25 Random Things About Me

1. I’ve been a pauper, a poet, a paper boy, car wash attendant, commercial bakery worker, cemetery grass cutter, book warehouseman, hod carrier, construction laborer, television delivery man, jet refueler, lavatory cleaner, ditch digger, law clerk, attorney, actor and professor

2. After a deep spiritual experience, I spent a frosty warm night in a yak-hair tent called the Hotel California at the Mount Everest base camp in Tibet.

3. I was recruited to play football at Princeton University. Otherwise, I may not have considered applying to and attending Old Nassau. What a lucky break.

4. During law school, I was in a garage band we called Permanently Band, playing for friends and ourselves original songs that I wrote in a burst of creativity that I have not experienced since.

5. Lately, I am more concerned with spiritual growth, awareness, seeking and searching than with anything else.

6. In her youth, I appeared onstage with my darling daughter, Deirdre, in three community theater productions – To Kill a Mockingbird, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Impossible Years.

7. I was tricked into auditioning for a role without knowing it in To Kill a Mockingbird when the director asked me to fill in during a rehearsal for a missing player. He then informed me that the missing player had left the production and asked if I would take over the role of Mr. Cunningham.

8. This led to a wonderful moment in the play when Scout (Deirdre) recognizes Mr. Cunningham (me) in the lynch mob and defuses a tense situation. The way we staged it, I took a couple of threatening steps toward Deirdre before dropping to my knees in front of her to speak my lines. What a wondrous memory.

9. Come to think of it, I have a lot of enduring pictures of Deirdre in my mind. One is of her playing mob or beehive soccer when she was a tyke. She was apart from the swarm twirling her pigtails and I was screaming from the sidelines, “Go after the ball!”

10. I am a third cousin of Tampa Bay Rays manager, Joe Maddon.

11. When I was growing up I knew my grandparents as “Grandma and Grandpa from Hazleton” and “Grandma and Grandpa Next Door”

12. When I was little, I read every Nancy Drew mystery I could lay my hands on.

13. My favorite author, though, was Edgar Allen Poe. What a combination.

14. I once drove the 120 miles from Princeton NJ to Scranton PA all the way without ever coming to a complete stop. The clutch in my yellow VW bug was shot and made a horrendous grinding noise if the car had to be started from a complete stop.

15. I know all the two letter state postal abbreviations by heart from years working in the book warehouse and shipping operation that my father ran as general manager.

16. We put our Christmas tree up before Thanksgiving and just took it down and put it away this week (2nd week of February). I love decorating the tree. When I open the boxes containing the ornaments, I think and say, “Hello, old friends.”

17. I have a bunch of buddies from playing pickup basketball who, for many years, I only knew by their nicknames – Sluggo, Gumby, Goober, Buzzy, Dog.

18. Despite spending most of my life now in Western Pennsylvania, I have never visited the Andy Warhol Museum, the National Aviary, or the Regional History Museum.

19. Growing up, I was a New York Yankees and New York Giants fan. Now I root for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

20. I am a fan of classic country music, even though I grew up strictly listening to rock and roll. Waylon Jennings, Patsy Cline and the rest touch my soul.

21. On the Friday before Christmas, I pulled out my axe and sang Christmas carols for the “pirohi ladies” at St. Mary’s Church in Ambridge PA while I waited for my three dozen.

22. I represented the creator of one of the first internet search engines in connection with the Initial Public Offering of the company commercializing his invention.

23. I am partially blind in one eye.

24. I am part of a loving family.

25. I am on a journey of discovery.