I have been “tagged” by Frank Stonehouse and Nik Peachey with the “meme” to write about seven things readers may not know about me. A meme is basically a question or task that a blogger “tags” other bloggers with to write about.

Just to be ornery, I’m only sharing six. Here they are:

* I won the “Best Hustler” award at a 1970 Milwaukee Bucks summer basketball camp when I was eleven years old.  That was the prize they gave to players who couldn’t dribble, shoot, run, or play defense.  Since that time, I’ve been pretty good about playing basketball between one-and-three times a week.  However, it’s safe to say my skill level has not improved appreciably over that period of time.

* Before I became a teacher five years ago, and prior to my community organizing career before that, I spent seven years working with the Catholic Worker Movement.  The CW is sort of the progressive wing of the Catholic Church — combining soup kitchens and emergency shelters with political work on peace and social justice issues.   One time, while I was sweeping up around the passed-out Skid Row guys on our front porch, a police officer came up and started yelling at me for not being able to control things — they were getting a lot of complaints from our neighors.  One of the drunk guys pulled himself up on the bannister and said to the cop, “Officer, Larry tries. He tries hard.  We just don’t listen to him.”

* I was born without a sense of smell.  That came in real handy when I would drive around in a van to pick up discarded food for the soup kitchen.  Firefighting probably wouldn’t have been a good career choice.

* Our family has three animals — one cat (Josie) who goes around thinking to herself (I’m a mind-reader), “Die, dogs, die”; another dog (Bella) who goes around thinking to herself, “Die, Josie and Lola (our other dog), die”; and the other dog (Lola) who goes around thinking, “This is sure a fun place to live.”

* I usually ask my students each Friday to reflect on their week.  One time I asked them to share the most important thing they learned in class during the previous few days.  One student responded, “I didn’t learn anything, but that’s okay because Mr. Ferlazzo tried his best.”

* One of my stepdaughters, after she became an adult, told me, “Larry, I can’t believe how badly I treated you when I was growing up.”  I replied, “At the time, I couldn’t believe it, either.”

If, and only if,  they’re interested in doing this, too, I’m “tagging” Alice Mercer, Gail Dresler, David Deubelbeiss, Karen Janowski, Paul Hamilton, and Jeffrey Hill.