Sunday, April 27, 2014

Pep Talk: "Desire To Serve"

“I am so happy for you!” said the beaming woman who teaches me Spanish every other Friday. I had just told our wonderful housekeeper that “Miss Kathy” and I were tying the knot this fall. “Listo para una cerveza!” was this simple gringo from Missouri’s response.

My first television sportscasting gig after graduating from the University of Missouri’s School Of Journalism was a great opportunity for me to learn Spanish, connect with the Hispanic culture and become very passionate about serving it. It was in Harlingen, Texas for KGBT-TV, the CBS affiliate there. Weekend sportscaster and weekday reporter. Harlingen sits in the Rio Grande Valley along America’s border with Mexico. Ninety-five percent of the population is Hispanic. When I arrived back in 1986, at least half didn’t speak English. Into that soup fell a knucklehead from Raytown, Missouri who didn’t speak a lick of Spanish. All that’s a story for another day.

Anyway, I love speaking Spanish. I don’t do it very well and cherish any chance to get better. The amazing Tina and I were trying to rap in Spanish. She was being very patient and was beaming about the upcoming nuptials. It’s a joyful moment.

And it makes me think of what a lucky guy I am. But that’s a story for another day, too. Ironically, Tina and I were having this discussion while I’m moving about the house packing for a trip to connect with darling fiancee, who is an incredible business success. When I’m invited to these types of events it always warms my heart to hear employees who work for the Chicago native. They gush about the experience. I love to offer, “Nobody likes working for Kathy Gans more than me.”

Good things come in threes. Third time’s a charm. The terrific trio. One may be overpowered, two can defend themselves but a chord of three strands is not easily broken. Call it what you like, but it seems that good things do come in threes. I am not recommending anybody follow this path (the fallout is significant), but what’s the old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again?” Well, only through grace, two divorces opened the door for a most amazing human being to walk into my life. I like to joke, but it’s the truth, “We make a good team.”

And now, to the real point of this Pep Talk. Guys need to grow up. Why do I have buddies who deem it necessary to have a bachelor’s party? Really? I’m an aging, chunky, chalky white dude who has already had TWO bachelor parties. Another is not necessary. But two dudes, former radio talk show buddy Jimmy Doogan and Kuntal Vora, a fellow CU Buff to the bone, refuse to listen.

Bachelor party III is alive and well. It will include a golf outing that I’d like to invite any and all of you to attend. The golf outing will be at the beautiful Raccoon Creek course. It’s a lush Colorado course that reminds me of home, lots of trees. For the past six years, Kuntal and his brother Rahool have directed a golf tournament to honor their father, a wonderful mentor to his sons who died of throat and neck cancer.

Lots of guys with CU connections come together, play some golf, bust each other’s chops and raise money for the university’s effort to prevent throat/neck cancer, or effectively treat it. It’s always been a blast and we’d love for you to join us this year. The tournament will be August 23. Stay tuned for details.

It’s a lot of hard work, organizing and conducting a golf tournament. The brothers were thinking about taking a year off. That’s not gonna happen now. The Naren Vora memorial tourney is still alive. It will tee off the bachelor party day in a wonderful way. Honoring a man beloved by sons and others. Reminds me of my father. We used to have a family golf tournament until he passed. I’m disappointed in myself that it hasn’t continued. I can imagine wherever Hacker Mac is playing golf in heaven today, he’s wondering, “What the hell is going on around here?”

To wrap it up. Lucky guy who has hit the jackpot when it comes to picking a winner begrudgingly relents to insistent buddies about Bachelor Party III. It ends up with a way to serve cancer research and honor a great guy.

The power of this reminder hits me like a ton of bricks. Serving something beyond ourselves, as long as its healthy and productive, is wonderful for us. I can’t wait to be of service to my marriage to the love of my life. I can’t wait to be of service for the golf tournament - join us! - to salute dads, connect with buddies and raise some money for cancer research. Thanks to all of you out there who serve beyond yourself. For those looking to serve, good luck on the search.

A strong desire to serve is good for our well-being and offers hope to others. Let’s live that truth. Daily!

Until next week, adios.

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