Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Pam Burke 

Yes, that is so super cool


August 1, 2014

We’ve all met those people, those cool people who are so super cool that they don’t even know that they’re cool or that you are a changed person just by having met them.

Should you ever have the opportunity, or whatever, to meet me, you will soon start wondering where you could go to find such a person. Kind of like a cleansing of the mind’s palate after encountering something distasteful.

I don’t really have much personal experience with being cool — regular cool, super cool, or otherwise. I always say I’ve done only two cool things in my life. By now, though, I’ve forgotten what one of them was. That’s so super not cool.

While I am no expert on cool factor on a personal level, I have had the opportunity to meet several super cool people, and it seems to me that they all have one trait in common: an intense interest in something — notably, something other than themselves.

I, on the other hand, am content, and a little bit surprised, to wake up breathing every morning. I write a weekly column each week that is, more often than is merited, about me. Me. ME. Not cool, but it won’t stop me from breathing.

I rarely discuss here in my column the writing assignments I’ve had for my day job at the paper — that would be drawing attention to an aspect of my life in which creation of a profession product is the reasonable expectation and my odds of failure are high, which makes me super neurotic.

Plus, it might actually be a positive way to entice, you — the unwary readers who have stumbled upon this space I fill — to actually read more of the paper, and that would be a productive use of my print space, which is super not my way of operating.

Despite my obvious failings, I really do enjoy meeting these super cool people. They are inspiring, heartwarming, endearing, fun, tear-worthy and memorable, and it drives me nuts when, for any of a variety of reasons, I can’t include more about a super cool person in the article I write.

Inevitably, super cool people have a lot of super cool things for me to write about that they just talk about like it’s no big thing, or they don’t even mention. You hear about the coolness from someone close to them.

Me, I just get a sliver and I’m, like, “No! Let me tell the story! You won’t tell it right!!” And then I launch into a 15 minute saga about the quarter-inch log (not a minuscule slice, twig or branch) that got lodged in the end of my little finger, right next to a major artery and nearly severing one of my main plexus nerves. At some point in this heroic tale, I will say with obviously false modesty that I didn’t even go to the doctor.

No one will care.

I’m cool with that, but it ain't stoppin' me.

To get back to the part of this point that’s not about me, I have to say I’m always sad when I have to leave super cool information in the notebook, unwritten about. Today, though, I’m seizing my own moment to right a few of my wrongs.

A few weekends ago I spent a Saturday morning with an impressive group of shooters at the Hill County Shooting Sports Recreation Area. (Shameless plug: Read more about it in today’s Hi-Line Living, page B1, complete with Eric Seidle’s cool photos.)

I met some cool people there and one super cool guy with a great life story and a positive attitude that he punctuated with an infectious smile.

At 80 years old he was using his lifelong passion for shooting to inspire his rehab from a recent shoulder surgery.

Though he struggled some to do what he had done with practiced ease for many decades, he still shot like a champ and smiled big when he made a hit — and smiled when he didn't.

Frankly, his skill, his positive attitude, his focus, his knowledge, all were super cool, but that smile was — with all due respect — adorable.

I was prepared to do any outlandish thing possible to make that smile repeat.

I accepted an invitation to borrow a rifle, and I shot offhand with open sights at a metal target 100 yards away with a gun I'd never touched before. I hit two out of four shots. That made him smile. That was super cool.

Now, I want to adopt him. My husband said I could, as long as I feed him and spend time target practicing with him.


(Yes, I was blessed with a little luck that day at the rifle range. I'm not too cool to accept that at pam@viewfromthenorth40.com.)


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