A List of Firsts

I’ve compiled a list of significant firsts, certainly not an exhaustive one, but one I feel comfortable disclosing to a general audience.

Reading:  I remember not being able to read when I was 4 or 5.  I could read the world around me even though I couldn’t yet read the word.   What I would have given to do it before I entered first grade, but there were other tasks to conquer first.

Tying Shoe Laces:  It just looked so complicated.  I thought I’d never learn.

Whistling:  Not easy.  I faked it pretty convincingly for a few years, by blowing out a high pitched screech – sort of like a ventriloquist.

Writing in cursive.  Also seemed complicated and it was.  Some letters I never got the hang of like the cursive capitals G and Z.

Shooting a basketball.  The goal was just impossibly high.

First bat in baseball.  I thought I was going to get beaned in the head, and I almost did.  Not sure 8  year olds should be out on the mound.

First fish.  It practically caught itself.  I picked up the rod and reel and there it was on the end of my line.

Swimming.  Didn’t think I’d ever get beyond dog paddling that first day.  I actually became a pretty good swimmer.

First flight.  I was scared to death, but fascinated.   I couldn’t have been more than 4.  I racked up a lot of miles though as a kid with my uncle the pilot who flew Cessna and Beachcraft planes.  To this day, I love flying.

First solo car drive.  I knew what I was doing, but I still thought it a little crazy for a kid to be allowed on the road with no supervision.  And it wasn’t long before the cops agreed too and issued me my first speeding ticket.  Man was my mom pissed.

First beer.  It was awful.  A warm Schlitz, but I don’t think it would have mattered if it had been ice cold.  Nearly made a teetotaler out of me at a young age.

First cigarette.  A Kool.  A dreadful cigarette. I nearly died.  I later  “smoked” with friends and picked up the habit when I mastered the art of inhaling, which took months.  I never could stomach menthol though.  Fortunately, I never became addicted and quit many years ago.

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