Monday, September 1, 2008

A LITTLE BIT OF KISMET & GEORGE KOONCE

Many area firm believers that everything happens for a reason. I never agreed with that. Despite the fact that events in my life that were unrelated led directly to other important things in my world. I sometimes do and sometimes do not believe in God, but feel that everything that happens is random, and he, existing or not, has no major written in stone and filed under "individual itinerary for Rob Will's life"dossier.
Even though I lost my father to cancer in 1980. My mom remarried in 82, an in 89 the new family moved to a town that we never would have moved to without the second marriage. Wherein circumstances pinwheeled my life in bizarre directions.  The second time I lived there, that is. I'm getting off track here. And writing stilted sentences.
Last week, I had errands to run, and living in the sticks, requires me to drive 15 minutes to the nearest town. I packed my 13 year old son into my Ford Taurus (the Red Bull, as I sarcastically call it), and headed off to do the prementioned errand. Three quarters of the way there, I realized, with great emoted vocalizations, that I had forgotten my wallet. Despite the fact that over the years I had practiced the Jedi Mind Trick, I had little faith in my brain's ability to convince the town's vendors to give me my goods without payment.
I had no other choice but to turn around and burn a couple of useless gallons of gas going all the way back home to retrieve my wallet. I asked my son to go in and get it, not wanting to answer questions from others as to what I was doing back so soon. Having retrieved the wallet, I realized approximately 60 seconds on the road that I had forgottent to prepare lunch for my boy.
There's a gas station in the barren void (Trust me, it's barren. With no rain to speak of since the flooding deluge of June, tumbleweeds have begun to move freely about Dodge County) of Ashippun, Wisconsin that is the hub of it's thriving metroplex. Yes, deep sarcasm. This gas station has a pretty decent delicatessen, so I figured I'd stop there to grab my young teenager a couple of fried chicken filets (He needs them minus the bun. Don't ask me, he eats tacos without cheese) and I had to pause as we walked through the door.


There he was standing before me. An NFL giant. Super Bowl XXXI member of the Green Bay Packers, linebacker George Koonce. Well, back in 1996, George, along with Craig Newsome and Don Beebe, was my favorite Packer. He was just buying a soda and asking for directions, (Who could blame him. I live here and I am not always sure where I am) so I had to think fast. I quickly pulled an extra Packer schedule ( I always carry three) , borrowed a Sharpie from the clerk, and asked him if I could have his autograph.
I'm not one of those jaded sports fans, that shell out hundreds of dollars to stand in line and get a baseball or a jersey signed. I feel it's much cooler to get someone to sign something when you meet face to face in the real world. So, despite what some would say, this was kind of a cool moment.
Until a couple of other people started asking me who he was, and then, of course for his autograph. Now, George Koonce probably had things he wanted to do that Friday, and was stuck signing some autographs for people. To his credit, he was nice about it and signed all of them. I apologized, to which he just turned and quickly glanced at me mid-signature. I began to think, "Oh, no, I've just ticked off one of my heroes." But on his way out, he looked over his shoulder at me and said "Hey, see you later, man."
"See you later, man."

 He wasn't mad at me at all! Super!! And what a nice guy, he was kind, signed for me, and shook my hand. Unlike a lot of former greats, they only do that at pre-arranged shows and autograph sessions. Not G.K. He's the man.
And just think, as my son pointed out, if I hadn't forgotten my wallet, none of the above would have happened.
Every thing happens for a reason?
I don't know if something as trivial as a signature from a hero for a big Packer fan could qualify as a twist or turn in the Universe, but it did make my day.
 Things were looking up. Kismet?
I bought a lottery ticket.

1 comment:

Anne-Marie said...

Thanks for the reminder that sometimes the detours in life have the best scenery!