I want you to imagine that there is a cave that is located in a public park that’s about 30 minutes from where you live. The park consists of 320 acres, half of which is comprised of trees, valleys, and heavy brush. Hidden away in the trees and brush is an underground cave that only one person knows about.
I was born on the same day that my grandfather, Harry LaHood, was buried. My grandfather died on May 17, 1957. My mom and dad attended his funeral Mass on May 20, and then went to the cemetery for the burial service. Mom’s contractions had started earlier in the day and became more intense while she and Dad were at the cemetery. After the burial service was finished, Mom told Dad that she needed to go to the hospital. I was born later that day, and Mom gave me the same name as her father.
Do you know when the Super Ball was invented? It was invented when I was 7 years old (1964), by chemist Norman Stingley. I first learned about it from seeing commercials on television, which showed the new magical ball soaring into the sky whenever someone threw it against the pavement. I later got to see it in action firsthand after several of my cousins convinced their mothers to buy them their own Super Balls.
When I was 13 years old, I tore a coupon out of a comic book, wrote in my name and address, and mailed it to a company by the name of “Charles Atlas Ltd.” The ad that I answered was written in a comic book format and started out by showing a young man who was a “97 pound weakling” being humiliated in front of his date by a bully kicking sand in his face.