Combs Spouts Off

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Five things you don’t know about me

Posted by Richard on December 25, 2006

Jeffrey Haemer gave me a Christmas present. You shouldn’t have, Jeff. No, you really shouldn’t have. It’s one of those weird presents that I’m not at all sure I want: he tagged me with the meme indicated by the title of this post. OK, I’ll play. If you’ve known me quite a while, you probably know at least some of these things, but if you’re the average blog reader, probably not:

1) I’m a naturalized citizen. I was about 7 when it happened and don’t remember the event, but I don’t think I had to take the test. Later, I was quite disappointed to learn that I could never become President.

2) I’m a bastard. My late father, Col. Sam Combs, wasn’t my biological father. That was some doctor in Vienna. After my mother died, my dad told me about it (actually, my grandmother had let it slip several years earlier) and gave me my biological father’s name and address, but I never looked him up. He didn’t mean anything to me. Probably a mistake. I could have gotten useful health history — maybe even an inheritance.

3) I had my appendix removed in a German hospital when I was 5. Most of my early childhood is vague, but I have a clear memory of being anesthetized: they put a folded-up cloth over my nose and mouth and dripped ether onto it.

4) I learned to ski in St. Moritz, Switzerland. I was in high school at the time, and we lived in Izmir, Turkey. Three friends and I took the Orient Express (2nd class, along with a bunch of "Gastarbeiter" going to work in Germany) from Istanbul. The whole trip — rail travel, a night in Zurich, a week in St. Moritz, a week’s ski rental, meals, and Corviglia cog train tickets (that’s how you got up the mountain) — cost me about $300. I paid most of that with the savings from my after-school job at the Air Force library, and my grandmother helped out, as usual.

5) I was a Young Americans for Freedom chapter chair in college and attended the famous 1969 YAF convention in St. Louis where the traditionalists and libertarians split. I remember Dana Rorabacher (yes, the California congressman) playing guitar and singing pro-freedom songs — mostly, his own libertarian lyrics for some folk favorites. Some of those lyrics had distinctly smoking-herb-related double entendres. I’m sure Dana’s glad there were no video recordings.

OK, that’s it for me. Now, the rules of this game not only allow, but require me to re-gift Jeffrey’s present: I have to tag 5 bloggers with the same meme. So, Merry Christmas, Walter, David J, Thomas, Hathor, and Steve — what 5 things don’t we know about you? 🙂
 

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