Friday, October 23, 2015

The Real Deal

The goal of this blog is to bring a reality-check to your Shabbat table.... please print and share.

Bill Joe FergusonDid you notice last week when I gave a shout-out to my buddy BJ in Mississippi?

Some have wondered who in the world I'm talkin' 'bout. 

This week I called him to wish him happy birthday and now I've got the bug again.
The gentleman to your left is the man.

We met on the first day of summer 25 years ago when he rescued me in his cream-colored Buick from the 99 percent humidity of Jackson, Mississippi.

 As we cruised up I-65 (barely more than a stone's throw from Highway 61), the sky darkened so quickly I thought there must be an eclipse. 

Suddenly it was raining so hard you got wet just lookin' at it. 

The temperature plunged to a cool 78°.

Pulling into town, he pointed to the Vaiden (sounds like maiden) water tower, sayin', "There ain't been too many times in my life I been outta sight of that water tower there."
That was the start of many adventures together....

For now, here's his interview explaining why he gave up his salary in order to help his school district stay afloat.

And here he is in last Friday's report on Mississippi's public school crisis.

Here's his contact info in case you want to give him a virtual high-five or donate some books to the poor kids of Carroll County, Mississippi.

Or in case you want to wish him a happy birthday.

(Or in case you have a blind date for him.)

(When he came to our wedding in Jerusalem 19 years ago, we were at a big Friday night dinner. Afterwards, a Hasidic woman in attendance, a matchmaker, asked me incredulously, "Why isn't he married?????")

He's the real deal, as they say down in Mississippi.

In "Jewish" (as my grandmother would have said), we say, he's a mensch.

Here's this week's question for you and your table:

What makes a person the "real deal"?

Shabbat Shalom

PS - Do you know how many days til Hannuka?

PPS - If you're fixin' to visit, you may wanna check out the Vaiden visitor's guide.

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