Father’s Day fell on my wedding anniversary this year. I had to decide whether Deb had any say in where we went to lunch. Actually, Deb graciously let me pick. The restaurant I picked was packed: the line was out the door. So we went to White Castle instead.
I love White Castle. I’ve been eating there since I was five. My sister and her hubby have worked for White Castle Corporation since the early nineties. They met there. In April and May, St. Louis White Castle locations sponsored a “Round Up for Down Syndrome” event to raise money for The Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis. I think they raised over $16,000. That’s around 32,000 people generously donating an average of 50 cents. And to be fair, Penn Station raises even greater amounts for DS.
Later in the day, I did a bike ride with Joy. I buckled her into the trailer and zipped up the mesh screen. As we did our leisurely route through Sanders Park, I noticed an older couple sitting on the playground equipment.
The woman I recognized immediately. I don’t know her name, but she lives on Sanders. I often see her walking (with the aid of a walker) along the sidewalk, talking to neighbors. Always smiling. She has a Toyota in her carport that looks identical to the 1983 or ’84 Tercel driven by Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad.
The man she was sitting with turned to me as I peddled along.
“Hello there,” he said.
“Good afternoon,” I said. I applied the brake and stopped. I put my feet down.
“What is your daughter’s name?”
“Her name is Joy.”
“That’s what I thought,” he said. “She’s a cutie.”
The Toyota lady said, “I bet she loves riding on the bike with Dad.”
“Yes. She’s always up for a bike ride.”
We chatted a few more minutes before I said goodbye and pedaled down the trail.
On the way home, I kept thinking how odd it was that the man said he knew Joy’s name. “Her name is Joy”… “That’s what I thought.”
What!? Why would he say that? As I turned the corner onto Big Bend, I realized I was wearing my CHOOSE JOY t-shirt. The shirt is a riff on Wham’s CHOOSE LIFE t-shirt that featured prominently in the music video for “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.” The type is so large, you can read it from a block away.
By the way, I had too many copies of this shirt printed. If anyone you know would like one, just send me a message with size. I will even mail for free.