Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Butterfly Effect or Chaos Theory – Part I

When I was 8 years old, I chased a baseball out into the street. The man in the Cadillac slammed on his breaks and stopped that 4500 lbs of metal five feet from my skinny frame. He got out of his car and…rightfully so…screamed at me until I disappeared from site around my neighbor’s fence. I did not dare go to my own yard in case he decided to report this episode to my mother.

When I was 12 years old, my uncle “allowed” me to help him set up seats, benches and concession stands for the Greenfield Village Civil War Festival. Because I now had an “official” badge, I was allowed “inside the ropes.”

As the ten cannon brigades set up, #9 caught my eye. The cannon was a shiny jet black with an accompanying bright red magazine chest. It was really an old seaman’s chest, but it looked great. Even the guy’s on the team’s uniforms looked like brand new Confederate issue. I sat on the chest and watch them prepare for their turn to shoot.

My uncle taps me on the shoulder and says it is time to go to lunch. He says I can stay and watch them shoot, but we will not be eating again until we pack everything up again – late that night. I decide …at the last minute…to follow him to the mess hall on the other side of the village.

We never heard the explosion that killed 4 of the 5 men on that team and 3 of the spectators nearby. A wad of fuse from cannon #8 had floated into that open seaman’s chest.

I would have been standing ….right there.

I was a single man of 24 and already tired of pretending I liked to dance in bars in order to meet women. The cost of double the drinks every night - and the latest John Travolta shirt - was keeping me from paying bills. I had kind of decided to stop that scene and concentrate on my college classes. Girls could wait until later.

I was playing in a softball tournament as I did every summer weekend. We had won the early game because I threw a runner out at the plate on a relay from the centerfielder. But the tourney bracket had not been kind. We had to face one of the very top teams in the state the very next game. Gulp!

Well, not only did we win…but I had a big game myself. Five hits, four runs knocked in and a couple good plays in the field – and all this against a hated rival! I was feeling like I was all that… and a bag of chips!

I walked up to the concession stand to get a couple hot dogs for lunch. A petite blonde - with the prettiest blue eyes I ever saw - asked, “Can I help you?”

Now normally I would have made a note that she was hot, ordered my food and later kicked myself for not asking her out. But not this time!

Buoyed by my earlier success and my current – just made this morning - bulletproof ego, I said, “Yes you can. I will have a Coke and a date!”

This is how I met the current Mrs. Faldo.

If that man in the Cadillac is watching a woman in a miniskirt walk down a sidewalk, my 8 year old body is flattened.

If I don’t let my stomach over rule my desire to see cannon fire up close, they probably never find enough of a twelve year old Faldo to bury.

If I had played poorly in a couple of softball games, or my team gets knocked out of the tournament, I never meet my wife of 30 years.

Now, what does this have to do with poker? You will find out in the next article. - Faldo


Fourputt said...

One of the best "from the heart" posts ever IMHO.

However you are looking at this from a very self-centered point of view which I will explain in my next batch of comments.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry. I was looking at Rilpi.