Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 104 - The Power of Three

Jula's favorite number was three.  So when Lets Make a Deal came back on TV with host Wayne Brady, she would always pick door number Three when we all watched the last grand prize door selection.  Her birthday is on the third month on the thirtieth day on the ninety-third year.  So one could see why she liked the number three.  I on the other hand would pick door number one as I love the number eleven and like to think I'm number one at something, anything of course that has a positive connotation.  Unfortunately unlike Jula, we don't like the number three.  In our culture three it is commonly said is the number to which bad things happen.

Deaths come in threes, events come in threes.  Last month the catalytic converter went out on the car ($1200-$3000 depending on the genuineness of the parts), the closet filled up with water (called the plumber to tell us for $139 that it was the air conditioning) and the air conditioner needs a new switch to moderate the temperature.  The part is actually covered on the last year of our warranty so we were told we are getting a "deal" to only pay for labor at $200/hour.  [I'm reevaluating my computer science degree, the air conditioning and heating unit division is downstairs in the same building....]

Something else happened last week that we can't explain, the owl stopped coming so we looked in his box.  There was a two and half foot long yellow rat snake that had eaten "something" small and was too big to move.  The chickadees stopped coming so we looked in their nest and there were two dead chicks that had hatched but were left for dead. Again in threes, the owl gone, the snake eating a song bird  (maybe one of the chickadees?) and the chickadees babies left for dead.

Did the owl eat a chickadee? Did the chickadees leave when it saw the owl?  Its hard to believe the owl would have eaten a chickadee because the song birds fly all over the place in front of small hawks that are standing on the fence looking at them like they want to play too.  The baby hawks are too young to be interested in birds with their own flying skills still being navigated. Frogs and lizards are more to their liking. The right thing to do is realize that the circle of life continues and this is part of nature. Death has it place and its a part of nature.  The best part of the number three here is Jesus died at thirty-three and he rose again after three days.

As for basketball officiating, there are two different systems.  One which has the traditional two-person positions Lead and Trail which we first learn and the other more advanced three-person with a Center position added. Once when I arrived to do a high school game as part of a two-person crew, the crew chief was late.  While I was waiting for him to arrive I met with the JV refs who had finished their game. I had asked one of them to stick around as my partner hadn't arrived yet for the Varsity game.  We exchanged introductions and he said that my partner, Jim was not usually late and this was unlike him.  He mentioned that he would be glad to stay for a little while as he was sure Jim was coming.  As my partner Jim arrived they exchanged handshakes and hugs like old friends.  I think the other official was just THANKFUL he didn't have to stay to do another game.  Both of these men were pushing seventy. I told the JV official, "Thanks for staying" and he left.

Jim and I did pregame for the Christian 1A Boys Varsity game. He had mentioned during our pregame that he didn't feel well and this is why he was late.  I told him he looked pale and I asked him if he had eaten?  He said he had so I suggested he go get a powerade at the concession stand.  Maybe his sugar level was low. He got a powerade and sipped at it.  I told him that if anytime during game he didn't feel well to let me know and I'd stop the game and we'd figure it out from there.  As luck would have it at 3:33 left in the second quarter my partner went down.  I stopped the game and we took Jim to the back room which was the cafeteria by day and our dressing room at night.  A woman came back shortly after and announced she was a nurse and saw Jim grabbing his chest.  She called the paramedics and I went out to my car to call my assignor as she had a better handle on the situation with Jim's immediate health in danger.  This way I could get a better handle on a lesser important situation on how to finish this game.

The assignor didn't answer his phone. The President of the Association didn't answer his phone.  The Vice-President of the Association didn't answer his phone. (I found out later they were all out officiating.)  I remembered the JV official and looked his name up in the roster I carried with me in my car.  He said, "BJ I'd love to but I just got out of the shower."  What??? I thought, ok, let me think here.  I went back into the gym.  Both coaches literally begged me to finish this game by myself.  If I was younger and less experienced I would have said yes.  But as a veteran I knew that they always "say" they will be on their best behavior and boys particularly (and men too) are so filled with testosterone that they can't help but be competitive once the whistle had blown.  [Mens Christian Leagues are the worst by the way!] It was a very physical game in the first two quarters, all above the rim and there was NO WAY I could handle this game by myself.  I also knew that if ANYTHING went wrong in the remainder of that game I was liable.  Not happening on my watch - Harvey taught me that!  I sat and waited with my cell phone in hand.

I went back to check on Jim, the ambulance was arriving and he didn't look too good.  It was clear that he was having a heart attack.  As I was at a loss for answers, the JV official that I had called who had just gotten out of the shower, came in through the back door.  I was pleasantly surprised and most of all grateful.  He said that after he hung up the phone his wife asked who that was.  When she heard the story, she said to him, "Are you crazy?  You said what?  You know the right thing to do. Now get a new uniform on and get your butt down there and help your friend Jim out!"  That day the JV's wife was the best "person" on the crew and I was grateful to have her as my "third" partner. 

When it comes to the future, there are three kinds of people: those who let it happen, those who make it happen, and those who wonder what happened. ~John M. Richardson, Jr.

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