Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Not what you expect...

Halfback in pink   “Please join us. We have a ticket for you.” The parents of Virginia Tech football star, David Wilson, had surprised me with a forty yard line ticket next to theirs at the Duke University game. That was a few years ago when David was seeing limited action. Yesterday I discovered how much that had changed.

In fact, as for red letter days, yesterday was bold and bright. Much of that was due to a visit by David, but, thanks to another friend, Bill, the day surpassed any, even my wildest expectations.

“There they were,” said Bill, “side by side,” he told me, as if, ten or twelve generations later, the union of he and his wife had been foretold. Bill knew that his great-great-great and counting relative, Hugh Williamson, had represented North Carolina when he signed America’s Constitution.

Hundreds of years later, Bill married his wife, Jeanne [sadly, deceased]. In time, they discovered that they shared a bit of important history. Jeanne’s ancestor represented New Jersey at the Constitutional signing.

Did the signatories know each other? That question was answered when Bill and Jeanne studied the picture of the signers. There they were, next to each other!

“I want to see that picture,” I told Bill as he was leaving.

How often, I wondered, do any of us get to be that close to history in the making?

Even sports history. Enter David Wilson.

“Can you do it?” David had asked James, my salesman, about two pair of pants he bought and needed altering for a trip he was taking, a flight to “CNN headquarters” to be interviewed as a celebrity in the upcoming professional football draft.

Although I’d been asked to do the alterations, since I hadn’t made the sale I didn’t know David had chosen a navy and a pink pair. In the years I’d known David, I’d come to see him as a serious student and an absolute gentleman who was anything but flashy. In fact, he had seemed one of the most conservative young men I’d ever met, as far as his clothing and his behavior were concerned.

“Just like his Dad,” I’d noted a number of times. That’s why I was shocked to see he had chosen a pair of pink pants. “David in pink?” I’d asked myself.

Minutes before my store closed, David called to ask if I could wait for him. He needed to pick up his altered pants fifteen minutes after my doors were locked. Would I wait? I said I would.

At 5:44, David whipped his black Dodge Charger into the parking space by my front door.

“I also need a pink pocket square,” he said, grinning.

That grin reminded me of what I’d forgotten. David’s irrepressible sense of humor.

“Got a pink bow tie,” he told me, “to go with my navy blazer. Gotta wear my pink pants.”

I agreed. What better way to dress up for a spectacular show of history in the making?

                                                   B. Koplen 4/17/12

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