I think I finally have become famous.
The other day I was walking through the grocery store and a nice lady stopped me and asked, “Aren’t you that guy?”
I looked at her and smiled, hoping that she meant that guy who writes for the paper, or that guy who manages the new senior-living residence. That’s much better than being that guy who cut me off the other day, or that guy who was dancing on top of the table last night. Not that I would ever do any of those things.
She smiled back and said, “Yep, you’re that guy.”
We exchanged a few pleasantries and then wished each other a good day. Whew, that was close.
The thought of being famous is kind of scary. I remember hearing the story of a high-school cross-country coach whose team had just won another state title. He came home and told his wife he was tired and going to bed.
“I don’t care who calls, I don’t want to be disturbed,” he said.
When he awoke, his wife informed him that Sports Illustrated had called. He was visibly upset that she did not wake him, but she reminded him of what he had told her.
“I wrote down the number, and the man said you could call him back anytime,” she said.
He ran to the phone and dialed the number. The man who had called earlier answered the phone and thanked the coach for calling him back. Then, he asked the coach if he would be interested in renewing his subscription for another year.
Yes, fame is both fickle and fleeting. The song “That’s Life,” written by Dean Kay and Kelly Gordon, and first recorded by modern jazz singer Marion Montgomery, shares a detailed lesson about life. The most popular version of this song was sung by Frank Sinatra and begins with the exclamation, “That’s life, that’s what all the people say. You’re riding high in April, shot down in May.”
Need I say more? There are plenty of famous people who have risen to the pinnacle of their profession, only to fall off the side of the mountain and hit rock bottom. Some survive and start climbing again. Others aren’t so fortunate.
Vince Lombardi is quoted saying, “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” Sounds like good advice to me.
Life is full of ups and downs. Sometimes, it can be a real roller-coaster ride. But the real famous people in life, in my opinion, are those who make the effort to hang on, get back up and finish the journey. They keep fighting until they can’t fight any longer. They live right here in our hometown. We know them as our neighbors, friends, family, teachers, students, coworkers and church members. They are young and old alike, and they press on each day. And for some, it is their memory that keeps burning bright like a beacon so we can see and set our course.
Another line in the song goes like this: “Each time I find myself, flat on my face, I just pick myself up and get back in the race!”
Yep, that’s life. So stay in the race — or better yet, pave the way, my friends.
Call DeLong at 912-531-7867 or go to www.thesuitesatstationexchange.com.