Last night we got in toooooo late to post about the 10th annual "Smokey" Joe Williams Scholarship Banquet but I wanted to let you all know what a fantastic time I had!!! How can I even put all the things I learned and felt here. :-( I don't even know where to begin so I'll just start out by listing a few things I recall that made an impact on me yesterday. And these are things other than what you may already know about the man, like the fact that he won the World Series THREE times.
- I felt privileged to have had a chance to meet up with Mark and Stew for lunch and that after calling him Mr. Stewart about 4 times, he said I had to call him either Dave or Stew. I liked Stew. That's pretty cool.
- He is so down to earth, easy to be with and talk with, funny as all get out and just really neat to hang with and get to know. I felt like we had known him for ages instead of a couple of days (well, really just one day for me).
- He and Mark had me in stitches the entire time I was with them and they made me feel so special. I mean, really....two wonderfully dashing men teasing me constantly about ditching them for a Spurs game....what girl wouldn't feel all warm and fuzzy? lol
- He has a GREAT sense of humor and his speech was engaging, inspiring, fascinating and just filled with fantastic stories and if you weren't there, I'm sorry for you. If you were there, remember these: players staring up at the moon (same moon as the one at home or not?) and his teammate carrying a 24-inch TV with him during winter-ball so that he can watch "American shows" while in the Spanish-speaking country in which they were playing.
- He has met the Queen of England.
- He likes the Three Stooges a lot (Curly was MY favorite) and he's a big prankster. These two things combined actually got him an invitation to sit in the box with the Queen. Again, long story so I wish you were there to hear it at the banquet.
- When asked what was his proudest moment, he told us a story not about his baseball accomplishments but rather, he shared his experiences of the Bay area earthquake in '89 or '90 and what he did to try and help. This man is just too awesome!
- He was intrigued by the fact that Mark keeps bees and he had some really great questions about what he now calls Beeology. And then he shared his new knowledge with other people! He was hilarious. He calls Mark the Beemeister. :)
- He's a caring man to his family and checked on them often. It was nice to see how family-oriented he is.
- He was so engaging that he made our daughter, Melissa, laugh out loud many times --- I know she had a great time b/c you don't hear that carefree, natural, sweet sound often enough. AND a woman who has shown little interest in the speakers in the past actually had very nice things to say about Stew. Wow. Two hard sells and he nailed them both. We told him we were pretty impressed.
This photo was snapped while San Antonio's KABB sports reporter, Hector Ledesma, interviewed Stew for a news story. I was happy to see them there because for some unfathomable reason, SA media rarely visits our banquet despite speakers like Fergie Jenkins, Monte Irvin, Buck O'Neal and the list goes on...who wouldn't want to hear from these men (even if you weren't a huge baseball fan, these are sports icons!)? Anyway, thank you KABB for sending someone to cover the banquet.
Thanks, honey, for finding yet another wonderful person for us to meet! Let's go to Claremont and make him miss a Lakers game! :)