When I was a kid I had a big imagination. I gave a lot of thought to what I would be and do when I grew up.
As a child of the ’50s, heavily influenced by TV and movie heroes, I imagined myself as a cowboy, like Roy Rogers or the Lone Ranger, riding a mighty steed (OK, a stick horse made of dried cane) and fighting outlaws to the finish. Sometimes I was Superman, complete with a red bath towel for a cape, leaping out of the window of a tall building, flying at supersonic speeds to aid the oppressed. As Tarzan, swinging from my treehouse in the catalpa tree, I would rescue a group on safari from jungle terrors, and as a James Bond-type agent, I shot it out with evildoers trying to take over the world and … well, you get the idea.
In all of these scenarios, there always seemed to be a girl, just like in the movies. Roy had Dale Evans fighting outlaws at his side, sometimes even rescuing him. Superman had the pretty and resourceful Lois Lane. Tarzan had Jane, who was not only pretty but kept him from doing too much damage, and certainly was the brains of the outfit. And, of course, the Bond girls were famous in their own right.
At that age, I didn’t really even like girls, but it was apparent from these shows that the hero always ended up with one.
The girl I wanted would be blonde and pretty and smart. She would have a sweet smile and laugh at my jokes. At the end of the day we would drink coffee and discuss the day’s events, like Roy and Dale used to do at the Eureka Cafe in the TV show.
Most of all, she would like me.
Somewhere along the way, life happened. I became a teenager, a college kid and then a responsible adult. Reality took over, and things changed.
I’ve never ridden in with guns blazing nor swung through the trees to rescue anyone.
I was never as sophisticated as 007 nor have I stopped a madman from taking over the world. Those boyhood dreams, like most, didn’t come true — except for one. I got the girl. She is blonde and pretty and smart. She has a sweet smile and laughs at my jokes.
On June 1, we will have been married for 40 years. We have two beautiful daughters, two fine sons-in-law, a wonderful grandchild and another on the way.
I guess some boyhood dreams do come true. What a blessed man I am!
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