I am (was) very heavily into water things. At age 16, I went to a Red Cross week long swimming camp. First year, get water safety and senior lifeguard certifications. Next year, get Water Safety Instructor Certification, 3rd year Small Craft Safety certification AND…water ballet. I had never heard of males doing water ballet, but it sure gave me help on holding my breath. I can’t remember the number of pupils there were, but like 3 cabins for men and 3 for women and pretty even numbers, and then naturally, contests between all. Like joining the polar bear tribe, getting up at 6 and going to the dock which was on a small lake. We would sit on the end of the doc and at the whistle we would drop to the bottom on one breath, exhaling thru the entire underwater portion…push off the bottom and be out of the water long enough to inhale a deep breath (in one motion), then a deep pull with the hands and arms to propel us to the bottom to repeat the cycle…and the water was 20 ft deep. My personal record of breath holding (which really isn’t very good) is 3 1/2 minutes. In water ballet…we would have two people on the surface with one holding the other with his feet at the jawline of the second, and this process went all the way to a circle with only 2 on the surface at one time, so, grab a big breath, scull like crazy in make the circle move. Great fun, and Great challenge. But then there’s Scuba and a whole other aspect of my water experience.
There is a religion…Presbyterian (I’m told), that believe in predestination. So, if you hear a smattering of that thru your life and get thoughts of “am I here for a reason”, or something of that idea, then you wonder why I was born at this particular segment of time…as time has no boundaries (so far). Was I born to witness the end of a planet, or to end all life on this planet etc. NK is psychotic weird and Trump is easily ruffled. Just NOW…NK has launched another large missile. I’m sitting right at this moment in time…to see if this is IT. WOW. Wonder, if I took pix…someone (maybe even you or me) will see them in the future…or even…the past. Nope…no weed or drugs on board.
I had a most unusual experience a day ago. We took Mary’s friends 5 yr old to a zoo. There are zoos around here in the country that are mostly for the ….can’t think of the proper word…continuation of the health of the species. In essence breeding programs for a few animals from around the world. There’s one in Limestone TN, and this one near Gate City Va. The Limestone one had more spider monkeys than I’ve ever seen in one place. Sorry, I can’t remember what all was their breeding program. There were a bunch of different species of spider monkeys at the Va zoo, and for that same reason. Of special note was Bactrian Camels, the two hump kind. Now I’ve seen them before but I can only remember them from TV shows. They were discussed on an Animal Planet show and it showed a short segment of them breeding. Talk about weird. They mate with the female down on the ground with the male in what I can only describe as a dinosaur in action. Really weird. So, I got within 5 feet of a male recently and for the first time heard their sound. I have Never heard such a sound before. Low, rumbling, reverberation and Long interval. Last time I experienced that kind of sound was at the launch of a space shuttle. Then….he made chirping sounds that were like a bird chirp but loud. At my age, my ability to localize/locate by sound is lost so it took a while for me to realize it was coming from him. I MUST go back for that experience. I called the zoo back today to ask if they were in a breeding program and yes…he had mated with all 3 of the females they have. About 14 months is the gestation period. No, they refused to let me be there for delivery photos. sigh Now I wonder how I can get thru.
It’s just a rerun of some that I have vivid memorys of. Now at 79, my memory is getting so bad I can barely keep a conversation. This one is in text so it’s easy.
First language is French. Ok…time for 2 long stories. When I was a sophmore in collage, there was a French foreign exchange student come to Bucknell. He roomed about 3 rooms away from me, but we started a wonderful relationship…each of us with a language dictionary. By the end of that year, I could “get by”, in French. He was such fun to be around and we had lots of laughs. He disappeared back to France, Paris, and I lost track of him. Then Bucknell denied he was there. ?? I never understood that.
Then…I took the required language for Pre-Med. I chose French for obvious reason…and it comprised`simply of changing a scientific book from French to English…was only about 3 eights of an inch thick. Silly, but it was a challenge. Then came the final exam. I went to the classroom to take the test and it was empty. So I went to the Profs office and found that the text was given yesterday. OUCH. But we were friends and he recognized my mistake so gave me the exam right then and there. Ha…the test was to answer…in French….a snail goes up a clothesline pole an he goes back down by circling the pole 3 times. How many times did he cross the slime trail. 🙂 A wonderful experience.
And then…the story of Spanish.
I had the opportunity to go to Ecuador twice about 45 yrs ago. Now, I am a little suburb type boy from the country…so I’m almost “country”. When we were little boys, we played cowboys and indians. Of course our knowledge of Indians was pretty limited. Hiawatha, Geronimo,Sitting Bull, and Tonto, etc…VERY few indian names. (Oddly, my home was 3 miles from the center of the Seneca nation). So, we are driving along a mountain road around Quito when we spotted a man with a Huge bundle on his back. My friend (who got me there), pulled over intent to buy some woolen goods. Way cool!! And here I am rapidly thrashing thru an English/Spanish dictionary…when I came to a word on the top right of the page…TONTO. I never knew ALL THOSE YEARS….that The Lone Ranger, was calling him Dummy! I was really Shocked! Still can’t get over it.
On a recent trip to Chicago, we had an unusual experience. We fly first to Charlotte N Carolina (N?). Charlotte is a hub for flying. I couldn’t believe how packed it was with an extreme number and lifestyles of the people. I now am treated as disabled as I would no way be able to walk to the next flight. There was a Large number of people at the gate, and being disabled I along with Mary, were boarded first. It was a huge plane with a passenger load of over 200. I was seated about half way, and about the time there were at least 100 already boarded….a female voice came over the loudspeaker. “Ladies and Gentlemen, we have found something on the plane that shouldn’t be on the plane, so we are going to ask for an emergency evacuation”. Mary switched in a mode I haven’t seen and repeated the speaker and was hollering to me to get out of a seat. I don’t move fast anymore and seeing over 100 people rushing to evacuate the plane. It was chaos for sure. So, I make it off the plane and I’m sitting in a window seat right next to the plane barely 50 ft from me. If that plane exploded it take the entire airside with it, and me too. I had not considered having to change planes and people with continuing flights. It was pandemonium. One lady said she saw a piece of metal like a sword with one of the hostesses but that was the only input we got and weren’t sure what happened. After about 45 minutes of a crew of people going thru the plane carefully, we were allowed to get back on and go to Chicago. Talk about weird.