Friday the 13th, My Lucky Day
Pogo used to say Friday the 13th was on Tuesday this month. I realize most folks think Friday the 13th is unlucky, but I never have seen it that way.
I have been lucky my whole life, and Friday the 13th is extra lucky for me. As a kid, I loved baseball. On Friday June 13th, 1952, the Cubs beat the Braves (they were in Boston then) five zip. How often do ya figure the Cubs are gonna kick the Braves a** like that? And the Cleveland Indians whupped the Yankees 7 to 1. Nearly shut ’em out. That doesn’t happen every day. I guess the Braves and the Yankees wouldn’t see it the same, but I figure Friday the 13th is lucky. I pull for the underdog without fail.
Even today in golf I like the underdog. I have nothing against Tiger. When he is on he is the best player on the planet, and I admire his work ethic too. But here is something cool to me when a a guy like Craig Perks wins the TPC. He is on T.V. with a trophy and a check for a million bucks, his wife there by his side. She had stood by him through a lot of lean years. Her tears are of joy; not ’cause of the money, but because she knows what it means to the man.
It’s like perpetual P.G.A. tour rabbit Rocky Thompson, a former mayor of Toco, Texas said when he won his first tournament. He had been around for years, and was on the senior tour when he got that first win. (This is paraphrased) “There it is. My name on the trophy,” he said as he caressed the prize. “No matter how long goes by or how hard they rub or polish this thing, my name ain’t never gonna come off. For one day, and one day only, I was the man.” Great stuff. Shoot, it is why I gotta pull for the underdog. For all I know, some unknown writer might get published one day, and I’m all for every one of ’em. We all gotta hold onto to hope huh?
Like I say, Friday the 13th is lucky for me. It was the day I met my mom, and she was a sweetheart right from the start to go through all that for me. I was lucky to have good folks, and also to find a fine wife years ago who puts up with all my eccentricities. Believe me, a cat who practices medicine full tilt, plays in a bluegrass band, and also loves golf is a handful.
In addition I was lucky enough to surround myself with a fine office staff. Most of ‘ em have been with me since day one. They know me almost as well as my wife does.
Years ago someone had a surprise birthday party for our local cardiologist, Dr. Boykins Douglas. They hired a stripper (Well, she wasn’t a stripper, but she was close enough to it I was glad my daughter wasn’t there) from Raleigh to dance. I remember his helpless look as this woman danced around him. They put some kinda strange headgear on him that made him look like a Moose, and strung a lei around his neck. I could tell he didn’t like it, but had no choice but to go along.
We all went back to the office and I told Lynn O’Carroll if on my birthday they hired some woman like that I’d fire every d_ _ _ one of them. (I have found if you don’t cuss but once a decade it has more effect.) One of the new employees at the time didn’t believe it, and said, “Dr. B? He wouldn’t do that!”
“I wouldn’t test him,” was Lynn’s simple reply. They didn’t. Lynn always did have good judgment. My wife and kids know me better than anyone. But after them, my core office staff of Lynn O’Carroll, Myrd, Mama Paig, and little Marcie Presto have got me figured better than anyone else. (Although some of y’all are getting there, too.)
Today is Friday 13th. They had a party for me, and it was just what I would have ordered myself. The chow of choice was Chang’s Chinese, where I go every Friday. One year my Marie was coming home from college. As she drove into town that Friday she looked at her watch. It was 12:45. She figured I’d be at Chang’s so she drove by there instead of to the office. Sure enough, there I sat along with the Moose, Barry Graylord, and Dr. Dee.
“Hey sweetie, howdja know I’d be here?”
“Just a guess Daddy.” She knows me well.
The birthday party at the office today was a good’un. Chang’s Chinese was the usual fabulous, and Dr. Dee pulled out the office Martin and led everyone to sing “Happy Birthday.” I’ll go home tonight to my Marfar, and my boy is due in tomorrow to play golf. My daughter is on a Habitat trip, but will be home Sunday. I have always been lucky; I am surrounded by people who get me. It is all you can ask for.
Shoot fire, how are the Mets doing this year? It sounds like another year for them to win the World Series. I’m all for the underdog, be it in baseball, golf, or country docs lucky enough to be born on Friday the 13th. It might be their year to win. Even more improbable it might be mine to figure out a way to get published. Who knows? You gotta dream and I feel lucky. After all, I have been lucky my whole life, so why change now?