I turned 50 this month, a half a century old. I know that many of my high school class mates, friends, and people I don’t know also turned 50…but this blog is all about me
Over the last 50 years I’ve seen a lot. Changes in flight, technology, cars, politics, and women. I’ve watched countries rise and fall, man land on the moon, space shuttles blow up, and kids die for no reason. I’ve seen home prices rise from $20,000 for a three bedroom home to $120,000 and back down. I’ve seen politicians lie, cheat, steal, and deny they did it, I’ve seen computers change from the size of a small room to something we fit in our pockets, but what is most important are the changes in mankind.
I have watched and read in horror what “man” can do to another individual, individuals who fly planes into buildings for their “God,” I’ve watched “man” come to the aid of another in the time of trials and tribulations, I’ve seen “man” do horrible things, and also do things for the love of another…man is his own best friend, and his own worst enemy.
I think back to the simple things in life. Back when I was in elementary school I would walk home for lunch, now I wouldn’t let the kids walk two blocks away. We used to play outside until late into the summer evenings, now I want all my kids inside safe. We used to ride our bikes to the mall five miles away, now I worry when the kids ride down the street. I remember when I was 11 years old and my dad gave his tickets to the Denver Nuggets playoff games when they played in the old Auditorium Arena downtown. We waited outside on 15th street after the game got done at 9:30 at night waiting for my mom to come pick me up. Now I wouldn’t let my kids be left outside of their own high school after a game. Man can be his own worst enemy.
I would love to say that I am a wonderful individual, but I am one filled with my own issues. I’ve been married twice, good friends with my first ex, and if God blesses me with one miracle that would be to never see the second ex. I found Christ and his love for me back in 1984, thanks to an old girlfriend. I can look back upon my life and see the many times God has blessed me. I’ve been able to watch my kids grow up every day, I’ve had no way to pay the house payment, when a friend said they needed to give this check to me, I’ve survived rolling a Dodge Durango three times down I-70 and only received two scratches on my head, I’ve made bad decisions when God has given me multiple doors to open, I’ve made right ones with those same opportunities, I’ve owned over twenty different cars, a couple of different homes, been in debt over my head and also debt free. I have torn apart cars and put them back together, I’ve raced cars at Bandemire Raceway every Friday night for two years straight, and yes I’ve raced cars down 16th when it was a street and down south broadway. Even ran away from the police when we they were after us for racing down broadway. I’ve tried skiing, snowboarding, I’ve ran 5 and 10k races, rode my bike 36 miles everyday for a month, now I’m into kayaking and hopefully surfing. I’m a afraid of heights, but I climb mountains. I hate to fly, but have accumulated more than 15,000 miles this year in the air.
I had the pleasure of seeing a lot of great bands and people in concerts over the years. I got to see Cheap Trick, Blackfoot, REO Speedwagon, Sammy Hagar (in the old Fey Sun-day concert series), Robin Williams, Firefall, The Dirt Band, Amy Grant, Michael W Smith, Mike Rayburn, ELO (twice), Bee Gees (yes I saw the Bee Gees), Gallagher, Wind Machine (three times), Kyle Cease, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Graham, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Fleetwood Mac (which I slept through…so that may not count), Moody Blues, Air Supply, and all of these people and groups were in the Old Mile High stadium, McNichols Sports Arena (Big Mac), Folsum Field, Moby Arena, Rainbow Music Hall, and of course Red Rocks!
I’ve been to Bronco’s games, Nuggets, Rockets (before they were the Nuggets), Bears (before we had the Rockies), Rockies (the baseball team), Rockies (the NHL team), Avalanche (indoor soccer), the Caribu/Dynamo (NASL Soccer), the Mammoth, the Crush, the USFL Denver Gold, and numerous college games. I was there the last home game of the NHL Rockies when we tied Montreal…came to work the next day with no voice. I was at the longest Nuggets/NBA game in history, again with no voice the next day. I got to sit behind Doug Moe and listen to his yelling and “talking” to the refs, I got to watch some of the best football and basketball players ever…play in Denver. I was at the playoff game back in 1977 when Denver played Pittsburgh which sent us to the super bowl. I was at a Denver game when they played Green Bay…you could not see the field it was snowing so hard…all at the old Mile High. The new one doesn’t compare. For those that never got to sit and feel that old stadium shake under 75,000 people will never understand the term Rocky Mountain Thunder. The new one just doesn’t compare. I’ve been to a regional NCAA basketball tournament and to the Final Four when it was in Denver. I tired out for the Denver Avalanche (indoor soccer) back in 1981 and the Denver Gold back in 1983….didn’t make either one. I got to I’ve played basket ball with John Elway back in 83, I have Steve Foley’s (THE best corner back in Denver history in my opinon) picture and autograph, Jim Turner’s picture and autograph, I got to shake hands and get my picture with Glenn “Mooch” Myrick (Rapids and US MNT Assis. coach) before he passed away. I got to talk about high school sports with April Henrichs (US WM Nat Team Player and Coach) when she came to Mesa State (we went to the same high school), and I’ve had the pleasure of watch hundreds of college kids play their sports they love.
I’ve also had the pleasure to coach at least a hundred kids in the Grand Junction area about soccer and how to love the game. In one way or another I have been associated with soccer for almost 32 years, as a player, coach, referee, and yes soccer parent. I’ve been thrown out of a soccer game once…all because of my ex wife…not because of me. I’ve had teams with losing seasons, and we had a blast. I’ve had teams that have gone undefeated and won every tournament we entered, and had a blast. But what is most important is that all three of my kids blessed me with allowing me to be apart of their soccer careers in some way. I loved watching each one of them and their teams play. Each one of them have their own special talents and skills, which I think is great. Each one played competitive soccer and varsity soccer. Each one played very different positions. Each one was an individual. Scott had speed like you never seen, Chris could keep possession of the ball better than anybody, and Madi could do throw ins down the field with distance and accuracy like an NFL quarterback. I was at my son’s side when he was kicked in the head at a game in Denver, with my other son when the goal fell and knocked him out cold, and with my daughter when she broke her leg. I wouldn’t have missed any of them for the all the money in the world.
I’ve gotten to know my parents, grandparents, and a great-grandmother, which I wouldn’t have traded any of that for the world. Because of facebook, I’ve reconnected with aunts, cousins, and other family members, high school friends, and old girlfriends. Because of the internet, I’ve been able to keep on top of the illness of an ex-nephew of mine up until God took him home in heaven on my birthday. As much as that hurt the family, which I cannot begin to imagine the pain they are feeling, he passed away on my birthday and is now pain free playing football with God.
As I reflect back, I have some great decision and some bad ones. Yes I wish I would have joined the navy back when I was 18. Sorry mom you never knew about that. Yes, I wish I had fought harder for my marriage in 2000. Yes, I am happy we had three kids, Yes, I should have left Mesa a year earlier, and Yes, coming to Monterey Bay was a good decision. Overall its been a good life. I am not sure when the good Lord will take me home and talk to me about my life…but I know I will face him with honesty, and my head held high. But I am not necessarily ready to go…I have a bucket list and it isn’t close to being complete. I still want to climb a few more mountains with my son. I want to walk my daughter down the isle, and I want to watch my other son be happy in his career…and yes I want to finish this damn doctorate!
In the end none of that matters, what will matter to me is how God will look at me, how my relationship with my kids is, and the impact I can have on others…and hopefully I can bring some of you to Christ before I leave this earth!!