Sunday, May 3, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

By the way, I am tall

tony wade column sig

By
From page A2 | March 24, 2014 |

Many folks are captivated by us tall people. My standard answer now for when anyone asks me my height is “5-foot-16.”

For those who are not math whizzes, that is 6 feet 4 inches tall. The average male height in the U.S. is 5 feet 10 inches. So I am considered tall.

Actually, I have been considered tall all my life. At Breezy Point kindergarten in Virginia, I was as tall as my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Nottingham. Actually she was kinda short, but still.

You would think that a tall, lanky kid would naturally have gravitated toward playing basketball at a young age, but not me. I was way more into reading comic books.

I didn’t really learn the rules of basketball until I was in seventh grade at Grange Intermediate. The kid who taught me was Edison Sambajon, who, as it happens, was a very short dude.

I did come to love basketball and played my eighth-grade year at Grange and the first three years of high school at Armijo. It turns out that being tall definitely helps in basketball, but there is a bit more to it.

My dad loved to play basketball and installed a concrete court in our backyard. We played one-on-one often and he always beat me. He was bigger and taller than me, so he’d back me down to the basket and then put up a hook shot that I could not stop.

But then I grew taller.

One day we were playing and when he tried his hook shot, I blocked it. Repeatedly. It was awesome. That day was the first time I beat my dad playing basketball. It was not exactly like the scene in the movie “The Great Santini,” where the dad loses to his son and then angrily bounces the ball off his son’s head as they walk up the stairs, but my dad was a proud man and did not like to lose.

I was not a naturally skilled athlete by any stretch and part of the problem was I was not aggressive. My junior varsity coach, Jay Dahl, told me that when I got the ball in the low post, to go straight up and shoot it immediately. If a defender’s jaw was in the way, too bad.

What I had been doing was taking an unnecessary dribble when I got the ball. He explained that I didn’t go anywhere when I did that, I gave the defense time to adjust and I eliminated any height advantage I had because shorter players who were better ball handlers could, and often did, steal it from me.

I practiced hard at scoring and improved. In fact, I won Most Improved Player that year at our awards ceremony. Still, I routinely got more fouls than points in games.

One thing about being tall was that it became hard to find clothes and shoes. Back then, Nikes were the new thing and the whole team had them with a cool purple swoosh – except me. They only went up to size 12 and I wore a size 13 (now 14). I did have some cool Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Adidas sneakers, but I didn’t feel special, I felt different.

I am not complaining about being tall, but it is a bit overrated. I have some questions:

  • Why is it OK to ask a tall person if they ever played basketball, but no one ever asks a short person if they were a jockey?
  • Do you have any idea how many times I have been putting on my shirt or stretching and had my hand smacked painfully by the ceiling fan?
  • Do you realize it was kinda dehumanizing to know that when I worked at Lucky and they called me on the intercom, it was almost always because there was something high that someone couldn’t reach?
  • Do you really think I enjoy looking at the dandruff on the top of your head no one else sees?
  • Stop being so enamored by height. There’s nothing up here . . . except less oxygen, annoying cumulus clouds and pesky low-flying aircraft.

Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at [email protected].

Tony Wade

Tony Wade

Tony Wade is the slightly older yet infinitely more handsome brother of long-time DR columnist Kelvin Wade
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 4 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • CD BrooksMarch 24, 2014 - 5:56 am

    Tony, I am average height but my brothers and most friends are much taller. I used to laugh at them when trying to buy cars. "Fitting" wasn't something I'd ever had to consider so I found it amusing. I don't envy you guys when it comes to buying clothes either...Wow!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Jason KnowlesMarch 24, 2014 - 3:00 pm

    I'm 5' 20" and this world was not built for us. I wear a size 17 shoe. Thanks God (or Al Gore) for the Internet. I can now buy clothes rather easily. Not much of a selection is available for us "ample-sized" gentlemen, but much more than when I was in high school and college. When people ask if I play basketball, you can ask them "Do you play miniature golf?" On the whole, I wouldn't trade my height for anything (except when traveling on an airplane). The air up here is rare and sweet!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895March 24, 2014 - 9:38 pm

    I am average height too. But now that I know you're 5-20, I am even more glad we are so often on the same side. Warding off oafs must be another thing size is good for, no?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • ?March 24, 2014 - 10:16 pm

    I think you are just offal, oaful, full of it.... I mean awful rlw.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Solano County to add War on Terror names to memorial

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
3rd-graders study nature at Fairfield park

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Pros have tough time with financial news

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: C1

 
Fairfield industrial sector remains hot

By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: C1, 22 Comments

 
I’m asking for your forgiveness

By Steve Kiefer | From Page: D2, 3 Comments

 
Calico’s legacy lives on to this day

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2, 9 Comments

 
Snow Mountain hike set on Mother’s Day

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Library continues spring book sale

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Knitters group about to start in Vacaville

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Sacramento rally to support child advocacy

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Airmen from Vacaville finish basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: C4

 
Band festival brings sweet music to downtown Fairfield

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
CASA of Solano seeks volunteers

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A13

 
Public hearing set before Mental Health Advisory Board

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A13

.

US / World

Britain says hello to newest princess

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
NYPD officer in critical condition after shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
‘Be Kind to Animals’ celebrates 100 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: D6, 1 Comment

Four charged with cruelty to animals

By The Associated Press | From Page: D6

 
Drop out thinks he can get you a tech industry job

By Bloomberg News | From Page: A9

Damage soars as Oakland demonstrations turn violent

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 7 Comments

 
Japanese PM sees ‘alliance of hope’ with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Plans are at odds over fate of medical marijuana

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
‘Huggy’ returns to Capitol after 12-year hiatus

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Sea Lion found wandering the streets of SF

By Bloomberg News | From Page: A11

 
Portman doing balancing act with re-election, trade

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Need for cybersecurity experts met by trend in cyber camps

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Lincoln’s hometown re-enact his funeral

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
ISIS kills 25 captive Yazidis in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Pope Francis set to name Serra a saint in DC ceremony

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
.

Living

US colleges bringing in chaplains to serve the nonbelievers

By The Associated Press | From Page: D2Comments are off for this post | Gallery

 
Today in history: Sunday, May 3, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Community Calendar: May 3, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
My 67-year-old husband won’t stop viewing porn on his computer

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: D4

Love Your Lines: stretch marks go viral in support of women

By The Associated Press | From Page: D4

 
Horoscope: May 3, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: D4

Crabapples come in many varieties (some aren’t even crabby)

By The Associated Press | From Page: D4 | Gallery

 
.

Entertainment

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: D3

 
T. Coraghessan Boyle wins $30,000 for short story writing

By The Associated Press | From Page: D3

On his list: John Oates of Hall & Oates has book deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: D3

 
Illness memoir ‘The Iceberg’ wins Wellcome Book Prize

By The Associated Press | From Page: D3

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: C5

 
.

Sports

Mayweather wins unanimous decision over Pacquiao

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders head to Travis AFB for Day 3 of NFL Draft

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Favorite American Pharoah rallies to win Kentucky Derby

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Grizzlies, Warriors ready to meet in conference semifinals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Joey Logano uses big block on last lap to win Xfinity race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Raiders fill more holes on final day of draft

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Odor’s RBI single in 10th lifts Rangers past A’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Michael Allen leads Champions Tour’s Insperity Invitational

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Posey, Crawford homer in Giants’ 5-4 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

49ers fortify offense on third day of draft

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Murray wins twice for BMW Open final against Kohlschreiber

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Jeff Gordon leads Hendrick in pole-winning run at Talladega

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kreider’s early goal leads Rangers over Capitals in Game 2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Thompson ricochets to share of LPGA Tour lead with Park

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Paul lifts Clippers past Spurs, 111-109 in Game 7

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

McIlroy in a fight with Casey until darkness gets in the way

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

Starbucks breakdown shows how registers have evolved

By The Associated Press | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Offshore wind energy sector off to slow start in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Recalls this week: Kaleidoscope toys, batteries

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
A chip off the old Croc: The return of the ugly shoe

By Bloomberg News | From Page: C3, 1 Comment | Gallery

Review: Getting your Apple Watch? Here’s how to use it

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
US seeks to compensate victims of Sudan, Iran and Cuba

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
.

Obituaries

Sherman Elwood

By Nancy Green | From Page: A13

 
George Benjamin Kimes Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A13

Gerald Mc Devitt

By Nancy Green | From Page: A13

 
Fred L. Kirk

By Nancy Green | From Page: A13

Marcello T Gemignani

By Nancy Green | From Page: A13

 
Lois Geraldine Johnston

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A13

.

Comics

.

Summer Sunsational 2015

Solano County Fair: Something for everyone

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM6

Get ready to get down to the music at Dixon fair

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM13

Cars, cars and more cars

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM18

Farmers markets, produce stands offer regional bounty

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM19

Golf, anyone? Lots to choose from

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM20

More wine! Solano offers much to tease the palate

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM22

Get back to nature across Solano County

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM23

Mondavi Center brings world-class performances to region

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM29

Go behind the scene on Anheuser-Busch brewery tours

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM30

Try your luck at area casinos

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM37

Fair fun continues during summer in Napa

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM45