Monday, October 22, 2012

There was a time....

Dumb looks are free
Here's a photo of me that I didn't know existed until last year, when Ken Mantlo, a one-time buddy of mine, scanned and e-mailed it to me.  It was taken at his parents' house in Albuquerque, probably in the summer of 1981 (when I was twenty-two), although I don't remember the occasion.  It obviously isn't a particularly flattering portrait, but it reflects a time when I still had a fair amount of self-regard -- something that several failed dating relationships, together with a disastrous first semester of law school in the fall of 1983, caused to dissipate.  At the time, I was a recently returned missionary who, despite not having concrete plans for the future, nonetheless considered the world to be full of possibilities.

I look back on that summer with some fondness, as it was the last truly carefree time of my lifeI was having a lot of fun attending the local singles ward and going to all the young-adult activities, and my "filthy" summer job -- bagging fertilizer at a plant in the South Valley -- blessedly ended after a couple of weeks, when my brother Roger (who had worked there for five years and had gotten me the job) had a fistfight with the boss arising from a disagreement over some tools that one of the other employees had stolen.  Things changed abruptly that fall, when I went back to BYU for what turned out to be my last year there; my brother Kelly got me a job working at Utah Valley Hospital as a "respiratory equipment technician," which had me working 12-hour shifts every Saturday and Sunday.  My work schedule, combined with the fact that I was rooming with Ken, Tracy Carroll, and a football player from Washington state named Bub Mathews -- none of whom worked or was nearly as serious about school as I was -- made that an extremely tough year for me and played a large part in my not ever going back to BYU.  I'm still left wondering where the intervening thirty-plus years went!