Friday, December 4, 2020

In the Beginning

 Waning Gibbous Moon

This week has been my birthday week, so in the interest of maintaining all the benefits of a healthy self-esteem, I have been quietly celebrating - nothing extravagant, just trying to be as excellent and alert as possible.  Today I stumbled upon a little info that I found interesting about the hospital where I and my sister Diane were born a couple of years apart way back in the 20th century. 

I officially joined the human race at 7:51 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on December 5, 1951 at Fullerton General Hospital in Fullerton, California. My family did not live in Fullerton. We lived in Anaheim, which at the time was mostly orange groves, oil wells, St. Boniface Catholic Church, and the smatterings of modest homes that would later be the core of a moderately large So Cal city (population 352,000+ as of 2018). Anaheim had no hospital then, so when it was time for Mom to pop, she made a beeline to Fullerton. The hospital building still stands today in its original location. The last time I visited, about twenty-five years ago, it served as a shelter for battered women. Sad, but beneficial.

There was no Disneyland then, but Knott's Berry Farm in nearby Buena Park was a pretty cool venue for laid back country fun. I met the Cisco Kid there when I was three or four. He gave me a spent blank cartridge from his pistola which he randomly fired into the air atop his horse Diablo. I still have it.

But that was not my earliest memory. My earliest memory was being carried in the crook of my Dad's arm, tight above his hip, with my tiny arms clinging to his neck, as he waded into the Pacific Ocean at Huntington Beach. I must have been three. I remember being terrified at the force of the waves - they could almost knock Dad over and dad was BIG - and then I remember how cold the splashing water was and then I remember it was cold and it tasted weird when it got into my mouth. The Sun was shining at a low angle and I learned how to squint from watching Dad squint. And I learned how to smile and laugh playing in the surf from watching him. He was not afraid, he was having fun. I was still a little afraid - I was not very big and honestly, I was hanging on for dear life. But afterwards, I remembered it as fun. I remember it clear as day right this minute.

I share my birthday with Walt Disney, Little Richard, and Jim Plunkett. Walt and Little Richard are dead now, so it's just the two Jim's for the time being. Plunkett is 73. I am just now finishing year number 69. Frankly, it does not seem possible that I am starting year number 70. I realize that I'm not the only one, etc., etc., but nonetheless it feels pretty weird. So far I can still walk and exercise every day, I can still balance my checkbook, and I can still recall the Happy Birthday song when I'm washing my hands, so I guess I should be grateful. Things could be worse. So what the hell, I guess I'll goof around a little while longer.

Peace, Love, Stay Here, and Keep Going,

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