Something the wonderful Julie said in her comments the other day got me thinking about this. The odd, random stuff that comes up in conversation sometimes. The little things that you never would have guessed about someone-- even someone you know well. I decided to dig around in my personal closet and see if I can find a few to share.
I was in the marching band in high school. I played the flute. I still have it, but I don't play it much anymore. Whenever I do, it scares the cat. In my four years we won the state competition twice and marched in two national parades-- the Orange Bowl parade and the Fiesta Bowl parade.
My favorite TV show as a kid was The Dukes of Hazzard. The Best Christmas Ever was the year when it fell on a Friday, and therefore it was both Christmas and Dukes of Hazzard day all in one. (Although I don't remember actually watching the show that day. But I sure do remember being excited about it!) I had the hugest crush on Bo Duke.
I finaled in the first RWA chapter contest I ever entered-- West Houston RWA's Emily. I was 22 and at my first RWA meeting. Everyone kept talking about the Emily, but no one actually said what it was. As the meeting broke up I approached someone-- it turned out to be a pre-published NYT Bestselling Author Kerrelyn Sparks-- and asked what the Emily was. She said, "It's our chapter contest. You have to enter!" So I did. One judge gave me a perfect score. Another wrote in the comments that she felt I was ready for publication. Almost 15 years later and it's still the most success I've had with my writing. I never did finish that book.
My grandmother was one of the first people ever on TV. She worked in Philadelphia for a company that was developing the technology. They needed something to broadcast, so they got their employees together and had a talent show. My grandmother sang. (When she wasn't typing or running a switchboard at her day job, she was a professional church soloist.) Somewhere we have an album with the group photo from her television performance. Based on the family stories I did a little googling, and I think this is what she did. I'm pretty sure she worked for Philco. I'd ask my parents to be sure, but they're asleep right now. ;p
I inherited musical talent from the other side of the family, too. My great grandfather was an orchestra leader in Philadelphia. One day he was walking down the street with his wife when he said, "Someday I'm going to play trumpet in that church." Her response was reportedly, "Honey, that's not our church. Plus, you don't play the trumpet." So he learned. And damned if he didn't play trumpet there professionally one day.
I've been in, I believe 36 out of 50 states. I've lived in 5 of them-- Pennsylvania, Iowa, Texas, Indiana, and Massachusetts. I've lived in two of them twice-- Indiana and Texas. I've made brief forays into the edges of Canada and Mexico (pre-9/11, when you didn't need a passport to cross the border), but other than that I've never left the country. If I could go anywhere in the world, and silly things like cost, my physical limitations, and the political situation were no barrier, I'd go to see the monuments of Egypt. It would be cool to see England someday, too. But if I could only go one place, it would be Egypt.
I never met my paternal grandmother. She died shortly before I was born. But she did come to me once, in a dream. My grandfather, who had died a couple years before, was with her. I was in high school and one of my best friends had died. In the dream Mom Mom and Pop Pop were holding hands, and they told me that it was OK, that I didn't have to worry anymore. Jasper was there, he was safe, and they were looking out for him. I woke up crying.
My parents were both juniors. So when they got married they decided that their children would not be named after anyone. I am Rebecca Lynn and my brother is Jeremy Daniel. (I insisted on the Daniel. In fact, according to my parents, I never called him anything but My Jeremy Daniel for the first year of his life.) Being their first child, Mom and Dad recorded the calls they made to friends and family announcing my birth. Somewhere, in one of these million and a half boxes we just hauled half way across the country, there is a recording of some great aunt somewhere saying, "Rebecca Lynn? What kind of name is Rebecca Lynn?"
When I was a kid my dad used to tease me and tell me that he'd wanted to name me Agnella Blossom, but my mom wouldn't let him.
Every year we put our Christmas tree up on Christmas Eve. (Except for this year when we're going to do it a few days early to make things a little less stressful.) When we were little Santa put up the tree. Once we got a little older we were allowed to help put up the tree as a way to help Santa out. All those millions of other kids to get to, you know.
My brother believed in Santa until late in his elementary years. In fact, at 32 I still haven't ever heard him admit that he isn't a real, flesh and blood man who comes down the chimney to deliver presents once a year. (Hey, my brother ain't dumb. As the pillow sitting on my couch right now says, "Those who don't believe get underwear.")
I learned the basics of knitting from my grandmother as a kid. She also took a stab at teaching me to crochet the summer before she died. I wouldn't say it was all that successful if my aim was to learn to crochet. But as a way to spend time together and be close, it was excellent.
The summer between my freshman and sophomore years in college I started picking up large print books my grandparents at the library. The first time it was the whim of a moment, and I wasn't really sure what they would like. So I got an assortment of books, whatever caught my eye. They loved it. It turned out they liked "the cat books" best. (I think they were The Cat Who books by Lilian Jackson Braun.) What they liked even better, though, was that their granddaughter was interested enough to pick up books for them. Every week or two I'd pick up the old ones and come back with some new stuff. There always had to be at least three. Granddad read faster than Grandmom did, and with only two books they'd fight over who got to read what, when. They were pills.
Well, that's... quite a lot actually about me and my family. I don't know if they really rise to the level of mysteries. They're perfectly well known to me, obviously. But I thought they were interesting tidbits, at least.
What about you? Anything interesting you'd like to share? Write your own blog post if you'd like, and then give us the link in the comments. I'd love to hear something new and mysterious about you, too!