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Hot Check and a Prayer, By Mark Anthony Given



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           The Land of Milk and Honey is Now the Land of Money. -Bob Dylan  
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      I'M THE SEVENTH SON and I was born on the Sabbath,  April 27, 1957, in a sleepy little outpost of Orlando, Florida, twenty miles inland from the Atlantic, at Sanford, Florida at exactly 7:07 in the morning.  I always thought being born in Florida was the coolest thing ever!  Cooler than being born in California or Montana or even New York!  It’s like being born on vacation!   Being born on a mandatory day of rest and rejuvenation, and permanent vacation, I suspect doomed me for a life of leisure, because other than "Getting to Heaven," and absent good breeding, I was absolutely devoid of ambition.  My sixth-grade teacher at Ballast Point Elementary School, in Tampa, told the whole class anyone of us could be President of the United States!  Anything was possible!  It sounded like a lot of work to me….

   My Dad drove a Yellow Taxi Cab and my mom was a housewife. Shortly after I was born I was sleeping in a pulled out dresser drawer of an ancient armorer or oak dresser, my mother once told me. The entire house except my father was down with the Measles; and that’s  a touchy situation for newborns, requiring a certain amount of prayer and presumably divine intervention.
In 1972 I was 15.  Looking at that picture all these years later I now know why every where I went people were looking at me like I was desert....


   BUT BEFORE THAT, the fiscally responsible hospital administrators refused to release me from the hospital unless and until the Hospital Bill was paid in full. My decorated US Army Veteran father assured the powers that be that he had no money and showed them his bank book to prove it. Well, the sharp eyed bean counters insisted my father write them a check for the entire amount despite assuring them he did not have the money in the bank and didn't expect to have that much in the bank anytime soon.  I was held for ransom;  No check No baby.

         SO MY FATHER LOADED up the once and future King of Montana, with smiling Mom’s and righteous indignation, headed straight downtown to the main branch of the newly defrauded bank, to inform them of the grave and imminent injustice.
   I tried to press my parents about the details of that part but could never get any specifics. Nowadays I love to tell that story and remind myself I came into this world on a Hot Check and a Prayer.

Copyright 2016 by Mark Anthony Given 
All Rights Reserved 
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