Firsts happen all the time in our lives — first grade, first child, first hay crop, first car and all the rest that could be listed. A few firsts stand out in my life. Some happened long ago while one is current.
The first — and only — time I wrote to Santa Claus, I asked for a pound of bananas. I don’t remember why they were such a big deal and I knew my uncle, Harry, was Santa so I mailed my letter to him. I got the bananas, and parents, being what they are, made me share with my brother. It is a mystery to me that I recall this particular Christmas but it made an impression.
I can’t recite many of the specific happenings of our sons’ growing up years but a few firsts stand out. The older one had taken three or four steps a day for a few days, but didn’t advance past that threshold. One morning I dressed him in his crib, stood him on the floor so I could tidy up and he took off running! He has not slowed down since. Since he was our first child every thing he did was our initial introduction into the possibilities of childhood.
Much later, this same son had his first broken bone. He was saddling a horse and somehow the dog caused the horse to sidestep, right onto son’s foot. Being the type that puts work in front of his own needs, he went ahead and gathered the cows he had set out to do then came to the house, took odd his lace up boot and told me he broke his foot. No kidding! Even I could see it. He wanted to go to the vet, but I prevailed and took him to a doctor.
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When our younger son had his first concussion (another horse wreck) he wrote a note, which I still have. It was in gibberish except for his name. There are “words” and they have spaces in between so part of his mind knew what he was doing. Years later this son was deployed on his first tour of Iraq. He ended up going twice.
The first time I voted for president, I was a student at the Sorbonne in Paris. I requested an absentee ballot from the county auditor just like any other voter. My polling place was the U.S. embassy and after I voted they took care of the ballot.
I have been a columnist with established newspapers for 18 years. History was made when a brand new paper, the Fall River County Herald, opened for business last week. It was a privilege to have a column and an article in the first issue. As the name implies the publication will have a countywide focus and readers likely will be surprised to find businesses flourish and interesting people live, in the outlying, rural areas.❖
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