These are the highlights in a lifetime of following sports. Hilarity. The most sheer fun I ever had in sports was playing volleyball, a game I commend highly ... if you have ever seen the great women s teams of Japan and Russia or the equally good men's teams of Cuba and East Germany, you know how exciting this playground game, which requires so little equipment, can be.
I kept careful record of the impact of religion on the election in my county. The religious issue permeated every meeting I conducted. It influenced Republicans and Democrats alike. Ministers preached politics publicly and churches distributed the most vicious electioneering materials. Practically no one I met escaped the pressure of this overriding problem and both parties were ultimately forced to make their major calculations with the religious question a foremost consideration.
For all its enormous range of space, climate, and physical appearance, and for all the internal squabbles, contentions, and strivings, what you northerners never appreciate...is that Texas is so big that you can live your life within its limits and never give a damn about what anyone in Boston or San Francisco thinks.
I had learned volleyball in the Navy, where all the captains and admirals wanted to be spikers, and I found then that a man who can subdue his own desires and master the art of serving others can make himself invaluable. In choosing sides the team captain always chose the good spikers on the first and second choice, but then the spikers would grab his arm and whisper, 'Take Michener.' I was never chosen lower than third, because I was needed. I wasn't good, but I was faithful.
I would suppose I learned how to write when I was very young indeed. When I read a child's book about the Trojan War and decided that the Greeks were really a bunch of frauds with their tricky horses and the terrible things they did, stealing one another's wives, and so on, so at that very early age, I re-wrote the ending of the Iliad so that the Trojans won. And boy, Achilles and Ajax got what they wanted, believe me. And thereafter, at frequent intervals, I would write something. It was really quite extraordinary. Never of very high merit, but the daringness of it was.
We risk great peril if we kill off this spirit of adventure, for we cannot predict how and in what seemingly unrelated fields it will manifest itself. A nation that loses its forward thrust is in danger, and one of the most effective ways to retain that thrust is to keep exploring possibilities. The sense of exploration is intimately bound up with human resolve, and for a nation to believe that it is still committed to a forward motion is to ensure its continuance.
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