“Got myself a threadbare gypsy soul…”
and finding where you are supposed to be,
and what it feels like,
when you ain’t there.
“…like to dance and drink and go wherever the wind blows...”
As you may or may not know, way back in 1952, back in Buffalo, NY at Children’s Hospital there, I was born on June 15th,
born as the family story goes, “Damn near dead, gone before he came.”
Was supposed to I guess, have just a hello, goodbye life.
But, it seems, through what was a marvel of medicine back then, and some dumb luck, I managed to live through my death.
Spent a month or so, being almost gone/not so much/maybe/maybe not/discharged.
For the next three years of the life I wasn’t supposed to have, I had it in a full body cast. I was plaster of paris from my armpits to the tips of my toes. I was pretty much just arms and face to the planet around me.
I was 3 ½ years old the first time I took a step on my own without someone holding onto me. It happened outside, my backyard at 571 Montrose in Buffalo, my father carried me outside, set me down, and walked away, said this, “ComeMere.”
I took one step, and fell over backwards.
Picked back up, set back down on my two feet, “ComeMere.”
Bang, again seeing nothing but blue skies.
My father told me much later, he did that with me every morning before he went to work, every night when he came back home, “Took about 2 weeks but you finally made it over to me.”
I was about to question him about the basics of child abuse when Dad said, “I wasn’t trying to teach you about walking, I was trying to teach you about getting back up.”
“…got a little threadbare gypsy soul…”
This time though, even if Dad was still here, I can’t get back up.
To my buddies, the Elites, I won’t be at the first two events in Texas.
I want to apologize to you for that, but I know that to be foolish, I will though say this, my heart is broken that I won’t be there.
Here’s why I will miss the first Elite event since I started this gig over 5 years ago. Once again the body that didn’t want me to be here in the first place, is acting up. Seems in a medical mystery that I don’t fully understand, the Pituitary Tumor (technically known as a Pituitary Adenoma) that I had removed in brain surgery, this Pituitary thing is like the master gland or something, and the tumor may have screwed it up.
In screwing it up it may have caused me to develop Osteoporosis.
As Dr. Mac told me today, “Your knees are breaking, we need to stop that.” I have in my right knee two stress fractures, one in the Tibia, one in the Femur. I’m on crutches and a big brace, “so nothing else breaks, we are treating it as a fractured leg.”
A bone density test is scheduled in a couple of days, and if the diagnosis is confirmed they can put me on medication to fix the problem.
Until then I have very brittle bones, “and you won’t be going anywhere soon.”
“…got a little wild streak in my heart…”
Elites…here’s the plan…I’m going to work from home.
Yep…what a few of you know as Dining Room table stories. People down there will be keeping their eyes/ears open for stories and if they hear or find one, they will call me, and I’ll call you and write the thing.
IF YOU HAVE A STORY OR IDEA…call me…it’s not like it is my first rodeo…I understand the game, and you who play it, together, we can get through this, and if/when everything goes as it should, be back on the road with you in Bull shoals.
“…I guess that I have had it since I heard the music start.
I like to hear the highway sounds…”
In my soul, it is movement that I so cherish.
Whether it be walking, falling, or getting up, movement is at my core. I believe it is how the universe apologizes for me being basically a doorstop for the first three years of my life.
I can’t fully explain to anyone how much confinement bothers me. I have chased those first three years of my life, all my life.
I caught them, those years, when I found the Elites.
The Elites chase dreams, pond to pond across America, and who would have dreamed way back when, that I too, would someday chase not dreams, but dreamers.
I can tell you from within my soul, it is not the catch, it is the chase that I love the most.
It is the freedom of movement,
not the ups,
not the downs,
to move is what drives me.
“…and I don't think that I'll ever settle down
and I can't change and it might be a sin...”
To the fans of the Elites, please know this, because of you, I will never bag it.
Never mail it in.
Even if I’m not physically there, I promise you I will give you my best shot. I consider you a partner in all of this, without you there would not be me, there would not be any of us out here.
To the College anglers who will be taking to the water of Amistad for the B.A.S.S. College Tournament these next few days…I am very sorry I won’t be on the dock to watch you launch, to be there when you land and tell your stories as I was supposed to do.
But take this from someone not meant to be here in the first place,
embrace the falls,
embrace getting up,
but most of all, honor the journey.
Say thanks to those who got you on your feet,
say thanks to those who keep you on those feet,
and open your arms to help others come along.
It is not the past.
It is not the present.
It is the NEXT, where lies the dream.
It is the chase,
where lies life.
“…hope St. Peter gonna let me in
got my gypsy soul to bury, Amen.”
Threadbare Gypsy Soul