The 100th Post   6 comments

I started this blog with no one’s permission.  It’s just like when you were a teenager:  if you don’t ask permission, no one can say no.

The blog was launched last June — for fun! — and I’m having fun.  By the fact that you’re reading this, I assume you’re enjoying the blog as well — at least on the good days.

In celebration of MowryJournal’s 100th post (can you believe it???) on its 146th day of existence, I’m going to list 25 things you don’t know about me.  Well, you won’t know all of them.

1. I decided early on I was not a farmer.  My Grandfather had my sister and I help harvest potatoes one year, and our reward (?) was to raise some runt pigs for market.  Runts wouldn’t survive on their own; they needed the personal care that we apparently were expected to provide.  The pigs were eventually sold at the St Joseph, MO stockyards, and I eventually learned I was not a pig farmer.

2. Car accident # 1:  I was a passenger, and we had a head-on collision with a snow plow.

3. I was the student council president for the Nodaway-Holt Trojans, class of ’74.  Our big accomplishment: we got a soda machine for the students.  This would be illegal in California today.

4. Worst meal of my life: dinner, January 30, 1983. Christopher was weakening (1 day old but 2 months premature) and had just been put on a ventilator. I went to the hospital cafeteria for dinner alone and literally tasted ashes in my mouth. And the food was not burnt.

5. I grew up admiring Mr. & Mrs EA Pence, who went to my church.  They also attended the Blue & Gold Banquets every year for my Cub Scout Pack and Boy Scout Troop.  Mr. Pence had a Silver Beaver award. I didn’t know what it meant when I was 10 years old, but I knew he was an important Scouter and deserved my respect.  I never put on my Silver Beaver without thinking of Mr. Pence.

6. My first college dorm was the first place I lived in with a shower.

7. Largest amount of money I’ve been given for a single idea: $450,000.  Largest contact I’ve implemented:  $2.1 million.  Today’s sales:  $13,027.

8. # jobs while working through college: 8. Carpenter, landscaper, electrician, bookseller, lighting designer, follow spot operator, bartender/dish washer, door-to-door accordion lesson salesman.

9. To “pay” for the feed that was needed to raise those runt pigs, I had to take the family out to dinner.  We went to the truck stop on the 5 Mile Corner, near Maryville, MO.  I remember paying the waitress’ tip in nickels … and it would have been a 15% tip.

10. Car Accident # 2: My car was hit by a parked vehicle.  Willard Fincham didn’t properly set the gearshift for his 1/2 ton truck when he parked it on Main Street in front of Speck Dougan’s store in Graham, MO.  The truck bed was filled with concrete blocks.  The truck slipped into neutral and rolled down the hill to hit the left rear fender of Grandma’s cherished ’59 Oldsmobile Super 88 before I could get parked & out of the way.  I then had to muster my 16-year-old courage and tell Grandma what I had done.  It was not a good day.

11. Wackiest job ever: age 16, and teaching 70+ 11-year-olds how to cook shish kabob skewers over open fires that they had to build.  Thank goodness raw beef isn’t toxic, or there would have been many sick 2nd class Scouts at Camp Geiger in 1972.

12. All 3 of our kids are still with their high school sweethearts.  Makes some sense: Velda and I became an item when we were 18.  However, that means we were actually older than the kids were when we started dating.

13. The best job in Scouting for an adult?  Cubmaster.  You’re the leader of Pack Meetings, and you’re one part ringmaster, one part magician and one part general.  You are adored by 7-year-olds.  Even the 10-year-old Webelos tend to be on good behavior around you.

14. Think you know fear?  I remember being 6 years old and having to make trips to the outhouse in the dark, armed with nothing but a flashlight.  We lived in the country, of course, so no street lights, and some things really DID go bump in the night.  And when the dogs came tearing out of the darkness to see who was in their yard … I knew fear.

Here I am feeding my new calves, Hessie & Bessie.

15. After deciding there was no money in pig farming, I took the cash from selling my pigs and bought two Holstein calves.  Purchased from the Hesnault Farm, I named them Hessie & Bessie.  My visions of profits evaporated when one proved barren and the other lost her first calf.  My livestock dreams ended when we sold the farm the next year, and moved into the big city of Graham, MO, then with a population of 213.

16. Best theatrical role: Noble the Lion in Reynard the Fox at the University of Missouri, 1979.  I wore yellow tights and a brown taffeta mane.  Yes, I am thankful no pictures have survived. Starring role:  Tom Destry in Destry Rides Again, a role played by Andy Griffith in the movie.  For the good of humanity, my list of theatrical appearances is mercifully short.  I did not belong on the stage; my skills were better used in directing and lighting design.

Yes, that’s a 4″x4″ white bandage covering my head wound in our wedding pictures.

17. Car Accident # 3: Six days before my wedding, I had a head-on collision with a 1/2 ton Chevy pickup, totaling both it and my new VW Rabbit. All my fault.

18. Least favorite college course:  psychology.  # of our children that majored in psychology:  2.

19. Like too many woodworkers, I had an accident with my table saw.  I was building our new kitchen cabinets, using the saw without the proper safety shields — like a stupid person.  Today, I don’t remove safety shields from power tools.  My little finger, which is about 98% effective after two operations, recommends you do the same.

20. The most fun I have is at the dinner table with Velda’s cooking & our family.

Half Dome in Yosemite National Park

21. Best National Park I’ve visited:  Yosemite.  I also love Sequoia, which is a close second.  I have many more to visit, however.

22. Worst alarm clock I’ve ever had:  the 8am tap dancing class that was on the stage next to the room Velda and I had been given to live in for the summer. We were on staff at a summer dance/arts/theater camp for ages 12 – college. We called it a “honeymoon.”  We were “wrong.”

23. I paid the national touring talent prior to their concert performances at Six Flags Magic Mountain for several years.  I only had one road manager show me his gun before I paid him.  He was just being friendly; he had one of the top Country artists of the early ’80s and he wanted to make sure I understood he was serious. Good times.

24. I worked only briefly as a professional teacher, and it made me a 4th generation teacher in my family.  My sister had a long career as a teacher, and now daughter-in-law # 2, MrsMowry in this blog, carries the torch in Gen 5.

25. Why is it we can’t agree on how to spell whiskey?  I’m very disappointed that my favorite cocktail might be whiskey, whisky or bourbon, depending on who made it and where they are.  Can’t we all just get along?

And that seems like a great place to stop.  It’s 5 o’clock somewhere….

My Great-Grandfather James Decker, Grandmother Ruth Decker Shull and Mother Letha Shull all taught in the vicinity of Graham, MO in the fall of 1947.

6 responses to “The 100th Post

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  1. Congrats. Always feels a little bit special when one notice these little anniversary. So lets get 500 now…

  2. Oh my, how I liked reading this. You’ve given me so many ideas for future posts also. But I will say I was a bit disappointed when I couldn’t see a few images concerning #16. My 100th post will be coming up soon also, but I will probably take it in a different direction. Thank you for this lighthearted but real insight into your “past life.”

  3. Glad you enjoyed. After several political posts (and a couple more to come, unfortunately), I wanted to have a bit more humor again!

  4. Knew some of those but not all – do you remember the poetry you received at birth and graduation???? grins g

  5. Ha. Yes I do! Those are the precious memories, right?

  6. Great memories,, right – epic poetry – eh, not so much, lol –

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