Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tom Lester, The Man Who Made Me Laugh Again

Mrs. Sudduth, Addison Civitian President, and Guest Speaker Tom Lester

  It was a fine Autumn Day, the kind that makes a fuzzy sweater feel comfortable and that makes you wear shoes with your socks.

  I was walking around looking at the Arts And Crafts at Pat Buttram Day in Addison, the little rural town that has the only traffic signal in a 20 mile radius of here, gave birth to "Mr. Haney" of Green Acres fame.  As I browsed around a booth filled with hand sewn aprons, my little dog tugged at the end of her leash. The man of the hour, the events' most special guest that year was kneeling in front of me, the sun shining brightly upon him and his little green army hat and checkered shirt. "Dogs, I love dogs", he said as he stroked the head of my little "Ginger". Tom Lester was using the booth where I was browsing as a temporary table in order to autograph a photo of himself as the famous "Eb" of Green Acres.

  Throughout the course of the day I had kept a considerable "starstruck" distance until the couple that were assisting him, members of the local Civitans Club that hosted the event, wanted to go home and watch the Alabama game and had decided to have me (and my Mom) take their place. My star struckdedness quickly evaporated as the warmth of Tom's smile and considerate manner put me at ease.

Tom and I became friends after that day, exchanging phone calls and jokes, his jokes perfectly executed and mine, well, they got better after he had recycled them.

  Tom asked me a simple question once and I started laughing so hard I could barely breathe, you know that kind of laughter, the kind that heals your soul.

I was privileged to have his light shine on me for awhile, I giggled in the glow of it.

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