I was born January 5, 1953, but according to my dad I was supposed to be born earlier. My folks told me that in late December 1952, my dad took my mom out for a drive on a very rough and bumpy dirt road in an attempt to start labor. I didn’t budge, and waited until after New Year’s to be born.

My dad always gave me grief (albeit jokingly) that my delayed birth had denied him the exemption he was counting on for his 1952 income tax return. That joke eventually got pretty old, and I didn’t appreciate being reminded of the fact every year at tax time.

My two older brothers had been in the 1970 draft – the oldest one’s number was 64 (he subsequently joined the Army Reserves) and the middle one’s was 350. All three of us were good students, and we didn’t go to college simply to avoid the draft, although the student deferment was a plus. When it was my turn during the 1972 lottery (for the 1973 draft calls), my number came up at 338. I remember literally shaking my finger at my dad and admonishing him that he should be thankful I was born on the day I was and to not to make a big deal out of losing one year’s exemption. He agreed, and we never talked about it again.

My dad was a WWII vet, and despite what you may conclude based upon what I’ve written here, I always loved him. He died in 2008 at the age of 87. I miss him.