Saturday, June 26, 2010

The President of Uruguay

As I watch the World Cup tournament 2010, my prediction of a good showing by the South American countries is proving to be correct. Uruguay is beating South Korea at half time presently. During the first half, though, my concentration wavered as my memory brought me back to 5th grade when I met the President of Uruguay.

My family, during spring break, visited colonial Williamsburg, VA. We stayed in the top half of one of the restored homes in the colonial section, which was near the main Inn. The whole vacation was an incredible adventure for a young boy with an overactive imagination.

It was brought to our attention that the people below us were from another country. Apparently at that time, Washington would put foreign dignitaries up in Williamsburg and fly them into DC via the Marine helicopter. Rumor had it that it was someone important.

Now, when I was young, I could never be accused of being shy, especially if I spied a beautiful woman in her twenties sun bathing on a beach. Even though I was only in my pre-adolescent years, I would ingratiate myself into her life with all the charm of Don Juan.

So, because of my incurable curiosity and having no fear at all, I walked down the stairs and knocked on the door of the apartment. A very dignified man answered and asked what I wanted. I then explained that my family was sharing the house (pointing to the stairs) and that I heard that someone important was inside that apartment.

“I want to meet him,” I said with the arrogance of a royal.

The man hesitated. I looked him in the eye. A grin then appeared on his face and finally he said, “Please. Come in.”

He explained that he was an attendant to the President of Uruguay.

“Do you know where that is?” he asked.

“Of course,” was my answer. I lied.

He showed me the President’s coat, which was on one of those sewing type mannequins. It was covered with military medals. It was one of the most impressive sights these eyes had ever seen. I was speechless.

Finally the man himself came out from the back and the attendant explained to him who I was. He was gracious and dignified. I was meeting a great man. This I understood. Yet he was also very humble. He spoke with me for a short while and then off I went running up the stairs to tell all to my brother and sister.

When we were in the restaurant the next morning, we saw the Marine helicopter land out back of the Inn, through the bay window. I waved at the machine as it eventually flew off, only hoping that the President of Uruguay might have been waving back at me.