If Ya Can’t Beat ’em…

In my story, The Old Man And The Tree, I tell about my days as a logger in the northwest, and I also mention I was in the best physical shape of my life when I was working at that job. A badly broken leg ended my logging career, and partly due to being in a cast, and on crutches off and on for a couple of years, I lost my fine physique, and put on quite a bit of weight.

I tell about the weight gain in another story, No Wonder, where I talk about Ken not being able to get me up on water skis, and then me not recognizing myself in a picture. While showing the picture of a bunch of us that were at the lake to a friend, I came to myself and didn’t even know it was me!

In yet another story, Ken Almost Win’s One, I talk about how competitive Ken became as we got older. When we were kids, he never stood a chance against his big brother, because I was five years older than him. As we became young adults, he caught up to me in size, and it became much harder to beat him at things I’d always been able to best him at.

One thing he got really sharp with was his tongue. He could cut me down to size with that baby right quick like! One example occurred during the time I’d put on so much weight; it might have even been on the same trip where we were skiing, but I don’t think so. I think it was probably the next time I saw him, a few months after that.

I was probably hitting the scales at two-hundred-thirty pounds, and guessing by Ken’s remark, much of it had settled in my face. As a young man, I’d always been slim, and as a result, had a long narrow face. At any rate, Ken’s remark sparked what was to be the first of a lifetime of diets. I’d love to get back to 230 right now, but have resigned myself to just trying to stay where I am. I’ll get motivated one of these days and start back the other direction.

Anyhow! For whatever reason, Ken and I met up after not seeing each other for awhile, and I was smiling real big as I walked toward him. My sensitive and loving little brother takes one look at me and cracks up. After he’s finished having his good laugh, he says, “Chuck! You look like a dang basketball with a smile painted on it!”

Ain’t he sweet?


  1. Sherry said

    He’s just rude!

  2. Gary Williams said

    A basketball with a smile on it, he sure has a way with words. But he was probably right on the money.

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