10 Random Things About Me

10 Random Things About Me

By George V. Howe

I remember when I joined Facebook in 2009, when it was still a means to re-connect with old friends and share photos with family members, a good friend had distributed a Top 10 list of anecdotes about themselves with a request to respond with the same. After reading hers, I thought to myself “wow, I didn’t know half of this stuff about you!” So, within that spirit, I offer a few things you may NOT know about me. Feel free to ask me to explain any of them…enjoy!

  1. When I was very young (like, fake badge and plastic billy-club young) I wanted to be a policeman like my father…until I saw him arrest someone. To put this into context, it was the early 1970’s, my father is an ex-Marine and not prone to a lot of meaningful dialogue when it comes to confrontation. Come to think of it, he’s 76 now and nothing has changed!
  2. I got kicked out of Hebrew School when I was 9…and I’m not Jewish. Most of my elementary school friends in New Jersey were Jewish and I had no one to play with after school, so (fast forward three months later) the Rabbi booted me because I was starting to read, write, and learn all things Judaic. My mother was not pleased with the Rabbi, which would make sense considering she was converting…to marry her 2nd husband, an Orthodox Jew. Mazel tov!
  3. By the time I was 14-years old I had lived in 8 different towns, which I thought was cool because it just meant a new set of friends every year…kind of like getting new sneakers. I was born and raised in New Jersey but moved to Massachusetts in 1980. It took only 6 months to say “cahhh” and “paahk”.
  4. Since the 4th grade, I dreamed of being a catcher for the Boston Red Sox and playing The Star Spangled Banner on my trumpet on Opening Day in Fenway Park. I always thought, in my mind at least, that I had the ability to do both but never followed through.
  5. I moved to New York City in 2002 and randomly became a Nike model for the 2002 NYC Marathon – billboards, taxicabs, buses, subway, my mug was everywhere. I was totally sick of myself by the time the ad campaign ended because every time I turned around there I was. I did, however, meet my wife the morning of the NYC marathon (November 3, 2002) in a bar on the Upper East Side and actually said, “hi, my name is George, I’m a Nike model!” Seriously…how cool am I? (Don’t answer that!)
  6. If a train leaves the station traveling at 60 mph and a second train leaves the station 20 minutes later traveling at 85 mph into a constant 10 mph headwind, what time will both trains arrive at their destination? I failed Algebra because of this question…twice! I pointed out to our math teacher Mr. Kelly that Amtrak is kind enough to post their departure and arrival times which would render this little query useless…he didn’t buy the argument.
  7. The scariest night of my life was “bat day” at Yankee Stadium, 1976, Red Sox vs. Yankees. You all remember bat days at the ballpark, right? The miniature bats they hand out to the first 25,000 fans who have drank at least 18 tall-boys prior to entering the park? My father and 50 of his Red Sox friends rented a bus from The Do Drop Inn (his bar in Englewood, NJ) and decided that bringing a 10-year old into HELL wearing a Red Sox batting helmet and Yastrzemski #8 shirt was a good idea. The other 60,000 bat-wielding Yankee enthusiasts disagreed!
  8. Cahoon Hollow Beach and the Wellfleet BeachComber remain one of my favorite places on earth. Well, that, and there’s a little grass hut/bar/taco stand about 400 miles down the Baja on the right hand side next to a Tecate sign…but that’s a totally different “10 Things” list. OH, and I forgot Amsterdam. Ok, so, Cahoon Hollow Beach and the Wellfleet BeachComber is my 3rd favorite place…I think!?
  9. I collect Surfing Monkeys (long story, involves Tijuana…not fit to print here!). In fact there is one in my office right now. My monkeys have been disappearing over the years - apparently my wife does not share my passion for gaudy Mexican ceramics.
  10. I once (maybe twice) rode a Green Line train from Park Street to Brighton while standing on the back of the train’s bumper holding on to the windshield wiper. Hey, it was the Reagan Years and they still hadn’t outlawed “happy hour” in Massachusetts.