20 Things About Me

Llona has unofficially tagged me and wants me to post 20 things about me. It may surprise you; it may scare you; it may not affect you. I don’t care. So, here goes nothing.

20 things that y’all don’t know about your friendly neighborhood public defender:

1. From 1972 to 1980, my family lived in a neighborhood that was one step above the projects (aka low-income housing).

2. From 1980 to 2000, my family and I lived in a double-wide mobile home.

3. During the early eighties, most of the food we had came from our garden.

4. Most of the clothes that I had during the eighties came from either Wal-Mart or from relatives.

5. There is a tip of a metal sewing needle inside of my right big toe.

6. In the 2nd grade, I was misdiagnosed as being emotionally handicapped (whatever the hell that means). I placed in special education for three years. I was tormented relentlessly by my classmates.

7. I have a speech impediment. I have a problem enunciating certain letter combinations. Also, when I excited, I tend to mumble. So, if I am taking my time speaking, it is because I want you to understand me.

8. I was close to death before I turned a year old. There was a weakness in the muscle lining between my crotch and my right leg. It was allowing my guts to protrude out. If I did not have a hernia surgery, I would have died.

9. If that was not enough to freak my parents out, I had a tendency to do back flips off the kitchen table when I was left in the baby carrier.

10. I have a terrible temper. When I was in elementary school, I turned it inward. I would pull out my hair and my eyelashes, especially when people would pick on me. As I got older, I was torn between thoughts of suicide or killing people. I came within a heartbeat of killing my older brother. It was back in 1989. I had gotten suspended from high school for a fight on the bus. At this time, my older brother viewed me as a disgrace to him and an embarrassment. He was physical and verbally abusing me. I lost it. I got my hunting rifle and loaded it. As I pointed it at him, a terrible sense of calm came over me. A destructive sense of peace, as it was. There was no fear; there was no anger; there was only a desire to kill him. Not only did I see the fear in his face, but I could smell his fear. He backed away from me and left the house. I put my gun away. Since that day, he has never laid a hand on me nor done anything to demean me. While the relationship between my brother and I has vastly improved since that day, that incident is still fresh in our memories.

11. I don’t have a gun in my house for obvious reasons.

12. For most of my childhood, I was raised in a fundamentalist, evangelical, independent baptist church. We did not shop at grocery stores that sold beer or wine. We did not patron restaurants that sold beer and wine. Fine dining for us was going to Ryan’s steakhouse. What is funny is that my mom is the person in Dacula that approves liquor licenses to businesses. You cannot tell me that God does not have a sense of humor.

13. When I was eight, my next door neighbors had a hog pin that was directly across from our house. For fun, we would jump into the pin and piss off the hogs.

14. I am one generation removed from farmers. I have picked and shucked a number of ears of corn. I have hoed a number of rows of beans, peas, and tomatoes to last me a lifetime. Also, I have picked my fair share of said items. However, I admire farmers and their dedication.

15. Despite my love for UGA, I actively considered attending two other schools. The first one was Boston University in Boston. They offered me a full scholarship. I turned it down because I wanted to go to school in Atlanta. I was going to attend Emory University in Atlanta. However, my family and I was poor and I could not afford it. I went to UGA as a last resort.

16. I actually know a Pulitzer Prize author, Ed Larson. He was the professor that taught me property at UGA. He thought I would make a great property law attorney. I kinda took a different path.

17. I have only flown in a airplane once in my life. It was back in 1991 to go to the National High School Mock Trial Competition in New Orleans.

18. I love to drive, especially on the back roads and country highways of this state.

19. I love to take pictures of headstones. Some of them are works of art.

20. My parents are still married.

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