Happy Birthday, Ace….
Posted on: August 06,2013
It was a rainy day 47 years ago. I was just a kid. My dad, Ace, and I were driving around Hattiesburg and I told him I had decided, at 13, I wanted to be a sports writer.
Ace just kept on driving, never changed expression and didn’t say anything. A few minutes later we headed down a ramp to get on the highway. Ace slowed down to a crawl. Off to the side was an old, scraggly fellow trying to thumb a ride. His soaked, soiled clothes were in tatters. He hadn’t shaved in weeks. He probably carried all he owned in a knapsack. He smiled and seemed to be saying something as we drove past. He had no visible teeth.
Ace drove on for a minute and then broke his silence. “You see that guy back there?” he asked.
Ace sort of grunted.
“I know him. He’s a retired sports writer,” Ace said and never changed expression.
My father knew how to get a point across. His point that day was well-made and well-taken: If I chose sports writing, I would not be rich.
I chose it anyway and he helped me any way he could over the next few years, including some of the best writing advice I ever got.
He died 18 years ago. I miss him every day.
He would have been 87 today. Cheers, Pops.