Saturday, May 28


"The Anchoress" follows the "Happy Catholic's" lead in putting together an Alphabet Meme that runs the risk of playing into the hands of "identity theft" slugs! But, looks like fun and it's much too hot and humid here in southeastern Texas to venture away from the A/C and the keyboard, so here's my own twist on the exercise, albeit with discretion:

A is for Austin -- my maternal grandfather's first name, my middle name, my youngest grandson's first name, and the name of the Lonestar State's capitol (my age must remain a closely held secret!);

B is for Booze -- I prefer "Chivas Regal," but since it's produced by a French-owned company, my politics must get in the way of my preference in spirits, so, alas, its an extra-dry, Grey Goose Martini up with an olive;

C is for Career -- I'm obliged to be oblique, but it's most assuredly not what I'd most like to be doing (i.e., a professional writer);

D is for Dad's name -- he's a Bernard, as am I, and as was my paternal grandfather;

E is for the Essential item(s) to bring to a party -- a bottle of wine and my irreverent wit;

F is for Favorite song -- "Embraceable You," sung by Sarah Vaughan (and, NO, I'm not that old) or most any Ira Gershwin song;

G is for Goof-off thing to do -- classic movie, bowl of popcorn, and my wife nearby;

H is for Hometown -- a rust-belt industrial town in the Midwest that is a good place to be from, rather than to live in;

I is for the Instrument you play -- trumpet in my youth (piano in my mind);

J is for Jam or Jelly you like -- I don't, except as an ingredient in a marinade for babyback ribs;

K is for Kids -- two terrific adult sons living, each of whom has given me a grandson; another son is our saint in Heaven;

L is for Living arrangement -- a good-size home in one of those "corporate ghettos" surrounded by plush golf courses, a beautiful lake, and my wife's green-thumb touch with our extensive landscaping; we're blessed;

M is for Mom's name -- "Mom";

N is for Names of best friends -- Stuart and Lee;

O is for Overnight hospital stays -- twice;

P is for Phobias -- claustrophobia, acrophobia, and arachnophobia;

Q is for Quote you like -- "Far better it is to dare mighty deeds, to win glorious triumphs though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much, nor suffer much, for they dwell in that gray twilight that knows not victory or defeat (Teddy Roosevelt)."

R is for Relationship -- "Met her on a Friday and my heart stood still ..." 37-year anniversary coming up and it's been 41 years since I asked Cathy to "go steady" in high school;

S is for Siblings -- two terrific sisters and a wonderful brother (I'm the oldest), all of whom live much too far away; I miss them;

T is for Texas, ever been? -- currently a resident of southeast Texas and in the late 80s of northcentral Texas, but not so much as a hint of a Texas drawl;

U is for Uvula (oops, I mean Unique trait) -- my vocabulary and penchant for going against the grain of what ever is deemed the popular craze of the day;

V is for favorite Vegetable (s) -- Kentucky-style green beans; corn-on-the-cob;

W is for Worst trait -- impatience;

X is for Xenophobic (okay, X is for X-rays you've had) -- a slew of them (football knees);

Y is for Yummy food you make -- BBQ, BBQ, BBQ (and well, I should add);

Z is for Zodiac sign (gosh, couldn't it have been for Zoroastrianism?) -- Cancer.

Well, the sun has broken through the clouds, so it's time to join my wife for a splash in the pool. I'm not so sure this exercise revealed much about the "essential me." I majored in Political Science and minored in Economics in college, but my favorite course was "The Southern Novel." I can be a contradiction in terms. I've been a senior-level manager for many years and a good one, but had thought in college I would become a lawyer and politician. Whoops! Poetry stirs my soul. I'm happiest at this keyboard in the early morning hours with a pot of fresh-ground Starbuck's and a thought or two (or three) to amplify. I'm a prodigious reader and wish I were a better writer. I'm loyal to a fault and fault those who are disloyal (e.g., John McCain). I'm a traditionalist and intractable fuddy-duddy. I eagerly await the start of The Fighting Irish's football season and my sports' reverie embraces Vin Scully calling any of Sandy Koufax's no-hitters on a warm summer evening, a Jim Murray sports' column, or youthful visions of the Rams' David Deacon Jones running through the opposing team's backfield to drag a runner down from behind who was running an end-around sweep in the opposite direction! Most of all, I love my wife!