After walking briefly on the sunlit beach in front of the Marriott Grand Dunes at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and sitting by the pool for about half an hour, I realized it was just plain hot, causing me to go inside, find the Bar and order a glass of wine. I asked for a glass of rose, and the bartender asked me did I want a six-ounce pour or nine ounces. I thought a moment and asked for the difference in prices. She glared at me, went to her computer to check and after fumbling for a moment, I told her six ounces would be fine.
She brought my glass of wine and the bill. As I was starting to pay and leave a tip, I grumbled under my breath, only to hear the voice of someone sitting in the chair next to where I was standing.
“It has been nice spending this time with you this afternoon, but I think she has been here all by herself for a good while, as someone did not show up for a shift.”
I was dressed in tan shorts with a black sweatshirt with the words “Wake Forest” printed on the front as I was in South Carolina one day after the home state Clemson football team had beaten my Deacs in the second overtime just the day before. Wearing that sweatshirt, even with the sleeves rolled up, might explain why I thought it was so hot outside.
The lady and I talked a few minutes more, and she told me she was an attorney from North Charleston and a graduate of Clemson. She was here for a three - day Annual Conference for the South Carolina Workmen’s Compensation Association. I was there to be a speaker for two hours the following day on one hour of Ethics and another hour of Mental Health.
I told her it was nice meeting her and began to walk away. She smiled and said, “you forgot your wine.” I looked back at the counter and sure enough, there it was, sitting all alone by itself. I quickly picked it up and walked out of the Bar.
As I was standing on the upstairs patio, adjacent to the Bar, where the above picture was taken, I remembered a story I had read some months ago about a lady who had walked into an ice cream shop in a small New England town. The lady and her family from Michigan were on vacation, and after a brisk five-mile walk, she decided to treat herself to a double dip chocolate ice cream cone.
As she entered the shop, there was only one customer, and that was Paul Newman having a doughnut and a cup of coffee. He smiled at her, and she did the same. She got her ice cream and paid with cash, getting change in return. She hurried out of the shop and reaching her car, realized she had the change but no ice cream cone. She thought that she had forgotten to take it from the server. When she walked back into the shop, there was no server to be found, only Paul Newman. She looked at him, and he at her, and smiling warmly, said “you put it in your purse.”
With my glass of wine firmly in hand, I walked back into the Bar and found the attorney with whom I had spoken, now talking to another attorney, also a Clemson graduate and fan, and laughingly told them both that story.
I remember Dr. Jean Spaulding asking me years ago, what in my life was in technicolor and what was only in black and white. She believed technicolor moments were the best. I have known ever since I wanted to be a collector of those moments, and so the next day in my first hour of presentation to the attorneys, I told the entire story from the day before, saying this was such a moment for me. It was a time I would remember.
At the break, an attorney walked up to me and said two young female attorneys sitting at the same table as he was, turned to him and asked the question, “Who is Paul Newman?” Neither the attorney nor I could believe it, so I resolved to go back into the second hour and asked him to recount to everyone the question by the two young attorneys. He did so and then said he also told them the names of several movies in which Paul Newman had starred, along with his racing and the food business he started under his name. Doing this made my technicolor moment even better, all in the space of 24 hours. They did not know any of this.
Still, a new generation is coming and many of them will not know of the movies. Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid or The Sting. Or know that the pasta sauce under his name is pretty good. It is their loss.