50 Things That Make Me Smile

1. Bella

3. The building that sits on the corner of Michigan and Trumball
4. The opening drum beat of the Ronettes’ Be My Baby
5. Georgia peaches and Kentucky bourbon
6. The one girl who can out run the flock of boys she hangs out with
7. The inimitable feeling that tingles my spine and cracks my smile when my little sister and brother look up at me in wonder and tell me I’m the best big brother anyone could have.
8. An old couple kissing in the park

9. "Deep down in Louisiana, close to New Orleans
Way back up in the woods amongst the evergreens
There stood a log cabin made of Earth and wood
Where lived a country boy named Johnny B. Goode"

10. Standing shirtless in a driving thunderstorm and dancing
11. Striped socks
12. Chasing fireflies in the hot summer night
13. First kisses, second kisses, third, fourth…1,856th…

14. Underdogs and impossible odds
15. "Sometimes nothin’ can be a real cool hand."
16. "I have a dream that one day my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
17. The word moist
18. Corny detective flicks shot in black and white
19. The words can’t and impossible
20. Antique typewriters
21. My favorite pair of jeans, worn out, beat up and perfectly fitting
22. Wurlitzer juke boxes
23. Getting a phone call, out of the blue, from an old friend
24. When they wear our white button-down shirts in the morning
25. The perfect shave
26. That one teacher who saw it in you to be great, and drove you to succeed
27. Bugs Bunny beating the Gashouse Gorillas in Baseball Bugs

28. Those little Styrofoam replicas of World War Two dogfighters with the little plastic nosepieces and adjustable wings
29. Trains, traveling by train, playing with toy trains, watching trains go by, songs about trains, and leaving pennies on the railroad tracks.
30. "I have read his fiery word, writ in burnished rows of steel
As ye deal with my condemners, so with you my grace shall deal…
Nothing gets to me quite like the Battle Hymn of the Republic
31. Link Wray’s Rumble…the Motorcycle Ride of the Valkries
32. "At that instant he saw, in one blaze of light, an image of unutterable conviction, the reason why the artist works and lives and has his being--the reward he seeks--the only reward he really cares about, without which there is nothing. It is to snare the spirits of mankind in nets of magic, to make his life prevail through his creation, to wreak the vision of his life, the rude and painful substance of his own experience, into the congruence of blazing and enchanted images that are themselves the core of life, the essential pattern whence all other things proceed, the kernel of eternity."
-Thomas Wolfe
33. The phrase criminal mischief
34. My Mom’s handwriting, more akin to hieroglyphics than alpha-numeric print, but beautiful nevertheless
35. Senator and Mrs. John Blutarsky
36. "You’re killin’ me, Smalls."

37. September, because it’s gorgeous everywhere
38. "I have not yet begun to fight."
39. The previews
40. Autumn leaves and hot cider, oh, and the WORLD SERIES
41. Her bedroom smile…
42. My Aunt Millie’s feasts…the greatest food EVER
43. Starting your own campfire and cooking the fish you caught over it
44. Old photographs of reporters in fedoras banging away at typewriters with cigars in their mouths

45. The undying creativity of Jim Henson
46. My Grandad’s hugs…the shake the shit out of you, lift you off the ground, leave you gasping for breath hugs, and his freaky old-man strength
47. Pigtails
48. Chuck Taylor All-Stars

49. Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, because they knew my life story before I was ever around
50. Remembering the one that got away…

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