Three examples of people I thought I had totally pegged but was dead wrong each time.
I was originally planning to write about erstwhile “Bad Boy” hockey player Ted Lindsay. But then I thought of two personal examples – I did not know Ted Lindsay personally; I just hated him from a distance – and I decided to include them all, to show how “snap judgments” about people can be egregiously “off the mark.”
Which, if you are scoring at home, is not good. (And even if you’re not.)
Ted Lindsay was a Hall of Fame “Left winger”, who amassed more penalty minutes for fighting than he did goals and assists. Lindsay was called “the dirtiest player in hockey” by fans of every team other than his own, where he was considered “gloriously combative.”
Years later, I learned of his integral contribution to creating the National Hockey League’s “Players’ Association”, the first accredited union in professional sports. (I think.) I then thought of him not just as a dirty player but as a dirty player who wanted more money.
I’m kidding. *
(* Reserved for borderline humorous pronouncements.)
I thought spearheading the NHL’s “Players’ Association” was great. Though I still disliked him for pummeling some Leafs.
It was only upon Ted Lindsay’s recent demise that I learned of his numerous charitable endeavors, most notably, establishing a foundation for the understanding and treatment of Autism.
My one-word response to this biographical tidbit:
(Which is two words. But they felt naturally like one.)
My longtime accountant Don, now retired, asked me to lunch, where he produced a copy of his self-published memoir, for my perusal and possible promotion in this venue.
“An Accountant’s Biography.”
My enthusiasm was muted.
Then I read Don’s book, where I learned that, in his twenties, Don had been immersed in the 60’s California music scene during its mythical heyday, where he not only saw perform but personally encountered the iconic likes of Jim Morrison (of The Doors), Van Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Stephen Stills, David Crosby, Neil Young, Glenn Frey, Three Dog Night, and numerous others, all before they attained glittering stardom.
My one word response to this eye-opening memoir:
My next door neighbor Harry (of a previous generation to mine, and possibly others as well.)
Harry was innately introverted, soft-spoken, and polite. Not an ounce of flashiness or flamboyance.
Okay. This guy I knew!
Then, during a neighborhood stroll, Harry revealed to me that in World War II, as a bombardier in the United States Air Force, on a lark, he and his crewmates had, first, “buzzed”, and then flown inside Mount Vesuvius.
My one-word response to this shocking revelation:
You just never know about people. For example, you’d be surprised to hear that, when I was 17, I swam alone across Lake Ontario.
No, I didn’t. That was Marilyn Bell. But if I had, your one-word response to that heroic achievement would have been:
What a difference a question mark makes.
By the way, Don’s evocative memoir, entitled, Rockin’ Through Troubled Waters is available for purchase on Amazon. In the “Reader’s Review” I contributed, I said Don was “… the ‘Designated Driver’ of the 60’s.” While others were totally “wasted” on something, Don (relatively) clear-headedly watched and remembered. And has now written it all down for our vicarious enjoyment.
Rockin’ Through Troubled Waters
Recommended by “Just Earl.”
If I had only done one thing.