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An Incredibly Wonderful Weekend

I had posted on my facebook page that Saturday was one of the 10 best days of my life. It was all thanks to my friend Steve Langley. A while back he got in the Guiness book of world records for paddle balling. He manipulated the largest number of paddleballs (8) ever at the same time.

This time, he wanted to organize the largest number of people paddleballing at once. The gathering place was the village green in Davidson ,North Carolina.  It was already hard to resist being part of a world record, but the choice of location, the town where my roots are and where I spent my early childhood, made it irresistable. And my brother was coming into town with his daughter. That made it irresistabler. Elle was there also. That made it perfect.

Paddleballs were provided. I was concerned about whether I could do it for the required 30 seconds, and my first few attempts didn't alleviate my concerns. Then a lady in a tie-died shirt told me not to think about it too much. I took her advice and pretty soon I was paddleballiing like a pro.

I'll have to say this for hippies. They are no good at running superpowers or fighting communism, but when it comes to anything that requires being really zen, they are pros. I'm glad there was a hippie there to help me.

When they blew the starting whistle, I managed to keep it up for 30 seconds. This was the first time in my life I saw evidence that I had any hand-eye coordination at all. I have always been an abject failure at any endeavor that requires striking a moving ball with some external object. I was no good at baseball, and I gave up on tennis very quickly. The only sport I've ever been any good at is distance running, which only requires endurance.

True, with paddle ball the ball is connected to the hitting object by a rubber band. But it was something. After Saturday,I know the measure of my hand-eye coordination is greater than zero.

In addition to the paddle ball event, Elle and my brother and my niece and I spent some time seeing the sights in Davidson. I went into a sporting goods store and told them "my grandfather's drug store used to be in here." The lady behind the counter told me to look at the ceiling. It was the same  one (or at least the same kind) that was in my grandfather's store. There was also a large mirror that had been in the drug store.

We ate lunch at a soda shop I'd eaten at when I was a toddler. We walked down to town hall and looked at the pictures of former mayors, including my great-grandfather. We drove around town and looked at my grandmother's house, and two houses I'd lived in as a small child. Elle used to work for the computing center at Davidson College in the 90's, so she helped bridge the historical gap between my childhood and the present. (The tech support building is where the post office used to be.)

It's possible someday I'll have a better day than this past Saturday. But Saturday was such a perfect storm of happiness I don't know how a better day could happen.

Steve  was also the focal point of another of the top ten days of my life. That day was his wedding day in 1994. It was a fun occasion for many reasons. One of them was that the wedding was officiated by Dr.Will Miller, one of my favorite media figures at the time. Dr.Will is one of the great living renaissance man...he is an ordained minister, a licensed therapist, and a standup comedian. He was wearing that third hat when Alfredo met him, and it was a happy accident that he was able to wear the first hat on Alfredo's wedding day.

Another highlight was that I got to slow dance with Maggie (not her real name), an old family friend I'd always found very attractive. Attractive enough to make any day I dance with her a very memorable day.

I was thinking about this Sunday and decided to give her a call. We hadn't talked in a while, maybe in over a year. I told her what a sweet memory dancing with her was. I was a little hesitant, because that dance was the least platonic part ever of our friendship. But she seemed genuinely touched and flattered. She said she doesn't generally think of herself as all that and it was always great to hear that someone does.

And it was great to talk to her again. It was a very pleasant epilogue to a quite wonderful weekend.