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Monday, February 13, 2006

Ben Bernanke Slugged Me!

Many have rubbed shoulders with greatness.
I had to rub my own shoulder.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke was a friend of mine.
Well, we went to the same school.
Ok, I was in Jr. High, and he was a Junior.
But we WERE in the Dillon High School Band. He was a Sax, I was a lowly third trumpet. He was one of the whip-cracking overseers employed by Miss Helen Culp, the uber band directrix. He cracked with the best of them. He was...tolerant of me and my ilk, and regaled us with his repository of "Hopkins" stories -essentially travelling salesman yarns with an English butler instead of Willy Loman. He was HI-larious.

Ben's parents owned the JayBee Drug Store in Dillon, SC. Bought my first pipe there. Tons of sulphur and saltpetre for pyrotechnic experiments. Great store! They were The Jewish Family in town-there were more, but EVERYONE knew the Bernankes. Dillon also had a number of Lebanese families named Saleeby. "Saleeby's" was a notable men's shop in Dillon. I bought Paula A. a choker there, but that's another story...

We were at the marching camp in late summer, and Ben had been cracking wise, so I began to dither about his name...I couldn't remember it, quite.
Then I said "Ahhhh, Bernanke...I always confuse you with the Saleebys!".

He looked at me, grabbed me, and punched me in the arm. Hard.


But it was worth it. I got 'im!

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