Off the Dial

Go Wildcats!!

Leacheers We’re having an awful lot of fun in Davidson right now.  We live in the town best known right now as the home of the Wildcats – the improbable Sweet 16 contenders. 

Slade’s been following the team for a while, but the rest of us are jumping on the bandwagon.  I did pick the team to go all the way when we filled out brackets at work.  They laughed at me, but not any more!  You can hear our interview with Coach Bob McKillop here. 

So how about the Davidson College Trustees?  They’ll pay for any student to go to Friday’s game and the round-trip bus fare to Detroit and back and for two nights in an area hotel.  Only catch – you can’t have class on Friday.  No skipping, kids!

We took our kids to the send off rally Wednesday evening, to cheer the team bus on as it left for Detroit.  Lea enjoyed it but Benny didn’t understand why he couldn’t get on the bus!  Of course, as soon as we got there, both of them had to go to the bathroom. We ran into one of the campus buildings and a friendly student helped me find the restroom (thanks!).  Then Lea told me she’s decided when she gets old enough she’s going to be a student at Davidson College.  Go, girl! 

One of the most touching stories I’ve heard through all this hoopla has to be that of Dick Sanderson.  He and his wife, Dawn, are on their way to Detroit right now.  They haven’t missed a home game in two years despite the fact that Dick’s been battling ALS since 2004.  That’s also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.  If you’ve ever been to a Davidson game, you’ve seen Dick.  He’s in a wheelchair and he can no longer talk, but Coach McKillop salutes him after the national anthem each game.  The team gave him the net from each of their conference championships the last two years.

The Charlotte Observer profiled Dick Sanderson and his relationship to the team last year.  You can read the article here.  I spoke to Dawn this week and we’re honoring them as our Hometown Hero on WBT this week.   If you’d like to learn more about ALS and some upcoming events, you can check out this website.

Davdison is a very small town – only about 9000 of us live there – but we’re in the big time right now.  Go, Wildcats!!

March 21, 1998

Today is my ten-year wedding anniversary.  I can hardly believe it. 

Our wedding was wonderful.  An amazing celebration with friends and family – everything was perfect.  But it’s the day after that proved to me that I was truly with the right person.  That’s because everything was definitely not perfect.

We had a huge honeymoon planned.  A once in lifetime trip to Hawaii with tons of golf and sightseeing.  But we woke up that morning to a surprise spring snowstorm, slippery roads and a crazy airport.

When we’d left the hotel, the airports were open and planes were flying.  By the time we got to Laguardia, of course, the flights were all canceled.  Slade and I had let the taxi go and we were standing there with our pile of bags.  We had not packed light and now we were faced with figuring out what do to next.

Slade took one look at my face and must have seen the panic.  He told me to go call my mom and tell her we were coming back home.  I think he was trying to get me away from the ticket counter.  Good move.

At Laguardia, as at many airports, you get dropped off at one floor and picked up at another.   They do the same thing with the public transportation and the taxi stand.  Trust me, they are not flexible about this.  An incoming taxi is NOT an outgoing taxi, even as it drives OUT of the airport. We had to schlep all our bags (I think we had about 8 including golf clubs) downstairs just to get a taxi home.  Have you ever tried to get a taxi in a snowstorm?  How about one to take you 45 minute north of NYC?  Slade did it – I didn’t ask how much he paid.

Back at my parents house, I took a nap.  Slade stayed on the phone and worked on our flights and our trip.  When I woke up a few hours later, my dad told me quote – "your new husband is a hero."  Somehow, shifting our vacation a day saved us a ton of money and we still got to keep all our plans intact.

So this year, we aren’t going to Hawaii, but there isn’t a snowstorm in sight.  Our lives are so busy that we’re not really celebrating this milestone until September and the closest we’ll come to a night out to mark the anniversary is a charity fund raising dinner next Thursday. 

But it’s all good.  We’ve got our awesome kids now – more full of surprise than any snowstorm – and while we’re smart enough to pack light our cargo is more precious than before.  Ten years later, it’s good to know wherever we travel, Slade will always make sure we get home. 

Diner Daydreams

We have a joke around here that when we get snow or bad weather in the forecast, everybody starts thinking about French toast.  Why else does everyone run to the store for milk, eggs & bread?

When I think of French toast, I think of llamas.

My sister and I both went to college in upstate New York.  Whether we were traveling for her to SUNY Binghamton or for me to Syracuse University, our road trip usually took us past the Roscoe Diner. 

If you’ve traveled Route 17 in the middle of New York then you’ve likely been to Roscoe.  It’s one of those classic American road places.  Right off the highway, you almost drive off the exit ramp and into their parking lot. 

Inside, it’s your classic diner.  I had a friend once who’d never seen one of these restaurants. Apparently she’d led a very sheltered life.  She couldn’t get over the pages and pages of choices.  Everything from hamburgers to veal parm to lobster to prime rib to cheese fries.  Breakfast served all day and night, of course, and don’t get me started on the bakery and desserts.  I always got a kick out of the “diet delights” on the menu. 

We had a diner in my hometown.  Actually, we had several within a 20 minute drive, but the one in Yorktown was sort of home base.  It changed names a few times, but we had some stand-out experiences there.  My friends and I always stopped there late at night after whatever movie we’d seen or party we’d gone to.  One night while there with four girlfriends we realized that we were the only ones not part of a choir group enjoying a late night meal.  How’d we realize that?  We were the only ones who didn’t join in when the whole place started singing Neil Diamond’s America.  Every one around the world, we’re coming to America!!  It was incredible.

I can have breakfast any time, day or night.  My family has always been partial to challah French toast.  Thin sliced wheat or white is okay , but it doesn’t stand a chance next to thick slices of egg-dipped challah bread.  When I was in college, the best of its kind was at the Roscoe diner.   We used to start talking about it when we were still an hour away.  It never disappointed.

One time, I was traveling home, by myself, and decided to make my usual pit stop in Roscoe.  I pulled into the parking lot, parked my Jeep in the crowded parking lot, pulling into an almost too-tight space between two big pickup trucks.  It wasn’t until I turned around to click the remote-lock key chain that I saw what was in one of those trucks.  They didn’t seem too surprised to see me, but I can’t say I expected to see them.  Two llamas hanging out, watching the people go by and seemingly not all that worried about a thing. 

I think I laughed out loud.  I know I went in, ordered my food and didn’t say anything to anybody.  The truck and the llamas were gone when I left.  I do remember wondering what llamas eat.  I’m sure they had it at the Roscoe Diner.