Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Days of Miracle and Wonder....

This week the day after Monday brought interesting sightings and developments.  And it brought them in places both near and far. 

Tuesday morning the Supreme Court of the United States, a court before which I am admitted to practice, which I say without a trace of modesty, and before which I have been so admitted for the better part of a decade and a half, took up the first of two days of argument on cases before the Court addressing same-sex marriage.  Tuesday's argument was in the matter of Hollingsworth v. Perry, which dealt with the legality of Proposition 8, which voters in California approved on the very same Election Day on which President Obama was elected and which decreed that same-sex marriages were illegal in California.  In passing Proposition 8 voters in California effectively gutted a decision of that state's highest court that had recognized the legality of such marriages.  

The Hollingsworth case united on the same side of the argument two of this nation's best legal minds, at least in the not-very-humble opinion of this particular legal mind:  Theodore Olson and David Boies.  Once upon a decade or so ago, Messrs. Boies and Olson opposed one another before the Court and argued a matter with which you might have some familiarity:  the little case of Bush v. Gore.   Olson's argument prevailed and his client became a two-term President of the United States.  He, Olson, became Solicitor General of the United States, which position he held on September 11, 2001 when his wife Barbara was among the innocents murdered by the terrorists who crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon.  

I know not what the Court will do with the Hollingsworth case.  I do know however that as an attorney and as a person when I read post-argument that, "Mr. Olson added that he and Mr. Boies were trying to make the point that this is not a partisan issue but a question of civil rights", I smiled.  Some people just get it.  And it is not a "Democrat thing", a "Republican thing", a "Liberal thing" or a "Conservative thing".  It is simply an American thing for at its core - at least from where I sit - it is the right thing.   

Much closer to my neck of the woods, Governor Christie brought a smile to my face on Tuesday too.  He conducted the 104th Town Hall meeting of his administration right here 'NTSG.  A crowd estimated in excess of three hundred and fifty packed the gymnasium at the Our Lady of Mount Virgin Parish Center to listen to him and to ask him questions on a variety of topics - including his "hands on" proposal for dealing with homeowners at the Shore who object to the construction of dunes on the to-be-rebuilt beaches.  

As intrigued as I was by what I read on-line about what the Governor said, I derived more pleasure from looking at photos and video of the venue in which he said it.  While I walk the line between agnostic and atheist, both of our kids went to grammar school at OLMV.  Not too many years ago the edifice somewhat absurdly identified now as the "Parish Center" was in fact the center of the OLMV parish.  It was a vibrant school at which kids from kindergarten through eighth grade were educated.  The gymnasium served as the home court for the OLMV Vikings basketball teams - of which Suzanne was a member every year from 4th grade through 8th grade and of which Rob was a member in 8th grade.  Winter Saturdays of their youth were spent - in large part - in that gym either playing a game or rooting for their friends.  

Most of our winter Saturdays of my kids' youth was spent there as well.  While Margaret helped run the snack bar and/or the kitchen, I had the pleasure of helping coach Suzanne's team when she was in 8th grade and of serving in the same capacity the following year on Rob's team.  When I was not coaching I was one of the dads who was in charge of the scorer's table.  You see, the OLMV gym served as a host for the Diocese of Metuchen Basketball League.  Games between boys and girls from 3rd graders through 8th graders were played in it every Saturday - often beginning as early at 8:00 a.m. and not wrapping up until after 5:00 p.m.  As the father in charge of the scorer's table, which was manned by OLMV students (including Suzanne and Rob) and for which the students received an enormous "salary" of (I think) $10.00 for the day's work, I served as the barrier between the kids and the coaches of the various teams who mistakenly thought that they could (if they deemed it necessary) intimidate or otherwise act like jagoffs towards the kids.  The more numb my ass got from sitting atop the radiator directly behind the scorer's table, the shorter my fuse got.  By the middle of most afternoons, a coach who arched an eyebrow at one of the youngsters working at the table was likely to elicit a "Sit down Coach" from the adult in charge.  

Seeing Chris Christie in the middle of the OLMV gym - with nothing but a sea of people around him - made me smile.  It made me smile because it brought me back - for just a moment anyway - to what was a simply terrific period of time in my life and in the life of my family.   Nothing lasts forever.  Except perhaps a memory.  

And at day's end if you have that then what else do you really need....


-AK 

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