Monday, November 28, 2005

Talking About Myself for a Change

When people use their blogs mostly to talk about themselves and their lives, it’s usually boring. So normally I eschew that in favor of more entertaining and educational ventures.

And this Friday I promise to post about a big subject in many people’s minds today: war.

But with my wedding coming up in about three weeks, I thought that just for once I could discuss where I’ve been and how I got here. It’s my blog, after all.

To save you a lot of time talking about what a dork I was as a kid (I have pictures to prove it, but not in digital format), or how cool I thought I was in high school wearing my fedora and driving around in my Towncar smoking cigars and listening to (*gasp*) Kid Rock, I’ll start at my college days.

The Early College Chapter

When I got to college I was already cool, as you can plainly see from this picture.
(This is the best excuse for a goatee I could come up with.)
That was taken my freshman year with my spiffy webcam, which I have never installed on my new computer. That year and the next I skipped a lot of classes, watched a lot of movies and played a lot of Starcraft. My usual day had me waking up at noon or one and finally going to sleep any time from three to six thirty in the morning.
I was very much into body modification.
Moving counterclockwise from bottom left: my first piercing in my lobe, given to me by my friend Adam, my second piercing which I gave myself in the bathroom of my dorm, and the cartilage piercing I got at Wal-Mart.

And finally, the eyebrow piercing I gave myself in my dorm room sophomore year.
And let’s not forget my three tattoos. Here’s the evolution of one of them:

I was definitely a dork, as I am now, and probably a rebel. Check out this badass ring, or something, which my friends and I affectionately called the “Death Claw”:

And let’s not forget the goofing around I did, this time with a guy named Dan.

(Yes, I painted my fingernails black.)

The Walter Fisette Chapter

But that all changed when I started working for Walt. He had been in the moving business for thirty-some years, and he always had something to say about everything. He appreciated all kinds of people and could get along with anyone. I worked with him for two summers, and they were probably the best two summers of my life. We moved doctors, pastors, power company workers, soldiers, and even a cattle baron. We went to Albuquerque, New Mexico; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Billings, South Dakota; Iowa City, Iowa, and Manhattan, Kansas; among other places. It was hard work, but rewarding, to lift all kinds of heavy stuff, emptying a whole house, and then helping someone start anew. Walt in many ways convinced me to realize my potential and stop screwing around. By the way, in that picture he is driving in a parade in a truck for the Orphan Grain Train, a charity that helps a lot of people, mostly in Russia. He drove the first truck ever for that charity.

Over Thanksgiving break my junior year I was helping him with another move, this time in York, Nebraska. A day (or was it two?) before Thanksgiving, we were sitting in the truck waiting for it to warm up. I was lying in the top bunk trying to get some sleep before we left. And Walt was having a bad case of acid reflux, so he was waiting for it to subside before departing. He couldn’t get over how bad the pain was, and he thought he was going to throw up. He said, “Harold, get a bag, quick!” (Harold was a long-time helper of Walt’s.) After that he passed out and started gurgling. His wife Louise started administering CPR (she’s an RN) and Mike, another helper (Walt said he’s good for a day or two, but if you work past four or work him for more than two days he’s worthless), dialed 911. The ambulance arrived and took him away. I went home, with blind and complete faith in our medical professionals and the advancement of medical science. I got a call from Dennis (my dad’s best friend from high school and a dispatcher for Andrew’s Van Lines) a few hours later. He asked me how I was doing. I said I was ok. He said he thought I’d take it worse than that. It was then that he informed me Walt had died at the ripe young age of 52.

I’m not really sure what to say about that.

At the funeral, I cried. Clayton Andrew, the 90-some-odd-year-old owner of Andrew’s, stood up and talked about what a great, reliable guy Walt was, and how he will be missed. Other people stood up and talked about how he knew a lot of things and could talk your ear off, and about how he really cared about what he was doing and knew that he was working with people’s lives. Harold, the quiet-spoken farmboy, however goofy-looking he may be, looked nice in a suit. Louise handled it well, I think. I even met Walt’s mother and sister. His mother has the most beautiful German accent, and it’s rare to see someone that sad. His sister has Downs syndrome, and I don’t think she completely grasped what was happening.

Walt had a huge impact on my life. Not many people can say that about their boss at a college job. He’s certainly much better than the lying bitches who smoke every fifteen minutes and meth manufacturers that I worked for and with at the deli in Pac ‘N Save.

One last thing:
On the way from Seward (my college town) to Hadar, Nebraska, for Walt’s funeral, it was probably the most beautiful day I have ever seen. The ground was covered in pristine white snow and the trees were lovingly frosted by a benevolent God.

Finally, to My Bride-To-Be

I was already dating Laura at the time Walt died. She knew how hard it was for me.
She has continued to be a good influence on me in Walt’s stead. Just look at how much more clean-cut I am in the picture. She loves me, and I love her. She’s a good small-town Nebraska girl, and she’s smart. And most importantly, she loves dogs almost as much as I do. What more could I possibly ask for? Now she has her BSN and is working as an RN. She ultimately gave the suggestions that put me over the edge and made me decide to go to law school.

And now look at me.
I’m all clean-cut and dressed up with nowhere to go. Of course, that’s because I took the picture after oral arguments for Legal Writing class. And check out the samurai sword set and the bamboo. And that amazing receding hairline! What could be sexier than a bald man in a suit wielding a katana in one hand and a legal textbook in the other?

Well, that’s it. I’ll try not to talk about myself for a while, if only to keep people coming back to the blog.


  1. I was pretty sure from visiting your blog that you were a nice guy. Now i see my intuition was right.
    It is good to acknowledge those people who have made a positive impact in your life. They are most important guides on this journey of life.

  2. Excellent post! I love the piercings and the tattoos. I've two tattoos, which can't be seen when I'm in court, but the earring hole closed up during my first jury trial, and I never re-pierced it.

    Occupational hazard, I guess :)

  3. At least your brother will probably go bald before you. Just a guess. Anyway, congrats.

  4. I didn't expect anyone to actually comment on this post. Thanks, everyone, for your responses and encouragement.

  5. Did you really have to subject my readers to that observation?

    . . .

    Yes, I suppose you probably did.