October 19, 2016
At my office there is a “thing” that we do every year…it’s crazy and fun and sometimes, well…a tad bit competitive. It’s been “over the top” in some years and ALWAYS an awesome day for pictures (which is, obviously, the reason I love it).
This year, in keeping with one of our DNA statements – “We Keep It Simple”, we decided that the theme would be COLORS and named the event “Color Bowl 2016”. Teams are formed (it’s a secret process…no scouting or picking on our own) and then each captain was given a color for their team.
Crazy stuff happens when teams of REALLY creative people get in the room together…this represents “We keep it Simple”…
Some teams had a few more props than others…notice the orange team had only orange balls on their lane and the purple team even did a bouquet toss at their “Purple Rain Wedding”!
Our team had fun making our emoji’s together and then laughing over making one of our “injured” team members (who has had a few medical issues lately) a lemonade stand to raise some money for medical bills. I have always thought that our staff was overly generous…but was shocked that not many were willing to help poor John (sorry, friend – but your walker looked cool!).
While the highlights are always showing up to see what other teams do (and who gets “highest score”), I hope I remember something else about today.
The lane our team was on was at the end of our section and I noticed a man in a wheelchair sitting alone watching us for quite a while. After a few minutes, he retrieved a ball from his bag and started wiping it down and then rolled himself up to bowl. I looked up at the screen/score board above him and noticed his name…
After he bowled, I walked over and told him I loved what he had typed in for his name and he said, “Thanks….it’s my given name.” I asked, “Like on your birth certificate?” and he smiled (cause, HELLO – his name is SMILEY) and said, “Yes, my older brother was 4 years old at the time I was born and when he saw me he told my parents, “We should name him SMILEY!”…and they did!”
I loved watching him as he would roll up on the lane, stop and put the brake on, and carefully swing his arm off the side of his chair. Later, we found out that he was a veteran and played on a wheelchair bowling team.
I wonder what Smiley’s life has been like with that name…I mean, how can you not smile with a name like that? How can you not cause a stranger (like me) to engage with you when you announce that that’s your REAL name? I hope the name has brought him joy and interesting interactions with people crazy enough to ask about it! He was fascinating and an AWESOME bowler.
I’m thinking if we COULD “recruit”, I would have asked for his number for next year…instead, I asked if Tara and I could have our picture with him. When I left I told him that he made my day and that it was a joy to meet him and, of course, Smiley smiled!
After we bowled, some of our team (“Go Team Yellow”) went out for lunch. It was fun thinking back to past years and the crazy themes and pictures we have taken. Here are just a few…
So – Chase Oaks Staff – here’s to “keeping it simple”!!! Until next year…which, HELLO – is our “10th Anniversary” of this crazy tradition! We might want to pick teams and get going on the costumes NOW!
And to “Smiley” – thanks for having the coolest name ever! Loved meeting you today!