Joel "The Neff" has tagged me with a meme, "five things you don't know about me", and since I didn't bite on the "make sense out of this spam" meme he offered earlier, I'll take him up on this one.
1. I was a teenage pea bum in eastern Oregon. This was something all the girls my age did when we were in high school. We weren't old enough to have drivers' licenses yet, but we could drive pea trucks in the fields during the summer harvest. So every summer for about a month, from ages 13-17, I drove a huge truck with loads of peavines from the swathers/loaders in the field to the viners located on the field's edge, where the peavines were forked into a huge machine which tumbled them until the pods popped out their peas, which rattled down into containers for transport to canneries and freezing plants (gasp for breath). We worked from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and made 85 cents an hour, seven days a week except when it rained.
2. I wrote and sold two articles to Seventeen magazine when I was a teenager, one about being a teenage pea bum and one entitled "the moment I grew up", about how my wheat truck caught on fire the first day I drove in wheat harvest, at age 16, and could well have set thousands of acres of ripe grain on fire had the fire not mysteriously burned itself out. For these two articles, I was paid the amazing sums of $60 and $40, respectively. (PS. We were paid $1 an hour during wheat harvest and had to have a driver's license so we could drive on the highway.)
3. I was not eligible for the local Phi Beta Kappa-like group at Linfield College in 1963, because my grades weren't quite high enough, but I was elected anyhow, probably on the strength of one professor's belief in my capabilities. Thank you, Dr. Carle Malone, and I'm sorry I didn't get better than a 3.48 gpa. May you rest in peace; you were grouchy, but I liked you.
4. After my divorce in 1980, I sowed quite a few wild oats, and that's all you need to know about that. However, one memorable occasion was when I organized the Colorado vs. Texas Pseutomato War at a Mensa Annual Gathering in Dallas and one journalist writing up the event referred to me as a Glenn Close look-alike. Bask....
5. I walked around for 57 years not knowing that I had a time bomb ticking away in my chest. In 1999 I was diagnosed with an atrial septal defect, a birth defect which would lead to pulmonary hypertension and early death if not corrected. It was surgically repaired in 2000 and I was amazed by the positive effect of having enough oxygen. Prior to the surgery, I hadn't been aware of any symptoms; afterwards, I realized the difference in my sense of wellbeing. But having a long scar right down the middle of my chest changed my sense of self for a long time and moved me definitively out of my wild woman wannabe period.