Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Tag, I'm It?.....Tag, You're It!

Howard was recently tagged by Dave at Dave Moulton's Bike Blog. Thanks a lot, Dave. This means Howard has to write five obscure facts about himself. As Dave says, this seems a pretty harmless exercise, and yes, Howard is always looking for reasons to write about himself. So here goes:

1. In 1968, when Howard was eight years old, he found his mother crying in the kitchen. He went over to her, hugged her, and asked her why she was crying. She said that Kennedy had been shot and killed. Howard was very confused because he thought Kennedy had already been shot and killed some years earlier. But he didn't say anything and just kept hugging his mom.

2. When Howard was twelve, an atmospheric scientist from the Soviet Union was visiting the University of Wyoming's atmospheric science department and stayed in our home as a guest. Howard's father has always been an adventurous dude, and since he was also a professor with the department, he volunteered to host the visitor. As payback, Howard's father got to travel to the USSR a year later, and once again in the early 1980s. But back to the story, Howard was very worried about "a commie" staying in our home. The guy, named Yuri, was gruff, looked like Leonid Brezhnev, and smelled exactly like Howard imagined Brezhnev smelled too. When Yuri visited our local grocery store, he was deeply offended. He was certain the whole place with its abundance and selection had been staged as propaganda. Lotta paranoia and distrust in the household during the week. And, true to stereotype, the vodka supplies rapidly dwindled.

3. Howard and his wife started a weekly newpaper in the early 1980s called the Laramie Chronicle. Howard's wife was the Chief Editor and Howard did everything else.
As the frustration level over the local daily was high, an encouraging number of local businesses pledged to advertise in our new weekly paper if the first few issues looked promising. After the first few issues came out, and it was clear the paper was well-conceived and attractive, those same business owners continued to dig their toes into the sand. Howard heard through a friend who sold advertising for the daily that word had gone out from the daily's publisher to the business community that anyone who advertised with the Chronicle would not be allowed to advertise in the daily -- a clear breach of Anti-Trust laws. The Chronicle lasted a grand total of three months.

4. While in architecture school, Howard and his best friend -- also an architecture student -- won a national architecture student design competition which included a $2,000 prize. With his half of the winnings, Howard went to Paris for a week in January with his family. Amazingly, the weather wasn't half-bad.

5. Howard's grandmother was blind, was never married, lived alone after Howard's mother went off to college, never saw Howard or his mother before losing her sight, and was the most influential person in his life. After graduating high school, Howard wasn't ready to go to college, so he moved to Fort Collins to live with her for a year while working as a cabinet maker. He greatly enjoyed describing their surroundings for her, and thus, during the year he lived with her, Howard took her on many adventures including riding a motorcycle, riding the new bus system throughout the entire city, and going on lots of grocery shopping trips. Before then, she had to order everything by phone to be delivered to her home. Years later, when Howard was 24 and preparing to take his wife to the fanciest restaurant in town to celebrate their wedding anniversary, he called his grandma to arrange babysitting for their two young sons. She didn't answer the phone, so he rode his motorcycle to her house and found her -- dead since that morning. Worst moment of Howard's life, to be sure. But for someone with such a profound disab
ility to have such profound and positive influences on the lives of others speaks volumes about the potential of the human spirit.

So there they are, five obscure bits of information about Howard. Now, according to the rules of tagging, Howard must tag five six other bloggers.

Howard tags:

Gene Bisby
Lance Notstrong
Tony A in Saskatoon, Saskachuhuanwuan


Blogger SueJ said...

Careful, Howard, your humanity is showing :) Good stories - obscure but the ol' insight on the human creature.

2:17 PM, December 20, 2006  
Blogger HRlaughed said...

Howard's mother didn't mention Kennedy's first name, so Howard assumed she meant the earlier one... Does that make it less obscure?

2:54 PM, December 20, 2006  
Anonymous Biking Bis said...

Well, I'm done. Thanks for the tag, but that was quite an ordeal.

12:49 PM, December 21, 2006  

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