Five Things About Me...Even If You Don't Care

I've been tagged by The Tutorial Divas!  I've never passed on the emails that claim someone will die if I don't but I felt compelled to keep this tagging chain going for some odd reason.  Perhaps deep down I want to divulge more private information about myself and was just waiting for the chance to do so.  Yeah right! :)

So here are five things that you probably don't know about me.
  • I lived in Germany for three years in the late 80's while I was in the Army.  While I was on a weekend trip to Berlin (remember the wall was still up in the 80's), Libya-backed terrorists bombed a discotheque in West Berlin.  Two U.S. soldiers were killed and 50 injured. Fortunately I've never been into the disco scene. You couldn't walk anywhere near a U.S. installation without having the proper identification the rest of my trip.  The U.S. subsequently bombed Libya.
  • Upon graduating High School in 1981, I participated in the Fort Lewis College Japan program.  I lived with a family in Tsukatsuki-shi Japan (Between Osaka and Kyoto) for six months.  I took a semester of Japanese before going but soon learned the difference between learning a language from books and tapes and understanding a native speaker.  I was with a family in Tokyo the first three days in Japan.  I was standing naked in the shower/bath area trying to figure out how to work everything when the home stay mother opened the door and rattled off something in Japanese and shut the door.  I don't know what she said to this day.  She probably said something like, "Don't take a long shower because we don't have huge hot water tanks like you Americans." :)
  • My Great Grandfather, Tom Botterill, started the first Pierce Arrow Automobile Company in Salt Lake City, Utah and later Denver, Colorado.  That's ultimately how I wound up being from Colorado.
Botterill auto company
  • Do you remember the story of the boy who had is arm bitten off by a shark in Florida?  On July 6, 2001 we were vacationing near Pensacola, Florida.  We'd been at the beach most of the week and it was very hot.  The beaches there are incredible, white powder sugar sand and warm water.  Near the end of our vacation, the people we were visiting there said they usually go to the beach in the evening because it's less crowded and much cooler.  So there we were on the beach at Gulf Island National Seashore about 6:00 PM.  My four kids were out in the water playing in the waves.  I was standing in the surf watching them.  There were only a few groups of people there that evening.  All of a sudden some women came running down the beach towards us yelling, "A boy's been bitten by a shark get out of the water!".  First I thought, "That's not even funny."  Then the reality that it might  be true struck me.  I started frantically yelling at my kids and my friends' kids to get out of the water.  Two Japanese women farther out couldn't understand what I was shouting at them.  They finally came in.  I instructed everyone to stay put and I went toward where Jessie Arbogast was getting CPR.  It was surreal.  Jessie was on the sand without an arm while his aunt gave him CPR.  About five feet away from him was a 7 foot bull shark.  No blood was coming out of his wound so I knew he had bled out in the water.  A helicopter landed and rushed him to a nearby hospital.  I returned to my family and regretfully informed them that he probably wouldn't live.  I was surprised to hear the next day that he was expected to recover.  My wife had strolled up the beach about 10 minutes before the attack and taken a picture up the beach.  The picture included Jessie's group's area.  This picture was later used by the park ranger to deny the claims that Jessie's uncle was shark fishing.  I spoke with the park ranger and confirmed to him that I never saw Jessie's group fishing but did see a man and boy fishing farther up the beach earlier.  Here are a couple of good pages with more info if you're interested.
  • I live with my mom.   Actually, my mom lives with us.  My mom's health has taken a bad turn in the past couple of years and she really can't live alone anymore.  I'm glad I can do this for her after all she did for me growing up.  I won't lie and say it's been easy for us.  This hasn't been easy for my mom either.  She's lost her freedom and is in constant pain from a bad hip.
"Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth" - 1 John 3:18

I'm tagging these five people: Marco Walther, Greg Ziebold, Tor Norbye, Sandip Chitale, and Gregory Murphy


I think about Jesse Arbogast. We were on the same beach that day, about a mile away and an hour before the attack. We had small boys, too, I think they were 4 and 6 at the time. We had spent a few days vacationing in Pensecola and were driving back home to New Orleans when Jesse was bitten. That could have been our family, so easily it could have been us. When the media began all it's sensational coverage all that "Summer of the Shark" garbage, I thought it was sad, it took a layer of reality away from what happened. The tv shows and slick articles were about them, not really about feeling for the poor little boy who limp, sandy, lifeless body lay on shore that day, drained of blood. The horror of his poor brother with him, the burden of sadness for his uncle and family must have been unbearable. I thought about Jesse today and did a google search for his name and saw your blog. I'm sorry you were there. I'm sorry for Jesse and for his parents. I don't know if it is any consolation for them to know strangers remember their story and cry for him years later. But I do.

Posted by Jean-Marie on January 17, 2007 at 03:43 AM MST #

I lived about 2-3 miles from where Jessie was bitten when this happened. I lived in Gulf Breeze . Although we only lived in Gulf Breeze(right over the bridge from Pensacola Beach) for two years, we were at the beach endlessly. And we just happened to be home on that day. Many days we would go to the area where Jessie got bitten, but a lot of times we would also go to more private beaches toward Navarre. The place Jessie got bit was much closer to our home so that is why we would go there. I know it well. (It is beyond beautiful) I was horrified to hear that day what happened because my 4 year old daughter would play out in the gulf constantly with her father. It too could have been them on any given day. I wouldn't let her out there after that. It was too frightening. I remember there were helicopters constantly flying along the shore at a very low altitude when we were on the beach after this happened with Jessie. I knew they were looking for sharks. It kept me out of the water. We attended Brownsville Assembly of God at the time and prayed diligently for Jessie (the whole church during services prayed for him). I truly believe Jessie was spared by the Lord and his life is so valuable. Last I read he was still struggling physically and mentally but everyone is so grateful for his life. Let's say a prayer for Jessie, as today I am reminded of this strong little boy who is now a young man!

Posted by Becky on April 25, 2008 at 07:57 AM MDT #

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David Botterill


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