Friday, February 12, 2010

Forks In The Road

When I was a young man growing up in Missouri I had several crossroads in my life. One in particular was a decision on whether I would become a Catholic Priest. As I think back on it now I'm not real sure if I wanted to be a preist or I was just guided in that direction by family members. Anyway, the plans were laid for me to start into the seminary during my 7th year in school.

I've mentioned my Uncle Sam in several previous posts. He was one year older than me and more like a brother than an uncle. We had made two previous trips to visit my aunt in Kingfisher Oklahoma during our summer vacations from school. And so we were headed that direction once more during the summer break prior to my going into the seminary. We boarded a train at Laplata Missouri and headed for Kingfisher just as we had done the two previous times. I might add, you wouldn't put two twelve year olds by theirselves on a long train trip in this day and age. But no one thought twice about it back then.

We arrived at my aunts and she managed to keep us busy and intertained. She knew I loved horses and made plans for us to visit the farm of one of her friends so I could ride some horses. Just so happens they had a daughter my age. Her name was Betty Wolf, and I was immediatly attracted to her. We became close friends in the short time I spent at my aunts.

I had a lot of things on my mind on my train ride back to Missouri. I thought about the fact that priests don't marry and I thought about Betty. Matter of fact, I thought a 'lot' about Betty. I came to the realization that I would not be able fufill that desire to be close with the opposite sex if I became a priest. So, on that ride home I made a decision that I would have to face my family and tell them I just couldn't go into the seminary that fall.

Telling them that was a difficult thing to do. It took courage on my part, because I knew how much some of my family members were counting on me. It was a decision I have no regrets about today.

This time I think I made the right choice at the fork. Other times the paths have been hurled at me so fast it was hard to make a good decision or I lacked the courage. Still others seem to have been decided by fate. I haven't seen Betty Wolf since. But I have always wanted to thank her for changing my life in a positive way.

Picture is of me. Age 12. Taken in the fall of my 7th year in school. The smile says a lot more than people realize. X.


  1. What a handsome lad you were!!! And what a great story. A girl named Betty changing your life. Amazing, isn't it? The things that have such a big impact on our lives.

  2. I want to hire you to come sit by a fire and tell me stories, ok? ;-)

    It's odd. I know it's the way it has been done, but to think about making such a huge life decision for someone at the age of 12 is pretty mind boggling to me. I couldn't decide what my favorite color was at that age, much less something as serious as this. hehe

  3. I love how we have those moments in our lives where a certain someone had such an impact on us yet they only were there for a brief time never to be seen or heard from again... The words we remember being said the actions and all... I can only say that fate has a hand sometimes... enjoy your weekend steve

  4. Ah yes.. the forks in the road.... If you hadn't fallen to the ways of women, we wouldn't likely be reading your blog? I'm personally glad!

  5. Kudos for standing up for your beliefs, I know how hard that can be in the face of familial expectations.

  6. Ah, the 5 people we meet in heaven, will one of them be Betty I wonder?

  7. You've got to love a boy with an amazing smile. I'll bet Betty thought of you too!

    You were very brave to tell your family that your plans had changed. It's not easy to do that when you know people are counting on you to take a certain path.