Take these Mike...take these...here...you like clothes don't you? Take these...>>>
December 24, 1988
Mr. and Mrs. Paul realize that somewhere along the way, they made a mistake>>>
I flew back from Japan, passing through Alaska, then San Francisco and catching a commercial flight to Evansville, and here we are, opening Christmas presents. On the left, Mommy, characteristically, tries to hand me clothes while I'm eating. Above, trying to think of a good photo, I wear all my presents...new socks, bicycle shorts, waterbottle cage, and top it off with a crown of gift-wrappings.
Smile Keith...smile...they can't help it, they grew up in the basement>>>
No more cross-dressing, I have pants!!!>>>
Above is my younger sister Brenda (now 18!!!) with her new boyfriend (boyfriend?) Keith Fisher, 21. I think Keith is feeling a little uncomfortable around the two older brothers.

Darrel (24 years) is overjoyed that he has a new pair of jeans...now he can throw away that skirt forever. And those sneakers bordering the photo are mine...I call these the "birthing" photo series. If Darrel had been full grown when he was born in 1964, this is what Mommy would have seen, except naked and crying, and I'll try not to let that image enter my brain for now.

Below, Michael (me) is fascinated with the new reflective disc-on-a-stick. Wow...this is some high-tech stuff.

Ahhh...they smell like a Mexican sweat shop>>>
Mirror mirror on a stick, who's the fairest one of...uhhh...never mind>>>
Stop making fun of me...I'm not adopted...I'm not, I'm not, I'm not!!!>>>
I like this picture because we both look so happy.
This again is my favorite uncle, Lawrence Paul, born June 16, 1928 (for some reason I don't have many pictures of my father). I was in a very jovial mood during this visit in late 1988, early 1989. I had survived my first year in Japan, and finally, finally started competing. The results were promising, although no wins. I wore my race T-shirts for most of the visit (because they give you so many) and I gave all my trophies and plaques I'd won in 1988 to my mother to place in my bedroom.

It was odd...my father was always so proud of me for joining the Air Force, and every time I'd win something or get some kind of recognition, I'd give it to my mother and she'd put it on my side of the bedroom which my brother and I had shared. I called it my "shrine" but poor Darrel had to see it every day. He was also annoyed that Mom burned bacon in front of it every day.
Darrel had just graduated from six years of college and was now a Civil Engineer, but my father still thought I was the wiser one. He said I "did the right thing" by joining the military.
I think it's neither...we both did what we thought we had to do, and who is the most successful? Only time will tell
(I HOPE IT'S ME!!!).

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This man...let me tell you something about Uncle Lawrence...first of all, his nephew is incredible>>>
This man...let me tell you something about Uncle Lawrence...first of all, his nephew is incredible>>>