“Last”s

A lot of “last”s have been popping into my head as this week has gone on.  The last time this will happen.  Or the last time I’ll walk here.

There have been some weird ones.  Some ones that have brought a smile to my face.  And some that I’m so glad I won’t have to see again.

Some that I’d thought I’d share:

– The last time I’ll hear the local radio show- I’m a singer.  I have no trouble admitting it.  I warn my neighbors and folks that I know will be walking by, you should be prepared for some Pavarotti like singing.  So most morning in Quincy, I’ll wake up, hop in the shower, and crank up the morning show.  They play a good range of tunes and throw in some past hits.  But it’s a small town show on a small town station.  These two guys put everything they got into it.  Their humor isn’t always spot on but damn if they don’t try.  The joke of the day tends to bring a smile but where they really put their 100% absolute all is into this crazy song they sing every Friday morning around 9am.  Now I don’t know if it’s my northeast upbringing with a lack of knowledge of anything farming or hunting related, but this song is a graphic description of skunk road kill.  But every Friday morning, these two guys are singing and laughing along.  Always in good spirits.  Always with excited, positive attitudes.  They give their all to the song.  I admire that.

– The last time I’ll look at my whiteboard- Day one walking into my office, I turn to my left and, BOOM, whiteboard.  I mean, the thing takes up the whole wall.  I sat there for a few weeks thinking, “What the hell am I going to do with this thing?”.  I can’t put student information up there.  If I throw my to-do list up there, it will look like I can never get anything done (Bonus about my job- always something to do).  I’m no artist so I can’t do any cool whiteboard drawings.  One day it hit me after looking at the three different calendars, with different months on them, posted around my office.  Even though I couldn’t draw a straight line, it turned into the calendar board.  Every couple of months would go up there, then they’d get erased for the next set.  This has continued for about two years.  But what started out as just calendars turned into some sort of message board.  Sometimes students who were sitting there would pick up a marker and start writing.  Others would pop in just to say, “Hey, can I write something up there?”.  One day, Donna’s (the administrative rock star assistant in the office) daughter noticed a spelling error.  She pointed it out and I responded very over-dramatically, “You watch your tone young lady.  That board is perfection.  PERFECTION!”.  I left a few minutes later.  She snuck into the office and wrote “This bord is not perfection” with bord misspelled for effect.  One student even had a space reserved for a monthly drawing/comic with a positive message.  Her most recent one, a drawing of a stick next to a Fanta soda bottle with the words, “You’re” about it.  Put it all together, “You’re fanta-stick!”  Both of those I haven’t been able to erase for a few months now.  They help keep things in perspective during the challenging times.

– The last time I’ll drive to another state just to get gas- I don’t think this will ever happen again but I do drive to another state just to get gas.  Quincy sits right on the Illinois-Missouri border.  In five minutes, I’m across the bridge and usually saving about 30 to 40 cents a gallon.  And they have cheaper Diet Coke too.

– The last time I’ll have to say, “No, the 217 goes in the middle”- Quincy area code is 217.  The middle three numbers of my cell phone is 217.  Any time I give the number to someone in Quincy it’s always:

Them: What’s a number you can be reached at?
Me: 585
Them: 585
Me: 217
Them: 21… wait.  Let’s start that again.  So it’s 217
Me: No no.  You heard me right.  The 217 goes smack dab in the middle.
Them: Really?  Cause you know 217 is Quincy’s area code.
Me: Yep….  I do…..  Trust me…..  So let’s work together to get this right…

Or something like that…

– The last time I’ll say, “And now the starting lineup for your Quincy University Hawks!”- I have been honored to be the Public Address announcer for some of the Pepsi Arena events for the past year and a half.  It started when the new Assistant AD and returning Volleyball coach gave me a shot at being the voice for the men’s games.  The number of volleyball games I had been to before that first one- 1.  Just one.  I mean, I’m sure you’ve played volleyball on the beach or in gym class so I had a general idea of what was going on.  Keep the ball in the air.  Letting it hit the ground on your side=bad.  Having it hit the ground on the other side=good.  I thought that was enough.  No no.  I now have a deeper appreciation for words like “Libero”, “Net Violation”, and “Kill”.  And I may have erased the word, “Spike” from my vocabulary.  I think it’s worse than saying a curse word over the microphone in a volleyball game.

I’d do a scattered soccer or football game too.  But recently a regular basketball spot opened up.  So I jumped at that opportunity too.

It’s been an honor to each game, announce the starting lineups for the visitors with a respectful, monotone voice.  But then comes the thunder with the “And now the starting lineup for your Quincy University Hawks!”.  Now, we’re not talking thunder as in some crazy annunciation and extended syllables.  Just, what I hope is, an excited emphasis on the fact that you stepped into their house.  Get ready for these students to put up a fight.

Usually folks aren’t allowed to bring signs into the arena.  So last week, it’s halftime and I’m adding in some fun commentary over the mic on the Junior Hawks (young kids in basketball camps with one of the Assistant Coaches) running some drills on the court.  And across the way I see these students start passing out some signs.  I see the letters start to come out and I think, “Whoa whoa whoa.  What do they think they’re….”.  And then I see this:

announcer pic

Just saying, “Thank You”,  doesn’t begin to describe the appreciation I have for this.

There are a lot more “last”s that I would love to write about but some shouldn’t really be public.  Others I’m eager to share in private.  And I’m sure others will come out on Facebook or Twitter.

More thoughts may come this weekend as I procrastinate packing.  Hope you’re doing well wherever you’re reading this.

Thanks for reading…

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2 Responses to ““Last”s”

  1. Al Spain Says:

    Lot’s of “first times” coming up. Looking forward to seeing you bcak in Troy.

    Al

  2. jeffspain Says:

    Thanks Uncle Al!

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