A whimsical look at life growing up in the small town of Waldron, Arkansas in the 1960s and 1970s, plus occasional observations from the present. Want to start at the very beginning? Click HERE.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Self Promotion Friday: Ten Things About Me

I've been seeing them for the last week or so, those ubiquitous Facebook posts in which people tell little-known facts about themselves.  Fascinating, they are, truly; I have enjoyed reading them.

So, since I have been so short of material for this blog lately, I'm taking my cue from Facebook and posting...

Ten Things About Me

1.  I have not thrown up since 1977.

Perhaps the accomplishment of which I am most proud.  I was in college at Arkansas Tech, living in prison-like conditions in a facility called Paine Hall.  Caught a stomach bug, middle of the night, made the tortuous trip down the hall to our community/prison bathroom.  Decided afterwards that the experience was far to unpleasant to repeat, and determined that I would not throw up again.  Has worked for almost 37 years.

2.  I did not see a movie in a theater until I was 21 years old.

I am very thankful for the way I was raised, but some of you youngsters today might have considered it to be a bit on the conservative side.  In my little church, going to the movies was considered a no-no.  So, I didn't go.  But, at age 21, I decided that I really wanted to see my favorite musical group, The Bee Gees, in their new movie Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.  The movie, considered by critics to be possibly the worst movie ever made, I found to be quite good.

3.  I Own Every Episode of The Andy Griffith Show.

On VHS tape, so what good is it?  But, I am a huge fan and in fact, the only area in which I consider myself to be near expert is Andy Griffith trivia.  I'm even a member of an official organization called The Andy Griffith Show Rerun Watchers Association.

4.  I am a twin.

Yes, most of you probably know that already, but I'm trying to come up with 10 of these things, ok?  I have a twin sister, Janet, who is 10 minutes younger than me.  What you might not know, however, is that my mom didn't know she was having twins!  So, when I was born, everybody was all excited and happy and then somebody happened to notice that my mom was not finished.  So, they sat me down in the corner somewhere and proceeded to assist into the world the first female to be born into the Yates family in 50 years or so.  Eventually, after the excitement settled down, someone remembered that there were two of us and, after a brief search, I was located in my corner and reunited with the family.

5.  I once worked on a garbage truck.

For a summer, in college.  Pretty sweet, actually; anything I found of value I got to keep.  That is, if the driver didn't want it.

6.  I like to do magic tricks.

For kids.  Only simple ones though.

7.  I've been to the World's Tallest Thermometer.

In Baker, California.  During a drive my wife and I made from Las Vegas to Oceanside, California.  Which brings me to my next item...

8.  I love the desert.

Although my wife hates it.  I was enthralled with the beauty of the desert on our drive; at times it seemed like we were driving around on the moon.  I guess I like it because the landscape is so different there than it is here.  But I do love it.

9.  When I'm introduced to new people, they almost always mention Bill Gates.

Which allowed me to come up with a good little laugh line, which I use whenever I speak to a group.  "The only difference between me and The World's Richest Man is one letter...and 9 zeroes!"  (Pause for laughter)

10.  I can't swim.

In fact, I'm quite afraid of the water.  My beautiful wife Marilyn can swim.  Our son Ross and his wife Maegan are excellent swimmers, as well as our daughter Laura and her husband Kip.  Even little granddaughter Kate, age three (almost), is totally fearless of the water and is on her way to swimming.  But not me.  I did, however, buy a snorkel and mask in the spring.  I thought about it all summer, and in September, on the last day Marilyn and I got in the pool, I donned my snorkel and mask, put ear plugs in my ears, and submerged my head underwater for what seemed like several minutes but was clocked by Marilyn at four seconds.  

Gotta start somewhere...


  1. Cathy (Waganer) SandiferNovember 15, 2013

    My first movie in a theatre was Forrest Gump, Mike and Carolyn took me to see it!

  2. Hi Bill,

    I remember that room in Paine Hall quite clearly as I was your roommate for a semester. I also recall your fascination with the BeeGees, and I still remember your brilliant idea for an album cover for them--an upside down calculator with the number 5339338 on it. ;-) Why didn't they ever use that?

    1. Curt you rascal. I guess I have been neglecting my blog because I have just now found your comment. A lot of life has happened since those days my friend.