Saturday, February 12, 2011

Today's fortune: February 12, 2011

Today's fortune: Now is the time for peace in your life. Go along with other's ideas.

Have you ever wanted to go back and spend an entire day with your favorite college professor? Maybe take a road trip, and spend the day talking about baseball, life and all the great and terrible things in the world?

I did that today.

The professor, John Lofflin, and I carpooled from Kansas City to Springfield, Mo., for the Midwest Baseball Writers Conference. We're both involved in the Royals/Cardinals website I-70 Baseball, and the conference was put on by the founder of the site.

The road trip was just as fun as you might imagine it would be. John Lofflin is my favorite college instructor not only because I learned so much from him, and not only because he helped sharpen me as a writer and a journalist, but because of his stories. I've never met someone with such wonderful stories, and you know they're all true, because they're too outlandish to make up. I eagerly listened to some of his old classics, and laughed uproariously at the new gems he'd developed since my graduation from Park University... nearly a freakin' decade ago. (Wow, my co-workers are right. I'm old.)

Our journalism careers took roughly the same path. He started working at newspapers right out of college and did that for 10 years, until entering the field of education. I worked at newspapers during college and stuck with it for 10 years before being laid off and never looking back. We have even worked for many of the same employers; in fact, some of his co-workers in the field were my bosses when I was coming up.

You're probably asking yourself, "Where does the fortune fit in?"

Let's start out with the first sentence: "Now is the time for peace in your life." Today was a peaceful day. Spending time with John (who hasn't changed a bit) is like going back home in some ways. I loved my college life, especially the time I spent in his classroom. And listening to him tell his stories once again was like being wrapped in a warm blanket.

The second sentence, "Go along with other's ideas," was represented in a much smaller example, but one that is no less important. Prior to today's journey, I gathered together all my cassette tapes so we had plenty of music to listen to on the road. (My pickup truck, which was built well after the invention of compact discs, has a tape deck.) I have a nice collection, including Simon & Garfunkel, Elton John, Ella Fitzgerald, a Bill Cosby comedy tape and several other classics. I made sure they were all rewound and in the right cases.

My instinct would have been to pop in the S&G tape shortly after departing. But after reading my fortune this morning, I decided to go with the flow by allowing John to choose what we listened to.

We never turned the radio on.

Three hours down and three hours back, and all we did was talk. There was never a lull in the conversation, or an unwelcome pause, or a forced moment. By going along with John's idea to chat instead of listen to music, we engaged in one of the most lively and riveting discussions I've ever had.

And it wouldn't have happened if I had popped in that tape.


  1. I MUST take a road trip with Lofflin (Doc).