Saturday, December 18, 2010
The Real Thing
A few days ago, I decided Bill needed a new suit and tie to wear to Mother's big birthday bash on the 30th.
"I don't need a new suit and I don't like to wear a tie," he said, "I'll wear my navy blue slacks and sportcoat and one of my turtlenecks.
"Okay," I said, "We'll go to Davis Clothing and buy you a new sportcoat and turtleneck."
We went back and forth a while (he rarely buys anything for himself), but he finally agreed.
We headed out to Davises, where he selected a suede camel-colored sportcoat. He has excellent taste; the color goes well with his deep brown eyes and thick gray hair.
Since they didn't carry men's sweaters at Davises, we were forced to go to Kentucky Oaks Mall, where there was not one genuine man's turtleneck to be found. Those the salesclerks called turtlenecks were not turtlenecks. They were fake turtlenecks.
Bill would have none of that. "Let's get out of this damn mall," he said, "I'll wear my old black turtleneck. It's the real thing."
As we stopped at a red light on our way home, I could hear R.E.O. Speedwagon's Take It On The Run blasting from the radio of a little white truck next to us.
"I love that song," I said, "Suzanne played it all the time when she was a teenager."
I began singing along: Heard it from a friend, who, heard it from a friend, who, heard it from a friend you been messin' around...
I glanced over at the driver of the little white pickup, a young man wearing a cowboy hat. His window was down and he was singing along, too, fingers tapping the beat against his steering wheel. He nodded at me and grinned.
The man was Kevin Skinner.
I lowered the window. "Kevin?"
"Yes," he said, turning the volume down and smiling.
"We're so happy you won America's Got Talent!" I said, "We voted for you."
"We sure did," called Bill.
His smile grew wider. "Thanks, y'all," he said, "That sure means a lot to me."
"Good luck in your career," I said.
"Thanks," he said, "Thanks a lot. I really appreciate that."
The light turned green.
"Merry Christmas," he said, "And God bless y'all!"
As we watched his little truck head toward Bockbuster Video, I turned to Bill. "Kevin is a deep-down good person, isn't he?"
"Yep," Bill said, "He's the real thing."
All words and pictures © 2008 Brenda G. Wooley