Somewhere along the line something went wrong. Or right. At the age of eleven or twelve I had a master plan. I was gonna go to Florida State University after a distinguished high school career based on being a big football star. Scholarships would surely be involved. I think that the school selection was probably based on the natural beauty of all the moss draped oaks as I would gaze out the window of the Greyhound on the way to Birmingham for the summer. I seem to make decisions based on that kind of information and data today, too.
After college, of course, I would need to serve my country. Jet pilot in the air force seemed right.
Bachelorhood was obvious for a playboy lifestyle and I would always ride a motorcycle instead of being tied down to a car. Of course I was planning to race cars, probably for my livelihood. Winning at Indianapolis was a definite plan. Fuel dragsters were somehow in the scheme, too, but that one wouldn't get as much attention for a few more years.
At the tender age of eight I had seen To Hell And Back, the Audie Murphy story. Actually I saw it seven times in a week. It was the more or less true story of America's most decorated war hero from WW II, the big one. He had slipped off his Texas farm at fourteen, lied about his age and shipped out to the front to fight for democracy and glory. Somehow this was the catalyst for me.
Turns out that Elvis had planted another seed. Of course he was a god and that one seemed farfetched compared to fast jets and race cars. I could never quite shake that one, though.
Then the Beatles turned my head around and I never looked back. They were humans. Mortals. They had crooked teeth and girls screamed at the mention of their names. They played Chuck Berry songs!
Audie Murphy was a war hero, then a movie star. He died young, a troubled drunk.
I do what I do.