Happy Friday the 13th!
I know, it’s not Friday. But it is the 13th. The 13th of March specifically. And that’s reason enough to celebrate.
But first a story.
Friday the 13th has been my lucky day for as long as I can remember. And 13 is my lucky number.
It all started with my first reading of “The Black Stallion” by Walter Farley.
In the story, Alec Ramsey befriends and tames a wild Arabian stallion on a desert island after being the lone survivors of a shipwreck. Eventually, they are rescued and Alec returns home to America bringing the Black with him.
Teaming up with retired racehorse trainer Henry Dailey, Alec succeeds in transforming the Black’s wild passion into speed on the race track. When it comes time to officially race, Alec has the Number 13 as his jockey number.
I lived next door, literally, to the horse track in Richfield. I loved horses and dreamed of being a jockey. I would sneak into the summer races and watch the quarter horses pound the dirt track oval. With Alec Ramsey as my hero, it was only natural 13 would become my lucky number.
I have shared this story a few times over the past nearly 40 years. Imagine my chagrin when I discovered a few summers ago while reading The Black Stallion for the umpteenth time, Alec’s jockey number was not 13 – it was 3!
I had to re-read the passage over and over to make sure I was reading it correctly. Sure enough, there it was in black and white on the printed page: “Henry straightened the Number 3 on Alec’s arm.”
How could it be???
All these years and many readings I completely knew his number was 13. But in all reality, it appears I mentally transformed the number 3 into the number 13.
Maybe I was predisposed to see things how I wanted them to be, rather than how they really were. Maybe that’s why I tend to see the glass as more than half-full and to see the best in people and in situations.
Whatever the explanation, and though faulty in my memory, Alec and the Black Stallion are the reason 13 is my lucky number and Friday the 13th has become my lucky day.
And at least once, to the point of today’s story, Friday the 13th was an extremely lucky day.
On Friday, March 13 of 1998, our daughter Leslie Ann was born. She is the baby of the family and today she turns 20.
We share a name, a lucky number and a lucky day. We share a bond that connects beyond words.
Leslie sees life through wide-eyed excitement, for even the simplest things. She still loves her stuffed animals, particularly her stuffy elephant named Fluffy.
Her childlike love for life has not been tempered by the teenage years. Leslie thrives with unabashed excitement despite the challenges and stresses of life.
I share with you, and with Leslie for the first time, a snippet of a poem I wrote several years ago for her. The rest will come on her wedding day.
I am so very happy
you are my daughter
the delight of my love
full of life.
I am forever and always
a better person
a better friend
a better dad.
Thanks for letting me share.
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