Perhaps I should briefly discuss, describe, complain or swing regarding the purpose of the the name of this website. Swing Like a Wild Man was created by my brother, Tom, yet provoked by my brother, Greg. Physically, I applied it. Verbally, Tom patented it. I believe Webster’s official definition of it is: when frustrated over a game such as Monopoly or backgammon or perhaps being picked on or just generally pissed, one must throw punches resulting in hitting a brother, one of his friends, another brother or the Comcast guy outside trying to fix your cable.

Being the youngest of 13, six girls, seven boys, it was critical to defend yourself. They were all tough, mostly the girls, with the exception of Steve, a freak and fruitloop of nature.

I was both the youngest and smallest. If you can imagine a raccoon in a garage faced by two dogs, that was me. They were going to beat me and provide necessary concussions, but they weren’t going to have fun doing it. Tom and Greg, my oldest and closest brothers picked on me a bit, but since I couldn’t beat them up, I beat up their friends. That usually wasn’t a problem. I merely was forced to swing like a wild man. I was an extremely crude version of one of my pugilistic favorites, Sugar Ray Leonard.

Reasons for swinging and crying like a wild man: The LA Dodgers losing to the Atlanta Braves on a grand slam in the 9th inning while your brothers taunt you concerning the loss…the Seattle Seahawks, losing on a Sunday after a pious day in church………Greg calling me “toehead” for the 8th’ billionth time……..someone drinking my glass of eggnog on New Year’s Eve……and eventually, a blackjack dealer uttering the words, “Blackjack” just before I thought I could afford to buy my mom a Grandfather Clock.

My writing consists of non-fiction stories littered with thoughts I can only wish to relive. Sometimes, the true tales are sugar coated with happiness, while at others, they may be stained with a writer’s uncanny knack of forgetting some subtle or non subtle details of the past.  They are memorable stories of family, friends, religion, gambling, arch rivals, sin, forgiveness and love.  These are not my memoirs.  Rather, they are simple tales provided by those magnificent people surrounding me, shaping me, and protecting me for so many precious years.

Want alerts for the latest Wildman posts?  Follow Swing Like A Wildman (@bengannon13) on Twitter via https://twitter.com/BenGannon13.

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  34. Gannon!

    Hey, this is Kaylor. I highly doubt you remember me at all, but I will never forget you…

    You were one of my 7th grade teachers at EVMS. I just graduated high school this year, (Wooo!) so it has been about five and a half years since you’ve seen me. I have always been a really short, freckled, young looking kid…

    Whenever the topic of school comes up, and I’m asked who my favorite teacher was, I always reply with “My 7th grade English teacher, Mr. Gannon”. I always had so much fun in that class, you never failed to entertain me. In an attempt to ring a bell about who I am, or which class I was from, here are some of my memories from your class in my 7th grade year:

    *Jana Smith was in my class. She was kind of like your T.A., always at your computer and stuff

    *I think Gerrett Lawson and Jeremy Young were in that class with me as well. You may remember them (They’re still two of my best friends to this day)

    *Quinton Shababy was also in our class. He is black and had a lot of hair. I’m sure you would remember him from his name

    *One day, you were attempting to golf in class, and hit a ball of paper into a trash can. When you swung the club, you hit the American flag that was above your head and almost knocked it off the wall

    *An orange peel was sitting on top of your computer for weeks because it was an orange that you had peeled all in one piece

    *One day you and Mr. Russel opened up the wall dividing your guys’ class rooms, drew targets on the white boards, and attempted to “shoot” a laser pointer at the center of the target from across the room

    *Every time I picture you, I think of you standing in front of the class with a water bottle in your hand, and water in your mouth. As soon as you went to talk or respond to someone, you would let the water in your mouth fall out and onto the floor

    *I also remember that you used to always jump up and stand on the desks

    *I was from the year when a student threw a rock at a seagull out in the field, breaking it’s wing, and leaving it to suffer for days. You and Mr. Russel went out and finally put it out of its misery. (A not-so-good memory)

    My list of memories from your class could go on and on.

    I recently heard from someone that you have “changed” and that you had a blog online. After a couple minutes of searching, here I am. It is good to here about you, and know that you’re still out there. I just wanted to say thank you for being such a fun and memorable teacher. I’m glad to hear that you’re doing well, and happily married.

    Whether you remember me exactly or not, just know that one of your previous students will be here reading your blog! =) Cheers to class of 2012!

    ~Kaylor Jordan

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