Blog 1261 – 02.11.2019
The Unexpected Delight
I have been young and now I am not so but I have experienced numerous delights in my life. I married four lovely wives, had two wonderful children, and two terrific step sons. I have been in all fifty states of the United States of America, visited five Canadian Provinces, seen Cozumel, Mexico, the Bahamas, and seven other countries outside the U.S. – Vietnam, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Holland, and Scotland. In everyone of those places I have come upon unexpected delights.
One of the first that I recall was on a week long inspection trip to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. A sister branch of the company I was working for at the time, NL Shaffer Industries in Houston, Texas, was having parts machined for us locally in Edmonton and I was flown up to dimensionally check those parts before they were shipped to Houston. While there the office loaned me a company pickup to drive around Edmonton and one day toward the end of my week there the office manager asked if I would like to see an ice hockey game. I had never seen one so I, of course, said yes. And he gave me a free ticket to see the Canadian Oilers play at home. It was not till I got to the game that I realized that this, my first hockey game, was the final game of the Stanley Cup playoffs and that I would have the unexpected delight of seeing the great Wayne Gretzky lead his team to the Stanley Cup finals which they would also win handily that year. Though that did not make me a life long hockey fan, fact is the only other hockey match I every saw was a high school game in Williston, North Dakota, also another unexpected delight, on another inspection trip years later. I can say that both games were indeed unexpected delights to see such impressive and important games for my first and second ice hockey games.
I have been, since I was a boy watching the Falstaff Baseball Game of the Week with my Mom and Dad on TV Saturday afternoons, a long-time New York Yankees fan. And a few months before I got to see my first ice hockey game in Edmonton I was on an inspection trip to New Rochelle, NY, a suburb of The City, and on a daytime tour of the city I got to stand and have my picture snapped out front of the House that Ruth Built, Yankee Stadium. And what an unexpected delight that was.
Here is just one more sports fans. Other than following the Yankees, I have never been much of a sports fan especially compared to the almost rabid football fans I have known and know. But once again on an inspection trip, that time to Akron, Ohio with a mechanical engineer, we had finished checking out a machine shop in Akron that was doing work for us and the engineer said we were early for our flight back to Houston and how would I like to take a short drive to Canton, Ohio and visit the Football Hall Of Fame. I said, “Sure, why not.” And so a young man who up to that time had probably never watched an entire professional football game got to see every Super Bowl ring up to that point and NFL memorabilia and history galore.
My work buddies were in awe for weeks at my great good fortune to experience yet another unexpected delight.
I have known a lifetime full of them and have come to expect them around every corner. (Don’t you love the incongruity of it – expecting unexpected delights around every corner?) And I do think people get the saying backwards, “Believing is seeing” not the other way around.
Your friend and fellow traveler,