Sedona AZ (March 28, 2016) – As is generally the case on Fridays, mail delivery arrives late in the day, so wearily trudging out to retrieve what was anticipated to be nothing out of the ordinary, a very large white envelope, similar to the one I recently received containing my income tax papers, was jammed in the mail receptacle, leaving room for fortunately what was little else.
The only alarming aspect of this large white envelope was the return address: Mr. & Mrs. Jon Thompson. What? A member of the Sedona City Council was mailing something to ME? Oh dear – is the first thing crossing my mind followed by a myriad of other horrible possibilities such as “Is this a new method by which a Summons to appear in Court is served? What have I done now?”
Holding it up unopened to the overhead light in my kitchen, it appeared there was handwriting inside. There didn’t seem to be any evidence of a peculiar powdery substance. The back of the envelope had a decorative seal with three tulips – yellow, red and blue, and, the word “Congratulations.” Congratulations for what?
Very carefully and breathing deeply, enough courage was mustered up to take the plunge and open it. The accompanying photo, as the story goes, says far more than can be put into words, but for the sake of clarity let me follow the trail.
Surrounding the reproduction of the commemorative USA postage stamp honoring the late celebrity Jack Benny, entitled at the top “IN RECOGNITION,” the words at the bottom are “. . . of her 39 years as a resident of Sedona, Arizona, this award is presented to EDDIE MADDOCK this 31st day March, 2016.” In the lower right corner are the words: “I don’t deserve this award, but I have arthritis and I don’t deserve that either. -Jack Benny age 39.”
Ah ha, so that was my award – I didn’t deserve it and I do have arthritis. Is this suddenly making sense? No, not really.
It gets better. The hand written offerings rimming the photograph of Jack Benny, beginning at the top left:
(1) “J.T. xox (‘Oh shut up!’ – Jack Benny);
(2) “All the best for years to come, Scott Jablow”;
(3) “I’ve got you beat, 44 years for me. Congrats, Sandy”;
(4) “Eddie, You never looked a day over 38-1/2, Love John M.”;
(5) “Good for you Eddie! We appreciate you! Karen Daines”;
To the right at top of the page:
(6) “Congrats & Hooray for Sedona Miss Rochester!! – Mark D.”;
(7) “Best Wishes on 39 years in Sedona! – Tom Lamkin”;
(8) “Congrats! – Justin Clifton”;
(9) “Long time! Congrats – Jessica Williamson”;
(10) “Congratulations! – Robert Pickels.”
If the intent was to send me in dazed orbit for the weekend, it worked. However, if the real motive was to entice me with kind words thinking it would sway the determination of the mouthy Ms. M – not so fast. If you don’t believe it, check out the other photo provided as evidence that surely I was born this way since at the tender age of three or four, maybe even earlier, the “Tough Guy” notation captioned at the bottom was written by my own mother.
Point being: Please, City of Sedona, do not deny me the opportunity to select or change at my discretion the garbage hauler of my choice!
Seriously, this gesture, so completely unexpected, is appreciated beyond what any words could possibly convey. The best I can do is to designate placing it next to something else I deem as a treasure – a signed letter from former President Ronald Reagan dated January 8, 1987.
One final thought. Surely you didn’t have a collective autograph signing “special meeting” without benefit of a Public Notice, did you? Perish the thought you would breach the Open Meeting Law. (It was the devil in that little girl that made me write that..)
Over & Out