“I’m just an ordinary average guyMy friends are all boringAnd so am IWe’re just ordinary average guys.”- Joe Walsh -My sister turned 50 a couple of weeks ago. She used the opportunity to remind me that I will hit the same half-century mark …
“I’m just an ordinary average guy
My friends are all boring
And so am I
We’re just ordinary average guys.”
- Joe Walsh -
My sister turned 50 a couple of weeks ago. She used the opportunity to remind me that I will hit the same half-century mark in two years.
Thank you. Thank you very much.
Am I where I thought (or dreamed) I would be 30 years ago? No. Not even close. A generation ago, my plans by this point included a nice house, obscene amounts of money, personal relationships with the famous and the infamous and a fleet of exotic cars.
I do have a nice house. In fact, I have two nice houses. I really wish someone would make us an offer on the one in northeast Mississippi. I don’t have piles of money lying around the house. Instead I have piles of bills. (See the house situation.) And there are no rock stars or movie stars in my list of contacts on my iPhone. Well I do have Paul Thorn’s numbers but I’m not sure if that counts. I got them while doing an interview and have never called him for personal reasons.
And my “fleet” of vehicles doesn’t quite fall into the exotic category. My primary vehicle is a blue 2005 Honda Civic that just rolled over 196,000 miles. I guestimate it will hit that magic 200K milestone in September. It needs new tires, a battery and a clutch on the AC compressor. It’s not fancy but it has never needed any major repairs. I didn’t even replace the timing belt until 172K.
I also have a “mostly” green 1996 Dodge Dakota pickup. I say mostly because the Chrysler Corporation had some longevity problems with their clear coat paints in the mid-90s. It seems to be experiencing the automotive version of male pattern baldness. The dark green paint that used to adorn the hood and roof has flaked away, giving way to the undercoat of Bondo-like primer material and then to rust.
When I had it down here for a while hauling items, I parked it outside the office. Ken Hilton, the production manager and a car enthusiast, actually asked me to move it away from outside his window because it was painful to look at.
While I am not rich and famous, I do like where I am in my life. I have a beautiful loving wife. We have a large, sometimes loud dog who is very loving. We have a mostly loving cat who sometimes antagonizes the dog. Most times it is the other way around, but they love each other.
The fine folks of Baldwin County have embraced us and we have reciprocated. This is a wonderful place to live. The variety of the county is amazing — from the white sand beaches of the Gulf Coast to the rugged hills on the north end of the county. And I am still learning the history. Fort Mims will be celebrating the 200th anniversary of battle/massacre next month. The Battle of Blakeley was fought hours after Robert E. Lee surrendered, ending the Civil War. On the other end of the history spectrum, the city of Spanish Fort hasn’t even had its 20th birthday. That won’t happen until October.
My professional life has blossomed here as well. I have been given a chance to show my talent and skills, thanks in no small part to publisher Sudie Gambrell who went out on a limb to install a hack sports editor of a weekly paper as the senior editor overseeing all five Gulf Coast Newspapers.
A mere 15 months ago, I never could have imagined living here. I only thought of it as a place to visit on vacation. Now, it is hard to imagine living anywhere else.
But back to the song. “Ordinary Average Guy” was a hit for Joe Walsh in 1991, making it all the way to No. 3 on the Billboard Singles chart. I liked it when it came out. I thought of the song Tuesday night running barefoot in the backyard with Marcus (a.k.a. The Biscuit Thief). The Centipede grass is really coming in nicely in the back. I even had to raise the lawnmower last weekend. The grass is thick and lush in most places and a pleasure to walk on barefooted.
The reason I bring all this up is the second verse of the song says “And every Saturday we work in the yard/Pick up the dog doo/Hope that it’s hard (woof woof).” Well, I found some that night. That’s what happens to real folks I guess. At least real folks with big dogs who like special treats.
William Moore is the Senior Editor at Gulf Coast Newspapers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org