Welcome Poland! Thank you for joining the journey! To date, I have had readership from Croatia, Germany, Malaysia, Poland, South Korea, The United Kingdom and The USA! A world tour is shaping up nicely. Hint, hint! I can hardly believe it. Where are my readers from Australia, Canada, China, India, Mexico and Russia? I hope to reach the entire globe. Every Nation! There's still time - 46 weeks left.
I want to take a moment to thank Multicultural California for the generous comments about my blog on Facebook. I appreciate your perspective and encouragement. Well stated. I advise everyone reading to visit the Multicultural California page on Facebook and check out the posting on their timeline. Multicultural California supports the arts by video documenting and photographing various dancing forms from around the globe. The photos and videos can be found on You Tube and Facebook. Check them out! Also, this week's wedo word spelling comes from your comments: Wero! A fine addition to the ever growing list!
In a rush to publish my blog last Sunday before everyone got involved with the Super Bowl, my proof reading lapsed and there were a few grammar and spelling errors. Oops, apparently the wedo doesn't know English well either! My apologies. I corrected them on Monday and updated the blog. I tried to let them slide and was going to make it a game of sorts for my readers to try to find as many errors as possible, but it kept eating at me. So I fixed 'em. However, I'm sure there are still many, many errors in my writing and hope you are reading my blog for the entertainment and informational value and not for it's superb literary writing. I need an editor! I am guilty of being a perfectionist. "Michael, you are so hard on yourself," my friends always say. Guilty! I drive myself nuts!
For all the Super Bowl fans who saw my Super Bowl winner prediction on Facebook, that the 49ers were going to win, I'm sorry. I'm not a psychic! I will just stick with the folklorico dancing and refrain from making anymore predictions. I've had people tell me that they weren't going to follow my blog anymore due to the false prediction! Wow, get a life! Here I went to all that trouble to cause a power outage at the big game, just so you could take a few minutes and read my new post! So unappreciated! No more favors for you! You have no idea how difficult it was to pull that off!
In other news, I accomplished something this week that I never intended or set out to do in life! I am officially accused of being a "cyber stalker!" This one blew me away. Twitter suspended my account because apparently too many of their users blocked me or labelled my tweets as spam. This flagged my account. I was shocked because I only have five followers on Twitter. I'm new to Twitter and the only reason I got an account was to develop an audience for the blog. To my surprise, Twitter feels I am harassing their members. OMG! Really?
Perhaps I am missing the whole Twitter concept here. People write posts and include hash marks for key words should anyone search for the topic they are writing about. So I searched for "folklorico" and several tweets came up by users with that interest. I selected to "follow" these people, that share the common interest of folklorico, in hopes they might take an interest in me and follow me too. That makes me a stalker? Am I mistaken here? Isn't the whole premise of Twitter to "follow" people? The term "follow" is stalker-ish in itself. I am befuddled. How embarrassing for following people and getting kicked off a site that dedicated to following people.
I had to agree to a bunch of terms and conditions and they un-suspended my account with a warning that I needed to discontinue my bad behavior or I will be permanently banned from the site. The folklorico dancing wedo is a danger to Internet society! I promptly un-followed everyone that I was following. Bottom line here is, you can still follow me on Twitter, but I won't be following anyone. Hopefully those that would have an interest in this blog will find me. Your help in sharing my posts and spreading the word is more important than ever!
Lastly, it was brought to my attention this week that I talk about Richard a lot in this blog, which is to be about me and my experience. Truth is without Richard there would be no folklorico wedo or a blog for that matter. Richard taught me everything I know about folklorico. He has been by my side throughout the entire journey. Therefore, I will be talking about him. He is part of every chapter of my story, but I would only be a paragraph or two in his. He is the real deal. He has lived a folklorico dancing life. A future project that I would like to do is write his biography and the history of Herencia Mexicana. He has a truly amazing story to share.
The Miracles of Dancing
As you already know, I grew up in Michigan. The good old Midwest. My father was a minister. He was a pastor of the United Methodist Church for a time. The church owned a campground and we lived in the parsonage there on the property. My parents also ran and maintained the grounds. My father had a big tractor that he used to do many of the assorted tasks that needed to be performed. In the fall of 1978, August to be exact, my father hitched up a semi truck flat bed trailer on the back of the tractor. It was time to prepare for the winter snowfall. There were many picnic tables on the grounds. The tables had metal legs on them that would rust from the water and snow. To avoid the rust, every fall the tables were collected and stored under a pavilion. It was table harvest time.
It was a week before my fourth birthday. A friend of my father's came to help with loading up the tables onto the flat bed trailer to be taken and stored. I decided to tag along for the days work. In the front of the large industrial farm tractor was a hug scoop which was used for dirt removal, digging and/or plowing snow. That day I was riding along in the scoop of the tractor while the adult men did their work. I was dragging my feet and we moved along. Sure enough, I fell out of the scoop and under the tractor I went. Unfortunately, my father did not see this happen as he was looking back at the trailer. All I remember was the bone crushing pressure as the front tires went across my body. It knock the wind out of me and I couldn't even cry out for help. The terrain was bumpy and it was common to jerk around while driving. My father thought nothing of the little bump and continued onward. Then came the large rear wheel of the tractor and underneath I went. This time the tractor had some difficulty making it over and I remember it kind of stopping on top of me briefly before spitting me out behind. Then, horror set in as my father realized what had happened.
I remember my father jumping off the tractor in panic and fear and rushed over to my limp body. He picked me up and ran to the parsonage calling for my mother. My mother came running out of the house and my father passed me off to her and they jumped into the Suburban truck to rush me to the hospital. Indeed, there was comfort in mother's arms. As we went to the hospital I told my mom, "Look!" My arm had a gash on it where the flesh had been ripped away and was bleeding. I remember mom putting a paper towel on it. We arrived at the hospital where the emergency staff were waiting and ready. They took me in and laid me on a cold metal table. They removed my clothes and gave me a catheter. What exactly happened after that I do not recall. All I can say is, "Ouch!" It was a horribly traumatic event.
For the next several months I was in the hospital. I had broken my pelvis and sustained multiple injuries. I was the only child in the area of the children's wing where I was recovering. One day a lady from the church came and visited me. She must have sensed I was bored out of my mind because she went home and made several stuff animal toys for me. One was a big hippo and another was a yellow bird. I also had a Rocky & Bullwinkle coloring book. I made a full recovery and the hospital called me "The Miracle Boy." Throughout the rest of my childhood my mother continued to call me her "Little Miracle Boy." On the day I left the hospital, one of the nursing staff asked me if I would like to leave my coloring book so other children that came would have something to do. I told them, "NO!" What a brat! After all that, I hadn't lost my spunk!
The photos above are not of the actual tractor, but they will give you an idea of what I'm talking about and the size. In 1983, my family moved away from the camp leaving the tractor behind. I took only the memory of it and the events affiliated with it, with me. I was in the 3rd grade. If you have ever seen the movie, Faith Like Potatoes, there is a scene where a child falls off a tractor and gets run over and is killed. It's based on a true story. Later in life, I watched this movie with my parents. When it came to this scene, you could read their faces which reflected the pain and fear they experienced earlier in life. Life had moved on but the memories remain.
I believe in miracles. Do you? Let me count the miracles from just this single incident.
1.) I got ran over by a farm tractor and lived to tell about it.
2.) The front tires and the rear tire both ran over my mid section. The rear tire should have crushed my head.
3.) I made a full recovery and could walk.
4.) Not only could I walk, but 33 years later I started to dance folklorico.
5.) God worked a miracle in my life and blessed me with gifts. Those gifts are life and folklorico. God always gives the best gifts!
What miracles do you count?
I have a melancholy personality. Ya Think! In the summer of 2011 when this whole journey began, I was in sad shape - emotionally, socially and physically. I had gone through a stressful and rough two years for many reasons. I became very down and depressed. Dancing folklorico has been a form of therapy for me and has helped me pull my life back together. Not only is it a miracle that I can dance at all, but God used folklorico to work a miracle in me as well. It wasn't anything that I anticipated in life. I'm actually quite surprised. But I am grateful.
Be sure to check back Sunday for new big wedo posting. Next week I'm sharing the first dance performance and you won't want to miss that!
Contact Information for "The Big Wedo":
Google E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook: One Big Wedo (Guero)
Twitter: Michael Smith @onebigwedo
Contact Information for Ballet Folklorico de Herencia Mexicana:
Richard Solorzano, Director: (909) 201-1957
Facebook: Herencia Mexicana
Note: Looking for your own adventure or journey? Herencia is a great place to find one! Folklorico lessons and performances are both available. Herencia Mexicana performs for private & public events of all kinds. Book your event today! Herencia Mexicana welcomes new students. No previous folklorico or dance experience required. All are welcome.