He "tricked" me into becoming a SUMMA CUM LAUDE graduate of Mississippi State University (B.A., Psychology)
The story goes as follows:
The summer after I had graduated from High School, my dad and I were watching the Johnny Carson Show. That night Harry Lorayne, who wrote The Memory Book , give a demonstration of memory techniques by memorizing a shuffled deck of 52 cards. It took him about 3 or 4 minutes during the commercial break to prepare himself. After the break, he proceeded to name every card in order, as Carson turned each card face up.
Of course, I was totally amazed.
My dad, upon seeing my interest in what just occured, went out of the room and came back with Lorayne's Memory Book. He made special note of the fact that Jerry Lucas ( a professional basketball player of the time) co-authored the book.
This fact that a basketball player had co-authored a book strectched my mind to a new level. Being 6' 7" tall at that time meant to me that I was destined to pick apples, wash windows or maybe play basketball for a living. I had just took the ACT (a college entrance exam ) and had made a 15. The analysis at the bottom of the test read something to the effect: "zero in ten chances to make it at a JR College level". Yep, I knew this was true because I just went to a few classes and showed up for basketball practise my whole High School life.
My Dad hooked me even more by stating that he could memorize a shuffled deck of cards in half the time that it took Harry Lorayne. When I challenged him to do so, he said he would after I could do it in less than 10 minutes.
After 2 weeks of carrying Lorayne's book around, my Dad asked me if I had read it and applied the techniques. Before I could answer: "nope", he challenged me again by claiming that he could memorize an entire deck of cards in less than ten seconds not 10 minutes! My response was that he was crazy or "full of bull". Yet, he promised me that he could do it under the condition that I would attempt to do it.
After 3 more weeks, I had read the book and actually had learned the various techniques of memorization. I eagerly showed my Dad and after 9 minutes of memory concentration, I had memorized a shuffled deck with only 4 cards called wrong.
Proudly, I demanded that my Dad keep his promise. Whereas, he took a brand new deck of cards, broke the seal, held the deck at eye level and with his thumb he riffled-shuffled the index corner of the deck. Then he smilingly started to call out the cards: " 2 of spades, 3 of spades, 4 of spades, 5 of spades...
A single book and the love of a father gave me the tools to succeed.
Great teachers know all the tricks of the educational trade.
Dad, we love you and miss you.