Another “tag” game post from Facebook.
Ok, I’m in. 9 Things Most People Don’t Know About Me.
1. I heard my maternal grandmother swear one time. One. In Cunningham’s parking lot. It was the only time I ever heard her swear.
2. My (same) grandmother’s friend and neighbor, Virginia Bross, was a huge influence on me. According to the inscription, she was given The Pocket Book of Verse, Great English & American Poems in 1946. Thanks to Mrs. Bross, I was introduced to Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Pope, Burns, Emerson, Browning, Longfellow, Kipling, Whitman, Frost, Stevenson and, my favorite, Poe. Many times she would hand me the book and ask me to read from it. After reading one or two poems, I would always hand the book back to her. One particular day, I handed it back to her and she said “you go ahead and keep that”. She died soon after.
3. The apartment complex my (same) grandmother lived at “got word” that I was a budding magician as a young boy. I was approached by the management and asked if I would be willing to do a magic show for the residents. It was the only time I ever performed magic in public.
4. I’ve been robbed at gunpoint. Twice.
5. I spent the night of my 21st birthday in jail (not related to #4).
6. I’m an only child, but, at some point, I had a brother or sister. My folks left for the hospital and I was left home with a sitter. I was very excited at the prospect of having a sibling. When my dad got home, I asked “Where’s the baby?” He said, “We lost the baby, son”. I was confused. “We have to FIND it, dad! He seemed to be very sad, and unable to respond to me. That night, I dreamed that my little brother or sister was lost in the basement of the house. I got up in the middle of the night and went downstairs to find him or her. I was back in the furnace room when my dad came down. He asked what I was doing. I replied, “You said the baby was lost. I think I know where it is”. I recounted my dream to him. And then he sat me down and tried to explain what had happened the best he could. I didn’t understand that night, but, over time, I came to realize I was still an only child.
7. After my dad died at the age of 50, I wrote him letters every day for months. Until I turned 51 in September, I was SURE I was going to die at 50.
8. During high school I took the bus. Not a school bus, the MDOT bus. My high school is now a Detroit charter K-12 school.
9. I officiated my mother’s funeral. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
10 (bonus). I really enjoy reading your “Things Most People Don’t Know About Me”.