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10 Interesting Things I’ve Experienced

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I’ve been to Hawaii five times!

This is a self-indulgent post. It’s all about me. If you can’t handle that, click the back arrow and be off to some other time-wasting page!

I’ve asked a lot of people who have traveled the world, “Where’s the most beautiful place you’ve been?” Many say Hawaii. Yes, I’ve been there, but I’ve never left the airport. We’d land just long enough for the planes to refuel and take off some direction across the Pacific. I’m not sure what to do with this. It’s just part of my journey.

By time you’re as long in the tooth as me, you will have racked up a few interesting experiences. (A lot of youngsters have, as well.) Because of my work, several of mine happen to be in exotic places. Yours may be more about relationships or extreme sports or accomplishments—or things that happen to you accidentally. No one on the planet has or will have a list similar to yours or mine.

Friends have told me some life stories that I still don’t believe even though I know they are true. We all have some. So I recently made a list of my own experiences and winnowed it down to the top ten.

  • Wore a chicken suit around a mall advertising for Chic-fil-A.
  • Played a baby grand piano on the stage of a ballroom/bomb shelter deep into a mountain of North Korea.
  • In the middle of the night, rolled the cadaver of an elderly woman into the morgue of the St. Louis hospital where the real exorcism case happened.
  • While Marcos was in power was chased by drunk “goons” with guns through a (thankfully) crowded market place in The Philippines. A year later they shot and killed one of the priests I had stayed with.
  • Felt a bomb go off in Guatemala. My cot shook from the blast.
  • Had my picture in People Magazine with Kenny Rogers (at the United Nations HQ).
  • Led the growth of a worthy nonprofit’s donations (through marketing) from $3 million to $90 million a year. This is one I’m proud of, and of the great folks on the team!
  • Picked up a live 6-foot rattlesnake with my bare hands in the Texas Hill Country.
  • Got slugged in the face during a road-rage incident. (Weird shit goes down in Waco, Texas!)
  • Performed an outdoor wedding on Halloween where all the guests wore costumes, from witches to killer bees. Due to someone’s miscalculation on when the sun set (something to do with daylight savings time), everyone had an extra hour to drink beer. This impacted the ceremony.

So here’s an invitation: First, make your own dang list. Then next time I’m in your town or you’re in mine, join me for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine or beer. Pick one of these you’d like to hear more about about. And be prepared to tell me about one of your interesting experiences. And do that with your other friends. Let’s hear each other’s stories!

Photo of proof: With Kenny and Marianne Rogers and Gary Gunderson.

3 Responses to 10 Interesting Things I’ve Experienced

  1. Sally August 27, 2015 at 10:35 am #

    Lots of great memories Tom!

  2. Coco August 27, 2015 at 11:19 am #

    Very cool.

  3. Catherine Peterson August 28, 2015 at 6:03 pm #

    Wow! I’m your sister and I didn’t know most of these crazy things!

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