When I was six years old, my family and I lived in Greensburg, Indiana. I believe that summer, my sisters and I spent almost every waking moment outside playing – a sign of things to come. We also tried to help Mom with my baby brother, Jim, by entertaining him with stories or simply making funny faces to get him to laugh.
We began our annual summer camping trips about that time, and we’d all camp out as a family in one big tent in a state park in Indiana. I loved to go to sleep and hear all the noises at night, but the most fun was learning how to fish. My dad always knew where to go to find the fish, how to catch them, how to clean them, and most importantly how to cook them!
That fall I began first grade at St. Mary’s Catholic elementary school, and my first teacher was a nun. She was very strict, and I remember a couple of times having a ruler hit my hands, because I wasn’t listening, but learned to listen very quickly. At school, we went to church every day before school, and we learned the importance of praying and worshiping God. I was not a very good student, but I never quit trying, and I always tried my best – something that my dad taught me at an early age.