Growing up, I thought I wanted to be Davy Crockett. Then Wyatt Earp. Then John Wayne.
Each new idol only lasted a short time before I was moving on in search of another. Audie Murphy. Elliot Ness.
(Pssstttt...I always wanted to play for the LA Lakers)
The names came and went throughout my busy childhood like borders in a hotel.
My desire to grow up and "be something" wasn't overwhelming. I really didn't like to think about the prospect of having to work regularly at anything. Okay, I was lazy.
In grade school teachers would ask students what they wanted to be. I always went out of my way to come up with some shocking profession...to the delight of the class.
"What do you want to be Davy?" my third-grade teacher once asked.
"A grave digger," I replied, while keeping a straight face.
The class broke out into peals of laughter as my teacher tried to gage if I was serious or not. Hell, for all she knew my dad was a grave digger.
I use to love to play with my little plastic Army men in the backyard. I'd dig little foxholes and set them up for hours, while my fevered brain imagined being a hero in a battle.
Perhaps when I walked into an army recruiter's office in 1969, I was still that little kid who thought war was glorious. There was no reasoning for what I did. Maybe I was bored and wanted to see the world.
It didn't take long to know that I didn't want to be in the Army. But it was too late. They sent me to Vietnam. Somehow I survived.
I was given an honorable discharge (Tricky Dick's signature was on it) in 1971. Believe me when I say I had no idea of what I wanted to be (or do) back then.
Became a newspaper man in the following years. An editor, and a publisher. After two decades my PTSD got the better of me. Haven't been able to work since.
I just can't figure out who I want to be. Someone famous? Someone known for their good heart? What will my grandchildren and their children remember about me?
Still looking for a title, and I suspect I always will be. I ponder my legacy daily, and let my natural curiousity be my guide. Research and share.
For now, I'm a junkyard dog digging through books and the internet. Sniffing out stories and facts like a good bloodhound.
Time for me to walk on down the road...