Life List

I found this web site, a wiki actually, where folks can post their life list–supposedly the things you want to do before you die. I’m supposed to list stuff until I reach 100. Not there yet, but I’m on a roll.

Now I’ve got to actually DO some of this stuff. The wiki’s FAQ doesn’t let me know how I’m supposed to pull that trick off. (Maybe Apple has an app. for that?) The wiki’s only clue is that other life listers can post comments. (So can my four or five regular blog readers).

Phil’s Life List

1) Read the Bible (and educate my agnostic, cynical mind.)

2) Ride my bike, walk or swim everyday

3) Write a short story

4) Write a screenplay

5) Write a novel

6) Write a non-fiction book about my grandfather

7) Visit Pincher Creek, Alberta–grandfather’s ranch

8) Say “I Love You” to my wife everyday

9) Prove it to her everyday

10) Take a class in Tai Chi

11) Relax on a tropical beach in the sun

12) Climb Blue Mountain in the Adirondacks

13) Learn how to kayak

14) Write at least one letter to all friends and relatives each year (not just at Christmas!)

15) Take a college course in Literature (and read the assignments this time!)

16) Learn to play the guitar

17) Play in a rock ‘n’ roll band


6 thoughts on “Life List

  1. So many reasons:

    1) I was born on his birthday, so I was named after him, sparing me the life-long ignominy of my parent’s first choice: Cameron.

    2) He lived an interesting life, spanning the 19th and 20th centuries. He grew up on a horse ranch just outside Alberta–adjacent to a Blackfoot Native reservation. The stories of life in the west, with horses and natives–they would make me and my cousins’ little heads spin.

    3) But he could make your head spin with ANY story– a born raconteur and storyteller. He had millions of them. His yarns about selling school buses in the middle of the depression were amazing (and on first blush, you wouldn’t think that was the case.)

    4) He often sang, played the guitar and banjo to accompany his stories–he had millions of them too. Cowboy campfire songs, American standards. The only thing we ever argued about, boy did he hate that rock ‘n’ roll!

    5) I still think his greatest talent was as an author of light verse, the sort of doggerel poetry of Ogden Nash. His letters to us kids when we were sick were masterpieces, read now. Back then, it was just Grampa Becker making us feel better. I framed my original copy of his letter to me when I was recuperating from tonsil surgery, urging me to look on the bright side–unlimited amounts of pudding and ice cream!

    6) My aunt (his daughter and family historian) recently sent me a copy of a poem that my Grampa wrote when he was 10 years old. It was so beautiful that it made me cry–his talent seems to have been innate, rather than learned.

    7) On my first day of school in 1966 he gave me this photo.

    The inscription on the back reads: My father took this picture of “Prince” and me on
    the way to school. Buffalo Ranch, Pincher Creek, Alberta, Canada. May 1909 11 years old.

    8) He wasn’t some stuffed shirt either. He coined hundreds of phrases to describe farts–much to the dismay of the grownups (and merriment of the kids.)


  2. Oh, one last thing. Until my cousin Tom’s second marriage in the early 1990’s added another to the fold, my Grampa and me were the family’s only Democrats! He must be where I inherited my concern for the oppressed and working class–since the rest of the family were professional class, suburban Republicans.


  3. NYCO

    Have you ever thought about writing a one-man play about your grandfather? Some subjects lend themselves to that easily.

    (But that would be adding something else to your list, wouldn’t it…)


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