Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My Oscar

Last week I was afforded the high privilege of being awarded an OSCAR.  (That's my blurred image on the far right.)  This award, bestowed upon me by Carel & Associates' founder Bill Carter (a truly remarkable man), now resides on my office shelf.  I'm not deserving of this award, given to me under the auspices of helping "at risk children" . . . but the award does bring back memories of other awards--none of which hang on my office wall.  Perhaps you'd like to know about them.

Fourth Runner-Up, High School Homecoming King
Actually, there were only five guys in this competition, so I got last place, but it was still a great honor. If I had been dating Becky at the time, I would have won, as she had the ballot box rigged and was not only awarded Home Coming Queen that year, but also won the Sullivan County Jr. Miss and got to ride in a red convertible around the square during the Corn Festival Parade.  Me, I was picking my nose and shouting, "I know that girl!  I know that girl!  She's in my English class!"  Mr. Walters, the dean of boys, kicked me out of study hall later for excessive flatulence.  

President High School Letterman's Club
Yes, I was president before I got impeached for suggesting that guys on the chess club were athletes and should also get letters.  But listen, a Ruy Lopez or Queen's Gambit opening is difficult to memorize and I was trying to take a stand for all my egghead friends who couldn't make the varsity badminton team.  I stood by them then, but where are they now?!  

1978 North Central High School Badminton Champ
It's true. I wiped the floor with the entire male population at the high school and triumphed in the face of adversity during one of the worst outbreaks of acne the school had ever seen.  I beat Jimmy Swalls in the championship round.  I still have my championship birdie and sometimes I let Becky touch it.  I was also on the basketball team and, while I never won a championship trophy in that gig, I once scored 26 points and in another game garnered 13 rebounds--both tough to do in a high school game.  But Becky was a cheerleader and she distracted me.  If she had not been courtside at all of those games, I could have been a contender.

Pfenning Scholar
Okay, yeah . . . I won a writing award at Indiana State University.

Simon Scanlon Prize & Award from Bell South
Okay, yeah . . . I received a couple of cash prizes some years ago for articles I wrote about breast cancer.  It's true, I parlayed my wife's suffering into money.  Not much of it, but enough to take her out to Wendy's.  

Of course, I have no idea where these awards are now.  In a box somewhere, I suppose.  Hence, I'm going to enjoy my OSCAR.

And in the meantime, I'm going to bring my badminton racket to bed some evening.  I think Becky has forgotten how good I really was and I'd like to show her I can still play.


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