A to Z Theme 2016

For my 2016 A to Z theme I used a meme that I ran across on the blog of Bridget Straub who first saw it on the blog of Paula Acton. This meme is a natural for me to use on my memoir blog. It's an A to Z concept and it's about me. No research and nothing complicated. I'm given twenty six questions or topics to discuss that are about me.

In April I kept my posts short and uncomplicated. In the midst of it all you might learn a few things about me that you didn't previously know.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Zoos you have been to (#atozchallenge)

Zoo: An excellent place to study the habits of human beings.
Evan Esar

English: I took photo in Garden City, KS, with...
Lee Richardson Zoo in Garden City, Kansas
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Zoos you have been to...

     This is something that can certainly be metaphorical by nature, but I won't even explore those kinds of zoos.  A to Z might be viewed as a zoo as well--so many blog topics and posts brought together in the common realm of an April event.   I'll also leave out the many petting zoos, circus menageries, or other animal collections I've visited.  Instead I'll stay on the expected topic--zoos that I've visited.

       Not only have I been to many zoos in my lifetime, there are many zoos that I think I've been to but I can't exactly remember for sure.  After so many years things of this nature can run together somewhat.  For example, I'm pretty sure that I've been to the Chicago Zoo and the Toronto Zoo, but I'm not going to lay any money on those.  Maybe I was just thinking about going and ended up not going.  I'm sure those are great zoos, but frankly I can remember anything specific about them.

         My first zoos might have been the ones in Cleveland, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  I would have been very young when I lived in those cities and it seems logical that any decent parent would take their small child to the local zoo.  I seem to vaguely recall going to one or both of those zoos but I can't say for sure so maybe I should move on to the ones I definitely know I visited.

        The first zoo that stands out in my memory is the world famous San Diego Zoo.  That's a world class zoo if you're not familiar with it so that's a good zoo to start out with if you go to visit a zoo.   When I first went it was in the early 1960's.  I probably went to that zoo at least three times during that period when I lived there.  Later in the 1990's when I moved to Los Angeles, I took my own children to the San Diego Zoo which by that time was even bigger and better.  If you want to see an outstanding zoo you should make a point of seeing the one in San Diego if you're anywhere near that area.  I might add here that San Diego makes for an excellent vacation destination since there is so much to see there.

        One of the oddest zoos I've visited was the one in Garden City, Kansas. Known as the Lee Richardson Zoo, this attraction has a very decent collection of animals and the best thing is that visiting this zoo is free.  Garden City is not a destination vacation spot by any means.  I was only there because we used to play the town on our road show tours and each time I was there I went to the zoo.  Not much else to do there after all and looking at the animals was an interesting way to pass time before it was time to go set up for the evening show.

         When I lived in Maryville, Tennessee I visited the nearby Knoxville Zoo.  This is another fine zoo to visit with about 800 animals on display.  I haven't been there in many years, but from what I understand many improvements have been made to make the zoo a great experience for visitors.

          The zoo that I've visited most recently is the Los Angeles Zoo.  This zoo is not as impressive as the one in San Diego, but they are making an effort to make the zoo a pleasant experience for visitors.  This zoo is owned and managed by the city of Los Angeles and is part of the vast Griffith Park complex of attractions.  It's a busy place where watching the people can be almost as interesting as watching the animals.  People watching is probably entertaining to the animals as well.

          So with zoo we come to an end of another Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.  It's been fun and hope you've enjoyed learning a few more things about who I am as well as thinking about who you are.  Yes, A to Z has been like a blogging zoo for sure.   And don't forget my one last A to Z post on this site.  Next Saturday I'll present my A to Z Reflections post and then after that it's back to business as usual.  Some of it might be monkey business.  Just like a visit to the zoo.

          Do you enjoy visiting zoos?   What zoos have you visited?    What is the best zoo that you've been to or heard about?


Friday, April 29, 2016

Your favorite food (#atozchallenge)

Your favorite food...

        Sadly, I've been finding that more and more the foods that have always been my favorites don't set well with me sometimes.  I've always liked spicier flavorful foods.   Favorite foods include pizza, Mexican, or Thai food.  But I'm also mighty fond of just about all Asian food and Italian when I'm in the right mood.   When you get right down to it my favorite thing to eat is food--period.

          Oh, there are a few things that I don't like so well, but if I'm hungry I'll go for just about anything.  Sometimes it might be a mood thing.  I might crave a sub sandwich or some soup.  Turkey dinners are great anytime--especially the Thanksgiving dinner like my mother used to make.  I can duplicate those Thanksgiving style dinners like my mother made so that everyone eating it seems to think it's great, but I can tell the difference.  When I cook it, those turkey dinners don't seem quite as good as my mother's.  Maybe it's like she used to say how you spend several hours cooking and then eating it just doesn't seem as good as it might have if somebody else had done all the work.

       I love ice cream, cake, candy--any sweets.  I'm crazy about sweets and that's bad for me.  Food, food, food.   I enjoy eating.  My wife thinks I'm a great cook, but that's maybe because she doesn't cook.   I'll admit that a lot of times my meals seem better than many of the restaurant meals we get.  And when it comes to spaghetti, forget about it.  It's been rare that I've ever had a plate of restaurant spaghetti that comes even close to what I make.  It's in the sauce.  Seems like you'd get a really good spaghetti gravy when you pay top price in a restaurant, but I rarely have so I rarely order spaghetti when I eat out.  Spaghetti is something best fixed when I fix it.  Same with chili most of the time.

         My favorite food if I have to pinpoint one might be pizza.  But if I'm not in the mood for pizza then my favorite food is something else.  It comes down to mood.   When I have a serious craving for something special and if I fulfill that craving with something that I think is really outstanding, then that's my favorite food.  For the moment at least.

          What do you tend to eat more than anything else?   Is there anything that you won't order in a restaurant?   Do you think you cook better than most people?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

X-Rays you have had (#atozchallenge)

X-Rays you have had...

         Not counting dental x-rays--I've had many of those since childhood--I can't recall ever having any x-rays until the past 15 years or so.   It's been since I got added to my wife's medical insurance after we got married.  Prior to that I never had medical insurance and fortunately no incident where an x-ray was required.

         Getting older often means feeling pain.  Inexplicable pain until medical examinations are done.  When I was first covered under medical insurance I was already nearing fifty which means I was heading towards getting old.  I was getting older and feeling more pain.

          During these past years of coverage I've probably had 7 or 8 x-rays.  Maybe more--who's counting really.  If I hurt and the doctors can't immediately determine why, they order x-rays.  I've had x-rays of my feet, my abdomen, my chest, my head, and my lower back.  Maybe there were more places x-rayed, but like I said--who's counting.

           They never seem to find much of consequence in those x-rays, which I suppose I should be thankful for.   There is a lower back issue--some kind of disc problem--but they said it would be better not to mess with it because surgery could cause worse problems.  The back problems have gone away for the most part.  So did everything else they x-rayed.

           I say the problems are gone, but I don't know for sure.  Right now I don't hurt and that's the main thing.   Besides, the diagnosis typically is that I'm getting old.  That's what the doctors usually end up saying, "You're getting older and sometimes you're going to feel pain."

           I guess I don't need x-rays to tell me that.  For that matter I don't really need a doctor to tell me that.  Still, sometimes an x-ray and a doctor checking me out is kind of reassuring.  I'd rather be getting older than have something really bad be wrong with me.

            How often do you go to the doctor?   Have you ever had an x-ray where something serious was discovered?   Do you think x-rays are harmful to the extent that it's better not to have them?

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Worst Habit (#atozchallenge)

Worst Habit...

         I've got a few bad habits.  Sadly, most are bad habits that I've had all or most of my life.  Bad habits are often hard to break.  If breaking bad habits were easy then I'd likely not have them.  Why keep bad habits if I don't have to keep them?  

         One of my most annoying and self-defeating habits is procrastination.  I am continually getting distracted from the important life missions that face me.  Some of those things have never gotten done and faded into the realm of lost opportunities, chances I'll likely never have again.  So many times I'll find something to do other than what I should be doing.

        When I was a kid in school and later an adult in college, I'd put off doing homework, projects, or other things I was assigned.  There were books that never actually got read.  Papers done shoddily.  Tests not prepared for adequately.  Fortunately I was blessed with a certain gift of intelligence  and ability to fake my way through the things I needed to do.  I managed, but didn't excel like I might have if I had put an honest effort into my work.

          I'm not sure how the bad habit of procrastination enters into our lives.  I know I'm not the only one who does this because others have told me they do it too.  I've seen others put things off resulting in detrimental stress as they fret to finish their work or face the negative result of not finishing.  The act of waiting until the last minute can result in subpar work.   Or there can be the personal dissatisfaction of not having done the job they could have done if they had tried harder.

            I want to be better.  Maybe someday I'll try harder not to be a procrastinator.  Someday.

            Do you tend to put off starting things or finishing what you have started?   What would you say is your worst habit?   How has that bad habit affected you in your life?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Vacation Destination (#atozchallenge)

The El Garces Hotel was later on historic U.S....
The El Garces Hotel was later on historic U.S. Route 66
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vacation Destination...

        Where do I go?  Where I always go.  My typical vacation destinations are Houston, Texas; Maryville, Tennessee; and the Jersey Shore area, with all sorts of stops and side trips along the way.  For the past several years this has been my general itinerary since these are the places I must go to see my kids, my grandkids, and my other family members.

         These are all fine places to go if one plans to take a vacation trip.  Exotic places and major tourist destinations are fine for some, but for me I want to see my loved ones and spend some quality time with them.  Besides, I've been to plenty of places in my life already and though I love the travel and the thrill of discovering new adventures, I've got to stick with the places of my heart and mind.

           No theme park or far away city can give me the joy of watching my grandchildren and hearing them talk to me.   Spending quiet time with my daughters or running around with them as they go through their life routines give me new memories and allows me to relive some old ones.

           Maybe one day I'll go to Europe or Australia or do some big vacation thing that I've never done before.  Or maybe I won't and not particularly miss not having done those things.  I'll let life just come as it will.  On the way home from our visiting, my wife and I will take our time.  Maybe we'll see a national park or two, a historical site, or some kitschy roadside attraction.   We'll enjoy the journey and we'll enjoy being home.

           Every day is part of a journey to some destination which may be new or may be old or may be the one that is totally unexpected.  My life has often seemed like one long vacation with a few stops here to work or there to rest.   The journey is the best that life has to offer.  One destination leads to the next.

            What is your dream vacation destination?   Are you sometimes disappointed when you reach a destination that you've been looking forward to?   What is it that you like about the journey before you get where you are going?

Monday, April 25, 2016

U-Underwear (#atozchallenge)


       A few years ago the question was often asked of men:  "Briefs or boxers?"

       This seems like a rather odd question to ask anyone.  Why should anyone's underwear be a matter for public knowledge.  Perhaps this became more of a matter of interest when the fad of "sagging" became popular with younger guys.  In case you don't remember that or were oblivious to pop culture fashion, sagging is when a guy wears his pants hanging low so that the underwear is exposed.  In the case of sagging there is no doubt of what underwear a guy is wearing and in every case that I'm aware it's always boxers.

          From the time I was a small child my mother always bought me the traditional white briefs.  My father wore boxers.  I'd see him wearing them around the house when I was very young, but as my sister and I became older he became more modest about walking around in his underwear.  I was always a bit jealous because I wanted boxers because they just seemed more fashionable to me.  Briefs seemed dorky.  That's what I had though and I wasn't buying the underwear so the decision wasn't mine back then.

           After I became an adult buying my own underwear, I went for a trial period of wearing boxers.  Somehow they just didn't feel right after wearing the briefs all my life.  And since there was no intentional sagging style back then, wearing boxers wasn't a part of a public fashion statement.  My trial boxer period was short-lived and on my next trip to buy underwear I was stocking up on briefs again.

         Through the years I've tried some of the variations of the traditional briefs.  I tried colored briefs, bikini briefs, and whatever other briefs might be available, but invariably I would go back to the old standard tighty-whitey style that I grew up with when my mother bought my underwear for me.
           I still think the boxers look better, but I guess they're just not my style from the standpoint of comfort.  And now you have more information about me than you really needed to know.

           Which underwear style do you prefer for men?   Where do you usually purchase most of your underwear?   Do you think underwear is a weird topic for discussion? 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Time you woke up (#atozchallenge)

Time you woke up...

       On the morning of the day this was written I woke up shortly after 5 AM.  I tried to go back to sleep, but then I got up around 5:20 to get dressed and check my computer before it was time to wake up my wife at 5:30.  Tomorrow I'll get up no later than 5:30.   On weekdays when my wife is working she gets up at 5:30 and I'm there to wake her up.

        If left to my own devices I tend to get up between 6 or 7 AM if there is not a specific reason to get out of bed.  I suppose there's almost always some reason to get out of bed unless I'm real sick, but that would have to be really sick.

        I don't like to just lay in bed.  Sometimes I'll get into a phase where I'll lay in bed for awhile and read for thirty minutes or an hour perhaps and then get up again to do stuff.  I almost always take some sort of a nap in the afternoon.  It's rarely more than an hour.  Usually it's more like fifteen or twenty minutes.  I guess that's another time I woke up today.

        But thinking on a more philosophical level maybe this question has more to do with a time in my life when  I woke up in some deeper, perhaps even spiritual way.  That would be more than just one time since I've woken to many things and at times wakened to the same things more than once.

         Life is filled with awakenings and times of sleep.  If I could sleep less I'd have more time to get things done, but then again I might just have more time to waste and when I waste too much time I usually get sleepy and go to sleep.  Then I wake up and start again.

          Do you have a healthy sleep cycle?   Do you like a lot of sleep?    Do you wake up easily?

Friday, April 22, 2016

S-Song you last sung (#atozchallenge)

Song you last sung...

        I rarely finish a song, but I often break out into song.  Usually I don't finish singing songs because I don't know all the words.  I seem to remember how a lot of songs start, but then it all kind of falls apart because the lyrics aren't there for me.   Maybe I'll sing the chorus or part of a chorus, but I don't seem to have the patience to sing entire songs.  Also usually I burst into song while I'm doing something else but then it all peters out as I get distracted by something else or am particularly engrossed in a specific detail.

       Songs that I typically sing these days are almost like parodies.  I'll take an existing song and add lyrics pertaining to whatever it is that I'm doing at the time.  Most often lately I sing the old Donna Summer disco tune of "Last Dance" except I'll sing "Last game..." instead of "last dance...".   I sing this when I'm playing a game of solitaire on the computer and get caught up in playing until I win a game.  It becomes such a waste of time that I'll sing to encourage myself to quit.  It's really kind of an annoying song that I sing.  It's almost like I'm trying to annoy myself into quitting.  This method of being forced into quitting by annoying myself seems to work.  Maybe.

        Aside from that singing, the last actual song that I sang was a Prefab Sprout song called "The Sound of Crying".   This is because prior to the time of composing this post I had just posted the song on my blog Tossing It Out.   Here it is again in case you're interested:

         Do you ever ad lib song lyrics to accompany something that you are doing or a mood that you're in?   Do you enjoy singing while you work?   What is your favorite song to sing?



Today is the release of Chrys Fey's first novel!

      An Internal Affairs Investigator was murdered and his brother, Donovan Goldwyn, was framed. Now Donovan is desperate to prove his innocence. And the one person who can do that is the woman who saved him from a deadly hurricane—Beth Kennedy. From the moment their fates intertwined, passion consumed him. He wants her in his arms. More, he wants her by his side in his darkest moments.

     Beth Kennedy may not know everything about Donovan, but she can’t deny what she feels for him. It’s her love for him that pushes her to do whatever she has to do to help him get justice, including putting herself in a criminal’s crosshairs.

    When a tip reveals the killer's location, they travel to California, but then an earthquake of catastrophic proportions separates them. As aftershocks roll the land, Beth and Donovan have to endure dangerous conditions while trying to find their way back to one another. Will they reunite and find the killer, or will they lose everything?



Thursday, April 21, 2016

R-Reason to smile (#atozchallenge)

Smiley Face
Smiley Face
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reason to smile...

       Thinking about reasons to smile the first thing that comes to my mind is my grandchildren.  I don't see them too much, but at least my daughters regularly put up pictures on FaceBook for me to see.  Those pictures always make me smile.

         I can't say that I'm a big ol' smiley face guy, but I try to maintain a pleasant appearance as much as I can.  If I encounter someone I'll try to appear as friendly as I can be so I guess I'm probably kind of smiling.  Meeting up with people should be a good reason to smile unless it's someone that I am not happy to see.

         There are times when my wife or someone else will think I'm mad or upset, but it's usually because I'm just lost in thought or concerned about something.   If I'm thinking happy thoughts I'll probably be smiling and sometimes even laughing to myself.   I try to be careful about where I do this though as in the wrong place with the wrong people, smiling to oneself might make them think you're making fun of them or something like that.  In those cases you'd better be prepared to come up with something to give them a reason to smile too.

          Are you a naturally smiley type of person?    Have you ever made someone angry because you were smiling or laughing to yourself?    What evokes a smile from you?

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Q-Question you are always asked (#atozchallenge)

English: Question Mark
 Question Mark
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Question you are always asked...

       Probably the question that I'm asked most is, "Are you hungry?"

       Most often it's asked by my wife.  In some cases it's me asking her.  Much of life seems to revolve around eating so I guess it's a normal question for people to ask each other.  Whenever there is a family gathering or if for some reason someone comes by to set a spell, invariably the hungry question will arise.  It's probably a matter of consideration, but I think most often it's because the person asking the question is getting hungry.   After all we all have to eat sometimes.

        Then there's something like, "How are you doing?"

         For over twenty years there has been a small market that I sometimes stop by.  Years ago it was for cigarettes, but then I stopped smoking.  Now occasionally I'll just pop in to pick up a lottery ticket. The store is run by an older Indian couple.  They've been there for years, hardly being shut down most of that time.  Their son used to be in the store at times, but I guess he finally graduated from college and now it's just the couple, sometimes just one of them and sometimes both, day after day from nine in the morning until maybe ten or so at night.

          The reason I bring them up is that many years ago when I'd stop by to pick up my cigarettes the the father and husband would always greet me with "How you been?" pronouncing been as "bean".  He'd say it in his Indian accent but it always sounded kind of street lingo like.  He sounded kind of cool.  He stopped saying that years ago.  Now I always call the store "How You Bean" when I'm with my wife.  She used to think it was funny when I called the store "How You Bean" but now that's just like the name we call the store.

        Both the husband and wife greet me quietly now when I come in or maybe they don't say anything at all except nod and acknowledge me with some nonchalant facial expression.  They work long hours and have been there so many years apparently resigned to the life they have.  It's not bad I suppose, it's just a life.  A question I might ask them is "When are you going to retire?"  Which brings me to a question that I've been frequently asked of late:  "How's retirement?"  This is because I retired in the past couple years and I guess some people wonder how I'm doing with it.
             Retirement has been okay.   But that's another story and I won't bother going into that right now.

            Is there a question that you are asked frequently?   Do you answer in detail and with honesty when someone asks how you are?   Would you like to be the owner of a small store where you had to be there all or most of the time?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

P- Person you last called (#atozchallenge)

"Kellogg" brand "candle stick&q...
"Kellogg" brand "candle stick" style telephone from c. early 20th century. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Person you last called...

       I don't call people like I used to.  The answer to this question is easy--the last person I called was my sister Joy.  She is among the handful of people that I still call on a regular basis.  I call Joy usually at least once each week just to catch up with what's happening in her life and with the rest of the family.   Actually the other night when I called her, my other sister Joni answered the phone which was nice because I hadn't talked to her for a few months.   She moved in with Joy earlier this year.   Usually Joy answers the phone though.  Like me, Joy is retired and it's pretty easy to reach her.

        I used to call a number of my friends on a regular rotating basis.  They rarely called me--I called them.  And eventually I stopped calling them.  Except for my long time friend Marvin who is also retired.  We talk mostly about politics these days which is kind of fun and he's one of the few people I know who is willing to discuss politics.  We talk politics and movies and sometimes about old friends and life in general.  It's good to have someone to talk to now and then.

        It's probably time for me to make some calls to some other friends to see how they've been doing.  Due to the time difference between me and them it's sometimes hard to know the best time to call.  Some of them still work and others, well, I'm afraid I'm going to bother them.  After all, when we have families, jobs, and other things going on it can be disruptive to get a phone call.  Maybe I shouldn't think that way about old friends.

          Maybe I need to start making some phone calls again.

           Are there any special phone friends that you talk to on a regular basis?   As you get older do you feel less inclined to call people for fear of interfering with whatever they may be doing?   How do you stay in touch with friends and family other than calling on the phone?

Monday, April 18, 2016

O-One Wish (#atozchallenge)

English: Genie lamp, oil lamp, Aladdin's lamp,...
 Genie lamp, oil lamp, Aladdin's lamp, lamp of gin, jin, jinn, Alladin, Aladin
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One Wish...

       One wish is like eating Lay's potato chips as the commercial describes it:  Can't eat just one.  I'm one of those whose wish to the genie in the bottle is to wish that all my future wishes would always come true.  So many things to wish for and so many dreams to fulfill.

        Maybe I could wish for many more years of living with good health and adequate finances.  Then again that's kind of like three wishes isn't it?  I could wish for success and happiness for all of my children and grandchildren.  But again that's a whole bunch of wishes packed into one wish.

        So perhaps the best thing is to forget about wishes and act upon my dreams and aspirations.  Wishing doesn't really get us very far.   There are no genies or magic stars.  Wishing is expecting the outcome to come from someone or somewhere else.  We have the greatest responsibility in achieving that which we want to achieve.

           Wishing is an exercise in imagination.  Action gets things done.

            What do you wish for in your life?   How do you handle unfulfilled wishes?   What are some of the opportunities that in retrospect you realize that you missed?

Saturday, April 16, 2016

N-Number of siblings (#atozchallenge)

Number of Siblings...

       My family was kind of divided into two eras in a manner of speaking.   My sister and I were born at the beginning of the 50's while my other brothers and my other sister were of the 60's.  Actually, I have a twin brother and sister who were born in June of 1959, but that means their early years were mostly in the 60's.   Another brother--the last child that my parents had--was born near the end of 1962.

        What this span comes down to is that when my sister Joy and I were in high school, my other siblings were all little kids still in elementary school.  I helped take care of them when they were babies and they annoyed me as they got older.  By the time I had left home as an adult they were in high school leading lives that I didn't know much about.

        Having a bunch of siblings was nice back then and it's nice now.  I didn't know anything else, but I'm glad I had brothers and sisters.  I try to keep up with them on a regular basis, especially Joy--I usually call her at least once a week.  And it's great when we get together, which for me is only once or twice a year since I live far from them.  We almost always have a good time.

         As a side note, my brother has told me some of the things he did back when he was younger.  I would have never known it had he not told me, but he and his friends used to get into my stuff sometimes.  I would have been so mad back then, but now we both laugh about it.   After all they were ornery kids at the time so I should have probably expected it.

          Family is pretty wonderful in my view.  I've got decent siblings and growing up with them was a good time.  Oh, and in case you didn't figure it out, the number of my siblings is four--two brothers and two sisters and I am the oldest.

            How many siblings do you have?   What kind of relationship do you have with your siblings now?   Are you oldest, youngest, or in the middle?

Friday, April 15, 2016

M-Middle name (#atozchallenge)

Middle Name...

       When I was a kid I hated my middle name.  My parents named me after my father who was named Robert Lee.   Since he went by Bob they decided that it might eliminate confusion to call me Lee.   I became used to it over the years, but there were times when I disliked the sound of Lee.

        During my fifth grade year I decided to go by Robert.   I also let my hair grow out from the buzz cut that had been my hair style since early childhood.  I'm not sure why my parents kept my hair cut that way, but I hated it.  To me the hair cut looked really dorky.  My father never had his hair cut like that.  He had a traditional cut that was kept in place with Vaseline Hair Tonic.    After my hair grew long enough to comb I begged my mother to buy me Vitalis Hair Tonic which came as a colored liquid--blue I think it was--and it didn't seem oily like the Vaseline.  But my father used the Vaseline and they didn't want to spend money on something different so that's what I had to use.  Even so, I was glad about the new hair style.  Looking back at old photos the style did give me a greater air of maturity.

       After the fifth grade name experiment I went back to using Lee for most of my life other than a period when I joined a magic show in 1975.   There was a Vietnamese young woman who was also named Lee so the people on the show called me by my last name, Jackson.  It wasn't like when coaches in my phys ed classes called me "Jackson"--I always hated that.  This sounded different--more distinctive and appropriate for the times.  Besides, Jackson Browne was popular at that time and that seemed pretty cool to me to be called Jackson.

         Not long after I joined the magic show the Vietnamese couple left, but I was still called Jackson until a young lady joined the show and she began calling me Lee again.   She and I got married not long after we had met and I stayed Lee from then on out.  Even after we got divorced.

         It's been Lee ever since.  I'm not bothered by the name like I once was.  It's just another part of who I am and who I have been.

         Do you like your middle name?    Have you ever gone by a nickname?     What would you have chosen for a name had it been up to you?