Procrastination (But I Digress)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hello Kathryn

You are all so jealous.  I went to the Toastmasters District Conference on Saturday.  Mark Eaton was the keynote speaker.  He had played NBA basketball for the Utah Jazz.  His name was familiar, but negatively so.  I went with an open mind.  Also, James Worthy was supposed to be there--he was getting an award.

I arrived a few minutes late for Mark Eaton's speech, but I didn't miss much.  He's very, very, very tall which led to his recruitment.  He's a very hard worker and he found his specialty at defense which helped him succeed.  Then he described a playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers in 1988.  I was there and suddenly I knew just who Mark Eaton was.  I hated that guy, but I digress.

After the keynote speech, I looked around the room and found a friend to sit with.  I'm looking and looking.  James Worthy is a very tall guy, so he'll be hard to miss, but I don't see him.  So the conference continues with a panel of speakers and soon I realize that James Worthy has come in the back and he's sitting in the back row.  The room is not that large and he is right there--right there about 20 feet away from where I am sitting.  Right there.

Someone called my cell phone.  I didn't recognize the number, so I'm kind of curious.  The speaker's panel is a bit boring, so I'm going to just slip out the back to listen to the voice mail and if I happen to pass James Worthy and smile large at him (and receive a great big smile in return) se la vive.

It was not a very important call, but I see our area governer whom I've met several times sitting outside at the registration table.  To kind of be silly, I said very serously "I know that you are unaware of this, because otherwise, you would be jumping up and down, hardly able to contain yourself, but James Worthy is sitting right in there.  I just thought you should know."  I tried to make it very tongue in cheek, but she didn't even crack a smile.  Oh well.  Some people have no play in them.

If I had to pass James Worthy again on my way back to my table, that is not my fault and if I happened to smile big at him again on my way, well, it is not like I don't smile at people.  I smile at people.

A few minutes after I sat down, the area govener came by and motioned me to join her in the back of the room.  I had volunteered to help at the conference, but I thought my job as timer was later in the day.  What the hey.  I got up and she drew me over to James Worthy and said "James, I'd like you to meet Kathryn"  He held out his hand and I shook his hand and he said "Hello Kathryn"  I'm sure that I said hello and something like I'm pleased to meet you, but I'm also sure that my eyes got very large and my smile got way, way too big.  I remember telling the area govener that she was very bad and later, much later I realized that I should have gotten a picture.

He was very sweet.  He was given an award for his humanitarian efforts.  His foundation is for kids--trying to get them excited about math and science rather than just basketball and false hope.  He also said that they are currently focusing on trying to support women veterans who often come back home after serving our country to homelessness and single parenthood.  [And he mentioned that he was surprised to find himself in a room with Mark Eaton--he hated that guy.]

The conference went downhill after that, but I've had so much fun belonging to toastmasters and now meeting James Worthy feels like icing on the cake.  What a great moment.  What a great guy.  You are so jealous.