After a quiet 4th of July, it was time to get back into the swing of being a full-time Professor again.  That doesn’t sound hard at all, right.  At least it’s much easier than deaning. But, I felt like I’d been thrust into an episode of Undercover Boss (I love that show).  I had the darnedest time doing the simplest things.  It let me know how incredibly much Terri Huckleberry and the other members of the Administrative Team had spoiled me.  How to print an envelope? Work the 2nd floor copier printer?  (It turned out though, that part of the problem with this was that it operates using codes and my new code wasn’t programmed in.  So, I wasn’t totally inept).  The other part of moving is remembering where you put everything, and if not, figuring out where to put things in a place that makes sense.  So I was in the midst of all this when there was a really rambunctious knock on the door.  Phil Lyon was in town and was stopping by the law school to see my new/old office and to meet our new dean, Stacy Leeds

Phil, his wife Jayne, and I have been friends for a long time.  That’s a long story, but suffice it to say that the three of us have a very warm and close friendship.  We’ve shared good and tough times, many a meal, traveled and worshipped together.  Phil has been a mentor to me through the American Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section.  In fact, he is the reason I have been as involved as I have in both the section and the ABA.  We’ve spoken together on panels on various topics for different organizations.  Many times we make use of our different affiliations to provide a lively give and take for the audience.  Phil is a management-side lawyer and my affiliation is generally employee-side, but, back to the visit.  Phil has gradually transitioned to an almost exclusively entertainment law practice and was in town on a matter related to a film.

He is working on a project with Benjamin Gaither (Benjy) who was flying in that evening. You all might know this, but I learned that Benjy was one of the producers of the movie The Last Ride, which chronicles the last days of Hank Williams. He’s also the son of Bill & Gloria Gaither.  Phil invited me to dinner with he, Jayne & Benjy, but tasked me with finding a restaurant that would accommodate late dining. Benjy’s flight wasn’t due in until close to 9:00 p.m.   I made us a reservation at Bonefish and after a frustrating day of relearning the simple things, I headed out to meet them in Rogers for dinner. 

We had a wonderful dinner.  I learned a lot about Hank Williams, what it took to get the movie made, and some of the legal issues involved in making a biography.  To tell you the truth, I’d never thought about it before.  I think that were I more in the know about country music I would have been intimidated and nervous around Benjy because he clearly knew his way around the business and was a celeb.  But I have to say he was humble, charming, low key and just a nice guy (not to mention a cutie).  I have to say that sometimes despite myself, I end up having the most amazing experiences and a large part of the reason is the blessing of terrific friends I have in my life.  Phil and Jayne are no exception and I know my life is richer because they are in it.

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