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A Revisitation of Independence Day

Updated on June 17, 2015

Back in Law School

In 2000, my law school colleague,Turkey Boy, and I trekked a mile into the deep wilderness of Yosemite. We followed a river trail and eventually set up a tent. Turkey Boy had failed the bar twice and he was determined to combine our camping journey with a major study session. He sprawled out upon a boulder and memorized 300 pages for 14 hours straight. He studied one of a dozen or so volumes for the bar that day. (We had supposedly already mastered all 12 volumes throughout four years of law school, although my memory certainly does not engender a retaining wall!) I don’t think Turkey Boy changed his seemingly lounging position on that sun-drenched rock nor got up the entire duration. He must have a bladder of steel!

Turkey Boy and I played tennis for seemingly half hour increments in law school due to my self-imposed pressure of getting back to the library’s vicinity. We “cluster-spouted” the cumulative effect from ingesting a whole loaf of Tillamook cheese in his poor Volkswagon, and we even were awarded a red and furry, Jerry Garcia Fox at a Sacramento Kings basketball game.

I remember proposing a bet that the fox should be awarded to the fellow amongst the two of us who might first get hitched. I flew out for Turkey Boy’s wedding in Illinois. I remember driving his Taiwanese in-laws around the tortuous roads of Rockford for the first time in the dark, while simultaneously engaging them in an introductory conversation. Nevertheless, we ended up safe, sound, and even somewhat enlightened, given the circumstances.

Perseverance

Turkey Boy was an excellent student, despite leading quite the well-rounded life during his law school tenure. He unflinchingly studied upon that rock to become an attorney because he knew that he could command the earning power to support a future family. He refused to give up after his first two failed attempts at the bar. A large boulder on a riverbed is literally and figuratively a foundation of stability amidst the unpredictable flow of life.

Husband and Wife Superstars

Turkey Boy is the lead North and South American Counsel for one of the largest electronics distributors in the world. His company makes the parts inside computers and phones. Turkey Boy’s wife is probably the only attorney in the country who has an immigration law office inside her Taekwondo dojo. The four foot, eleven inch Wonder Woman is one of the top Taekwondo experts in the world for her age group, despite taking up the martial art seriously only a few years ago. I understand she collects on-time payments from clients faster than any other attorney!

Soccer’s World Cup

Turkey Boy, the kids, and I watched the United States/Belgium World Cup hockey game where goalie Tim Howard averted 15 goal attempts, sometimes diving feet first. I could have sworn that Howard was stowing away soccer balls like Blackbeard The Pirate! 19-year-old phenom Michael Green lived up to the promise of his hype by scoring for the U.S..

But why did not the coach also use Landon Donovan, the United States’ all-time high scorer? Donovan didn’t even make the 24-man roster, yet he has proven that he knows how to win. He might have been able to tie up the game on his tail end, comet reserves from a career of accurately meshing the ball in the net. Donovan is only in his early thirties, just like tennis legend Roger Federer, who was two games away from winning the Wimbledon Finals in five sets. Even if he is a bit older, perhaps Donovan could inspire the next generation merely by suiting up--a favorable bridge between the past and present.

*****

Independence Day Reunion at Yosemite

On July 4th, 2014, Turkey Boy, his two kids, and myself set out to Yosemite for almost a generational reunion. The first night, the four of us camped in Stanislaus County, where we packed ourselves into the tent like sardines. Not such a good night’s rest on the stubborn ground, even though I ran six miles that day.

After another day of my lagging far behind the threesome on aching, bloodied toes, we all slept comfortably in the van.

At dinner time, Turkey Boy busted out a portable gas burner and the main course-- a can of tomato sauce drenching within giant, organic spaghetti O’s. Initially, I was revolted by the notion of soggy, gooey, pasta O’s-- even if they were organic.

But as nightfall encroached, my tummy waned from a full day of keeping up with vigorous adolescents and their high energy Dad. I recanted my former stance and ravenously slurped up the O’s, viscous sauce and all! Come to think of it, I am sure that I even had seconds. In fact, I almost used my hands to pound down the now, deliciously deemed eats instead of appropriately taking my time to sup in a civilized manner with the miniature, metal spoon that accompanied the thermos underneath the gas burner.

On Sunday morning, I arose early and did some unusual isometrics and cardio bursts that are too intricate to enumerate here. Nonetheless, they certainly revitalized me. My feet felt brand new. We found the trailhead alongst the river where we had journeyed 15 years before.


Our Lives' Foundation

I was constantly on the lookout for the boulder where Turkey Boy first sprawled out to cement his future: Is it here? Is it over there? Where is it? It soon became apparent that this historical anecdote was irrelevant. Turkey Boy’s family and kids were the far more important antecedent. They were playing in the water, they wanted to have fun and experience all that life has to offer.

I have also sat on the proverbial rock for hours on end as a writer, tennis player, and most recently, a digital musician. I did not sit for the bar, but I have tried in my own way to nurture unorthodox aptitudes that I hope will one day open the door to the competitive, free marketplace. For an inkling of my avant-garde, one-of-a-kind writing, please read The Ascent of a Barbarious Court Squatter http://www.amazon.com/The-Ascent-Barbarious-Court-Squatter/dp/146370898X by Author/Digital Musician Jacque D'Artichoke, J.D.. I was so eager to find the rock where Turkey Boy found success because I would like to now pick up where we initiated progress as law grads so many years ago.

My lack of convention has placed me into a time warp that I believe I may unclasp, dangle, and disconnect. The great thing about America, as Personal Life Coach Margaux DeNader implies, is that there are multiple entrepreneurial venues to “Live One’s Music.” Plus, it is often never too late to break through. I wanted to find that original rock to reinforce positive inertia with recent years’ strides of gizard-warming tenacity.

With the Stick Comes the Carrot

Suddenly, Turkey Boy’s kids threw a branch in the water near where I believe may have actually been “The Rock.” They began chanting, “John, fetch the stick! John, fetch the stick!” I was originally reluctant to immerse myself in the freezing mountain runoff of the river, but I didn’t want to disappoint them. The stick was already floating back to me, so I didn’t have to jump in too much farther-- nor too abrasively. I retrieved it.

On the return journey home, Turkey Boy’s son handed me my flash stick that I had misplaced, that contained years of my calculated writing. “Thanks for fetching my stick!” I laughed. I think the winning could very well come full circle.

(By the way, during law school and beyond, I have also been known by Turkey Boy as Fish Boy-- another of my aliases. Maybe this is because I am addicted to anchovies (the saltier, the better!).

Signing off for now,

~Jacque D’Artichoke, J.D.

Try Scaling This!

Half-Dome Mountain in Yosemite National Park
Half-Dome Mountain in Yosemite National Park | Source

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