Sunday, July 29, 2012


How could I bear to be human if humans were not also writers and riddle solvers and redeemers of chance.

Friedrich Nietzsche
Hello Ernie

Hello Jubail
Hello Doha
Hello Ile-de-France
Hello Istanbul
Hello Herdon
Hello Kalamazoo
Hello Rochester
(Just a few of the 13 who aren't watching the Olympics all the time and took the trouble to check in with the Vagabond.)
"Watchman, tell us of the night."
Who's watching the day?
I enjoy the Olympic sports, but I'm most interested in the track and field events. The first Olympic mete back in ancient Greece was a 200 meter foot race. These days runners compete in the 100 meter and 500 meter races and longer. 200 meter races are rarely held. But years ago the Olympic committee was trying to decide what events they could cut out since the number of them was getting very large. Someone suggested eliminating the 200 meter since it wasn't a popular distance. Then they realized it was the original race, so they kept it.

One of the most important things that the world's citizens need to do if we are to survive is to take better care of our young people.

When I was in high school I was lazy about sports. I never played football, I was no good at baseball because of myopia, so I played basketball which I really didn't like. Then one year the school offered track and field. I ran around the track a few times. I strained my arm trying to throw the javelin. I didn't have enough beef on me to put the shot. I was basically flunking out of Phys Ed. But then the sky opened up, angels came down and twirled around my head and the heavenly trumpets blared. I discovered the discus.

The first time a flung it people stopped and looked. With a little advice from the coach I was soon a competing discus thrower and I was a winner.

So then I went off to college as a music major with a meager $200 scholarship based on a song I had written. I was a poor student because I had to work. I had an all night job in law enforcement, a week end job as a janitor and some hours during the week in the library. I had a faculty adviser who was so absent minded he couldn't remember what college his sone was in. This circumstance lasted for a year and a half until I realized I was in the wrong school and the financial burden was destroying any possible joy at being there. So I quit and began my vagabond life. At about the same time producers started hiring me as an actor and that became my career, all hope of being a musician faded.

The reason for this autobiography is that years later, by accident, I discovered that there are excellent universities in this country that offer full scholarships to discus throwers. I was good enough. I would have qualified.

If I had known that such a thing was even possible I would have gone looking for it. But I had no guidance, from anyone. It's one of the major regrets of my life. But I don't think about it much. I don't regret my life as an entertainer. It has been an adventurous, exciting, satisfying and fulfilling career. But I rue that I didn't learn music at the time.

By all means ask young people what they think and what they want. And respect their wisdom to the extent they have any. Offer your suggestions and advice whether they take it or not. The positive things you do for young people will have a far reaching effect for all of us the world over. The negative things you do, or the things you don't do, may have the opposite effect.

I'm an educated man even with no college degree. I've taught myself a lot of things. I read history, philosophy, psychology and religion. Now I'm also a writer and a painter, and I'm learning music in between times. I wish I had some sort of a musical instrument. My ideal home, when I get there, will have a piano.

DB - The Vagabond
Never Give Up


Jon said...

Aw, heck, I'm not watching the Olympics ALL the time - - just SOME of the time....

You've revealed a lot of interesting things about yourself. I know you're a man of many talents, but I never knew you were a champion discus thrower.

I hated sports when I was in school and I was the very LAST one chosen for every team. However, for some strange reason, I was good at volleyball and track.

Ken Riches said...

Did not know about the discus part. That motion is about techinique, not necessarily brawn, a good choice.