Monday, October 5, 2009
A wreck, pest control, and Ole Miss: the Update
I shared about last Wednesday being one of those days. I received a call informing me one of my vehicles had been involved in a wreck and one of the individuals in the accident was a teenager. The joy I was feeling earlier that day came to a screeching halt. I rushed to the scene of the accident to make sure my star bug killer was unharmed. My concern for the young teenager sent my mommy heart into overdrive. I prayed silently for everyone’s safety.
After I arrived, I met everyone involved in the accident. It looked bad but my guy looked okay. Hugs and kisses followed my relief. Hayden Morgan, the teen, drove the shiny black car. His mom came right away to make sure he was all right. I found them sitting in a SUV with an Ole Miss decal. Finding Hayden without a scratch and his mother sitting calmly, I asked about the decal. Our initial banter and greetings led me to mention the Music City Rebel Golf tournament organized by Ken Ford. Hayden’s mom informed me that he played golf for his school and I invited him to play for my team. He said yes and asked about getting other players.
I could not believe that an awful accident on I-65 would net me a golf team. Hayden’s mom was sweet and we could have talked all night. I left with more than I could have ever hoped or imagine from a car wreck of all things. I left the side of the road, minus one truck, impacted by the goodness of others. When I arrived home that evening, Hayden had emailed me to confirm he would play. I called Ken Ford to let him know of the change of plans regarding the tournament. He was concerned about us but could not believe I asked someone at the sight of an accident to play golf. I wanted to tell him so badly; I think we are going to win but I keep my thoughts to myself.
On Thursday, I heard from Hayden’s dad. The loving father reassured me that his son will be at the tournament. He also informed me that one of the players worked for him. This family was first class all the way, the follow up was impressive. I was emailed the players names which I forwarded to Ken. I mentioned my chance encounter to anyone who would listen. My twitter buddies were sharing the story with others and the wreck on I-65 was spreading around town. Hayden’s mom told me how glad she was we met even though the circumstances were not the best. I wondered how many good people I have seen on the side of the road and did not bother to help. Or how many fender benders I have been in and did not engage the other driver. Thank God for His grace to correct bad behavior.
I called Hal Cato to make sure he passed the story on to his mom who is an Ole Miss Alumni supporter. I said, “Guess who is playing for us in the tournament on Friday? The kid from the wreck…he attends Montgomery Bell Academy.” Hal immediately erupted into laughter. I was informed later that MBA’s golf team practices at the Golf Club of Tennessee. Are you kidding me? The kid from the wreck practices on one of the most exclusive golf courses in the country. Can I pick them or what? I looked up his team and believed with certainty, I picked a winner. I could close my eyes and visualize a spring fundraiser.
On Friday morning, I called Ken to let him know I will be there right away. I wanted to visit with the resident PGA pro, James Paschal and introduce my star team to James, a living legend in golf circles in Tennessee. James would be a great person to share his life with Hayden. As I stood on the back porch of the Gaylord’s golf club, I watched the young players warm up. When I saw Hayden’s swing, I knew in my gut, the trophies were coming home to the owners of the wrecked pest control truck! Ole Miss will beat Vandy on Saturday but the Ole Miss Alumni will not win a trophy at the golf tournament.
My oldest son called to give me his usual instructions on how to behave in public. “Mom, do not hug people, it is so embarrassing,” he scolded. My sons despise my public displays of affection. Lord, I couldn’t help myself, I yelled out to Hayden and greeted him as he was one of my own. I turned to the young lady checking in the players and said proudly, “I got money on that team, they are going to win.”
Like a mama eagle watching her young take flight, I stayed until they started their game. I had a tremendous amount of pride for the players I just met. I had spoken to Mrs. Morgan (Sharon) several times since our faithful encounter and we talked as if have known each other for years instead of a few days. I checked in on the team throughout the day. Their game faces were locked in place and they appeared serious about competing. These young men love of golf was obvious.
On Saturday, Ken called. He sounded like a defeated Vandy fan, “Genma, they won everything,” he proclaimed. I could hear the shock, disbelief and amusement all rolled into his Mississippi drawl. “They cleaned up”. I was laughing and yelling. I could not hold back an “I told you”. Ken had to tell everybody how they ended up in the tournament. My team, from the wreck, won the grand prize and individual trophies. Yes! When I told him that Austin was a sophomore, you could hear a pin drop. “The Rebels with a cause” were beaten by a sophomore and a junior. You can’t make this stuff up.
My next call was to Sharon, we were hysterical as soon as I said “hello”. Between chuckles, we managed to talk about her family and visiting friends' reactions. She was shocked when Hayden walked in the house with the golf irons, his share of the prizes for playing. Hayden and Austin will give the cash donations from the wager I made to the Oasis Center. What a great ending to an awful beginning. I got bragging rights for the next twenty years, I met one amazing family, and the Oasis Center will receive a monetary gift. God is good. The little things in life are often so gianormous that we can’t always put them in one story. I will never forget meeting the young man on the side of the road. I think I found a new way to engage the teens at the Oasis Center…golf and driving lessons!
Ole Miss vs. Vandy 23-7