Thursday, November 21, 2013

Accompanied by Bells and Whistles

Unbeknownst to my father-in-law Joe, who is retiring from his gig as the Manager of the Green Knoll Golf Course for the Somerset County Parks Commission at month's end, the people with whom he works are throwing a going-away/retirement shindig for him tonight.  The gathering is a surprise, which means that a reasonable possibility exists that Joe will be rendered speechless....for at least a second.  Two if he really has no idea what awaits him when he opens the front door at Jozanna's. 

Given that Joe is as prone to protracted episodes of speechlessness as I am, which is to say (a) not often; and (b) not nearly as often as those around us might secretly (and sometimes no so secretly) wish to be true, if there is anything more than a momentary loss of his ability to speak, it shall result in a flat-footed tie, between all those gathered, for the title of "Most Surprised Person in the Room". 

He is one hell of a man, my father-in-law.  This has been a year of significant adjustment and change for him.  While it was a move undertaken principally at his behest, he has had to adjust to sharing his communal space with the Missus and me albeit only part-time as he has become a self-proclaimed hermit and has turned his studio apartment off the back of the house into "The Hermitage" (any similarity between Joe and Andrew Jackson (or Joe and Peter Noone) is entirely coincidental).

I know not what he is going to do with himself once he officially retires.  He is such an outgoing, gregarious fella that I think it will hurt his heart if he cannot find a way that he can continue to interact with people as he does at his golf course.  He is also a wise man, which gives me every reason to believe that he will find a way to do just that.  

He will enjoy this evening - as shall I.  I enjoy when a good person is lauded by those who admire him and those who love him for all that he has done for them.  And I am pleased that both his daughter and his son - who were exposed to the teachings of Professor Joe long before the rest of the people assembled this evening were - shall be present.  Margaret and Frank have both known the measure of Joe's greatness the entirety of their lives.  Tonight they will get to see the extent to which others possess that knowledge too.  


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