I was once of accused of being a thinker and not a doer. More precisely, I was said to have “admitted” that I’m “a thinker and not a doer,” whatever that means. What’s preposterous about the accusation and alleged admission, is it’s so utterly false as to be laughable. But there lies the rub. It is hard to laugh at libel when it is directed at you.
While its libelousness will be decided on another day in a venue different than my own website, if I may take a moment of your precious time, let me lay forth here a small rebuttal by describing some of my activities and passions in life that may well prove me a doer as well as a thinker. But I'll let you be the judge of that.
- When in kindergarten, I started digging to China in my backyard using nothing but a metal spoon. This took place next to the airfield on Westover Air Force Base in Springfield, Massachusetts, during the Cuban Missile Crisis. After encountering funny little pellets that turned out to be rabbit shit, and then hitting water, my mom made me call it quits in the interests of national security.
- In 1962 I joined Pop Warner Football, playing end on my first organized football team. That was the same year I started First Grade at Bowie Elementary School on Westover. For the next twelve years I would play organized football every single year that a team existed on which I could play, finishing my career at Northeast High School in 1974 in St. Petersburg, Florida, at tight end, with no prospects of playing in college, much less the pros. I did once catch a touchdown pass that everyone thought I was going to drop after it bobbled in my hands for about ten yards, but I can barely remember that due to all the punishing helmet-bashing I undertook over the years..
- My sister and I started swimming lessons about the time we started to crawl. While she went on to compete in the Junior Olympics in Puerto Rico when we were stationed at Ramey Air Force Base in Puerto Rico, my best friend John Neyer scholarshipped in swimming to Virginia Commonwealth University, and his sister, Megan Neyer, who learned to dive from the same diving board that John and I did, at Breezeland Country Club In Ashland, become the winningest diver in NCAA history and an Olympian – I’m afraid I retired at the age of twelve.
- I started working from my father when I was ten, helping him raise our horses. During a three-year period, I cleaned more stalls and moved more horse shit than you could imagine. At age 13 I took on my first newspaper route at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, Nebraska, which is also known as the headquarters of the Strategic Air Command. Yes, the men who received my folded, wrapped newspapers before five in the morning every day of the week, come rain or shine, were the same ones protecting us from global nuclear war.
- So as not to bore you too terribly, I’ll leap ahead to age fifteen, the summer before and during ninth grade, when I got my social security card and started working for the Pentagon Pizza adjacent to the Lum’s Restaurant in the Pentagon Towers in Arlington, Virginia. This is where my mom worked about divorcing my father. At age 16 I left home and took care of myself. In my second year of college, I was a fry chef at the original Long John Silver’s in Lexington, Kentucky, where I attended the University of Kentucky. When I saw a pretty girl from class, I’d literally try to hide.
- Until I graduated at the University of Maryland in 1978, I painted stately homes for Brian Claudy Paints, both inside and out, a skill which has served me my whole life. I completed my senior year of college, by the way, in a single semester, and the next year I started night law school. During law school, I worked 50 hours per week as an intern for two different law firms, Heffner Stark & Marios, and the Law Offices of Gordon Bowley, while being Business Editor and then Editor of the school’s law journal, and graduating Valedictorian.
- Over the years I’ve swam Alcatraz three times raising money to re-build the historic Auburn County Courthouse north of Sacramento, and climbed Mount Shasta an equal number of times for glory of it. My dear friend and attorney Helga White recently sent me a sworn declaration averring to my wife that these things had in fact happened, as she is the one who organised them all and was present as an eyewitness. “Helga, please raise your hand. Do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God, that we swam Alcatraz and climbed Mt. Shasta?”
- While in Las Vegas, I covered, photographed and wrote articles for nearly 40 consecutive editions of Vegas Rocks Magazine, a print publicatoin, while also selling virtually of the ads to keep the paper running. Afterwards, I personally managed Michael Grimm, 2010 winner of America’s Got Talent, and then Steve Thompson, one of the greatest music producers in the history of music, the winner of seven Grammys who’s credited on 150+ diamond, platinum and gold records. Go to SteveThompsonProductions.com to see all he’s done.
- On top of that I’ve written six books and will finish another five by spring. I also once got up the guts to walk up to Angelina Jolie at the beach near Venice and say hello, have spent real time with some of the biggest rock stars and celebrities in the world, and have built easily 25 cities with my son Ryder, all of which stood strong until decimated by his younger brother, my youngest son, Hunter (these cities consisted of wood blocks and Legos). Not to mention, I attended the 2016 Glastonbury Festival in knee-deep mud wearing boots that were two sizes too big for me, and survived.
- I’m sorry, for a moment I got carried away. I would be remiss not to say that I’ve drawn over 1,000 horses in my life, personally managed the highly-gifted grandfather or German Eco-architecture, Heinz Pahl-Kaupp, have true and real friends all over the world, and met my wife at the Cannes Film Festival 19 years ago at which I was doing very little thinking, I assure you. So there. Lol...