Am I Evel?

17 Oct

If Evel Knievel hadn’t died four years ago, today would be his 73rd birthday.

Coincidentally, Evel Knievel spent the last few years of his life in Clearwater, Florida...the same town that I grew up in!

Do you know who Evel Knievel was?
Maybe only Americans recognize that name…and maybe only Americans who are at least my age.

When I was a child in America during the 1970’s, Evel Knievel was one of my idols.
He was a daredevil stunt motorcycle jumper who often jumped rows of cars and trucks with his Harley-Davidson motorcycle on live television.
He also attempted jumps over the Caesars Palace fountains, lions, rattlesnakes, tanks of sharks, and the Grand Canyon!

Evel Knievel jumping the Caesars Palace fountains.

He crashed many times and he’s listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for having sustained the most broken bones in his lifetime.

When I was a kid I had an Evel Knievel lunchbox and motorcycle rider toy.

Did you know who Evel Knievel was? Did you watch his jumps on TV?

Evel Knievel 1938 October 17 – 2007 November 30, R.I.P.
+++++++++++

Also, today is the 21st anniversary of the day I came to Japan. I came here on 1990 October 17.
I can’t believe it’s already been twenty-one years…I’ve lived in Japan longer now than I lived in America!
Japan has changed a lot since I first came here.

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12 Responses to “Am I Evel?”

  1. gigihawaii October 17, 2011 at 3:08 am #

    I am just amazed that EK lived as long as he did.
    Congrats on your 21st anniversary. Tokyo is so congested that I am surprised you prefer it to the spaciousness of Florida.

    • tokyo5 October 17, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

      >I am just amazed that EK lived as long as he did.

      He had chronic back pain from his numerous stunt injuries…but it wasn’t a stunt that killed him—at least not directly.
      Because of his many accidents, he needed blood transfusions a few times. He contracted Hepatitis from one of those transfusions and that’s what finally caused his early death.

      >Tokyo is so congested that I am surprised you prefer it to the spaciousness of Florida.

      Well, when I first came here, I was surprised at how densely populated Tokyo is. But I’m quite used to it by now. I quickly grew to love the convenience of the “big city life”…and of all the metropolises in the world, Tokyo is the safest, cleanest and has the best public transportation system and the best restaurants in the world!

  2. Rachael October 17, 2011 at 4:53 am #

    I love Evel Knievel! Congrats on your 21st year ~ You know, it’s funny and probably due to the fact that I only ‘know’ you through your blog, but I always think of you as being Japanese rather than an American man in Japan. Have you ever written on how you obtained citizenship and integrated with your family, and in-laws? I think that would be a pretty interesting post to read! Not to mention helpful for those who are where you once stood.

    • tokyo5 October 17, 2011 at 11:23 pm #

      >I love Evel Knievel!

      Yeah, he was cool!

      > I always think of you as being Japanese rather than an American

      No, I’m not a Japanese person.

      >Have you ever written on how you obtained citizenship and integrated with your family, and in-laws?

      I prefer to keep my posts from being too personal. But sometimes I think to myself that there wouldn’t be any harm in writing about how I came to Japan.
      Maybe I’ll do it one of these days.

  3. metalodyssey October 17, 2011 at 5:02 am #

    I remember Evel Knievel being on ABC television’s “Wide World Of Sports”… long before ESPN bought ABC and ruined it. Oops, a bit off topic, sorry.

    Congrats on being in Japan for 21 years! Hey, do you still have that lunch box and toy? They are probably worth some $$. I never kept my old lunch boxes and I wish I did. I never had the Evel Knievel one though. My favorite lunch box I did own as a child was Fat Albert. Remember that cartoon? Bill Cosby created it I believe too. Know why those old lunch boxes were so cool? They were made of Metal. Get it? “Metal”. LOL… :)

    • tokyo5 October 17, 2011 at 11:30 pm #

      >do you still have that lunch box and toy? They are probably worth some $$.

      No. I’ve had many lunchboxes, comic books, records, and toys in my childhood that would be valuable now! But, like most people, I didn’t keep them. The fact that no one figured that stuff would be worth so much now and few people held onto the stuff…that’s why it’s all so valuable!

      >I never had the Evel Knievel one though. My favorite lunch box I did own as a child was Fat Albert.

      I know the “Fat Albert” cartoon (“Hey! Hey! Hey!”) but I didn’t have that lunchbox. Besides the Evel Knievel lunchbox, I also had the KISS lunchbox and the Star Wars one.
      Those would be worth a lot now too…if I still had them!

      >Know why those old lunch boxes were so cool? They were made of Metal.

      Yeah! Much cooler than plastic! (Just like music…”metal” music is much cooler that “plastic” pop music!)

  4. Metal Odyssey October 18, 2011 at 9:38 am #

    I like your comparing plastic to pop music! One in the same really. \m/

    Man, Star Wars and KISS lunch boxes! I’d gather they would be worth $$ today.

    I do have a Fat Albert figurine from back then. It is about 4″ tall and made of solid plastic. I kept it all these years and that’s miraculous! I remember carrying it in my trouser pocket to school too. Weird man, weird. LOL… but good innocent memories of being a kid.

    • tokyo5 October 18, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

      >Star Wars and KISS lunch boxes! I’d gather they would be worth $$ today.

      I know. :( I also had the Star Wars action figures from the ’70s, the original KISS figures, both Star Wars and KISS bubble-gum cards from the ’70s, KISS notebooks, and other stuff that would be worth a lot today.

      If I knew then….

      >I do have a Fat Albert figurine… I kept it all these years and that’s miraculous!

      That’s great that you kept it! I doubt many other people have one now, so it must be valuable too! You should check E-bay even if you don’t plan to sell it…just to see what’s it might be worth.

  5. Mom October 20, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    It brought back so many memories when I saw the Evel lunchbox and toy. and hearing about your other lunchboxes. time passes so quickly, it is scarey. I wish I had saved some of those things too. the only toy that I thought to save was a cabbage patch doll….do you remember those? Your sister had one. Do you remember when she used to make a cabbage doll face? it was so funny. I’m not sure if it will ever be a collector’s item but maybe years later.

    I hate the thought that you have lived in Japan for over 20 yrs now…it makes me sad. I don’t say that to make you feel bad because I know that we all have to live our own lives and things like that happen. Grandma DJ felt the same way and I am sure her sisters and mother missed her terribly too. we never know what will happen in life and what our children will do or become when they are grown. Dad and I never ever imagined that you would be living in Japan with your own family when you were young. we did try our best to keep you close to home but we understand that you have to go your own way. I am sure you understand our feelings too-all you have to do is imagine how you would feel if one of your children would do the same….but it is the way life goes some times.

    I enjoyed reading your site…stay in touch!

    • tokyo5 October 21, 2011 at 12:47 am #

      >time passes so quickly,

      Yes, it does!

      >the only toy that I thought to save was a cabbage patch doll….do you remember those? Your sister had one.

      I seem to remember those things being particularly homely.

      >I hate the thought that you have lived in Japan for over 20 yrs now…

      Yeah, it’s too bad international travel is so expensive. It’d be nice if you could visit more often!

  6. Joel October 22, 2011 at 7:33 pm #

    Hey there, Joel here and I chanced upon ur blog when I was searching for things to do in tokyo in december.

    You see, I’ll be in Japan from 22nd to 31 dec. And I wanted to find out what best to do when I’m there for winter Tokyo :) if you don’t mind, could you write to my email? Would love to hear from u! Thanks :)

    • tokyo5 October 22, 2011 at 10:30 pm #

      What types of things are you looking to do / see in Tokyo? Will you be here alone? With a family? Kids?

      >could you write to my email?

      Sure, I’ll send you an e-mail.
      You know, though, that you can e-mail me through this blog at this link.

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