It’s been a beautiful fall day today. The sun is shining and the temps are a very acceptable mid 40’s to lower 50’s. I managed to leave the computer and tend to my garden. I dug up the Dahlia Bulbs, now that we have had our first hard frost. I spent a moment enjoying frosty leaved somethings, ornamental endive and maroon mums that serve as the front corner of my garden on the street side. This is their time of year.
Today started out great for me despite it’s sad underpinnings. A friend of mine is dying, in all likelihood, from gall bladder cancel. I said in all likelihood, but he hasn’t succumbed and if anyone can beat it he will. He’s in his mid 40’s and a stalwart member of my Toastmaster’s Group
He is our club’s star, having won many a local contest and usually being a top performer at our weekly meetings. Ours is what you might call a mature club, we have people who have been there 30 and 40 + years. He was clearly one of the younger members and a major contributor in every way. We roasted him this morning, and I rose to the occasion and did a particularly good job, if I say so myself.
In my brief, less than 3 minute presentation, I indicted my friend for being a Trophy Hog, a Trouble Maker and a Rabble Rouser. A trophy hog because he always managed to rise to the occasion and give a great performance no matter what role he played in our weekly meetings or contests. He won a lot of trophies. A trouble maker, because he always took the trouble to use our training manuals and to actually try to do better every week. And finally, I called him a Rabble Rouser because he was an excellent critic in a constructive sense.
One role at our meetings is to evaluate speakers, to praise them, give them a suggestion or two, and then to once again stress the positive. We call it a sandwich. I accused him of preparing Hoagies stuffed with meat rather than the typical pettifore offered up by many, with cutoff crusts and chicken salad for filling.
In my conclusion I observed that Mike understood that the world does not reward average people very well, and that he just decided to be extraordinary. He is, and a model I can strive to emulate.
I understand that you don’t know Mike, and perhaps I shouldn’t post this on the blog, but at the same time, I’m up on my ability to poke fun and yet tell a story about Mike today. And I’m up on the idea of how much I appreciated having had a chance to learn and compete with him.
While he was in his wheel chair today, I fully count on seeing him again in an upcoming speech contest. I know I will have my work cut out for me. But next time, I’ll beat him.