Saturday, February 9, 2008


I am one of the officers in a Toastmasters International club at work. I am the Sargent at Arms. We had officer training at Baylor University. I signed up for the training and clicked a button that said I would participate in the speech contest.

Today I participated in my first Toastmaster competition. I came away with a trophy for my "tall tale".

After the speech Eric turned to his mother and asked if that was a tall tale. She answered that she didn't know. I had misread some of the information about the contest before I went and did not prepare a tall tale, but a speech that was more geared toward telling an entertaining story from my life.

When I got there I had to reformulate the story in my mind to fit a tall tale. It was IMO nonconformant to the specified criteria. OH Well! (There were only three contestants in my category, so I was awarded a trophy by default. At least I was not disqualified.).

Maybe next time I can go (if there is a next time) and compete in earnest.


  1. It was a wonderful speech. You should have been there. Thanks honey for sharing your values and thoughts through Toastmasters.

  2. I would have loved to been there. Would you consider sharing your speech in writing?

  3. I could not share it in writing as it was very ad lib. Here it goes as I remember it. (you know that the second thing to go is the memory, especially the short term memory)

    Toastmasters and family, I am grateful to be here to share with you. I am not very competative, even though my wife Jeanette will tell you different. When things get tough I give up.

    In our house we have played the tall tale game where we start out with very simple subject and then things will permutate into things that are strange. Eric will always take things to being an alien with appendages out of its head. Or it will have something to do with Bruce the Moose.

    Today I am going to take a different tack on the tall tale and ask, "What if we could travel in time? What if we could go to the future? What if we could go to the past? What would you do?

    I have heard it say that you can only live in the present. What if you could travel in time?

    I love my family and care very much about them. I would like to see my family in the future do magnificent things. I would like to see them progress to be great in many things. I would like to see them be great people. I would like to see them be spiritually great, intellectually superior, and make a positive contribution to their society.

    I would go in the past to my younger years and change some things. I would go back and change that day that I smoked my first cigarette.

    Maybe I could go back to Columbine High School and change the events of that day. My family was impacted by that event. We lived across the road from the park where Columbine was. I worked with a couple people that had children that were affected directly in that event. One father lost his daughter because she was murdered. Another father had his son paralyzed from the waste down. Would I change that day?

    Would it be right to change history? I would not go back and change things in the past. I will strive to do things that will have a positive effect in the present.

    Every one of us have an influence in the circle around us. You can effect a change. Never underestimate you influence.

    (take this as a cursory summary)

  4. Since you reformulated your talk on the spot, I'm guessing there isn't a typed version you could share with us. If I had to pick one person to share a "tall tale", I'd pick you.

  5. I would not get excited about this. I have done much better before. No brag, just fact.

  6. Thanks for your summary, Larry. I know that I have some of the same time travel yearnings. Oh, how I would like to go back in time and make better decisions based on what I know now, but that isn't an option is it? I can only take the experiences of the past and the knowledge I have today to try and make better decisions.

    I wish I had more of a competitive spirit in me. I, too, am one that gives up too easily when the going is tough.

  7. I wish I could have been there to hear your talk. Time does have an effect on things. Our choices do make a difference. I wonder if I could go back and change some of the things in my life if the end of it all would be different. I wonder if I had married differently, if I would have each of you in my life. I would not change the blessings of my life with you as my children for anything. You are my crown jewels. Mom

  8. If wishes were fishes we could have a fish fry.


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