Recently I was watching Cedar Cove in the episode where the character Stan and his two children Justine and Jordan were skipping stones across the lake surface. I do this with my right hand. All three of them skipped their stones with their left hands. Were all three of them left handed? My dad was left handed. He had distinguished handwriting. He liked to write. Wonder if he skipped stones with his dominant left hand too? This guided me to thinking about what is good about being left handed, and what is not so great about it.
Handedness begins in childhood. Some people and some cultures force the emergence of right handedness over left handedness. This is much more rare, perhaps even passé, today in America.
Southpaw Presidents: Five of our recent U.S. Presidents have been left-handed, including Mr. Obama, Mr. Clinton, Mr. George H. W. Bush, Mr. Reagan, and Mr. Ford. Reagan was born left-handed but he was guided to use his right hand as he grew up. Now that is somewhat thought provoking since only about 10% of the United States population is believed to be left handed. Per Wikipedia 12% of men are left handed and 10% of women are, globally. According to the Left-Handers’ Club, lefties are drawn to the career fields of the arts and music, to sports, and to computers. Where did all these political gurus come from? And what about the Mensa Members, 20% of whom claim to be lefties?
Leftie Tools: Lefties really do best with special left-handed scissors; really, with all left-handed tools. Most people, right or left handed, can do some stuff with their other, or weaker, hand. Some people are even ambidextrous either by need due to such things as accidents or by determination or perhaps by nature. Lefties write better when the spiral notebook is bound on the right side; the standard bound spiral gets in the way when they write. Dad liked a top bound pad that he could turn in the direction he wanted. I wonder if he played baseball and had a lefty glove. He did run; even won against professionals when he was a teen. If he had played golf, he would have benefited from left-handed clubs. Dad also was quite demanding when sitting at a dinner table; he wanted the outside seat at a booth so that his left arm was free and not squished against someone, especially a right handed person on his left side.
The Left-Handed Dancer: Dad loved singing and playing his harmonica. Music was easy for him. He could remember tunes from snippets of the song. Needless to say, he excelled at Name that Tune on nightly television. According to Medical Daily, southpaws have a “better sense of rhythm.” That helps to explain why he and mom loved to roller dance and why they danced a great salsa, the jitterbug, and slow dances complete with slow dips!
A Few Famous Southpaws: Leonardo de Vinci, Paul McCartney, Bill Gates, Oprah, Marie and Pierre Curie, Jimi Hendrix, Benjamin Franklin, Steve Forbes, Senator Daniel Inouye, Benjamin Netanyahu, Fidel Castro, Henry Ford, Helen Keller, Dr. Albert Schweitzer, Ted Koppel.
Four Famous Criminal Southpaws: John Dillinger, Billy the Kid, Boston Strangler Albert Henry DeSalvo, Jack-the-Ripper.
The Simpsons’ Southpaw: In one episode, Homer’s neighbor, Ned Flanders, opened a Leftorium store, specializing in products for lefties. Of course, Ned is not alone. Bart Simpson, Mr. Burns, and at times Marge are also drawn as lefties. Spongebob is ambidextrous. Cartoon Cathy is left-handed and so is her creator. Mickey Mouse? Leftie? I think so.
International Left-Handers Day: Celebrate each year on August 13th.
When I was pondering on the ways of my dad, and looking through some of the web for confirmation of my information known and gleaned, I discovered this saying on the website care2.com
“If the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body, only lefties are in their right mind.”
Need I say more? Miss you Mom and Dad.