Around My House and Perhaps Yours As Well
Around my house, a while back, I could do it all. As you can imagine, there was actually a time when climbing to my rooftop wasn’t a contest for me. In those days I had a very rickety ladder, I’d press the ladder up against the side of the building, climb to the top rung, and then easily pull myself up the rest of the way. I will admit to having a great deal of fun watching some of my older neighbors standing by and enjoying my display of ego-driven dexterity while providing some entertainment for them.
Are you kidding me… that was sixty-one years ago. Today, the same feat of cat-like macho would need a helicopter going up, and most likely, my friends at the fire department will be called in to rescue me. My then-wife didn’t think my antics were the least bit funny; truthfully, it scared the living hell out of her!
I recall one of those days when I was busily showing off to a group of neighbors. I was suddenly gripped by severe pain in the calf of my left leg. I literally made it down the ladder one rung at a time. On this particular day, the fun for me became a thing of the past.
My regular chores became noticeably harder and harder to manage. Some years had slipped by, seemingly overnight. Along with many physical attributes disappearing without my immediate recognition, taken from my repertoire of skills. I had somehow become:
During the next ten years, it became impossible for me to compete in tournament handball. Truth be told, for a vast number of lifetime athletes, there will be a variety of physical aggravations to suffer through during our allotted span of life. I don’t intend to bore anyone with my personal tales of woe along the way. Honestly, not being able to compete in sports was a personal wake-up call. It brings along a certain annoyance in life, not appreciated by men and women far too young to be forced to suddenly veer away from a singularly important wedge in their lifestyle.
Wake-up calls aren’t the same for each human being. I’m not even certain that each of us receives individual signals of wake-up calls coming in. I guess many of us are actually oblivious to any form of a wake-up call at all. It’s not like setting an alarm clock. For some people even setting their clock doesn’t do the trick. There are people who place their alarm clock on the other side of a bedroom which forces them to get out of bed in the morning to make the damn thing stop ringing or buzzing in the morning, or whatever time of day or night they may choose.
The vast number of people who need some sort of device to be awakened is totally different than what I grew up with. Today, most of the younger spirits around town are hooked on their cell phones for almost everything. But the kind of human wake-up call I refer to is that of the human condition. A person may think they have trained themselves to be prepared for any number of the bumps presented in order to supplant ill tidings forced upon us by the unforeseen.
During this upcoming November, God willing, I will become:
I can’t tell you the number of wake-up calls I’ve received during the course of my lifetime to date. The human condition is so often ignored. The younger we are, the more ignorant we are of our mortality. What is often foisted upon us unceremoniously, whatever the source may be, is most likely a condition we have not been trained to deal with. It has become apparent to me that many of the very most important events in a lifetime are the very things none of us have been trained for.
Many folks share the time-honored belief that who we are is governed by the environment we are raised. There are psychologists who flatly state: the environment is responsible for seventy-five percent of what we turn out to be, stemming from the neighborhood we grew up in.
During my lifetime, I’ve experienced a huge variety of personalities from all over the world. I doubt that you can name a nook or cranny that doesn’t have a person or two who desires to be an actor. Anyone, and everyone, is eligible to enter into the world of theatrical gospel. Regardless of what the environment might be, or from whence a future thespian of great promise was raised, stand back and make way. There will always be room for a few more at the top. And while you’re looking, please don’t forget the bottom. From the past, present, and in tomorrow’s future, people who derived great prominence from the most meager beginnings have shown up at the highest levels receiving worldwide acclaim.
And now a minor note from da harv, derived from my earliest environment in Brooklyn, New York:
“If and when you happen to step in shit during life’s travels…
it’s not always your fault… especially if you take into consideration a simple fact:
You weren’t necessarily trained for it!”
A toast to all the world’s firemen!