focus on building my business. On the other hand, 2nd place still sucks. The competitive nature in me is not content with a second place finish. I want the national title back. Will I make time to get better at memorizing to break some records again and earn the title back? Will I put myself through the type of training it takes to win? Which something I haven’t done in over a year. Even if I do train is my brain quick enough to beat Nelson’s? HELL! Is ANYONE’S in the USA quick enough to beat Nelson?

 I don’t know. I really don’t. As a business man, I have to put my business first. But the competition has reignited my spirit and as of right now I say, ‘Maybe.’

When I was in 7th grade in PE, there was a kid that I think had his drivers license and in PE soccer he would race down the field with the ball and then line up in front of the goal. His soccer kick had the force of an adult kick and inevitably all the kids got out of the way (EVEN THE GOAL KEEPER) and he would take free shots on goal in the middle of a game. No one wanted to be in the way of that kick. Even at 12 years old and much smaller than most of the kids, I didn’t like watching everyone just ‘lay down’ for this kid. So one day everyone got out of the way and I ran and I mean ran straight towards the ball. The kicker was even shocked, so shocked he didn’t know what to do and he ultimately just decided to skip kicking the ball and kick my shin which he did as I went for the ball. I walked away that day, okay I limped away that day thinking….I may not win but I will never concede without an effort. I am glad I ran toward the ball this year and I extend my hand in much respect to Nelson who didn’t kick my shin but lined up and kicked that ball hard, squarely and accurately and once again handily dominated the tournament.

 What a fun day and congrats to all the participants and Nelson for retaining his title. Some notable events of the day were Brad Zupp doing so well and advancing to the Tea Party rounds. The Hershey kids doing so well. Hannan, Michael, Sophia, Kelly and the rest of them should all be very proud of their scores. If they ever master character/action/object (technique for number and card memory)….LOOK OUT!!

The unsung heroes of the tournament are as usual Tony Dottino, Karen Pinson, Ed Pinson, Marshal Tarley, David Hill and the rest of the organizers. Without them none of this would be possible and yet the media inevitably chooses to cover the competitors. Thanks guys for your service to our sport.

Afterwards, Chester Santos, T Michael Harty, Nate Harty, Nelson and the Zupp’s all headed out for dinner. It was nice to hang out with a unique group of people. Not unique because of intelligence or IQ. But unique because we have all gravitated to this sport. At dinner that night the USA Memory Champions for the last 5 years were present. Chester, Nelson and myself. Fun day capped off by a fun dinner. Mission accomplished.

 Words of wisdom to live by – Doritos are sharp and gummy bears get soft and sticky. Bologna or ham is probably more comfortable.