if churches in 200 years will still be singing "Shout To the Lord," but I'll just betcha they'll still sing "Rock Of Ages."

22. I'm blood type O Positive... universal donor.

23. I am 6 feet 2 inches tall.

24. I am not, however, as proud of my weight, but I can tell you-- honestly-- that it is down by 30 pounds from May of 2011.  Praise God!
25.  My all-time favorite baseball player is Curt Schilling.  My late Dad's was Brooks Robinson.
26.   I have never written about this before, but I met Meadowlark Lemon, The Harlem Globetrotter, at the corner store in Sonoita AZ when I was about 11 [so probably 1975 or so.]  Me and my friend Bonky were out in front of the store when we saw these 2 black guys get out of a big fancy car and go inside to get sodas.  [You should probably know that seeing ANY black guys in Sonoita AZ in those days was a real rarity to begin with... sad, but undoubtedly true!]  Bonky said to me, "Albie! That's Meadowlark Lemon!"  [We knew just who he was because there was a concurrent Globetrotters Saturday morning show at the time. ]  I said, "I doubt it, Bonk, I think it just looks like him."  "Nope," he answered, "Haven't you seen the ads for their show up in Tucson? I'm telling you, that's him!"  Sure enough, when the two guys were walking back to their car, the taller one walked over and said "Heya fellas, I'm Meadowlark," shaking both our hands!!   THEN-- if I'm lyin' I'm dyin'-- the man proceded to entertain us with some loud and dramatic burps after gulps of canned soda... I kid you not!!    I will never forget that.  The only down side was that no one would believe our story later, which to this day makes it an almost surreal memory.  My older brother Chris has since told me that the 'Trotters had earlier actually visited nearby Patagonia AZ, so he theorized that Meadowlark was probably showing his buddy the beautiful scenery on this return trip. All in all, as childhood memories go, that one is AWESOME!  :)

27.  I love a good dog story.  SAVAGE SAM and THE PAINTED HILLS are a couple of my favorite movies ever.  In print form I love BRISTLE FACE by Zachary Ball and all the dog books by Jack O'Brien [such as the SILVER CHIEF series and the classic VALIANT, DOG OF THE TIMBERLINE.]   Great stuff. Canines rock!

28.  My favorite color is Red.

29. My favorite book in the Bible, although I like them all, is The Gospel Of Luke.  I love its picture of Jesus as the great, sympathizing saviour.   Only in Luke do we find the manger scene, the Prodigal Son, and The Travelers on the Road To Emmaus, among other things.  William Barclay called it "the Gospel of the Underdog."  I like that.

30.  I like to sometimes order a pizza that is medium sized and has no sauce and only Anchovies as a topping.   I always get to eat that whole pie by myself-- for obvious reasons-- and it is delicious!



David C Brown said...

Random enough!

Yes, there's something special about Luke, but then ... they're all special.

"Luke alone is with me", Paul says towards the end of his life.


Albie The Good said...

DAVID: My son has "Luke" as a middle name based on that verse in 2 timothy! What a loyal friend The Beloved Physician must have been!

Peace to you also, bro... and thanks for commenting :)

sunnysmiles said...

Speaking of Random... I thought I would tell you how I got to your 30 Random things blog.
I specifically looked up Harlem Globetrotters Bisbee Az because I too remember
when they were here in the 70's. So then I had to read all of your page
in order to discern how the two were linked on your blog.
I never knew which two came in to the El Taco I worked at here, but I definitely
knew who they were. The fact that my chin was just above the tallest one's belt made a lasting
Nice blog and I like your profession of faith. It is refreshing.

Albie The Good said...

SUNNY: Thanks so much for commenting! I really well remember that EL TACO and others in Southern AZ! There was one in Sierra Vista too, of course, and back then we thought a trip there was, as they say today, "Da Bomb."

Great "Globetrotter Encounter," too, btw.

Stop by anytime! :)

Laurie Player said...

I definitely believe your story. I grew up in Bisbee during the late 60's-early 70's. We sometimes ate at the Copper Queen Hotel. One evening we were thrilled to see Curly with his two companions, a Black woman and a White woman, equally stunning, on each arm. Quite a scene for a small town. My dad refused to allow me to approach them, saying I shouldn't disturb their dinner, but Curly seemed very gracious to those who did go up to him.