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Cannonball

Keepin' It Real with Cam Marston

Release Date: 08/05/2022

Cannonball show art Cannonball

Keepin' It Real with Cam Marston

Sometimes I quickly conceive a brilliant idea and quickly make plans to execute that idea and I realize I'm smarter than I give myself credit for.  ___________________ Several years ago, I arrived at the neighborhood pool early one morning to swim laps. It was a habit I had gotten into that summer and the week before, my buddy Josh and I had talked about our workouts – how we warm up, how we keep track of laps. Stuff like that. I was going to try some of his ideas and it was early that day, but someone was already in the pool, putting in their work – head down, strong kicks, big ...

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"Do You Have a Dog Voice?"

Keepin' It Real with Cam Marston

It's a rediculous question I ask when getting to know another couple. Their answer tells me a lot. . . -------------------------------- When my wife and I meet new couples, there’s always a series of get to know you questions. “How did you two meet?” is a standard one. “Tell me about your children” is another. But a question I enjoy asking that tells me most of what I want to know about a couple is this: “Do you change your voice when you talk to your dog?” “Do you have a dog voice?” If the couple say that they don’t have a dog, or that they only have cats, or that they...

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Turn Off the Lights show art Turn Off the Lights

Keepin' It Real with Cam Marston

I say it all the time: "Turn off your lights when you leave your room!" It's yet another way I've become my father.  --------------------------------- I heard myself say it and I could hear my father’s voice coming out of my mouth as it happened. “Please turn off your lights when you leave your bedroom,” I said to my teenage son. “There is no need to leave those lights on if there’s no one in there. Ceiling fan, too. Turn it off or I’m taking money out of your allowance.” I remember as a child my father saying this to me. As I’d leave for my walk to school every morning,...

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Engage Brain before Opening Mouth show art Engage Brain before Opening Mouth

Keepin' It Real with Cam Marston

It's not uncommon for me to consider something only after I've said it aloud which is the opposite of how it should happen. It usually leads to awkward moments... ----------------------------------- I asked a new acquaintance of mine, in a voice that was, perhaps, too loud, if his son was given the name Carson because he was conceived in a car. His wife overheard me, turned and looked at me with an expression of shock and disgust. My acquaintance however, turned to me, smiled, and started nodding. His wife then turned to him with a more severe look of shock and disgust. I could see an awkward...

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Camp Mac show art Camp Mac

Keepin' It Real with Cam Marston

There are some parts of human evolution that have not changed. What made a kid happy a long long time ago is the same stuff that makes kids happy today. And what made a parent happy a long time ago remains unchanged, too.  _________________________________________________ "My fifteen-year-old twins will have been at camp for nearly a month when I pick them up late next week. It will be wonderful to see them again. All my kids have loved Camp Mac and my oldest kids, who haven’t been to camp for a few years, still stay in touch with many of the friends they made  there. Listening to...

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Father's Day show art Father's Day

Keepin' It Real with Cam Marston

Father's Day is Sunday. I've done some brilliant things on Father's Day and Mother's Day. And I've made some bone-headed mistakes. Transcript: Father’s Day is Sunday. I hope all you fathers have a wonderful, celebratory, appreciation filled day. And I hope that you with fathers still alive offer the same yours. My newly widowed father simply wants a phone call. That plus a year’s supply of casseroles. I remember a conversation with my mother years ago. My children were entering their teens, and I asked my mother at what age does a child become grateful for the extraordinary amount of work...

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No More Status Quo show art No More Status Quo

Keepin' It Real with Cam Marston

I feel like the world is on fire right now. The discord and the shootings won't stop. We need to change something and it must begin with you and me.

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Forced Family Fun show art Forced Family Fun

Keepin' It Real with Cam Marston

Our Memorial Day Weekend day trip to Perdido Bay to float with the family didn't turn out as we had hoped.

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Crazy Season show art Crazy Season

Keepin' It Real with Cam Marston

Crazy Season ended Tuesday with the primary elections, thank the Lord.

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Outrage show art Outrage

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A doctor friend lost his practice due to an anonymous social media accusation. Awful. Absolutely awful. 

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Sometimes I quickly conceive a brilliant idea and quickly make plans to execute that idea and I realize I'm smarter than I give myself credit for. 

___________________

Several years ago, I arrived at the neighborhood pool early one morning to swim laps. It was a habit I had gotten into that summer and the week before, my buddy Josh and I had talked about our workouts – how we warm up, how we keep track of laps. Stuff like that. I was going to try some of his ideas and it was early that day, but someone was already in the pool, putting in their work – head down, strong kicks, big  flip turns.

I put my towel in a chair, put my googles and my pennies - which I use to count sets - in a neat little pile at the end of an open lane at the edge of the pool. I started stretching and took a look at the other swimmer. It was Josh. He has an unmistakable balding pattern that was clearly visible in the water as he headed down his lane towards me. “Oh,” I thought, “this is going to fun.”

When Josh made his flip turn, I had backed away so he wouldn’t see me. I kept stretching and by the time he was headed back towards me and got close to the end of the pool, I took four or five running steps and I launched and tucked into the tightest cannonball an unlimber, middle-aged man could tuck in to. My launch was high, my angle was perfect, my timing was perfect, and I rolled slightly backwards to hit the water on the small of my back to make the biggest explosion possible right next to him. I saw a hole in the water form around me. I saw the water rise up on either side of me and then cave in back down on top of me, and I felt that wonderful concussion one feels when the water slams down on you after executing a flawless cannonball.

It must have thrown Josh ten feet in the air. I imagined him air born, mid-stroke, staring wild-eyed through his goggles wondering what in the world had just happened. Who did this? I heard big drops of water still hitting the surface and as I came up and I was gasping for air because I already laughing.

Most events in my world take careful and deliberate planning. But every now and then I have a quick and brilliant idea and I throw together a quick and brilliant plan that works flawlessly and I surprise myself at how well I’ve done. I tell myself that I’m smarter than I give myself credit for. Usually when I rush things, things go wrong.

Josh stood up, looked at me with his mouth wide open, ripped his googles off and…it wasn’t Josh. It was someone I had never met before. Someone I didn’t know.

I just stood there. I didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t form a word. And I finally just muttered “Oh. Sorry,” and swam away as fast as I could and didn’t stop swimming until he had finished his workout, left the pool and I had seen him drive away. It was awful.

Quick planning did it to me again.

I’m Cam Marston and I’m just trying to Keep it Real.