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Education Matters:

Confessing to parents, 44 years later

May 07, 2010|By Dan Kimber

One of my students revealed a recent adornment in the form of a small tattoo on the back of her neck. It was a scorpion to match her astrological sign and was hidden by her hair.

The young lady is 18 and doesn’t need her parents’ permission, but I asked anyway, “Do they know about this?”

“No way — I’ll tell them when I’m older, much older.”

Well, this little exchange put me in mind of a deception that I pulled off when I was just about her age, and then it struck me that I never did come clean with the people I deceived, my parents. And so, under the heading of “better late than never,” I want to confess.

In my conscience, and perhaps in some higher realms, there rests an unresolved issue that was deflected long ago by a self-serving lie. I offer my contrition to my father, who may yet be listening from another world, and my mother, who is very much a part of this one.

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It is a story that takes a little telling, so I’ll divide it into three scenes.

Scene 1: The Kimbers get a pool table, right here in Montrose. The youngest boy (me) takes to it immediately at the age of 7. Fast forward to fall of 1966. I’m a junior in high school and my buddies tell me about a fellow down at the pool hall on Colorado (just across the street from the Bob’s drive-in — remember, anyone?) who wants to shoot some pool with me.

He proposes a bet of $40 (more than $260 today), and he will spot me 40 to a game of 50. What that means is that we start the game with me ahead, 40 to nothing.

I think, “This guy doesn’t know just how good I am,” and I take up the bet.

Scene 2: My buddies and I arrive at the pool hall and connect with my opponent. The terms are repeated, and I shoot first. I sink seven balls, and now the score is 47 to nothing. I can’t believe how stupid this guy is.

On his first shot, he sinks 45 balls in a row. I have not ever seen this kind of skill. I am blown away. I miss my second shot badly, now completely rattled by this superior player, and he, on his second shot, finishes the game. I lose.

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