Back in the day, I came from a small country town where basketball was the king of sports. Guys there didn’t play football. Later, I moved to St. Louis and was so busy raising my girls that I didn’t have time for sports. One night, I was out with a new friend when she introduced me to a man named Bill Wilkerson. Bill stood and extended his hand. He said, “I’m very pleased to meet you.”
I put my itty-bitty hand into his great, big hand and stared in abject awe. Of course, the first thought that came into my head fell out of my mouth. I said, “Wow, you sure do have the prettiest voice that I have ever heard.” At that point, everyone went into a fit of laughter, and I had no idea why.
Apparently, Bill Wilkerson was a radio announcer here in St. Louis. Football happened to be his reporting specialty. Being the excellent conversationalist I am, I told him, “Well, I don’t know a thing about football.” Everyone laughed again, so I figured I would just let them have their fun at my expense. Fortunately, Bill was very friendly and courteous. Rather than laughing at my football illiteracy, he paid me a nice compliment. He said, “You’re such a pleasant person, and I’ve really enjoyed meeting you. I need to send you a book about football.”
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We had a lot of fun sitting and chatting. Fortunately, my companions did me a favor and didn’t discuss football. When I arrived at work the next morning, one of my coworkers was listening the early AM radio station. I told her about the previous night, and she listened attentively. When I finally shut my mouth, my coworker laughed and said something that blew my mind. “Bill Wilkerson just said that he met a very nice lady last night, but he didn’t get her address. He stated that she said she didn’t know anything about football, and he wanted to send her a book.”
Here it is, many years later, and I still don’t know anything about football. But I’m still willing to learn. If you ever meet someone with a beautiful voice who introduces himself as Bill Wilkerson, listen up! Don’t miss the chance of a lifetime to learn a lesson about football from one of the experts like I did.
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Originally published April 11, 2023
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