Don Wildman's Bucket List
I like the saying, "Love what you have, not what you want." Nonetheless, here's a list of big life desires, in no particular order. Should they come my way, then great:
1: See a ghost (and/or alien).
I'm not particularly into ghosts or, for that matter, UFOs. If I saw one, it would probably terrify me. But I'm fascinated by the fact that all these ghost/UFO shows never really address the truly freaky side of things. That is to say, if there are ghosts/aliens, then there could be just about anything! Right? Then, the whole thing is up for discussion. Clean slate! Parallel universes, wormholes, werewolves, zombies. It basically settles for me the question of angels -- because why not? Hell, there are ghosts! Even gets me thinking about God. The day I see a ghost -- or a flying saucer -- surf's up, philosophically. And I'm off to find Bigfoot.
2: Learn to hanglide/pilot an ultra-light/windsurf/whitewater canoe/yacht.
Thrill-seeker, what can I say? I was watching the kite-boarders on Martha's Vineyard last summer and, man, I want that, too. If only I could just string together any number of days back in CA not working I'll get me some skills. But then, of course, I wouldn't have a job and that would be bad, right? Ugh, dilemma of life.
3: Sail across the Atlantic.
Because my Quaker ancestors did it in 1652 -- without a satellite phone. Talk about terrifying. To honor them, I will make the crossing. Got Milk Run?
4: In New York, have breakfast in a greasy spoon, lunch at a 3-star restaurant, dinner at a 5-star restaurant and drinks at the Plaza.
Just a stupid idea for the perfect day.
5: Learn to speak French.
Sitting at a cafe in Paris and speaking fluently with a waiter. Sweet revenge for all the awkward tourist moments of my past. Everyone needs a foreign tongue, especially, if you ask me, Americans. Automatically de-isolates you, and that is good.
6. Motorcycle to Panama – and beyond.
I have several letters my Uncle Alan wrote to his brother, my dad, all sent (and stamped) from the Canal Zone. He served down there in WWII -- but it's a murky chapter of family history because the man died at 26. Leukemia. I've been told I look like him. So, sud I go. Noble reason to drink tequila -- first stop, Mexico. Then, the Isthmus (world's greatest word).
Don’s Top 10 Destinations 10 Photos
Don Wildman's Scrapbook 23 Photos
Cementerio de Cristobal ColonParked at the entrance gate of Cementerio de Cristobal Colon (aka Colon Cemetery, named for Christopher Columbus) in Havana, Cuba. It’s utterly vast: With 140 acres and 800,000 graves, it’s one of the premier places in the world for eternal rest — if you can find the space. 960 1280
Fidel at the BatNot even Cubans believe it, but it has long been a rumor that Fidel Castro was a great baseball prospect before he became a revolutionary. To this day, his vaunted prowess on the diamond is celebrated, as in this mural inside Havana’s stadium (but it’s probably completely propaganda). The Cuban team, however, is awesome. 960 1280
Museo de la RevolucionThe glorious ceiling mural of the Museo de la Revolucion (Museum of the Revolution), which was formerly Havana’s Presidential Palace. This is where Fulgencio Batista bolted from Fidel Castro’s invading guerilla army in 1959. He left down a hidden staircase not found on building blueprints. 960 1280
The Gran Teatro de la HabanaThe Gran Teatro de la Habana (Great Theater of Havana) is home to the world-renowned Cuban National Ballet, as well as other performing groups. Opened in 1915 and currently under renovation, the building serves as a perfect backdrop for a postcard shot of classic American automobiles. 960 1280
Havana ClubHavana Club is the most famous of the legendary rums produced in Cuba. The brand was nationalized by the Cuban government but has since been sold to an international concern. 960 1280
Don Wildman's Cuba 21 Photos
7: Learn to weld.
Real men weld. Wear the mask, meld the metal. Build my own bridge -- or, at least, a bookshelf.
8: Dive with a Cousteu.
I'm on television because of Jacques Cousteau. I have seen the ocean depths because of that man. It would be a spectacular honor to meet his offspring, especially underwater. Maybe we can take a submersible to the sea-bottom and complete my fantasy.
9: Learn to sew, knit, and … crochet?
How cool to sit down at one of those machines and actually operate it -- or pick up a pair of needles and make a damn sweater for myself? Un-manly? Not in the least -- it's liberating and off-the-grid! My mom forced my 4 sisters to learn to make their own clothes while I sat on the couch watching cartoons. I regret that choice.
10: Six-pack abs.
One day I'll learn to love a sit-up.
Learn to tie all the knots. Because I'd never be idle again.
MORE: A Day With Don Wildman