As with anyone who buys their first home, she was excited to have a house built which she swore she was going to keep Sharpie markers in the bathroom and ask anyone who came to visit to sign the wall in the bathroom. I asked her if she was sure she wanted our signatures on their permanently? She was confident of it. This was Annalee, a trail blazer, different and proud of it.
She started a tradition that we carried on for all the females who made it to the college ranks. We would buy a pair of socks that we would give to the female rookies when we worked with them during their first college game. Annalee bought "T's" socks and "T" bought my socks, and I bought Brandi's socks and hopefully the tradition has been continued. They weren't just any socks, they had to be black socks with a white stripe on them. They are hard to find so we knew if you had one, then you had been let "in on" the female tradition. On the rare occasions when we worked together, we all packed our "striped" socks and wore them during the game.
One time when we were getting ready for a game, Annalee called me a name I was not prepared for. She said, "BJ you are a logo whore!" What? She said, "You wear an undershirt with a Reebok logo, tights with an Adidas logo and Nike shoes." I said, "Well I guess I am but I feel unless some company pays me to sport just one logo like Tiger Woods gets paid than I will wear what ever I got on sale. Besides my shoes are the only thing that people can see." This really bothered her. She was the Nike woman.
From being a part of the game of football, "Annalee had a habit of treating me like a dude." Her football crew went everywhere together and they had been together for over ten years. Unlike basketball crews, they are put together and stay together and a tight bond is formed." Instead of asking how I was, she would greet me with some sort of put down and it caught me off guard. So one time I asked to go with her after a high school game and buy her a pitcher of beer. I told her that
I'm not used to someone just "jabbing" at me before a "Hello, how are you doing?" greeting. She said she forgets that I'm kind of sensitive like that as she put it and she wouldn't do that anymore. This is what I love about her, she was a true leader in that she listened to feedback and acted upon it. The right thing to do in a position of leadership is listen to criticism and be able to adjust if it is affecting others in a negative way and doesn't compromise our own integrity.
Annalee swore and could hang with the "manliest" of mans with jabs and jokes. She held her own and she makes us laugh. When we are older and will tell stories to our grandchildren of the "good people" we have met in the family of officiating, Annalee is one of the people I will tell many, many stories about. Maybe I'll even write my own book someday, like Annalee did. It will be about basketball and it won't be a nursery rhyme book either. The stories we would tell wouldn't be suited for children. The whole situation reminds me of my grandfather who would open up the Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme Book and pretend to be reading Hickory Dickory Dock, the Mouse Ran up the Clock only this was his version...
Jesus Christ Almighty
A Mouse Ran Up My Hiney
Bit My Tit
And Made Me Shit
Jesus Christ Almighty!!!!
My grandfather has passed on to heaven and you know they say when you find a penny with the head up on the ground that it was sent from heaven. Well my grandfather would be proud of Annalee and I know she has picked up at least one penny from him. She picks up money all the time on the ground and keeps track of her yearly total. One year she collected over $211. While the mice have been running up clocks and my grandfather's hiney, he's been throwing pennies down for us to remember him and his mouse stories.
Click this link to read more about Annalee's accomplishments!