Oh, he's perfect now (Bud made me say that!!) but that wasn't always the case. Here are just a few of the times he was Mr. Imperfect.
His chemistry teacher in high school, Mr. Seaman, had a hearing disability. He wore a hearing aid which was connected by a wire to the battery in his shirt pocket. Bud was reading a report to the class & he slowly kept lowering his voice. The teacher kept fiddling with the hearing aid battery until he finally realized what was going on. His comment: "There's a skonk (his pronunciation) in this class!!"
He claims not to remember everything he did, but he apparently stopped doing it. Bud & a friend wanted to take Physics II without previously taking Physics I. They need a recommendation from the same Mr. Seaman to get into the advanced class. This is what he wrote: "Merrifield & Fischer were good boys the second ten weeks." They got in.
Bud & some friends had visions of becoming teenage entrepreneurs. One Christmas season they went to UCLA under the cover of night to build up their inventory. They thought it would be a good idea to sell holly & pine boughs on a busy street corner. They carefully clipped (stole) holly from a bush in front of Kerckhoff Hall (a major UCLA building) & found some pine cones nearby. They had also actually purchased a small amount from a florist so that they could have a receipt in case the police questioned them. They took their stash into Westwood Village & set up shop in front of Woolworth's. The manager came out to chase them away, but after the boys gave him a bottle of booze he gave them exclusive rights to sell in front of his store. While on another trip to UCLA to replenish their supplies they were caught by the campus police. The head botanist was called. One of Bud's friends (We'll call him Max. To see how Max handled another stressful situation, click here.) told the botanist that of course they had stolen the pine boughs but that he wasn't about to admit that to the police. The botanist laughed & said that they were about to tear down the tree, anyway, but that it should be done properly & then proceeded to cut down a bunch of boughs himself & give them to Max & the boys. They also learned a little about pricing. When they realized that one of their potential customers was Clifton Webb, who was a big movie star at the time, they tried to raise the price. Mr. Webb was having none of that, but he did buy at the regular price.
He's now a pretty careful driver; maybe a little too careful. I have accused him of being a graduate of the HELEN KELLER SCHOOL OF DRIVING. He is apparently more comfortable driving by Braille, because he is constantly on the Bott’s dots (the little reflective markers used to separate lanes) so he can feel his way along the road. According to him, there are three types of drivers on the road. They would be the maniacs (people who speed & cut him off), the putzes (those who drive way under the speed limit) & him. The next two incidents also happened during his teenage days.
He was driving his mother's car home & was distracted by a posthole digger, as any man or boy would be. He found it fascinating, so much so that he drove into a bus that had stopped to pick up passengers. When the police arrived they asked him how it happened & why he was driving like that. He told them he didn't know; he always drove that way!!
Then there was the time he knocked a police officer off his motorcycle. To be fair, that may not have been his fault. His story: He was driving on Pacific Coast Highway, which is fairly narrow in some parts. Somebody pulled in front of him & cut him off (obviously a maniac) & he swerved to avoid hitting him. There was some gravel on the road which made it slippery. There was a policeman standing in the road with his foot resting on his bike while he was writing someone a ticket. Bud slammed on his brakes, but was unable to avoid tapping the bike, scaring the hell out of the officer & knocking him onto his ass on the street. The officer was uninjured, but Bud doesn't remember what, if anything, the officer said to him (assuming he was still able to talk).
To show that Bud (& I) aren't the only ones who now think he's perfect, I'd like to share this email that he received from a client this past Father's Day:
As I sit here grateful for your help throughout the years during this Father's Day weekend, I realize that there are not many people in the world that can measure up to the things you have done for me. I know that I am simple and the problems I got into seem trivial to most but for me it was insurmountable at the time. With your help it seems I overcame these travails and came out smelling like a rose. I practiced for 52 years and you said anyone who would put a shingle up and build a practice is a man. I didn't believe you but it is one of the blessings that is paramount in my life. The reason for this writing is my father would be really be touched but he passed before I realized your help. My father was the reason that I accomplished my goal and I needed to be thankful for my dad and you on Father's Day.
Happy Father's Day and Aloha and Mahalo.
Since Bud is now perfect, this is his theme song: