Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Randy Revealed - tagged again

The meme of the week for this week is the "Eight Things About Me-Me." Thomas MacEntee at the Destination: Austin Family blog tagged me to respond to this meme. Here are the directions:

1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
3. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their name.
4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged and to read your blog.

After almost 2,400 blog posts, is there anything that my devoted readers don't know about me? Or that I haven't revealed? Here are eight things about me-me (I'll bet some of you knew these things):

1) I am an avid San Diego Padres and San Diego Chargers fan - I live and die with them. We have Padres season tickets and had Chargers tickets for years. I have attended Padres games in all their San Diego venues - Lane Field (1936-1956), Westgate Park (1957-1967), San Diego/Jack Murphy/Qualcomm Stadium (1969-2003) and Petco Park (2004 and on). I worked for the Chargers in 1963 at their training camp - slopping toilets and making beds at a dude ranch.

2) I have amblyopia. My right eye turns in and is essentially useless. My vision is uni-ocular unless my left eye is blanked off, and I can't read anything with my right eye. We didn't figure it out until I was age 11 and it was too late to correct without an operation, which wasn't done. This really affected me in baseball - I never could hit well.

3) I'm left-handed. The whole world is born right-handed - it's just that some of us overcome it. I have, but it was a struggle. Thank God for ballpoint pens and LH scissors. This also affected my hitting in baseball, since my right eye was "out front" because I was left-handed.

4) One of my major hobbies before genealogy was DXing. What in the world is that, you ask? It sounds, well, almost perverted, right? Nope - it means "distant reception" and is basically "listening to the radio, trying to hear the weak stations in between the stronger stations." My specialty was the AM band, and I heard many Asian, Oz/NZ, Pacific Island, Caribbean and South America stations, and a few European/African AM stations from San Diego, most in the middle of the night. I used to wake up at 1 AM and listen until 4 AM then go back to bed before going to school or work. I had 40 year old cassette tapes of some of my catches (recently discarded). I edited DX columns in hobby bulletins and wrote articles about AM radio wave propagation and signal strengths. I essentially gave this up for genealogy (which can be pursued in normal waking hours).

5) I love '50s and '60s pop/rock/R&B/country music. I have about 600 of them on my iPod, and know the lyrics to most of them. I'm a terrible singer, though - my key is J-sharp I'm told. Check my April 2005 archives for my favorites from this time period. While a teenager, I collected radio station surveys and made my own Top 40 music charts. A friend and I operated XELNT - "Excellent music" - a pirate AM radio station in San Diego for a few months.

6) I may have a half-sibling in central Massachusetts that nobody knows the name of, or if s/he was even born or lived into adulthood. According to family lore (and we all know how reliable that is), my father left Leominster MA in December 1940 and drove across the country to San Diego in order to escape a failed romance, and the young lady was pregnant when he left. All of his sisters claimed it was true but are short on details. His brother scoffed at the claim, saying that he would have known about it, and it didn't happen. We know the girl's name - a Catholic girl whose father forbade a marriage.

7) My first airplane ride was in 1956 with the family of my friend, Butch Craver. His parents were both pilots, and they were going to Vancouver BC and asked me to accompany them. I was an excited 12-year old boy, and my folks said yes before really thinking about it. It was great watching the earth go by from about 10,000 feet. Butch's father explained the basics of flight and demonstrated some stability and control. We visited Sacramento CA, Medford OR, Bellingham WA and San Francisco CA. After landing in Bellingham, we drove up to Vancouver BC. This sparked a lifetime interest and a 40 year career in aviation and engineering.

8) My first foray into researching family history was in 1982 when we took our little family (the girls were 8 and 5) to Massachusetts for a visit with my aunt and uncle, Jan and Ed Seaver in Leominster, and then with aunt and uncle Gerry and Jim Remley in Gardiner ME. We also got to meet the Ruth and Bowers Fischer family in Leominster (aunt and uncle, with two daughters) and the Soule family (cousins) up in Salem NH. We had a week with Ed and Jan, and on a rainy Saturday we sent the girls off to a movie and sat down to talk on audio tape. I asked questions, and he talked about his life and the family connections. I transcribed the tape and have provided it to his children and granddaughter. After the trip, Aunt Gerry made three audio tapes about her life and the family members which I also transcribed later. It took another six years for me to start doing genealogy and family history research, but this vacation was really the catalyst that provided insight into the family history.

I have lost track of who has been tagged for this meme, so I'm going to pick the following eight genealogy bloggers in hopes that they haven't been tagged previously:

* Sean Sexton of the Sean on Family History blog.
* Travis LeMaster on the TJLGenes: Preserving Our Family History blog.
* Amy Coffin on the We Tree blog.
* Larry Lehmer on the Passing It On blog.
* Lee Drew on the FamHist blog.
* Terry Snyder on the Desktop Genealogist Unplugged blog.
* Susan Barry on the SuesGenBlog blog. Sue just started blogging this week.
* Amir Dekel/Abba-Dad on the I Dream of Genea(logy) blog.