Friday, January 11, 2013

My Dreams and How I've Fulfilled Them

Dreams.  My dreams specifically.  How I've fulfilled them.  Or have I?

Most of us dream of something big when we are young.  Something "big" for ourselves.  We set our expectations for life and then set out to reach those goals. And then life happens and we make adjustments to those goals and attitudes about life. At least I think that happens for most people. 

I only honestly remember one dream - and that was twofold. Part one was pitching a no-hitter in game 7 of the World Series with part 2 being hitting a walk-off home run in the last of the ninth to win the game 1-0. No more Bobby Thompson's shot heard round the world - it'd be little Butchie Higgins everyone remembered - Butch being my neighborhood and home nickname and at the time I used my mom's maiden name as my sperm donor was nowhere to be found.

Alas the gap between dream and athletic prowess was sufficiently wide that my dream expired on the HS ball fields in Hayward California. I settled for 4 no hitters in Senior League (Little Legue for 13-16 year olds) and leading the league in home runs and strikeouts (as a pitcher) 2 years in a row. I even struck out 20 of 21 batters in one of those no-hitters. (I should point out that at 13 I was already 6'2" and about 230 - I am now 6'2" and a few X's more) Seems I was built more for football than baseball and was a better wrestler than either of the former.

Beyond that I had few - if any - dreams that I can recall. I just assumed things would work our for me.  Maybe I should have dreamed more.  Ya see - things always came fairly easy for me.  Even though I was - and to a degree remain painfully shy - I always assumed I'd end up with a family.  Mission accomplished. Non-dream fulfilled.

I never worried about money.  I always earned plenty. Until the day that stopped being true. And that was a bit of a shock. I was always one of the smartest kids in class - why would I ever have trouble making money? I always had a job.  Kept my friends and I in beer working at Sears - after spending the requisite time in fast-food hell at McDonalds and Jack in the Box.

School always came easy.  I was usually bored in class.  Perhaps I was an early poster child for ADD.  Or maybe just lazy.  But always bored.

I stumbled into a job I actually enjoyed in 1977. That's when I started working for a large electronics retailer that became the source of my current nickname and several people I am happy to count as close friends. I loved music and audio stuff and I actually made money selling it.   Not a dream but a positive step forward. Never got rich, usually made enough to get by. Still working there and due to circumstances beyond my control retirement is not in the cards.  I'll go just like Robert B Parker - an author fave of mine.

Fast forward to 2013.  Little Butchie Higgins (and those of you on Facebook can see me back then) is now  Chuck McConvey - aka shackman - and life's been interesting to say the least. Married to the same person for 41 years.  There're 2 kids, 5 grandkids with one more on the way just announced. The family? Dysfunctional as hell but a family none the less.

There's a BA in Political Science.  Real useful in electronics.  Maybe I'll finish my novel and the writing skills that got me through college will mean something.  Or not.  I have an interesting story mapped out - I kinda hope I finish it. It's one I'd read if I saw it on a bookshelf.

So what's my point?  I guess it's to say that dreams did not get me here.  I can honestly say that my choice of friends did.  Early on I was part of a great group of over achievers and I willingly rode along with them, picking up notions of right/wrong, work ethic and the like from a future dentist, airline pilot, architect and civl servant.  Along the way I acquired a philosopher fossil digger/computer programmer, an Indian guru, a quirky multimillionaire jewboy (he laughs heartily at that description), a bestselling songwriter from the sixties and sundry writers and philosophers from around the world.   

And when I look at it that way I'd say dreams be damned - this way has not been bad at all.

Of course there's some appropriate musical commentary. Just can't help myself so for me I offer this little ditty from 1969:

And then there's this for the Doc Fords, Thomlinsons, McGees and Meyers amongst us
Check out how the other member of the LBC feel about this topic - which came to us via Maris - the Silver Fox -  Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Maxi, Maria SF, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, The Old Fossil and Will



  1. You strike me as the practical type, rather than as a dreamer. Perhaps I'm wrong of course. I very often am. But I don't think so this time.

    1. I think you're right Maria. At least I try to be anyway.

  2. Struck out 20 of 21 batters? Go Shackman!! Six two and 230 at 13? Holy cow, you had somethin' goin' on.
    Blessings to you ~ Maxi

  3. This post on top of all that I have been learning about you makes it more obvious that you and I have a great deal in common. I think that, that factor is what makes us relate to each other so well. You are one hell of a fellow Shackman and I am proud to call you my friend.

  4. Someone was famously (though I can't remember who) described as "modest, with a lot to be modest about."
    That's not you. Modest, yes. But sure sounds like a good life of which to be proud.

  5. I've been having internet connection problems. I tried to leave a comment the other day, but it wouldn't take. :S Anyway, I started a book years ago, but haven't really been able to figure out how to get it published. Maybe some day. :)

  6. Colorful! I like the shy part! Lovely post--I feel as if you were talking to me in person!