Was having these two conventions at the same time, in the same place more than a coincidence? | Columnists
THE IDLE AMERICAN
Dr. Don Newbury is a longtime lecturer and former university president who writes weekly.
With each passing year, I am less likely to categorize events as coincidence, chance, or even “blind” luck. Now, it is probable that on significant subjects, I will classify several of them as divine interventions or acts of God, His angels or others whom He may designate.
Two recent conferences at the same hotel on the same date were indeed intertwined. At the Marriott Delta Hotel in Hunt Valley, Md., were more than 200 members of the Lions Club of Washington, D.C., Maryland and Delaware. At the end of the corridor were about sixty students for a meeting of the National Federation of the Blind.
The Lions celebrated their 100e birthday, reflecting on many projects, including their longstanding mantra of serving the blind. Their mingling with the middle schoolers, seeing their guide dogs and hearing the confident tapping of their canes constantly reminded the Lions of much of who they were….
TIME LIMIT OF 55 YEARS
A breakfast speaker for the Lions convention, I observed their mixture, often thinking of how much they had in common and how bravely the students moved, some of them faster than sighted Lions. ! It was surely a divine appointment!
Over the weekend, the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, the singing of the National Anthem and other patriotic observances reminded us of our heritage.
At the convention, I was reinstated into the Lions Club after a 55-year absence. I was inducted by Brian Sheehan, president of Lions International, the world’s largest civic organization. A Minnesotan whose duties require his presence at distant points during his year in office, he had been at the Texas Lions camp in Kerrville hours before his visit to Maryland, after which he and his wife had left for meetings in Chicago, then Iceland….
I was emcee for the Lions banquet where Ray Hildebrand, a friend from Howard Payne University, led the singing of the national anthem, and the next night he sang his old number one hit, ” Hey, Paula”. with “The Fabulous Hubcaps”, a well-known musical group on the east coast.
At the concert on August 12, my wife and I observed our 56e wedding anniversary. I mentioned what an honor it was to be on the program with “The Fabulous Hubcaps”.
She agreed, saying I could be the exhaust….
Adding to the good fortune of the Lions and the group of blind people landing in the same place, there was yet another event that had divine implication written all over it.
For several years, Lion Lois Barb has been training guide dogs for the blind. Shortly after arriving, she saw a dog that looked familiar to her. Sure enough, it was Pippin, a service dog she had trained several years ago.
She had no idea where the dog had ended up, or who it would lead. It was a happy reunion…
Before leaving the area, we visited the now five-year-old Museum of the Bible, located just three blocks from our nation’s capital.
It dazzles, awash in marble and pristine surroundings, offering interactive exhibits and historical data that make it a virtual “must” to visit.
In just five years, it’s already one of DC’s most visited tourist attractions….
THAT FLAPPIN NOISE
Then it was to Cincinnati, where we had the headquarters for visits to the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum. Before leaving Maryland, a sign on the highway reminded us that the historic Civil
The battle of the Antietam War has been fought. It was the bloodiest day in American history, with some 23,000 casualties, including nearly 4,000 killed.
At a nearby rest area, we spoke of carnage, refueled and continued driving west, wondering about a “thud”.
Sure enough, the gas nozzle was still inserted, with a 10-foot length of hose pounding against the sidewalk. We returned it to the gas station apologizing profusely.
The lady hadn’t missed the tip and thanked us for returning it. She immediately restored it, happy that strong magnets made it easy to reattach the hoses after thoughtless motorists pulled them out of the gas pumps….