There's a picture floating around out there somewhere that shows me, at age four, with a parrot on my shoulder.  That same pose 25 years later featured my then-4-year-old son, Tyler, with a neighbor's bird.  Seven years later I recreated the picture.

Unfortunately, I have no idea where that photo of me in 1982 has gone.  A good deal of our family photos are no longer able to be found, but I distinctly remember that photo of me.  I remember the day it was taken at an aquarium in Florida.  My grandparents had come from Oklahoma to visit, and we went to the aquarium for the day.  I remember being freaked out that there was a bird on my shoulder, and that thing didn't spend too much longer on my shoulder after the picture was taken.

Fast-forward about 25 years.  With a four-year-old of my own it was just coincidence that we were out front one evening playing in the sprinkler in the front yard when we saw our neighbor checking the mail.  It was only something we took note of because she had a bird on her shoulder.  You don't see that every day.  Tyler, never being one to shy away from conversation with strangers, asked if he could see the bird up close.

As Tyler squirmed with the bird on his shoulder, we took the picture.  This being the days before Facebook, we showed my mom the picture the next time we saw her and she, too, instantly remembered that picture with me and the parrot on my shoulder.

A chance encounter during my Memorial Day broadcast at Dodge Country Used Cars in Killeen gave me an opportunity.  I saw a guy with a parrot on a leash.  Not something you see everyday, right?  My thoughts, exactly.  I took advantage of the moment.  Add a beard to Tyler and he's my twin.  As-is, he's my mini-me.


Two photos taken 7 years apart show our random encounters with bird lovers.