Skip to main content

A Special Night

I love my job.

Especially after a night like Thursday night. It was a dinner, not unlike the hundreds of others that I attend on behalf of USF. But it was different. Thursday night we honored students who were the recipients of scholarships ... sitting across from the the donors and philanthropists that have made their dreams come true. 

And what made it extra special for me was that at my table, there was a beautiful young lady who was a month away from receiving her undergraduate degree. Next to her was her proud father and across the table sat the couple who helped her with her scholarship.

Her father reached across the table to shake hands with the benevolent man who funded the scholarship and said, "Thank you so much for what you have done ... by the way ... I don't know if you remember me ... I was your mailman for 15 years."

Tears welled up between them. They exchanged pleasantries and "reconnected" during the meal.

After dinner, his daughter stood up to address the crowd as her name was called. She thanked the donors, she thanked the university and she gave a very special thank you to her dad. He raised her by himself, He worked hard to give her what he didn't have ... a college degree. She was the first in her family to do so and for that she was eternally grateful. He was so proud.

After the dinner he and she posed for pictures and shook lots of hands.

What the crowd didn't know was that when she graduates next month ... he will too. He has quietly and unselfishly worked for his own degree while working to support her efforts.

Yes, it was quite a night.


Anonymous said…
Serendipity at its finest!!!! You are beyond socially "blessed" Joel. This posting touched my heart as it is not always revealed to us why some people cross our paths.

I am off to San Francisco for a CURE Epilepsy benefit that I will attend in honor of my Andrew. I too hope to have one of those moments as I have had a strong sense of urgency to attend.
Thanks for sharing this story!
Sharon Wentz

Popular posts from this blog

SAMMY: The Novel (An Overview)

I finished writing Sammy:The Novel. 

So ... I called my good buddy and excellent writer, Dave Scheiber, to help me write an overview to pique the interest of publishers. The stuff that Dave wrote made me want to read my own book! We combined our efforts and here's what we came up with:

SAMMY (An Overview)

Sammy Levine, 86-year-old resident of Star of David nursing home, was not happy with his daily existence and dreamed of taking one last trip with his wife Esther (presently residing in an urn on the third shelf in his room). Sammy was careful about not exposing his plan to anyone, especially his son, Barry, who dutifully visited regularly and tried to make sure that he lived out his remaining days comfortably.

Through a carefully choreographed plan, Sammy managed to access personal information on three recently deceased residents from the nursing home’s computers. Then he applied for and obtained three new credit cards. Armed now with available cash and credit, he loaded up Esth…

Close Call

I was just putting the finishing touches on my new novel, Sammy, which will be available to order in November (shameless self promotion!) ... when I started thinking about some of the characters in my past life. One character I've actually written about in the past just popped into my head. It's a repeat story but I hope you enjoy it ... again.

When I was a Freshman at LSU, our dorm was set up like a suite with two adjoining double rooms and a common kitchen and living room. "Suite" really makes it sound much fancier than it was. Actually, living room makes it sound much fancier than it was. The walls were cinder block and the living room was about 100 square feet. I don't think four of us could even stand up in there at one time.

One of the four guys in our suite was the place kicker for the LSU Tigers. His name was Phil and he was from Bogalusa, Louisiana. He had the bed next to mine. Phil was about 6'8" and weighed well over 300 pounds. He was a big …

Princess Grace's Diary

We surprised our little princess, Grace on Friday with a last minute visit to Savannah. She and her BFF Stella had a joint princess birthday party.

It was of course no surprise to Deb and me that the trip had a few surprises for us, too.

It started out with a light show at the airport (we chose to fly rather than drive the 12 hours back and forth for one day). Lightning strikes were coming fast ... so the tarmac was closed until it settled down. We had to get to Atlanta in time to catch what had become the LAST flight of the night to Savannah at 11:20 PM.

We made it ... barely ... and fell asleep at 2 AM.

Up at 8 and out the door via Uber to The Landings (a mere 45 minute drive) and just in time to see this adorable duo.

Big brother Cole was  one of the "hosts".

Pony rides were there for the guests.

Matching Princess cakes (of course).

Lots of fun.

At about 2, Deb and I headed back to the airport with Nikki driving and made it in PLENTY of time to find out that there were n…