Below is something I wrote six years ago. The picture is of my parents.
Just some thoughts:
Many times we live off the good reputation of others.
Some of these thoughts were prompted by a minister as my wife and I sat in his audience while wintering in Florida.
Your name, our name, has a reputation. It was there before we came on the scene, and it will be there long after we leave. The question for us is, “What will we do with it while it is in our possession?”
It would be my first time to see my favorite National League baseball team, the St. Louis Cardinals. My favorite American League team was the Chicago White Sox’s. I loved Nellie Fox of the White Soxs and Stan Musial of the Cardinals. If you wanted the starting line-up for the Cardinals that year, I could probably come up with it. Or at one time I could have. Years have caused a bit of fading. The Cardinal stadium, Sportsman Park, was about one-hundred and fifty miles from where we lived. The game would be a Sunday twilight double header. Oh boy! Two games the same day.
My parents had agreed I could go and the would not be going. Since the game would be played on Sunday the stipulation was as I traveled, “You will need to stop for church.” Ok, my thought was that we will cover that base. As we neared St. Louis my buddy (Mike) and I stopped at a small country church with probably no more than fifty to seventy five in attendance that day. Evidently a practice at that church was to acknowledge and introduce anyone who might be a visitor at the end of services. Mike and I were asked to stand and introduce ourselves and we did. As soon as services were over an older gentleman quickly came to me and asked, “Did you say your last name was Adamson?” “Yes,” I answered. “By chance would you be any relation to…” He then named three people, my grandfather, my uncle and my dad. When I confirmed they were my relatives, his eyes lit up and he gripped my hand and kind of half-hugged me.
He then began to share stories that involved all three of these men and him. “Young man we would be so pleased if you will have lunch with us, come by our house. You can eat quickly and get on your way to the game.” So we did, and over lunch he told me how much these three men had meant to him and told some stories involving each.
At the time I did not give this happening much thought. Later I came to realize that I was on the receiving end of this man’s kindness and hospitality because of the friendship and respect he held for my grandfather, uncle, and dad. Three people who had come before me, and on that day I was living on a reputation that had preceded me.
Every name has a reputation; we make choices that will determine how it is viewed in the future.
and the name he makes for himself.”
February 9, 2010