100+ things about me

1. My birthplace is Norfolk, VA

2. I lived in only two places as a child, one in a former army barracks our family lived in after WWII and the other we moved into when I was 5.

3. I played hookie from school in the second grade – and got caught.

4. At age 7 I stole a chicken and smuggled it home.

5. I always had holes in my socks and was frightened to death I would have to take my shoes off at school.

6. All my report cards pointed out that I won’t stop talking – some things haven’t changed.

7. I was an average student in school and my IQ tests indicate I am low average. My high grades in seminary reflect that it’s harder to explain bad grades to your wife than your mother.

8. I owned a 1960 Metropolitan in college, the last year they were made. Should have kept it.

9. I delivered morning papers from age 12 to age 19. I never got to do that sleeping in thing that teenagers do.

10. The name of my first grade girl friend (I started early) was Brenda Anderson.

11. I couldn’t get enough of Mrs. Troyer’s Indian Curry at my church potluck dinners. I can still taste it.

12. I ran a coffeehouse in VA Beach during the summers in the 1960s.

13. I transferred to a Christian high school for my junior and senior years. I paid my own way through work scholarships and my paper route.

14. I never went through a teenage rebellion. I always loved mom and dad.

15. I have always tried to rescue people from bullies. It’s gotten me into too many fights. Too many people to rescue.

16. I met Sharon, my wife, my junior year at high school. We started dating my senior year.

17. I weighed 135 pounds when I graduated from high school.

18. I played high school basketball and at times I was among the top ten scorers in the Tidewater area.

19. I can’t hit a curve ball.

20. I broke my leg in the fourth grade and the same arm twice in the tenth grade.

21. I almost dropped out of college my freshman year, an incredibly stupid thing to do, especially during the Vietnam War.

22. I ran the student union billiard room in college on weekends – ten hours on Saturday and ten hours on Sunday.

23. I was assaulted in the billiard room by six thugs – while facing the guy with the knife I was knocked out by a guy who had a free shot at my head.

24. I have two brothers, one two years older than me and the other 13 years younger. My older brother left home when I was in the tenth grade and I hardly know my younger brother since I left home when he was in the first grade.

25. My wedding was 45 minutes late because I failed to tell one of my groomsmen that he had to pick up his own suit.

26. I started wearing glasses in the seventh grade when the teacher couldn’t move me any closer to the blackboard. I needed them long before then. Wore trifocals in college.

27. I loved the bookmobile that came to my neighborhood. I read every history book they had. And the air conditioning was wonderful.

28. I had 19 cavities when I got married. My family didn’t do dentist. My new wife did.

29. When I got married I weighed about 215 pounds. My wedding pictures convinced me to lose the weight, which I have been gaining and losing since then.

30. All my brothers have straight hair. I got the frizzies.

31. I am the tallest of my brothers at 5’9″. My dad was 5’5” and so was my mother.

32. I have had four kidney stones and found that the pain medication at the hospitals not only relieved the pain but made me really happy. I remember the happiness more than the pain. By the third or fourth visit to the hospital I was actually looking forward to the joy. This could make me a bad person. I don’t know. But I always take ALL of my pain medication.

33. I got Sharon’s name wrong on one of our dates. The next date she wore a name tag.

34. I had the opportunity to be on the platform with Billy Graham and pray at the Raleigh, NC crusade in 1972.

35. I have gone to Ft Lauderdale on Spring Break many times.

36. My first flight on a plane was at age 21.

37. I love LL Bean clothes. They always fit, so I shop by catalog.

38. I am not a natural mechanic, but I try real hard and eventually get stuff done around the house.

39. I started riding motorcycles 10 years ago.

40. I have never learned how to preach well while children are crying in church.

41. I don’t mind losing my hair. The hair I had was worth losing.

42. My first church was in Emporia, KS.

43. Getting older bothers me more than I thought it would.

44. I still remember the first time I went to Fenway Park – a night game and all the colors were brilliant, especially that green, green grass.

45. I have gone to one Patriots game and never have seen so much drunkenness  my life.

46. On moving to Massachusetts the first trip I took was to Northampton to see the gravesite of David Brainerd. The second was to see the gravesite of George Whitefield.

47. I was accepted at the University of Pennsylvannia to do PhD work in ancient Middle Eastern language and culture. Didn’t have enough money to go.

48. I always wanted to teach in college, a chance offered to me by Eastern Nazarene College in their Adult Studies Division.

49. I waited until I got married. But I dated too much and should have kept focused on some other things.

50. I had all my clothes stolen when I was 21.

51. I have been in one auto accident, and it wasn’t my fault.

52. I led the largest InterVarsity Christian Fellowship chapter in the nation at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It grew from five students to almost 600.

53. I owned a Ford Pinto.

54. I moved to Philadelphia to study at Westminster Theological Seminary in 1975 and enjoyed Philly during the bicentennial year celebrations in 1976, the year Rocky came out.

55. I went to Honduras with my son, Jon, when he was in the sixth grade to build a church building.

56. I tried snowboarding once.

57. I still think the best meal anyone could have is a pot of beans, cornbread and ice tea followed by strawberry shortcake.

58. I have been to three Urbana conventions, Inter Varsity’s triennial missions convention held at the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana.

59. I went 12 years with a semi-dislocated shoulder and lots of pain, but no doctor could find out what was wrong with my shoulder or where the pain was coming from. A doctor friend of mine sent me to an athletic trainer for a local college football team to see what he could find. He figured it out in one minute. (Reminds me of the quip, “What do you call a person who graduated last in his/her class in medical school? Doctor.”)

60. I am in mortal fear of the flu. I fear throwing up more than I fear death.

61. My boys are smarter than I am, and they know it.

62. I don’t do vacations well. We never took them as a kid. Dad’s time off was used to get things done around the house.

63. My wife and I and the boys once moved to four different homes in one year. This changed our definition of hell.

64. I cry at movies and music moves me.

65. I love my iPod. This is Sharon’s best gift to me.

66. My wife told me I don’t look old for my age – and that I don’t look young for my age either.

67. Our cocker spaniel will lay at the foot of the bed. I think she resents me being there and getting close to my wife.

68. I am a bibliophile and have a dozen books or so I am reading at the same time.

69. I learn languages easily and did great in Greek and Hebrew.

70. Math scares me.

71. The day JFK was shot I was in the ninth grade and at home from school recovering from the flu. I was delivering the morning papers late and one of my customers let me know the news.

72. I have only visited New York City once and would love to spend lots of time there.

73. If I don’t get coffee immediately in the morning I teeter on the edge of atheism.

74. I played the guitar during my college years.

75. I loved college.

76. I didn’t go to my college graduation. I can’t remember why.

77. Neither my parents nor my wife’s parents divorced. My brothers have not divorced nor Sharon’s sister. I think this shows we have some very patient women around us.

78. I had only one birthday party as a kid. If I remember correctly, I think it was a flop.

79. I love the Sunday edition of the New York Times, especially the book review and the magazine.

80. I loved the movie “Funny Girl” and saw it three times at least. I bought the record and didn’t have a record player.

81. Growing up we at times did not have a phone and when we did, it was a party line.

82. As a young boy I would take the bus to downtown Norfolk and spend all day long at the library. Sounds dangerous these days, and maybe it was even back then. But I loved it.

83. I had a beard from age 20 to 29. At times my hair reached my shoulders.

84. I work out about 5 times a week – 45 minutes weight lifting and 35 minutes on the elliptical. If people at the gymn ask me what I do, I tell them I am a life strategy coach.

85. I don’t care much about cars. If it starts and rolls in the right direction, I am pretty much happy. The cars we had as a kid often wouldn’t start.

86. I had my first son when I was 31 and my second at 34. I wasn’t prepared to see a placenta in the delivery room. Can you really be prepared for that?

87. My wife wants to censor my blog, but she has given up. Maybe she secretly suspects that I am one of those guys you really have to get to know to hate.

88. I think earrings on certain guys looks really kewl.

89. Unlike most people I think I am getting more liberal the longer I live. I can’t figure this out. Maybe the pains of life make me more sympathetic.

90. I’ve been thinking a lot about skydiving.

91. My favorite course to teach at college is philosophy.

92. I probably will retire in Kansas. We have a home there. I bet you don’t know anybody who retired to Kansas.

93. I have lived on or near the coast for most of my life. I couldn’t care less about being near water.

94. I love book tv on weekends produced by CSpan.

95. I appall most of my friends by listening to Imus in the morning. They think I should be listening to Chuck Swindoll.

96. I think Mystery Science Theater is a blast. I would love to see a version of that for church services.

97. So far I don’t have to take any daily medication.

98. I don’t know why but the place I would like to live in the least is the Northwest.

99. I think I could make a psychiatrist rich. Once I start talking and the meter is running, I wouldn’t be able to stop.

100. My best time of the day is early morning.

101. I have over 500 pages of quotes I have gathered over the years. The right thing said at the right time in the right way is priceless.

102. When the boys were six and three (now 25 and 22), we went out to eat in Norfolk. I wanted to eat in one part of the restaurant, but Jon insisted we eat in another. He won. Good thing. The place I wanted to sit my tray was the exact location a car crashed into. Car came in right through the wall. The driver got out inside the restaurant!! Jon immediately looked at me and said, “You owe me.” Indeed I do.

103. I actually had to sign a model release once. Yes, I was a model for a day. A friend of mine was a graphic artist and had to do a rush job on a book for a major publishing firm. He wanted me on the cover. So I did. No money but it was a rush being a bonifide model. Everything esle has been downhill since then!!!

104. I broke my arm twice in the 10th grade; my son, Jon, broke his arm twice in the 10th grade; and my son, Ben, broke his arm twice, in the 9th and 10th grades. We are a broken family.

105. I have the worse GPA from my undergraduate days in my family. It was a 3.0, but I am by far the dumbest one here at home. And everybody in the family knows it. (My wife, Sharon, has the highest, but it’s clear in her case that a high GPA doesn’t help you pick out the perfect spouse).

106. My dad fed us pig brains when I was a kid. If you mix them with scrambled eggs they sort of disappear. But just knowing they are there does something to the stomach.