A Brush With Greatness


Have you ever had a brush with greatness?  I have.  But my story will have to wait.  Today I am going to tell you about The Kid’s brush with greatness.  Except she was completely unaware of it.  Why?  Because it wasn’t Katy Perry or Joe Jonas.

It was about 4 or 5 years ago and we were kayaking with good friends.  We were in a beautiful place and enjoying the beautiful weather.  It was peaceful.  Up until our daughter lost control of her boat.  And was heading straight into another boat.

I’ve seen the man in this kayak before. He looked familiar, with his baby face and trademark cap.  Wait.  That guy looks like…could it be…Opie? Richie Cunningham?  Yes.  The Kid literally rammed  head-on into no other than Ron Howard himself.  Of course, it wasn’t done gracefully.  Oar flailing, pigtails bobbing and lungs screaming.  No, not embarrassing at all.

Between giggles she managed to get out an apology.  At least she used her manners.  Mr. Howard could not have been nicer.  He very gently told her that it was okay and that she was doing a good job.  The rest of us?  We all sat with mouths gaping.  In total disbelief that Ron Howard and his wife were out on a Saturday afternoon kayaking in our local stream.  Well, his local stream too, it turns out.

People around us were whispering about the famous man in the cap.  Of course, these people were middle age.  Like us.  They all grew up with Richie and Opie.  Anyone there at that moment under the age of 35 had no idea who he was.  It was like our own little secret.

I remember thinking suddenly how proud I was of our kid.  She can’t paddle a kayak, but she sure knows how to strum up some excitement.  It was the topic of conversation for weeks.  It still comes up from time to time.  Hmmm, I suddenly realize I should probably get something else to talk about.  Or have The Kid run into someone new.