Last Saturday morning I took a long walk through the streets of Memphis. 13.1 miles to be exact.
I was not alone. I was accompanied by 26,000 of my closest friends. Well, that’s not totally correct. At the starting line, I was with tens of thousands of friends, and they quickly left me behind.
When I was a kid, one of my favorite TV shows was “The Flying Nun.” It starred Sally Field as Sister Bertrielle, a nun who possessed the God-given ability to fly.
“The Flying Nun” was the launching pad (pun intended) for Sally Field’s fabulous career as an actress, which included her Academy-Award winning performance as “Norma Rae,” her wonderful portrayal of journalist Megan Carter in “Absence of Malice,” and my all-time favorite Sally Field role as Carrie in “Smoky and the Bandit” and “Smoky and the Bandit II.”
But while Sally Field (a/k/a “Gidget”) quit the flying habit (again, pun intended) years ago, there is now a flying pastor, Reverend Bartholomew Orr of the Brown Missionary Church in Southaven, Mississippi.
On Thursday, we will all celebrate Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday of the year as it is devoted to the three “F”s that make America great—Food, family, and football.
I will be celebrating it where I’ve celebrated most Thanksgivings over the last 40 years … in the booming metropolis of South Pittsburg, Tennessee.
It was one year ago this week that I lost my dear friend and law partner, Kim Johnson. Kim was an outstanding lawyer and a mentor to me and so many Memphis lawyers. He was also a loving and caring grandfather, father, husband, and man of faith.
But this week, I find myself fondly remembering something else about Kim. He was an incredible prankster.
It began on a winter day in 1886, when a retail jeweler in Redwood Falls, Minnesota received a package of watches that had been shipped to him by a Chicago company. The jeweler refused the package. He did not order the watches, and he had no interest in them.
The package ended up in the hands of a 23 year old railway agent named Richard Warren Sears. Sears managed the offices of Minneapolis and St. Louis Railroad in North Redwood, Minnesota, where he operated the telegraph and handled the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railroad’s business. There wasn’t much of it, and young Sears had a lot of time on his hands.