Seniorisms by LMW, Capturing My Passion and Desire

Creation of a Clown
Well, it all started back in 1989 when I was still a heavy smoker & I had a problem with alcoholism that was totally interfering with how I wanted to live my life... I reached a level when I realized that something had to change & that something was me... I've always loved reading, not much on history or fiction, but learning from other people who wrote about things that got my attention, things that I felt the need to learn...

I was drawn to the program of AA like a moth to a flame... I started in Al Anon but soon realized I needed to be in the next room where the AA meetings were held... I got sick because of chronic bronchitis... I felt terrible when I woke up & decided I could not do that any longer... I remembered a few lessons that I learned in Al Anon & started to apply them to myself... One was I needed to take better care of myself... I quit smoking because I saw what was happening to some of my friends because of it... I bought a 10 speed bike with the money I saved, trained for 3 months & did the St. Pete Times 50 mile Bicycle Tour in celebration of my 50th birthday... No, it wasn't easy, especially since I was living with an active smoker... I prayed about it & I quit cold turkey...

The following year I had enough with the drinking because without the cigarettes the alcohol tasted awful... I prayed about that too...  I quit drinking on Christmas Day in 1990 & haven't picked up another one since... I made the commitment to become an AA success story & was told by one of the old timers that if I truly desired to stay sober I need to sit in the front row at the meetings, take the cotton out of my ears & put it in my mouth because at this point I had nothing worthwhile to share... That first year I attended at least one, sometimes even two or three meetings a day... I was definitely in it to win it...

I had learned enough to know that I needed to do something constructive with my time so there would be no room in my mind to even consider taking a drink... I believe in “God Nudges” & it was then I received one that led me to a small bicycle shop in the neighborhood... All my life I have loved bicycles & it was there I found a scaled down replica of an 1888 Columbia boneshaker... For me it was love at first sight... I asked to put it on layaway because I was short on cash... I never rode it until I picked it up... When I did ride it for the first time I discovered it was perfect for me... Now I had to find a way to show it off because it wasn't built for speed or comfort... My mind was spinning as my thoughts were running through it... It didn't take long before the idea of parades came to mind... I soon found out I would have to be part of a group to be able to participate...  I know! I'll become a clown! I borrowed two books from the Library so I could learn all I needed to know about how to make up a costume & apply makeup... I contacted the City Events Manager for an application to be included in the Christmas Parade... I was accepted & was elated... I had a friend of mine who was a seamstress... I went to the local thrift store & bought the biggest & loudest pair of men's pants... She turned them into a pair of knickers for me... I bought a pair of bright rainbow colored suspenders & crazy clown knee socks... My neighbor gave me a pair of men's size 12 sneakers which I painted gold with some really wild laces that I had laced through a pair of large jingle bells on the bottom first lace... I was living alone at that time, it was coming upon Christmas so I spent $75 on tinsel garland... Instead of decorating my apartment that no one would see, I decided to put it all on my bike so the entire county would see my holiday decorations... I wove red, green & gold garland through the spokes & all around the frame, bought an oogah horn & 3 pinwheels, one for each end of the handlebars, one to stick straight up from the middle of them... I became, “Clearwater Crackers” & my bike was my “Cherry Bomb”... I asked to be placed behind a marching band, I shouted out “Merry Christmas” to all on the parade route & had one of the best times of my life bouncing up & down on the seat of my bike, keeping time to the music as I rode it in circles...  I entered the biggest parade in the county in St. Petersburg, Florida... I became the mascot for “The Awesome Greater St. Petersburg Second Time Arounders Marching Band” which consisted of 500 members ranging in age from 18 – 85 who had all played in a band when they were in high school... For this I became, “Re-Pete of St. Pete, my bike became “The Re-Cycle” which made me a recycled clown for the “Second Time Arounders”... For St. Patrick's Day, I would paint faces at the largest Irish Pub's beer tent in our county... For this I developed a new clown character specifically for the event... Now I was, “Garlic O'Hara”...

Of course everyone I knew thought I was crazy because I was 55 years old at the time... I left them think whatever they wanted... This was my path to sobriety... I made it fun... I substituted negative thoughts with a Definiteness of Purpose... I became an award winning solo clown act in the parades in my county...
Today I am sober for over 28 years... I turned my will over to God.. I prayed for His help that I may beat my addiction to alcohol... He showed me how I could accomplish my goal... I will be eternally grateful for the lessons I learned in AA... I took to Napoleon Hill, Emmet Fox & Robert Schuller as if they were my Mentors... In reality, they were... I've learned through experience,
“What the mind can conceive & believe Will be achieved“...         "I M Possible!!"




Signing off for now this is,

Linda Michel White

Mentor In Training

By Linda Michel

Success In 10 Steps by Michael Dlouhy

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