Tuesday, August 24, 2021

My Dad and the “walking trees”.

Recently I read that the PGA no longer held golf tournaments at the once famous Greenbrier resort in West Virginia. That was of no interest to me but it did remind me of an amusing incident that my Dad had there..

In the mid 50’s he was working for an Ad agency in Boston. He was the Production Manager and seldom called upon to make presentations or to interact with the public. That was just how he liked it because he was a quiet man and perfectly happy to stay in the background.

One day, however, his boss informed him that he had booked three presentations to promote his agency and just realized that he had only two sales men to present them so he advised Dad that he would have to do one of them. Of course Dad couldn’t say “no” but he was extremely nervous about it and, as it turned out he had good reason to be.

When he got home he told us the whole story. I took the train to “The Greenbrier” and was met at the station by a representative of the hotel. He gave me a tour and showed me the banquet room where the meeting would be held the next day. I couldn’t believe how ornate it was. There were three huge windows on the back wall and a low platform with the speaker’s dais in front of the middle window...

Needless to say I got very little sleep that night but I managed to make it to the meeting on time and with my presentation memorized. After the introduction I made my way to the platform & before I had a chance to even give my name the audience broke into spasms of laughter. I was devastated and more than a little hurt. What had I done to provoke this?

I was about to storm off the stage in frustration when I noticed that a lot of the people were pointing to the windows. I turned and watched in fascination as a huge tree seemed to slowly walk it’s way from window to window until it finally disappeared. (Since the windows were above ground level all we could see was the “walking tree” and not the gardeners who were transplanting it.) I had to admit that it was hilarious seen from that viewpoint and luckily it broke the ice and my presentation went on without a hitch after that.”  

Poor dad ... but luckily it was his one and only time "on stage."


Blogger Marie Smith said...

Great story. Saved by the walking tree.

4:25 PM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

I've heard of jokes to ease a speaker and audience but walking trees is a delightful first. That would be hard to top.

5:38 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

You have such fascinating anecdotes. Maybe you need to write another book. :)

6:28 AM  
Blogger Goldendaze-Ginnie said...

from my friend Jan ...

"Excellent story! Funny! And a great ice breaker for your dad! He couldn't have planned it better!"

11:58 AM  

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