As a child we all have tons of things that we say we want to be or are going to do when we get older. Most of us don’t get to do those things. When I was really young I wanted to be a truck driver – something I could have attained if that stayed my goal.
I also wanted to be a wrestler in the WWF (now WWE) and go under the name War Machine inspired by one of my favorite Kiss songs. (There was actually a wrestler back in the late 90’s who dressed like Gene Simmons from Kiss – dream stealing prick).
I had all sorts of Star Wars figures that I used to get for gifts on every holiday or birthday. What did I do with those? Yup, wrestling matches! I never actually played Star Wars with them. Every time I would get a new character they would be the up and coming contender for the belt. My favorite was the Snowtrooper. He was the reigning champ for many years.
Then there was my brief need to be a race car driver. We used to go to the small circuit races at Stafford and Riverside when I was a kid and I remember guys like Greg Sacks and Reggie Ruggiero who just could not be beat but they had ugly cars. I liked Ray Miller because he had the black and orange 01 car but the guy couldn’t win a race to save his life. I was going to be the guy that couldn’t be beat and have a cool car! There was an old gas station on the corner of Burnside and Moore ave right across from the apartments I lived in at the time and they had the old abandoned junk piles behind the station. I use to go over there all the time and pretend I was driving and racing. Then like my Star Wars and wrestling fascination, I also had tons of hot wheels and matchbox cars that I would race on my little plastic tracks. I would pin the tracks up on my wall and just let the cars go. The fastest was the winner. My “champ” was a little orange “uniborn”. I called it UNborn though because it sounded much cooler. No matter how many cars I got, the unborn was always the fastest, and of course, it was an ugly car.
I was also going to be the starting pitcher and 1st baseman for the Chicago Cubs. I was going to be the one who cured the curse of the billy goat and get us the world series championship. I played farm and little league baseball but I wasn’t much good. I was a bench warmer for Calvin Ford – one of the worst teams in EH. The only ones worse than us were Civitan. But in my head I was awesome – I used to play by myself and mimic the bottom of the ninth either as the pitcher or the hitter many times. Of course I was the hero every time. I wasn’t going to strike out every once in a while for reality’s sake – I did that enough for real. When I used to visit my Dad in Chicago in the summers I would watch the Cubs practically every single day on TV. I used to buy the baseball almanac and knew all of the stats of all of the Cubs but no one else on any other team. I only cared about the Cubs. All that baseball and you would have thought I would have been a better player… nope. My Mom was even the team mother one year. Didn’t help – none of my stat knowledge or backyard dreams were to be on the field. Just because you know about something doesn’t mean you can do it well.
Then there was Kiss. The band that fueled my true dream calling – to be a rock God! That’s for next time.