Monday, November 12, 2007


I have a couple of guidelines on risk in my life.

1. When I was 12, Charlie Swanson's mother slipped in the bathroom, banged her head on the tub and died. I remember how sad Charlie was at the funeral -- but what I took from that tragedy was that life was not really safe even if you never left the house.

2. Thirty years ago, my friend Dean Flood got very drunk, got into his truck, drove down the Fir Island Road, and crashed into a telephone pole -- he's been in a wheelchair ever since, and nerve damage prevents him from speaking clearly. The lesson here is that if you're going to take a risk, at least make it a little interesting, because Dean ruined his body and didn't even come home with a cool adventure story to tell.

3. What I told me son, when he was a teenager. "Get in your own trouble." Meaning, if you're going to screw up, at least let it be your own plan, and not be following someone else's path to hell.

4. What my mother said -- she's gone from this earth 11 years now, but she said, "There's no such thing as security."

5. Advice for my friend, pictured here -- It's enough to be in Iraq -- I hope you're not looking for trouble on top of that.

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