Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Doctor Is In

This evening presents (I hope) an opportunity to see some old familiar faces in a place that was once familiar to us all. Doc Rud - he of the expatriate persuasion this year as he brings his expertise in all things about American history to some very fortunate Chinese school kids - is back in the U.S.A. for a couple of weeks. Tonight a few of us who have had the distinct pleasure of knowing Doc for quite a long time will have the chance to see him for the first time since he went abroad. No, we are not going on an extended road trip. Doc however is.

He is home for a semester break and he is supposed to be spending a bit of his evening this evening with us. And for that those of us who are going to see him are quite pleased about it. However, we would invariably be more pleased if this event was not subject to (wait for it) "weather permitting". For as any of us who has completed at least one successful oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange this calendar year knows, here in the State of Concrete Gardens the weather this winter has not permitted us to do too much of anything at all.

Actually this evening was supposed to be just a few old friends getting together to have dinner and an adult libation or two. It has morphed into something a bit different. Way back when in 2010 (OK, roughly three and one half months ago) Doc was inducted into the W-H Athletic Hall-of-Fame. For years, Doc coached wrestling at W-H and in 1996 and 1997 his wrestling teams captured the State Championship and when his wrestlers were inducted into the Athletic Hall-of-Fame he went in right along with them.

Unfortunately because he was in China in October he did not receive his plaque. He also did not have the chance to participate in the ceremony. Tonight, embracing the notion of "better late than never" Doc is supposed to receive his plaque and the recognition he deserves for what he and his kids accomplished. If in response to the question, "Mother may we?", Mother Nature responds, "Yes, you can" then the ceremony shall take place at W-H at seven o'clock. Admission is free. The memories are priceless.

I have no idea how many - if any - of his kids who wrestled for him in 1996 and 1997 are going to be present tonight. I do not know any of them. Hell, I was married and a father of two doing my law thing full time by the time these young men were in high school. Nevertheless I hope that neither inclement weather or a full dance card prevents them (or at least some of them) from being in attendance this evening. Doc has traveled a lifetime and halfway around the world to be here. And I am happy he has.

Welcome home Doc. Congratulations on a job well done - and on a life well lived.

-AK

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