Wednesday, July 16, 2014


 The top of my head does not extend far above the ground.  At one time it towered 65.5 inches above the bottom of my feet, but that was before age began taking its toll on my spinal column.  I was always small, and if it weren’t for Raffie Donato I would have been the shortest kid in my class throughout elementary school.  I still remember friends and relatives telling my parents that I would soon “shoot up” during my pre-adolescent years.  Obviously that did not happen and I accepted my height – or lack thereof - for what it was.

front row seated  from right to left  Raffie, Billy....
I don’t think of my self as a short person, (except when I’m standing too close to a very tall person - then my tendency is to move away and create some distance between us.) and with the rare exception of having a crush on a girl who was much taller than me, it has not been an issue.  In fact I have found some comfort in the belief that shorter people tend to be healthier, and live longer than taller people.  I have no idea if this is true, but I prefer my belief to remain uncontaminated by evidence. 

Then we moved to Paducah. Oh the excitement of moving into our new home.  The large open rooms with 12-foot ceilings and 2 ½ baths were pure delight after living in a small bungalow with 7 ½ foot ceilings and one small bath - off the kitchen.  Our new house was bright and airy and filled with promises and dreams, and I loved it.  I loved it a whole lot…until the first smoke detector began its incessant beep, telling us the batteries need changing.  “Ok”, I thought, I can do this; unmindful of how my advancing age was affecting my relationship to heights, which have never been a problem for me.  I dragged out our six-foot stepladder. Set it up under the obnoxious alarm, and began the ascent.  Well you would not believe my surprise when I reached the top, clinging on for dear life, and discovered that the builders made a mistake.  This ceiling was at least 18 feet high, if not higher, and I was sure that gravity was just a heartbeat away from pulling me down to that tiled floor below.  A lesser man than me would have given up, but being the tiger that I am, I persevered and actually managed to dismantle the alarm, change the batteries, and replace it.  Needless to say, my unequivocal love for our house became somewhat equivocal and the first seeds of discontent with my stature were sowed.

I will spare you of my efforts to replace the bulbs in our can lights recessed in the 18 foot ceiling


Robert W Davis said...

I am amazed at the length of your arms. Our 14 ft ceilings require a 10 ft ladder and I stand about 6'.

Robert W Davis said...

I am amazed at the length of your arms. Our 14 ft ceilings require a 10 ft ladder and I stand about 6'.

Gus said...

Sigh. I hear you...and it doesn't help to have a tall spouse, who does with ease what scares me silly and says "See, that was simple."

Oh. Did I tell you that he wears shin guards and other protective gear most of the time?