Tuesday, December 26, 2006


I’ve been “tagged” by J.P. Rangaswami to reveal 5 little known things about myself, and then to tag five other bloggers. Here goes:

1)      I may be the oldest person named for the 40th president of the United States. I’m older than Ron Reagan, Jr. Of course, Ronald Reagan wasn’t president yet when my mother latched onto the name, he wasn’t even the head of the actors union. My mother thought he was a non-starter as an actor & that all that would remain soon enough was this wonderful first name. She used to tell me (and everyone else) this tale regularly when he still hosted GE Theater and did Borax commercials in the 1950s. When Reagan ran for governor, my mother stopped telling the story. When he ran for president, she started denying it.

2)      On the morning of my second day on my first job post-college, I successfully negotiated the peaceful surrender of an escaped convict from San Quentin.

3)      I learned how to use computers (1982) before I learned to drive (1988). An everyday occurrence nowadays – my boys were gaming before they were four – but unheard of in my age cohort. [However, poets not driving, e.g. Robert Duncan or Jack Gilbert, or being slow to learn, like myself or David Bromige, is not as uncommon as you might think. When I finally took my first real driving lesson, my instructor had just come from a student named Ishmael Reed.]

4)      I’m the son of a cop. My father served on the Oakland and Albany police forces in the late 1940s & early ‘50s. Neither job ended well.

5)      My secret guilty pleasure is the TV series Mythbusters, which follows a team of special effects artists checking out such life-or-death questions as what is the role of nucleation in the effect of Mentos dropped into a bottle of Diet Coke. Among other things, Mythbusters need for safe places to wreck cars, explode any manner of items or pulverize the show’s cult mascot, crash-test dummy Buster, forces it to use the best locale shots of the Bay Area since the early days of Streets of San Francisco.

My five tags here go out to Jonathan Mayhew, Eileen Tabios, Jordan Davis, Joseph Massey and K. Silem Mohammad.


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