This is an invitation to play along with me today. You’ll be glad you did.
This column was created while I was laying on the couch in our opulent living room/den combo trying to think of, well, a nifty column topic. Suddenly it hit me.
We all face important “firsts” in our respective lives, and I got to thinking about a few of mine.
So join me here. Let your mind flow freely and recall your many “firsts.” Get a pad and pencil, if you like.
(NON-EDITOR’S NOTE: If you want to privately share with me some of your more “personal firsts,” simply send me a blind-carbon of your email to your lawyer, psychiatrist, pastor, rabbi, or priest. My lips are sealed.)
The absolute most important “first” of my life was when I first laid eyes on Babe Margie. A bunch of us guys were filling our car at Eddie’s Gulf Station in her hometown of Bay City. At the same time, she and a group of her girlfriends pulled into the station.
There was an instant spark between us, particularly on her part. I found out who she was, and maybe like 10 days later, we went on our “first” date.
The rest is history. She soon became Girlfriend Margie, then Fiancée Margie, then Wife Margie.
Luckily Babe Margie and friends didn’t decide to fill up their auto at, say, a Texaco Station.
Can you believe that was 62 years ago – February 1958? Well, it was.
After our marriage (our “first” and only one) in 1960, our “first” home was in the old homeplace, Sweeny. We paid an exorbitant $35 per month rent. We were super happy, but super poor.
Our “first” child was Robin. All these years later, she still loves us.
The “first” major scare we encountered was when son Scott was born. He was delivered by caesarian and was “surgically removed” too soon, possibly by chainsaw. He only weighed 4 pounds. For two weeks he remained hooked up to a breathing machine in the hospital before finally being released.
We were scared crazy, but it all worked out fine. Amen.
Robin later (much later) married Steve Richards, and they co-produced our “first” grandchild, a beautiful little girl named Katie. Reid, Devin, and Falynn were next. We love them all more than the whole wide peanut, but Katie goes down in the family history book as our “first.”
Later we were privileged to take Katie on her “first” airplane trip. She was about 6 and flew with us to Lubbock to watch the Razorbacks beat the Red Raiders. Brother Mike and wife Judy were with us.
Katie and husband Christian Erikson gave us our “first” great-grandchild, Kamille. Connor, Collin, and Klaire followed.
On son Scott’s side, Falynn rewarded us with her “first” baby, a handsome boy named Cayden. Then came Coltyn.
See how much fun this is?
Speaking of the Razorbacks, the “first” time I saw them play in person I was about 10. They were in Houston to battle the Rice Owls, and my papa, J.P., took me there. It turned out to be more than a football game.
Years later I learned that Pete Sultis was a member of THAT Rice team. After coaching the Robert E. Lee Ganders, Pete went on to become Goose Creek CISD athletic director – and a dear, dear friend.
My “first” fulltime newspaper job was at The Brazosport Facts.
I was paid a livable (barely) $70 per week, plus 7 cents per mile for use of my car. Facts employees were paid once a week, on Friday, and if we had any money left on Thursday, we Finleyites treated ourselves to hamburgers at the same Freeport fast-food joint.
And if you’re interested, my “first” vote in a presidential election was for John F. Kennedy in November 1960.
I could go on, but High Sun Management keeps a tight leash on how many words I can write.
Now it’s your turn. Have fun.
Jim Finley is a retired managing editor of The Sun. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, Attention: Jim Finley.