Here a mav, there a mav, everywhere a mav, mav |

Here a mav, there a mav, everywhere a mav, mav

April in GlenwoodApril E. ClarkGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
April E. Clark

The word “maverick” has more than one meaning.And believe it or not, neither has anything to do with politics.According to good ol’ Merriam-Webster, a maverick is “an unbranded range animal, especially a motherless calf,” and “an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party.” The word’s etymology dates back to 1867, when pioneer Samuel A. Maverick just said no to branding his calves. Allegedly he claimed he didn’t want to inflict pain on them, but other ranchers called foul saying he was going around claiming unbranded cattle.At least PETA would’ve been proud.Lately the word maverick has crept into the political scene like a case of acid reflux. Having both around is an annoyance, and it looks like I’m just going to have to live with them.Thank goodness for omeprazole.Technically, the only people who should be calling themselves mavericks are the third party candidates (refer to definition above). But we rarely hear much about the Richard A. Duncans and John Joseph Polacheks of this presidential race, so the people who do go along with a group or party get to use it in their branding.Hey, look what the word did for James Garner. Who doesn’t love a rerun of “The Rockford Files?”Since this political race is so liberal with words, i.e. “change” and “maverick,” I might just start referring to myself as the latter.That has a much better ring to it than “reporter girl from the paper.”If I’m going to go around calling myself a maverick, though, I better have a few good reasons. So here they are:1. I consider myself fairly independent. I try not to base my life decisions on a theory I subscribed to in high school: Everyone else is doing it. Except maybe when it comes to Halloween. I do love to go along with the party and dress up like someone I’m not. While most people I know from high school are doing the kid thing, here I am unmarried and kidless at 36. Not quite the status quo, but that’s how life has turned out for me. Luckily that can still change. If my eggs don’t give up on me.2. I’m not a branded range animal. Unless a tattoo counts. But I figure its placement – on my lower back, aka “tramp stamp” – keeps it somewhat elusive. A now-you-see-it, now-you-don’t kind of thing. Plus I don’t recall a branding iron sizzling my bare skin. It was 3 in the morning in Ybor City in Tampa on my 30th birthday …3. Contrary to those who believe otherwise, my boyfriend does not make my football picks that run every Thursday in this paper’s very own sports section. I actually know more about football than he does – he’s more of an NBA guy, actually. And just look at my chromosomes! Like McCain picking Palin as his running mate, I could be considered a maverick for my choices. When making the picks, I have no idea what others have chosen. It’s an e-mail-based submission process. I picked Indiana University to beat Michigan State and the New York Jets to defeat the San Diego Chargers. Both picks went horribly awry in the end. But hey, I was independent in my thought process. And last time I checked I was the lead maverick in the weekly football pick. That’s one for the boys.4. Like Samuel A. Maverick, I’m a landowner. Yes, it’s true, as an official member of the Tennessee Squire Association – this is no lie – I own an itsy bitsy, teenie weenie unrecorded “plot” of land at the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, Tenn. I’ve been a bona fide TSA member since 1994, so maybe that plot is worth something. Highly doubtful in this market. Is it merely a coincidence that Mr. Jack was unmarried and didn’t have kids either? Legend has it he opened the first distillery to be registered with the U.S. government. Now that’s my kind of maverick.5. I never aspired to be a Navy pilot. But a high school boyfriend of mine did. I don’t think he had the perfect eyesight for it, so he later became a West Point graduate. So in the six degrees of separation game, that relates me to Maverick in “Top Gun.” OK, maybe it’s more like 16 degrees of separation. Also, I really like the “Top Gun” soundtrack – who doesn’t love a little “Danger Zone” every now and again. And I had a brown leather bomber jacket in the ’80s.Maybe there’s a little Maverick in all of us.April E. Clark is dressing up as Tina Fey dressed up as Sarah Palin for Halloween because Tina Fey is one of her role models. She can be reached at

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