Hi Lurlene! I wanted to give you a heads up on something. Spike has told me several times that his teachers cuss. When I ask who he says pretty much all of them except Sally and Mamie. I know you can’t control everything at all times. At least I don’t think you can … can you? Thanks for all you do!
—An e-mail from Spike’s mom, sent during the afternoon of January 6
Today we went to the historic University of Georgia, and no matter how you feel about dawgs and the dawg nation and people who live in the dawg nation and human beings who bark and maybe even snarl and hate Georgia Tech and the University of Florida … it’s still one of most ancient college campuses in America, especially the real old part.
Spike has brought along a football. The reason Spike is carrying around a football and does not have his hands shoved in his pockets like everybody else because it’s twenty-two degrees is because he wants the head football coach of the University of Georgia, a fellow named Mark Richt, to autograph the football if Spike happens to bump into him around campus. The old or new part. Spike asks me to make sure I say something to him if I see coach Richt walking around.
I don’t have to ask Spike if he’s serious. I just look deep into his eyes.
We walk through the old part of campus and then all the way down to the football stadium. The football stadium is real big and it’s real empty. Coach Richt is not standing in the football field or sitting in the stands.
We ride over to a building called the Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall which is where you can look at a bunch of University of Georgia athletic memorabilia. If we were going to bump into coach Richt then the Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall would be the best bet because we all figured coach Richt’s office would be in there, especially Spike. He really felt it.
We walk inside and I introduce myself to the nice lady who seems like she’s in charge of greeting people. Spike immediately launches into his prepared speech about how important it is for him to see coach Richt … like right now. Like if you’d tell me where his office is I’ll go on up there.
I look at the nice woman’s expression.
I look at Spike.
I look back at this nice woman looking at Spike. She really does have huge eyeballs.
I look back at Spike and finally realize what a lush coating of freckles he has. That he really might be only ten inches tall. That his eyes are of an indescribable color ... because he admitted to me that his eyes change color. They do. Spike’s eyes change color throughout the day … blue to green to light blue and back through his particular emotional spectrum again. The hairs of his strawberry blond buzz cut look sharp and menacing. That the tone and texture of his voice peels paint off wood surfaces and cracks blocks of north Georgia marble and your concentration. Spike pronounces every letter of every word he says and he says a lot of words throughout the busy day. But he has the manners of a butler and I know in my heart that he’ll become … one day … without a doubt in my mind … the greatest salesman in the history of human civilization because he is deeply captivating to all creatures on Earth.
Except for this nice lady. She looked fairly unnerved and sweaty and ready to run somewhere … but she retorts to Spike in a firm voice that if folks want to talk with coach Richt you have to make an appointment six months to a year out.
Spike wasn’t impressed. He wasn’t swayed or moved. Not one bit. He said all he needed to do was run right on up there. Spike started to dash toward the elevators. I had to tackle him. Right there in the university’s athletic building. But the little elf didn’t fumble.
Next Entry ... January 7: State Pride. Like Hell