Sam Lacy 3

In my last effort, I left you at Frostburg State University where Sam and two other fossils were entertaining the audience with tales of life in America, back in the Stone Age.

On these trips, I was Sam’s designated driver and his roommate.  We were always given a small suite or adjoining rooms.  In this case, it was adjoining rooms.  It did not take long for me to discover a way to entertain myself at Pop’s expense.  With the doors to the connecting rooms open, our TVs were on the same wavelength, and my remote operated my TV as well as Sam’s.  When I accidentally discovered this, the little boy in me came to the surface.  I would wait until Sam became engrossed in a show and I would change his channel.  My pop was not known for cussing, but the red in his face was an adequate display for his frustration.  My game came to a halt when he reached for the phone.  I knew that the call would make some poor desk clerk uncomfortable.  It was time to fess up.

One trip firmly implanted in my brain was a trip to Princess Anne, Md. for a Hall of Fame ceremony.  It was the dead of winter and I had an earache.  If you have ever had an earache, you understand.  Just a small breath of air in that ear can make you feel like a grenade exploded inside your head.  At the time, I was a smoker, and from time to time, the habit would drag me outside in 20 degrees for just one more puff.  To offset my pain I was popping Tylenol every half hour.

To make matters worse, they did not serve dinner until around 10 p.m.  Lenny Moore’s wife was so concerned, about every five minutes she would ask me if I was all right. I responded that I was just hungry as I left my seat to go outside for another puff.

I was in so much pain that I spent most of the night in a chair.  On the trip home, the overdose of Tylenol kicked in and I fell asleep behind the wheel.  I heard this voice shouting, “Tim! Tim!” and I awoke to find that I had crossed three lanes of traffic on a major highway.  Pop said that he noticed the erratic driving, but I did not get his full attention until he heard me snoring. It is amazing what a 20-second nap and a near death experience can do to wake you up.

Next up was Towson State University.  They put on quite an extravagant production to honor Sam.  All of the local dignitaries were on hand for this one, because, after all it was an excellent photo opportunity.  Sam was on stage, seated in a place of honor, and the Towson State Choir started to sing, “The Wind Beneath My Wings”.  Before you could bat an eye, Sam was up dancing in front of the choir, and one of the female choir members left her place to join him.

I had to wonder if my Pop had started drinking and I had not noticed.  Sam had many talents, but dancing was not on the list.

Tim Lacy

Special to the AFRO