It’s kind of obvious from my picture that I was a goofy little kid. That’s my dog Freckles who went everywhere with me.
Of the three boys in The Handy Helpers, I guess I’m most like Spike. He’s a practical joker and so am I. Just ask my students about some of the April Fools gags I played on them. When I was a kid I liked to make prank phone calls. Mostly I called my grandma and asked her things like, “Is your refrigerator running?” Of course my grandma was wise to my tricks and would ask, “Where would it run to?” One time I got a big pan of water. I called a plumber and when someone answered, I yelled “Help!” Then I stuck my face in the water and went blub . . . blub . . blub. Of course my little brother told on me. My mom had me half convinced that we would get a bill from the plumber. Good thing there wasn’t caller ID back then.
Like Spike I was short for my age. But Spike likes to attract attention to himself with his spiked hair and shirts with sayings on them. I was never bold like that. Instead, I tried to blend in and not be noticed. In that regard, I was more like Logan. But when it comes to being shy, Logan doesn’t even come close. Here’s an example. Growing up in Phoenix, we watched the Lew King Ranger Show. Wayne Newton, who was a child, was a regular on the show. The sponsor of the show was First Federal Savings. To encourage the good habit of saving, children who had savings accounts at First Federal were invited to be on the show. Finally, the opportunity came for me and my little sister. There was a special place for us to sit on the floor and all that was required of us was to stand up and say our names when called on. As the MC went around the group, I became more and more stressed. When it was my turn, I couldn’t move. No amount of cajoling or urging on the part of the MC could get me to open my mouth. I just sat there with my butt glued to the floor. My mother was so embarrassed, I was afraid she was going to pretend I wasn’t hers and leave me there.
When Chris, another character, was three years old, he lost his dad in a car accident. I was also three when my dad died during surgery. I have been told a lot about my dad, so I feel like I know him even though I don’t really have any memories of him. I’ve been told that I look like him and that he liked to joke around like I do. Like Chris’s mother, my mother always made sure that I had a close relationship with my father’s family. Every summer she would drive me to Prescott so I could spend a week with my father’s sister, Aunt Marylou and Uncle Kenny. I have so many cherished memories of the time I spent with them and my cousins. My father’s oldest brother, my Uncle Ray and Aunt Ruth always made sure that my sister and I felt like we were part of the family. I remember them being at every important event in my life. I know that wasn’t easy because they had five children of their own. Today I feel fortunate to have my wonderful Morgan cousins as Facebook friends and stay in contact with them as much as possible.