Saturday, April 29, 2017


I am participating in the Writing Contest: You Deserve To Be Inspired by Positive Writer. 

Could Bigfoot Inspire You to Be a Better Writer or Parent?

People are full of surprises, just ask them a few innocent questions and they start revealing what makes them unique. Then ask them a question such as "What do you do for fun?" That's what I sometimes to do to new people that I meet. Now and then up pops a heartfelt story that I hear, which I feel compelled to share with readers.

I humbly admit that I strive to be a Welcome Ambassador to Everyone I meet. I know that's a tall order. Each day I tend to act like a Walmart greeter on steroids. I smile, open doors, as I shop, make positive comments about team logos that strangers are wearing. I get money from tellers, not AMT machines. I talk to the mail carrier, and I don't duck when I see acquaintances or former co-workers in the wilds of the supermarket's frozen food section. I am a people person.

Now, what's that got to do with Bigfoot, a large hairy ape-like creature betw
een 6.6-9.8 feet tall weighing over 500 pounds, covered with brown or reddish hair? He's a legend hiding in the forest somewhere. Over the years there have been many eyewitness reports about him, large footprint tracks of him, handheld film recordings, audio recordings, blood and hair samples. There also have been many hoaxes and pranks related to finding Bigfoot in the wilds. But where there is smoke, there usually is fire.

I was waiting for the garage door repairman to fix or replace the runner on my garage door. My wife accidentally caught it backing up the car. I tried to fix the metal runner, but I crinkled the bend worse, making it almost unrepairable. I needed someone strong like Bigfoot to fix the door.

As the repairman ambled out of the truck, I opened the garage door and wondered if he would get the job done without installing expensive and new runners. He had jeans and a dusty bulging black T-shirt. No uniform. No Mr. Good-wrench-look. He looked like a mountain man or a Wor
ld Federation Wrestler. I know first impressions aren't always correct, yet I wasn't impressed. He didn't look as strong as my mental version of Bigfoot. Nevertheless, I learned a long time ago never to judge a person by their wardrobe choices or physical appearance.

I said hello and welcomed him to my garage and my problem, adding these words "I decided to get an expert to help me."

He said, "I am not an expert in this area, but I have fixed a number of doors like this."

He was humble. I like that in a person.

He wrestled with the bent runner and after quite a struggle he bent it back to working form and shot some oil into the little revolving wheels. He told me, "You're all set, good as new."

I asked him if he wanted a bottle of cold water. He said, "I have some in the truck. Thanks for asking."

I wondered what made this man tick; in other words, what did he care about besides his job. I thought that I might be surprised. I was already totally wrong about my first impression.

I asked, "So what do you like to do for fun?"

He eyes arched upwar
d recalling a fun scene, smiled, and he said, "I hunt for Bigfoot with my son in the mountains."

As my mouth dropped open, I asked: "Do you believe in him?"

He answered, "Well, we have fun looking for him. It's an adventure. We don't want to hurt him, just hang out. Maybe take a few photos. We bring fruit, nuts, and cold water to share with him. If he doesn't show up, we eat the goodies ourselves. My son, Ryan, loves hiking, the outdoors, and hanging out with me."

"How old is your son?"

"Well, he's 12, but he has the mental age of 5. Ryan has a brain disorder. He literally has problems doing things. The nerve endings in his body are mixed up. He has to think things through to do normal things. But he has been getting better and better. That's what counts. And he loves talking about Bigfoot, looking at pictures of Bigfoot, and learning about big animals. We frequently read together. I work two jobs so that I have enough money to get the best help for him."

Tears circled in my eyes. I wrote him a check for his services. "Please wait a second. I have a present for him, and I ran upstairs to get a copy of Waiting to See the Principal and Other Poems.

He notice the author's name on the book and said, "Oh, you wrote this book! What a great book for my son!"

I signed the paperback for Ryan and I said, "There are lots of lines that are repeated in my poems. Ryan and you will have fun repeating them. After awhile both of you will have them memorized which makes it even more fun to read."

"Yes, he will love this book! And the pictures in it are funny too—something like Shel Silverstein's books. Ryan loves all of his books. Thanks so much. I gotta get back on the road. Thanks again."

"By the way, does Ryan really believe in the existence of Bigfoot?"

‘OH, YEAH! He says Bigfoot is just a good hider."
And I said to myself:

1. All of us have stories to tell.
2. Bigfoot is probably a good hider.
3. We are all good hiders unless the right questions are asked.

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