July 18, 2013

Slinging It High

By Doyne Phillips, Managing Editor for Southern Writers Magazine

My old friend David and I love to share stories. We grew up in the same area with similar backgrounds. We went to the same college and have worked for the same company for over 20 years. Many times when we visit we begin to spin tales some true, some not.

At one particular visit we were having lunch along with the CEO of our bank. The CEO was from the east coast so he was not familiar with our upbringing. David and I began sharing some childhood stories as he sat in silence. I thought he wasn’t interested and never gave any thought to his silence. I later found his silence was due to his attempt to determine which story was fact and which fiction. Later that day he asked David if those stories were true. It just so happens they were and David found the CEO was amazed to hear that.

David and I come from a place where it is said, “We sling it high and make it stick on occasion.” David is one of the best. I once saw him coming across the company parking lot on crutches with a brace on his leg.  As he approached his vehicle I could tell he was having trouble maneuvering and was obviously in some pain. As he sat back in his seat with his feet on the pavement I asked what had happened to him.

David said he had been home watching TV and a commercial came on for skydiving lessons. It was something he had always wanted to do and the price seemed right, three jumps for a $100.00, so he signed up. He went to the airport, went through the ground school and was ready to jump.

The first jump from a small plane with an instructor alongside him every inch of the way, went off without a hitch. He was thrilled and couldn’t wait to get back up there for the next jump. The second jump went well until the landing. David came down wrong and twisted his leg. He now had weeks of rehab ahead of him before he would be able to walk without the crutches. His main concern was that third jump he had paid for. He was not sure if he had the courage to take the jump but didn’t want to lose the money.

As I listened to David’s story I felt his pain. I encouraged him to get back on the horse and take the third jump. As I was about to suggest he stick with the rehab and follow the doctor’s orders he started laughing. I knew then he had me.

He told me he had taken up riding a mountain bike and took a spill over the handlebars. In keeping with our history I told him to never tell anyone that, stick with the skydiving story. It beats a bicycle tumble anytime.

David should be a writer. He can so easily do what many writers do, take an everyday common experience and make it exciting, or as we say, he can sling it high and make it stick on occasion. Many times the stories that stick are the best sellers.

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