My Birthday

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It’s my birthday today. I spent most of the day relaxing, then opened some gifts. Cake and ice cream are on the dinner’s dessert menu.

I unearthed some old birthday posts from my past blogs no longer on the Internet, and decided to share a couple here.

From February 10, 2019: “Birthdays and Life”

baby pic
My baby pic. Copyright © 2023 Steven Leo Campbell at – All rights reserved.

Today’s my birthday. I was born on a wintery Sunday. My mother said she went into labor while laughing at Jerry Lewis. She and my father were watching Hollywood or Bust at the movie theater. She loved Jerry Lewis movies. My dad, not so much. He didn’t like Jerry’s style of humor, but he enjoyed Dean Martin’s singing. It was Dean and Jerry’s last movie together.

jerry lewis
“Hey, lady!” Jerry Lewis.

So, anyhoo, I came into this world around 11:30pm that Sunday, during a typical February snowstorm in northwestern Pennsylvania. I was Mom’s second child and the first to survive childbirth. She had four more boys, and I was big brother to, and protector of, a wild bunch of rapscallions.

When I was born, Dwight Eisenhower was the US president and a postage stamp cost 3 cents. Hawaii and Alaska weren’t US states yet.

dwight eisenhower
“We like Ike!” Dwight Eisenhower.

Some of the news from the year I was born:

  • Congress approved the first civil rights bill since Reconstruction to protect blacks’ voting rights,
  • Hurricane “Audrey” destroyed Cameron, Louisiana killing 390 people,
  • National Guardsmen barred nine black students from entering previously all white Central High School in Little Rock,
  • The Russians launched Sputnik I, the first earth orbiting satellite,
  • The FBI arrested Jimmy Hoffa and charged him with bribery,
  • The Milwaukee Braves won the World Series,
  • The Detroit Lions won the NFL championship,
  • The Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup,
  • Jack Kerouac published On the Road,
  • Dr. Seuss published The Cat in the Hat,
  • And Laura Ingalls died in Mansfield, Missouri.

I became an avid reader at an early age and wrote my own stories. My schoolteachers encouraged me to continue writing. Comments in report cards and letters to my parents said:

  • Steve loves to daydream;
  • He has an amazing mind;
  • His writing is extremely original.

But I wanted to be an artist more than a writer. I drew every day. Even later in life, I knew I wanted to be an artist. Aptitude tests for the Navy and college said I was creative and artistic. And the Navy said I would make a good leader. My Myers-Brigg personality type indicator listed me as an ISTJ. Strengths for an ISTJ are responsible, reliable, and hardworking. ISTJs get the job done. They make great business executives, accountants, and lawyers.

But I wanted to be an artist. I’m imaginative. I’ve always had a very active imagination. I live in a bit of a dream world whenever I can get away with it. I’m a visual person and I appreciate beauty and design. So, I headed to the outdoors early in life and became a wildlife artist. I didn’t become rich or famous during the years that followed, but I did well enough and did what made me happy. Later in life, around 45, I began writing again. I had too many stories in my head that needed let out. A writing quiz for authors suggested that I write Young Adult stories. It summarized me as someone who “loves to write about years gone by” and is “flexible enough to write like a teenager, with the wisdom and perspective of an adult.” So, I did.

Today, I don’t write or make art as often as I did. Now, I read and think a lot. It’s only natural. I’m in the Thinking and Judgement part of my ISTJ personality, doing some soul searching. I have always been philosophical and contemplative to seek an understanding of the deeper reasons for life. Now, more than ever, I’m intrigued by the unexplained, the mysteries of life, and the phenomena of nature. My kinship and love for the outdoors sparks a deep appreciation for the wonderment and beauty of nature. When I’m outdoors in nature, I feel fully alive.

Quiet and serious, you are well prepared for whatever life hands you. —An ISTJ personality strength.

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From February 10, 2016: “Random Things About Me”

Today’s my birthday. After considering what to write about, I settled on writing some random things about me.

I was born on the day and year Laura Ingalls Wilder died. She was 90. She was the author of the best-selling “Little House” series of children’s novels. A friend who believes in reincarnation says that her soul returned on the day I was born, which is why I became a writer. Unlike Wilder, I’m a struggling author of paranormal fiction. If reincarnation is real, I’ll probably return as a snack food copywriter … or something just as boring.

According to older relatives, I began writing when I was very young. An aunt had a 4-sentence story I wrote for her when I was 4. It has a beginning and middle, but no ending. It now belongs to a cousin.

I became an actual author of sorts when I was 13 and received a typewriter for my birthday. I wrote stories, mimeographed the pages, put them in cardboard binders, and gave my books to family and friends. It’s pleasing to know your work is appreciated when someone says, “I loved your book. Do have any more?”

But as much as I loved to write stories, I loved to draw even more, which explains why I became a professional artist. If only falling in love with playing baseball had led to a career in it. I followed the Pittsburgh Pirates daily on the radio during my childhood summers. Roberto Clemente was my favorite player and I wanted to hit and field like him.

roberto clemente
Roberto Clemente drawing, graphite, 1989. Copyright © 2023 Steven Leo Campbell at – All rights reserved.

I met an actual baseball legend when I was 13: Ted Williams. Our town’s boat manufacturer made a line of fishing boats that he endorsed. Whenever he came to inspect the boats, he always made time to visit with the neighborhood kids. And since I was one of those kids, I was fortunate enough to hear him talk about baseball. He gave us kids batting tips that helped me become a better hitter. I even used a Ted Williams autographed bat to hit with when I played on my high school team. Go Bears!

ted williams
Ted Williams in my hometown. Copyright © 2023 Steven Leo Campbell at – All rights reserved.

I played baseball a lot when I was a kid, and I went on to play men’s softball when I became an adult. There’s nothing more thrilling than the one-on-one competition between a pitcher and a batter. Though I saw many great pitchers over the years, the fastest pitcher I ever faced was a woman. She struck out every batter on my softball team and pitched a no-hitter game.

My other childhood love was music. I learned guitar and drums but loved listening to it more. My father was a licensed disc jockey at my hometown radio station, WBVB, an FM country station at 106.3 that became a Christian station called WCTL. He worked weekends and taught me the ropes when I was 15 and 16. After I graduated high school, I worked as a part-time deejay for a year before I joined the Navy when I was 19. After training, they sent me to a flagship homeported in Gaeta, Italy. The 2 years I lived there, I discovered that there are Great White Sharks in the Mediterranean Sea. Luckily, that discovery was made on land where fishermen displayed their catches. I traveled a lot while I lived in Gaeta, and almost always to places by train. Once, my lack of speaking fluent Italian caused me to board a wrong train and end up on the southern tip of the peninsula, known as the “toe of the boot.” Another time, I boarded the wrong train in Naples and ended up in Rome. This wasn’t a big deal since Gaeta was a short driving distance away by rental car.

naples italy
Me, in Naples, 1977. Copyright © 2023 Steven Leo Campbell at – All rights reserved.

After the Navy, my love of writing, art, music, and baseball followed me through marriage, raising a family, and a career. And during it all, my favorite pastime was reading. Still is. It began when I was 4—lots of children’s books back then, which carried over to comic books and eventually novels. Books of all kinds fill my shelves. I have no favorite genre, even though I write mostly fantasy fiction. I don’t read many ebooks, though I have a Kindle Fire for those nights when I want to read and not turn on the bedside lamp. Otherwise, I love shopping for hardcover and paperback books.

That’s it (for now). My allotted time to write this blog is over, so I’ll stop reminiscing and open my birthday gifts. My family still makes a big deal about them. And the whole affair makes me feel loved.

My birthday wishes to all of you: Have a good and healthy life and have fun living it.

* * *

Thanks for reading.

That’s all for now. Peace and love to all my readers.

Steve, 2/10/2023

This post “My Birthday” copyright © 2023 Steven Leo Campbell at – All rights reserved.

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11 thoughts on “My Birthday

  1. Happy Birthday Steve! I remember you telling me about Ted Williams…what a privilege that was. The only thing that was happening when I was born was the first Superbowl was being played…and I ended up being a baseball fan lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Max.I was 9, going on 10 that January of the World Championship Game, back when football was real and the officiating was raw and honest. My younger brother was huge on the game when we were kids, but then ended up liking it less as an adult.
      Were you born on game day when the Packers and Chiefs played for the title?

      Liked by 1 person

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