Life is full of firsts.
For instance, this past Sunday while at the office working on the final touches of a story, I somehow lost a tooth from my already false teeth. This particular tooth had fallen out previously and it was always easy to put it back in its place without any glue. I should not have pushed it to the limits. I only had yogurt for breakfast. I am assuming I somehow swallowed the tooth because I can’t find the dang thing anywhere. This is a first in my life, my first false tooth lose, and the first realization I really am getting old.
I do surmise at this time in my life, there are not too many more “firsts” on my list. I guess it’s better than having a bunch of “lasts.”
My first memory of anything in my life was when my Dad picked me up in a yellow quilt my Nanny Tucker had made for me and took me to the hospital to have my tonsils out in 1952. I can remember my first day of kindergarten at Little Folks School in Pleasant Grove (southeast Dallas). I can remember it because it was the day I met a little boy who had hair redder than mine, Bill Sanderson. We were five years old and some 60 years later Bill is still one of my closest friends and confidants. Bill was my first best friend.
My first kiss was in the fifth grade when I paid to kiss the prettiest girl I had ever seen up till that time, a seventh grader named Darlene Pounds. It was at a kissing booth at a school carnival. The first real girlfriend I ever had was Susan Lynn Mullins. I was 14 and she was 13. We met at Florence Junior High where I was the quarterback and she was the prettiest Royal Lancer (girls drill team) of them all in my opinion. She also was the subject of being my being dumped for the first time the next year. Once again, we remain best of friends to this day and still keep up with each other on Facebook. As a matter of fact, the first funeral I ever officiated was Susan’s mom, Goldie Mullins.
My first run-in with law enforcement was getting caught joyriding in one of my friend’s uncle’s Volkswagon Beetle. We really were trying to get to his house before he woke up. We made it to the alley right behind my friend’s house when we saw those blinking red lights behind us. It resulted in my first trip to the Dallas Police Department and the first time to be grounded for life.
I still remember my first home-run in Little League. I was 10 or 11 and we were playing the DanDees at Ridgeway Park. The field did not have a fence and I hit a hard ground ball down the third base line that just kept rolling and rolling until I crossed the plate. The first over-the-fence homer I hit went over the left field fence at Hillcrest Field in Mesquite in a church league baseball game.
The birth of a first child, for me it was my son Cory Luke, which incidentally was with the same woman I got my first divorce. I remember my first long vacation to California and Disneyland, and my first trip to New Mexico and Colorado when I fell in love with Cimarron and Taos, New Mexico.
The first concert attended was with the Beach Boys headlining a show with Paul Revere and the Raiders and Tommy James and the Shondells. The first album I ever bought with my own money was Jimi Hendrix, but the first single record I ever bought was “Wolvertine Mountain” by Claude King. My first car was my dad’s 1958 Ford station wagon which seated nine people. It was great for piling in a bunch of folks to go to Buckner Drive-In. The first car I bought was a Mercury Montego, ugliest orange you can imagine. The first wreck was one week after getting my driver’s license and ramming my dad’s 1965 Ford LTD into a neighbor’s garage during a rainstorm.
I remember the first column I wrote for the old Wood County Democrat in 1987 about Elvis Presley and a retired teacher from my high school, Dallas Samuell, sent me back a copy with red marks and a C+ at the top. It was from Olga Murley, who had retired and moved to Winnsboro. I did not have her in school, but we were well acquainted because she had taught my sister Patricia and Mrs. Murley always asked why I wasn’t in honors class like my sister.
Nov. 3, 1997 was my first day to draw a sober breath the whole day for two decades. I am still blessed to have lived this long.
I do realize this is probably one of the silliest and most asinine columns I have written to date, but I hope you pause and remember some of your “firsts” and maybe have a smile or two along the way.
I’m not ready to begin my “last” list yet!