Please follow & like :)


Facebook0
Facebook
Instagram20
Google+0
http://brianltucker.com/page/18">
Follow by Email
RSS

Recent Posts


Recent Comments


Archives


Categories


Meta


© 2016 Brian L. Tucker | All Rights Reserved | Built by Sprocket Web Werks
8th of March

Fla-Mesh.


the-kids-dont-stand-a-chance-1418954-m

I had this idea in middle school that was umm…unique.

Call me a trend-setter. Maybe just a weirdo. Maybe 20 years before the hipster movement.

I had this innate desire to be as comfortable as possible in school. (Doesn’t everyone?)

Some were choosing to wear pjs to school and others were bringing in their Abercrombie & Fitch threads, but not this guy.

Looking back on it now, I obviously wasn’t choosing to win the award for most cool lad at school.

Why? you ask.

Simple. I was trying to start a trend that would’ve rivaled Gretchen’s attempts to make Fetch happen in Mean Girls. It was cool in my own mind, but in actuality, anything but.

See, I had this desire to throw down the fashion gauntlet.

…I wanted to combine flannel and mesh.

Yes. You heard that right.

Those two comfortable fabrics. Worn together and side-by-side. Flannel up top. Mesh on bottom.

Fla-mesh. Or, Flamesh.

It was born overnight. I remember watching Seinfeld and seeing George Costanza’s love for velvet, and his interest in being draped in the comfortable material. His lengths of wearing the stuff everywhere around NYC gave me hope for my quest.

So, the next Monday, I took a navy and goldenrod colored flannel shirt and navy mesh ball shorts and put them together. The combination was mesmerizing (to me).

I awoke early and was dressed before anyone else in the house could protest. (I thought my older brother would think this the best idea I’d ever summoned.)

I hopped on the school bus, rode the hour-plus distance from the country to the city, and tried my best to walk confidently into the gymnasium, before the bell sounded.

Entering the gymnasium, I felt a lump in my throat, but I swallowed and remembered telling myself that there wasn’t anything to worry about, because this was the best fashion-trend EVER discovered. Better even than George’s velvet idea.

It would become the hit of the 90s; the envy of all other students.

I rounded the corner and remembered the looks of my best friends. Their reactions were priceless. I remember the stares. (They were the longing looks of people saying: I wish I’d thought of that!

It should be noted that this was also occurring on the same day as a school photo. I had planned the reveal strategically of course.

So…the announcement was made over the intercom to make our way into the auditorium, and I did so hurriedly. (I had used Sun-In dye on the front of my hair, and it had taken on an orange/rusty yellow coloring from the night before.) I pushed up to the front of the 6th grade line and donned my flamesh for everyone to see. I actually remember the photographer doing a double-take.

I thought it was a look of pure envy. I’ve even made the picture guy realize where fashion could go, I thought.

My classmates, I realize now, didn’t put up a fight against my rush to get to the front of the line, because they knew something I didn’t.

I couldn’t really see how flamesh looked on someone wearing IT.

The pictures were developed and Jostens, Olan Mills, or someone delivered them to the homeroom class a few weeks later. I remember a few people elbowing me in the weeks leading up to the delivery and saying stuff like, “You excited about them pictures? I wouldn’t be,” and “How’s that new style going?” I realized their tones of skepticism, but I wish I’d looked in the mirror more closely and seen the fashion statement.

To put it bluntly, flamesh was a no go!

I got the pictures back, and I remember getting a huddle of classmates around me, shouldering for a glimpse at the awesomeness. And, it was…not awesome.

There was a small boy, orange cream sicle-colored hair, pointy teeth, and a confused jumble of clothes. The ball shorts and short-sleeved flannel stripes all kinda ran together. I was half smiling, half smirking like Chandler Bing. It was a look that said: I know this looks better than anything else…plus, it feels good.

The truly sad part of this adventure in trend-setting is that it really was the most comfortable outfit I’ve ever worn. But…the picture goes down as a monumental reason for why style isn’t everything. I still have that lesson-learned in a photo album back at home. It’s funny and somehow still able to trigger a vulnerability in me. George Costanza and I both learned a lesson in comfort and image.

Fla-mesh. May you rest-in-peace. You were 20 years ahead of your time, and the world simply wasn’t ready for you.

If you have pictures of a similar disaster, feel free to share them with me. It could be a great laugh together!

There are 0 comments on this post
Categories:  Uncategorized
6th of March

Newsworthy.


hot-news-1-1411509-m

Origin, 1932.

The word newsworthy is fairly self-explanatory. It’s adjectival meaning directly describing something that is considered “news + worthy”. My question for today:

What is newsworthy to you?

I picked up a copy of the USA Today (today). The Weekend one. Yes. They lump today, 3/6 together with 7 & 8 in anticipation of news over the weekend.

Today’s copy does encompass the story about the 127 passengers that avoided a near-fatal landing on the front page. Yet, above even this “Icy Escape in New York” heading and parallel to the USA Today Weekend logo is the update of “Harrison Ford hurt in L.A. plane crash…Actor ‘battered’ but OK, son says”.

Given the placement and its proximity to the Today’s logo, it would be appropriate to consider this the most newsworthy update of the weekend, would it not?

Don’t get me wrong. I love Harrison Ford. I’m glad he’s OK. Yes. I love him in pretty much anything he’s ever starred in. But, the gloves must come off somewhere. He’s 70something years old. Had the choice to fly the plane, and even was fortunate enough to come away from the accident OK. His son being able to confirm this might permit it to be enough to call it minor news…tuck it away in Section E of the Entertainment section?

My point for bringing this up is simple. In 1932, the word newsworthy held meaning in its controversial first year. Like most words it suffered from overuse and took on a much less certain definition like words such as “wish” and “hope” do today. Think about what topics come to mind when you hear the word newsworthy in 2015. Does it have something to do with truly spectacular (or sadly, sometimes horrendous) events? Events on both ends of the news spectrum? We know 2015 has events “interesting enough to report to the general public,” and boy, do they. But, let’s keep this word away from lukewarm, everyday overuse.

Here’s a list of some of the newsworthy events that occurred in 1932:

  • January: Hattie Carraway of Arkansas becomes the first woman elected to the U. S. Senate; China and Japan go to war again in the January 28 Incident; Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World is published;
  • February: Japan declares the “independent” state of Manchukuo (Manchuria).
  • March: Infant Charles Lindbergh, Jr. is kidnapped; the January 28 incident ends;
  • May: Jack Benny’s radio show premieres; the Lindbergh baby is found dead; the Bonus Army of WWI veterans marches on Washington, D. C., demanding payment of the military bonuses promised them;
  • June: the U. S. imposes its first tax on gasoline; Germany lifts the ban on the Nazi SS and SA organizations.
  • July: the Dow Jones Industrial Average reaches its nadir at 41.22;
  • August: Carl Anderson discovers the positron, confirming Paul Dirac’s prediction that it existed.
  • September: the Kingdom of Hejaz and Nejd becomes the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • October: Babe Ruth makes his famous “called shot” in game three of the World Series; Britain grants Iraq independence; the “unsinkable” Titanic survivor Molly Brown dies.
  • November: Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected president of the United States; German President von Hindenburg almost asks Hitler to form a government, but opts for Kurt Schleicher instead;
  • December: the BBC Empire Service, later known as BBC World Service, begins broadcasting; Radio City Music Hall in New York City opens it doors.

 

**These are all *ahem* newsworthy events. Heck, even April was skipped, I guess, because nothing notable (or, big enough) shook the foundations of journalism that month.

***I’d like to also add that this was the year Oxford English Dictionary gave its first citation of the plural noun “cojones”, found in Hemingway’s 1932 Death in the Afternoon.

Maybe if we choose to become more selective in our descriptions of events (or, even better, more restrained), then, we can discover news again and appreciate it for all of its insight and remarkable coverage.

There are 0 comments on this post
Categories:  Uncategorized
5th of March

Did we have the same childhood?


90s-4923

I’m a 90s child. Don’t really fit with GenX and don’t quite enjoy the label of Millennial like a lot of my peers. But…I do embrace the pop culture of the 90s and all of its wonderful slices of nostalgia. I’m going to list some of this awesomeness below, and I’d love it if you could join me in a.) reminiscing, b.) realizing what an oddball 90s kids really were, or, c.) embracing a childhood you might’ve never had but now wish you did, as a result of this terrific era.

Here we go! (rolling shirt sleeves back)

You are a 90s kiddo if you–

Watched: Boy Meets World on TV every Friday on ABC (TGIF)

Walked: with a cassette Walkman strapped to your belt loop (my cassette of choice was The Rembrandt’s LP (yes, the band that did the Friends theme song))

Ate: at Pizza Hut for parties, played arcade games, and garnered Land Before Time puppets while devouring The Bigfoot pizza

Read: books because BookIt existed and the prize for reading a lot of books was a free personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut each and every week….EVERY week (see above)

Traveled: with a Game Boy that only offered games in black-n-white colors and only lasted until the Duracells ran out

Sang: the theme song of Reading Rainbow even when there wasn’t a TV anywhere around (didn’t matter) Where is Levar Burton these days?

Believed: “The truth was (really) out there” thanks to Mulder and Scully

Still turn your head: when you hear ducks quacking and think of Coach Gordon Bombay…Emilio!

Don’t: ever want to see a Ring Pop ever again!

Are OK: with “living in a van down by the river”

Paint: with the voice of Bob Ross echoing inside your head

Look: for the Daily Double no matter what board games you might be playing

Still look for: Slime Time as a portion of Nickelodeon’s broadcasting efforts

Legitimately: miss birthday cakes and cookies (the shortbread ones) from McDonald’s earlier years

Perform: all of the Robin Williams voice overs in Aladdin

Saw: Home Alone 1 in a theater and dreamed of coordinating your own attacks against The Wet Bandits

Memorized: Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” just in case it was requested at a rap-off

Wanted: Parachute pants but…never bought parachute pants

Remember: who Sisqo was. what song Sisqo sang.

Had: striking resemblances to Michael Bolton and Billy Ray Cyrus in 3rd – 5th grade. “Don’t touch the hair!”

Know: what Napster is. Was.

Recognize the name: Picabo Street

Still say: “Bo knows”

Took vitamins: to be like the Flintstones

Wore: pants backwards like Kriss Cross

Owned: a fisherman’s hat, not for fishing, but to be legitimate

Favored: R.L. Stine over anything else in the library

Hated: the sound of dial-up Internet but knew it would work most of the time

Screened: phone calls on the ‘home’ phone thanks to No Doubt

Drank Gatorade: like Mike

Drank Surge: because you weren’t supposed to (P.S. it’s back!!)

Heard the words: “Finish him” even in your sleep

Owned: Walkie Talkies to converse in the yard with your buddies

And last, and certainly not least–

Witnessed: Crystal Pepsi and the end of the 90s

If you want, you can join us if you don’t have this terrific decade to call home. If this scares you at all, I recommend sticking with the memories that were made for you elsewhere.

Regardless, we 90s folk know that it was a beautiful marker in this fine country’s history. If only we could latch onto more wonderful (excluding Crystal Pepsi) ideas in the future, we know the next generation will be in good hands as well.

Take some time and reflect on a decade that still feels like it encapsulated so much more than just 10 years. Add some shows on Netflix and relive the awkwardness. I still can’t believe I had as many Super Soakers and Nerf guns as I did.

Wonderful!

 

 

 

 

 

There are 2 comments on this post
Categories:  Uncategorized
4th of March

Villains are people, too.


DarthVader1

Yesterday, we explored the journey that a hero must undertake in any great story. Likewise, we discussed heroic feats of greats such as Neo from The Matrix, Frodo, and Luke Skywalker.

Those that represent the light. We cheer for them, because we are able to assimilate their victory into our own lives. If young Skywalker wins…we all do. If Frodo destroys the one ring, then, Sauron is gone. It’s an exciting end to an epic saga.

The way it should be.

But, what happened to make the ending so sweet in each tale?

Why was the victory so satisfying? The win awe-inspiring?

I’ll save you the lecture on rising conflict and plot points, but suffice it to say that one thing made each hero’s journey so utterly monumental and terrific–

The Villain.

Yes. I love the cry that we sometimes hear from the bad guy camps around the cinematic (and literary) world: “Hey! We’re people too!”

It’s true. The bad guys make the story a lot of times. Think about it.

  • The Joker played by Heath Ledger made The Dark Knight stand out from other all other Batman films.
  • Voldemort (yes, I typed his name…I didn’t say it) made Harry Potter interesting.
  • Heck, even Agent Smith from The Matrix added layers with his beautiful repetition of, “Mr. Anderson” when addressing Neo.

 

They are all villains drawn up to make the hero’s journey even more epic. The more 3-D a villain becomes it allows the storyline to become even richer. The rising conflict reaches a peak that draws the reader/audience into the turmoil.

Look at how much Anakin Skywalker changes from Phantom Menace (Star Wars 1) to Revenge of the Sith (3). He becomes Darth Vader. Not just a small shift from bad-to-worse but a complete overhaul as a person. The once highly touted Jedi is no more. The seduction of the dark side is too much for him. And thus, a villain for the ages is born.

I want to keep using Darth Vader as an example of the magnificent height that a villain can reach in making a storyline epic. Yes. He gives in to the dark side. But, his journey started as a Hero’s Journey.

Talk about a twist of fate, right?

Anakin was set on a course for greatness…to become a Jedi respected by all. Yet, instead of delivering on those promises, he crushes them. Anakin becomes Darth Vader and rejects peace for war. He unleashes a hell on the goodness around him, and he casts his quest for heaven aside.

It’s heartbreaking and…uniquely its own take on the “hero gone astray” motif. But…there is redemption.

*Spoiler alert*

Darth sees his son Luke in trouble with the Emperer and saves him from death. As a result of his spiritual change, Darth is restored as Anakin Skywalker just before his death. The hero-turned-villain-turned-hero has come full circle. It isn’t something we’re used to seeing in literature (or film), and the range of this villain makes for one of the best examples of all-time.

Please take in this next part, because it isn’t the model of a villain existing for the sole purpose of giving the hero some opposition, someone to fight. Yeah. The fighting is nice and battle sequences are, too. But, it’s the humanity of the villain that makes the story so well-balanced.

Again, think of your favorite story of all-time.

Got one?

Now…imagine that story without the villain roaming around, wreaking havoc.

Is it as good?

I surely hope not.

Stories given 5-stars, 2 Thumbs up, 10/10 ratings have a beginning, middle, and end. The characters depart, initiate, and return. But, the truly great ones also have flesh-and-blood good guys and bad guys fighting for their lives.

And sometimes the bad guys might’ve once been good guys and aren’t quite sure how to become good guys again…And just maybe…they do learn by the end of the tale.

There are 2 comments on this post
Categories:  Uncategorized
3rd of March

The Hero’s Journey


hero-935633-m

Joseph Campbell claimed that heroes endure 17 stages in a journey, which in turn, constitutes a novel, trilogy, etc.

17 stages. 3 main headings: Depart, Initiate, Return.

How many of these are recognizable steps as you think about your favorite book, movie, TV show?

The stages being:

I: Departure –The call to adventure!

  • Refuse the call
  • Supernatural Aid
  • Crossing the First Threshold
  • Belly of the whale (willing to change)

 

II: Initiation–Road of trials

  • Meeting the Goddess
  • (Woman) as temptress
  • Atonement with the Father
  • Apotheosis
  • Ultimate boon

 

III: Return –Refusal to Return

  • Magic flight (adventure/danger, pursuit, obstruction/evasion)
  • Rescue from without
  • Crossing Return Threshold
  • Master of two worlds: physical & spiritual
  • Freedom to live: no fear, live in moment

 

If you analyze this 17-stage process like George Lucas did, you will definitely see the symmetry between his storytelling in Star Wars and the Departure, Initiation, and Return of young Luke Skywalker.

Similarly, you can note these changes in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy as Frodo embarks on his quest to Mount Doom, and in The Matrix, as Neo realizes he is The One.

There are specific stages that heroes must endure, in order to accomplish the tasks set before them.

What is your favorite example of Campbell’s detailed process? Do you have a story that works so seamlessly within this system that you almost forget there’s a storyline behind it?

Maybe that’s the secret of the world’s greatest storytellers…seamlessness.

If a story can be told so flawlessly that we forget we’re being led through Middle Earth, battling the White Witch in Narnia, we’re related to Darth Vader, and/or no longer need to dodge bullets, then, we can fully believe that the 17 stages aren’t what’s most appealing about the journey, but the entire journey itself.

I re-read these stories (and re-watch their film adaptations), and I appreciate the genius behind their storylines each time. Essentially, the 2-D becomes 3-D to the reader/viewer in each rare example. There aren’t any glaring holes or glitches like we used to find in our beloved early video games (RIP Contra).

It’s storytelling of the highest order. I ask again if you have a favorite example that can be put through this 17-stage ringer and come out relatively unscathed, up to par?

No story is completely perfect, but many have the makings of it. Only a select few reach us at a level where we appreciate their creation…marvel at the brilliance of a world newly discovered.

There are 0 comments on this post
Categories:  Uncategorized
2nd of March

Etiquette.


top-hat-1395333-mEtiquette.

Not a word that gets thrown around as much in 21st century living as it did a few hundred years ago.

Imagine the streets flooded with men wearing top hats and tipping them at passersby to show their acknowledgement and respect for other forms of human life–not just their own.

The act of holding open a door so that others might enter before oneself was a thoughtful gesture but also a sign of dignity and valuing others.

The golden rule: Do unto others…as you’d have them do unto you.

Politeness was a sign of good decorum. It was reflective of good breeding.

Nowadays, when I think of the word etiquette I immediately think up images of where the salad fork should rest in formal dining settings, and where a server stands while pouring drinks for restaurant patrons.

This isn’t really the context of etiquette that I wanted to discuss. But, I’m sure there’s a right way to eat with 3 different-sized forks, if the situation requires it. (Let’s save that conversation for another time.)

I want to just think about the word holistically, and what it used to mean in 1750, when it was derived from the Old French word estiquette: “prescribed behavior” or, just plain, old good manners.

In the southern US, etiquette often became ingrained with societal rules and conventions, and these weren’t necessarily bad things. Sure, the styles of dress, usage of proper English, and day-to-day etiquette were reflective of a much different US, but the overarching message was still the same.

The golden rule applied then like it does today, 3/2/2015. People still love to have doors held open for them, elevators halted, and places in line saved. Regardless of whether someone is wearing a top hat and 3-piece suit or UK ball cap and blue jeans, the hospitality (and heart behind it) is what matters most.

It’s true that a top hat is a lot of fun, and I pray everyone starts wearing them in 2015 like they did in the past. But, I think a person’s heart is still intact in 2015, despite our change in dress and lifestyle. We might not look as good in our day-to-day functioning as our forefathers did, but we haven’t forgotten our etiquette altogether.

The French got something right in 1750 when they pointed out this trait and gave it a name.

Good old manners.

They’re not something that should ever go out of style. Whether you choose to play on your cell phone while walking out into a busy intersection or forget to wash your hands at a greasy buffet, common sense still applies today.

Ask yourself: Am I hurting others with my actions? Think of that golden rule and ask: Would I do this to myself? Truly? Or, am I treating myself as being better than others?

It might make someone else’s day all the better, if you treated them like a king or queen. It will definitely make yours that way.

There are 0 comments on this post
Categories:  Uncategorized
1st of March

Being someone’s keeper.


playing-at-the-beach-196156-m Today – I heard a message at church about being someone else’s keeper…being beholden to someone else. In the case of the Old Testament, it’s depicting the story of Cain and Abel and Cain not owning up to telling where his brother, Abel, was, when asked. (He actually killed his brother out of jealousy and envy.)

This is an extreme case, but still one worth noting where selfishness and self-centeredness can lead a person. It’s fairly safe to say, we have a love affair with egocentrism in our country.

Let me clarify. Many of us have a real ongoing struggle with love of popularity. I know I do. It’s something I battle everyday. Facebook updates, over-booking my daily schedule with hobby-based activities, profile views on LinkedIn, etc. It’s all a status check daily, and it reminds me of the child-like attention craved in grade school.

Like I said, I wrestle with social media and it’s false sense of security. If you don’t wrestle with this, then, I am thankful that you are free of it (or, can balance it with real-world interactions).

At church today, we saw a video of a guy driving a sports car recklessly around a corner with a sharp bluff below, and an on-board camera showing him going over the bluff and crashing. The camera gave us a vantage point that we really (as an audience) didn’t want.

It was a reminder (to me) that life is more than just profile updates and social media feeds. Also, it showed me that people looking out for one another is an essential part of living on this planet. No person is an island unto themselves (thank you, Mr. John Donne). We need others in our lives that can invest and mentor us and vice versa.

Someone should not only be our brother’s keeper but we should be someone else’s too. It’s the way life was meant to be lived. In a community. With real human beings. When a friend drives off a bluff, we shouldn’t stop to watch from a safe distance, but instead, we should run to help them. Letting Cain’s issue with loving his brother Abel be a lesson to us, we should love those in our lives that genuinely are there for us, and continue to be beholden to those that want us around as mentors.

Happy March 1! -Brian

There are 0 comments on this post
Categories:  Uncategorized
28th of February

This week: “Baptisms & Dogs” goes to Washington, D.C.


the-white-house-1413242-m

A dear friend, U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Matt Smith, has had quite a run from military service to playing music at the White House with Willie Nelson, John Fogerty, Common, and other cast recently with his Smith Auer Band. I wanted to include a message he shared with me regarding Baptisms & Dogs: Stories and its placement somewhere very cool this week.

Here’s his message below:

At my current duty station (Marine Barracks, Washington) we have this historic officers club. Each member leaves a book for the club’s large library when they leave. They have thousands of books ranging from military focus to novels and the Bible! Well I am proud to say that I presented the club (famously referred to as ‘Center House’) with a copy of Baptism and Dogs! I told the story behind how I know you and already many officers are wanting to read it!

A guy took it home to read literally ten minutes after I presented it.

“Center House” is the officers club at Marine Barracks Washington DC. Each officer leaves a book when they depart the duty station. We also write a short note on the flap to all the Officers of the Center House Mess.

The room has a fireplace as well. Here are the pictures.

11005796_10101251549152743_9675092_n            10927958_10101251549147753_408336355_n

 

I can’t say ‘Thank you’ enough to him sharing my book inside this cool, covert location. It gave me that James Bond, Ian Fleming feeling going into March. I wonder how many people have hung out in there over the course of our nation’s history. Cool stuff!

-Brian

There are 0 comments on this post
Categories:  Uncategorized
27th of February

Audible edition of “Baptisms & Dogs” book forthcoming.


record-player-1-1206198-m

Hey readers, friends, and friends that are readers and friendly readers:

I wanted to give you the update, as soon as I found out that it was gaining some momentum. I have accepted a collaboration with Mr. Barry Newman to have a narration of “Baptisms & Dogs” available soon on Amazon!

Mr. Newman is a pro, and I’ve been able to sample a few of the first run-throughs he’s done on the collection. They sound good. Almost like hearing music played on a record for the first time.

He has a great accent and gets the sense of place just “right”. Here’s a sample of his work from a previous project: http://www.audible.com.au/pd/Biographies-Memoirs/Im-Ugly-and-Broke-Audiobook/B00HLM0F0U. Check him out. Again, his ability to keep the tone of a story serious, darkly comedic, and narrative all at once is quite impeccable.

I hope you’ll support us in this endeavor, as “Baptisms & Dogs” Audible edition will be up on Amazon in the coming weeks (March/April 2015). It adds a WHOLE new level to the Kindle/Print reading experience, and it makes each story come alive.

Hope you are as excited as I am about this opportunity!

Here’s to a great time reading.

– Brian

There are 0 comments on this post
Categories:  Uncategorized
26th of February

Underdogs Must Win.


hope-643253-m

Saw McFarland, USA in theaters today.

Was reminded of the amazing story of the underdog.

Kevin Costner plays coach Jim White (based on a true story). He moves his family to a predominately Latino community of California and takes over within a P.E. teaching capacity, which, in turn, leads to him creating a track team. The local players we discover do so much more than just compete, as it’s shown how they wake up, work in the fields, run to and from school, and participate in practices after school.

Their work ethic is unparalleled to other athletes across California, and the movie showcases how the coach’s family becomes immersed in a community that embraces them, even when he is reluctant to plant deep roots.

Like many true stories, this one reveals its scope to be larger than the 2-hour film itself. It was uplifting and inspiring sure. But, this one had more than most sports classics. I’d put it in the elite category of sports film greats like–Rocky and Hoosiers.

The underdog story rang true with a lot of life lessons thrown in, and (as is often the case with good intentions) Jim White’s family gained more from the move to McFarland than those they lived alongside that first year.

It called to mind a formative, final year of high school basketball for me. I remember the 2002-2003 senior year at my alma mater (Monticello High School) and playing basketball, as if it were yesterday.

We had a small squad, only won 1 game all year, and that season was the hardest of my life. I remember losing a game and our record moving to 0-10, and I felt like the world had stopped turning at that tournament in northern Kentucky.

I remember our coach not taking it out on us; he knew it was just nearing the middle of a tumultuous storm that wouldn’t let up until mid-February. Going 1-25 was less than ideal…but he stayed with us.

The illnesses, wearing out 3 pairs of shoes, experiencing bad foot problems, broken bones, and broken hearts were just the beginning of what would be the longest year of our lives. But, I was thankful for the teammates I had.

I watched those 7 runners from McFarland High School, and their perseverance made me reflect (if you can believe it…I hardly can) fondly on my own torturous year. FONDLY. Yes. You read that right.

We lost and lost and lost some more. But, somehow our team learned something in the midst of all of those beatings: we were some tough sons of guns.

Some nights we were down 30 points by half-time and some games we lost by a last second 3-pointer that was partially blocked. But, lost we did until the last game of the regular season (and my last home game ever) at MHS (same initials as McFarland, too).

McFarland’s perseverance was in overcoming all of the negative opinions other districts had of them and balancing the hard livelihoods that their families expected of them.

Our perseverance, at Monticello, was similar in regards to the poverty aspects, because we were listed as being the 2nd poorest district in the nation. (Today, we are officially closed as a school system. Our school didn’t have a place to host our 10-year reunion in 2013.) Yet, we didn’t face the finality of not being able to go to college or work in places that we could largely pick on our own accord.

Our options were still fairly limitless.

I’m thankful for the underdog story of McFarland, USA, and it reminded me that my own Monticello, USA story is unique and apart of me, no matter where I go.

Now if I could just get Costner to lace up his Nikes and play Coach Shane Blevins on the big screen we’d be in-business. Does someone know where he can be reached?

There are 0 comments on this post
Categories:  Uncategorized

Thanks for stopping by!

Fresh Ink…

LET'S GO
SUBSCRIBE
awesome
Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis