The Big Bang - Part 1


February 8th 1980 was the day that I moved from Fort Smith, Arkansas to Dallas, Texas.

As the days turned into weeks and the weeks into months, I remained friendless and not quite convinced that my ‘brave’ move to the big city was such a good one. Packing it in and returning to Canada was just a few paychecks away as I was far too proud to ask my parents for the money to go back home.

Then, when I least expected it, things began to change.

In my early twenties I considered myself a ‘heavy sleeper’ and was known to sleep through my alarm on occasion. After a few embarrassing “wake-up” calls from my Charge Nurse, I decided that it would be worth the $10.00 a month to hire a ‘live’ answering service to get me up.

Every morning, just like clockwork, my phone would ring at precisely 5:30 am. My personal wake-up guy, ‘John’ was on the other end enthusiastically telling me it was ‘TIME TO GET UP, JOAN!” in one of those booming The Price is Right, ‘COME ON DOWN!’ sort of voices. Bless his heart. John cajoled, bantered and yik-yacked with me… “ARE YOU AWAKE YET, JOAN?”…until I was finally able to convince him that I was in fact awake. It was only then that he would hang up. He took his wake-up calls very seriously and for that, I am grateful.

I tell you all of this because I want you to appreciate just how deep a sleeper I was and how that impacted my life on the night of April 15th 1980…

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