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Match to Flame – 66

posted on March 14, 2018

It happened on a snowy night in 1969 during my senior year at Kent State. I was riding home with a fellow student teacher named Ronnie from Kent. She was driving because I had my arm bandaged to my chest following surgery for several shoulder dislocations from playing football (the lawless backyard variety as opposed to the sanctioned school activity). Ronnie was trying to navigate us home through one of those Michael Stanley “Thank God for the man who put the white lines on the highway” kind of snowstorms, so to help pass the terror I was regaling her with my plan to become a world famous cartoonist (assuming she got us home alive) and everything that would flow from that. When I finished, her only response was, “That’s nice, but I hope you want more than that.” I gave that a moment or two to sink in before the light went on. Even though we were the same age, I suddenly realized that I was in the car with an adult and she was in the car with an adolescent dreamer. The moment passed quickly, but it wasn’t forgotten. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that deftly wielded dope slap was a gift. That particular baton would soon be passed to my wife Cathy, who would continue to challenge the flaws in my thinking with equal and remarkable alacrity.

From The Complete Funky Winkerbean Volume Four