As I have said before, I grew up in a small Missouri town called Dexter. It was my home more or less constantly from 1977- the year of my birth (in Dickson, TN)- up through 1996- the year of my graduation from Dexter High School. In that time I met many people and experienced many things. I am sure these things left their mark on the person I have evolved into today. This is in no particular order, just random associations that spring into my mind.

        I remember playing. A simple thing really. The ability to give yourself over to carefree abandon and enjoy life. Regrettably just about everyone loses this gift as they progress in years, myself included. I remember flying one of my kites in the open pasture on my grandparents farm in the spring. I remember one day in particular when I rigged the spool to hold the kite in flight and I went inside for a few minutes. I was right proud of myself that day I tell you.

        When we lived in a trailer court, which no longer exists (down behind Lemons Monuments), we used to go down the street to an open field that had a tree on a hill. We used to climb around in that tree and just sit and talk and all. On several occassions I recall Bobby, Travis, and I going (with a ream of notebook paper) to the field to fly paper airplanes. Many neighborhood kids would come out and play as well. (Bruce and Lonnie, Mindy, Garrett, and others.)

        Other times I made due with what I had on hand to play with. Another day I remember well was one of the windiest ever, and we were living in a two bedroom trailer just outside of town (on the edge of Cottonbelt and the park). My brother Bobby and I (and possibly my cousin Travis) took two or three plastic grocery bags and would let the wind send them upward and away. We would let them go up into the air and then chase after them and repeat the process.

        It just goes to show you that it does not take money really to entertain one's self when young. It just takes a little imagination. Imagination was something I had in abundance a long time before any of the aforementioned events.

        We lived once by the railroad tracks in a house just behind Downtown Video and the Post Office. I was very young at the time. It was winter and across the street in a vacant lot all the snow plows would push the snow off the road into a giant heap. Although I was not supposed to play across the street, I would play in the piled snow. It was my snow castle. I would shape and mold it to fit the image in my mind and stay there playing until my hands got too cold to continue, it got dark, or Mom caught me.

        Years later my cousins Travis, Shane, and Sara moved in to a house with an adjoining back yard to the one I had previously lived in behind the video store. When I would come over to visit we would play one of three ways.

        My cousins Shane and Travis and I all liked WWF wrestling at that time. In the back bedroom we had an old mattress we would use as a ring and wrestle until we were out of breath, or Shane beat us up! He was a few years older and bigger than Travis and I.         Even more humorous than that....hehe.... after watching all kinds of Bruce Lee movies and Bloodsport (with Van Damn), Travis and I decided that we would form our own little club or gang, which we called Street Karate Club. It makes me chuckle to think back on all of that. We would workout, take hikes through the woods down by the trailer court I was living in at the time, and we even wrote up a charter and our own money. I actually have some of the money still as does Travis. Outside my trailer there was a tree with slim branches, and I would put empty soda cans on the end of it and practice spin kicks knocking them off. I would stand for hours and hours kicking up over my head killing can after can. In fact I did this so much that the place where I would stand and kick from developed into mud hole when it rained.

        The third way we would play when I came over to visit Travis was to work on the clubhouse in the backyard. It wasn't exactly a treehouse because it was built around the base of a tree rather than up in it. It was like a two or three level tunnel that twisted in upon itself. You had to duck and crawl around inside, but it was nice. It was made of scrap wood we found about and glass tiles that were hollow in the middle, and bricks and wire mesh.