Stephenson Tales

Beginning of my Professional Career

Campfire on the beachThe summer I was five years old Mom, Dad, Orlando, Uncle Clarence, Aunt Minnie, their daughter Alice and I went on a picnic to Grand Haven--to cook our supper on the shore and watch the sunset and then drive back to Gull Lake after dark. While the hot dogs were being broken out--along with Mom's wonderful potato salad and other goodies from picnic baskets, I noticed, a little way down the beach, five soldiers were building a cook-out fire. Being the gregarious sort, I went over and introduced myself, and being the garrulous sort told them all about our family and talked incessantly. Finally, I said, "Do you want to hear me recite?" What could they do? So I recited "Negro dialect" pieces that Mom had taught me. I went tnrough my repertoire of poems and comic monologues and dialoges (playing two parts). After about fifteen minutes, I noticed I was being called back to our fire. The soldiers thanked me most heartily and each gave me a dime. I was a professional at the age of five!

Composed 20 September 2008 with additional details from 1992.

© Jim Bob Stephenson 2008

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