As one of Liz Adair's tagee's in a fun game in which Liz was tagged by Marsha Ward, I'm now "it," and am supposed to reveal five facts most people don't know about me. It's a little humorous to me that Liz would pass this assignment my way. As a journalist and a writer for two different newsletters, I am constantly interviewing and writing about others and all the fun things that make them them. Yet, it's always been something like getting a pregnant woman to pole vault to get me to write about myself. I mean, how ridiculous is this: I joined a singles dating site on the Internet more than a year ago...and, to this day, guess what I've written in the profile. Nada. Zilch. Nothing. So, Liz's tag feels more like a major push out of my comfort zone. So, let's see...where do I start?
1. My dad raised turkeys. By that I don't mean he had a herd of inept, uncouth children. He literally raised turkeys on a ranch in California. Yet, raised was hardly the operative word here. It seemed everything from rain to heat to badgers and everything in between kept dad from actually raising many turkeys at all. Sure, there were the herds that actually made it from poults to adults, and those turkeys were stuffed (literally) into small cages on huge semi-truck trailers and hauled off to market. Still, more often it seemed, there were herds like the 18,000 Whites who panicked in the rain on Sunday evening, piled up against the fences and smothered each other. Or, the 22,000 Bronze birds that, during one unusually hot day, all tried to gather in the same shade of one of two eucalyptus trees and cooked each other to death. It was a hard, smelly and uncertain way to make a living. Yet, while dad battled to grow gobblers, he didn't have to fight to find lessons in life for the little girl who tagged along behind him, watching his patience, his perseverance and his purposeful happiness even while he dug ditches to bury rotting birds. There amid flying feathers and piles of turkey droppings, my admiration for my dad grew by pounds. There, where the birds seemed to be in constant peril, I always felt safe, and free, and happy, and glad to have a turkey farmer for a dad.
2. Growing up in California, one of my fondest memories was going to the beach with my Aunt Peggy. It was always an adventure as seven or eight of us cousins played and swam in the ocean, had a picnic lunch and explored the tide pools looking for whatever creatures we could find. Yet, as I matured to the ripe old age of 12 or 13, I put those "childish" activities aside and focused, instead, on the new toy that would not only prove our maturity, but, if my oldest cousin, Karen, and I were lucky, would also capture the attention of the group of boys we had noticed earlier. You see, that was the year of the surfboard. Peggy had found two used surfboards which she gladly hauled to the beach along with all the other gear. Of course, Karen and I were determined to appear "cool" and to look like we knew what we were doing with our newfound "boy magnets." I chose the green one, paddled out, waited for the wave and...missed. No problem, I waited again, timed my paddling for shore just right and felt the wave catch the board and begin to carry me toward the shore. Less than two seconds later, my coolness sank right to the bottom of the ocean...right along with the green surfboard and any hopes I had of using it to attract anything or anyone. It took two of us, looking like fools, to drag it out so we could see that the fiberglass along the edge was split apart and the surfboard was full of water. So much for hanging 10 and all that nonsense!
3. I suppose a sank surfboard doesn't seem so bad, however, when compared to third thing I'll share. Shortly after I got my driver's license, I took my sister with me to visit a friend. We visited way too long and, in a hurry to get home before curfew, I cut across a parking lot, speeding along in my VW like there was no tomorrow...and like there was no sidewalk directly in front of me. That's right, it was one of those new-fangled parking lots with a main thoroughfare, with a sidewalk on either side that led from the street directly north to the front of the store. I was traveling directly west. VW met sidewalk. VW bounced up, bounced down, bounced up again and over the other sidewalk. Four bent rims and four flat tires later, I brought the VW to a halt. Now what? In front of the store was a pay phone so I called home, but as soon as my mom picked up the phone, I started to cry, handed my sister the phone and said, "Here, Becky, you tell her!" Mom and dad came down to check things out, but one spare was no match for four flat tires. My VW was never the same...and, neither were my driving privileges for sometime thereafter!
4. When I was in high school, my English teacher heard about a contest sponsored by Pepsi. Participants were to write an essay titled, "Why I've Got a Lot to Live," and one winner from each state would receive a $1000 scholarship and a trip to Washington, D.C. and the school would also receive $1000. I won from my school, went on to the state competition and won there too! It was so much fun and such an education for me to see the nation's capital and to meet the winners from each of the different states. I've thought about that since and have often counted the many reasons "Why I've Got a Lot to Live!"
5. After high school, I attended BYU and joined the Army Sponsors (a sister club to the Army ROTC). We did a number of service projects and we marched in a drill team, competing with other schools, including ASU. It was great fun to practice working together, to learn how to discipline ourselves, and to experience the thrill of competition!
Hmmmm....I'm not sure that any of the above should be added to my singles profile, but it really wasn't too bad to write about some of my adventures and faux pas...it was actually a little cathartic. I needed to heal from that flat-tire foolishness. Thanks, Liz!