Strangers’ grins peer out from a collection of photos scattered around Ken’s office: some buried under paper piles, some stuck in drawers, others graduated to frames, sitting on a crowded credenza among baseball memorabilia.
These are the standard four-golfer poses … a typical souvenir from the bazillion golf tournaments in which Ken has been invited to play by charitable organizations trying to raise a buck.
The other three golfers in each pose took home an identical photo. I would wager to say they would be able to name Ken in the picture for a long while. But if Ken had to name them, most likely he could not. With no offense to anyone (I can guarantee my husband most certainly enjoyed each tournament), Ken has greeted thousands upon thousands of fans over two baseball careers. If he still remembered each of their names, we would change his name to Einstein.
Hopefully, their memory of a day on the links with a baseball celebrity is a great one. Maybe they bragged to their golf buddies that Ken Singleton played in their foursome. Maybe they proudly showed the souvenir photo to a spouse or displayed it on a desk.
And just because Ken may not remember names and faces of the myriad of golfers with whom he shared 18 holes, doesn’t mean he wasn’t congenial and polite while interacting with them. Ken is a very friendly guy.
If the one thing he prefers fans “take away” from him, is that he looked them in the eye, gave them his time, and tried his best to provide a pleasant experience. Many fans approach or e-mail me – or share on this blog – with wonderful comments about the “great guy” I’m married to. He has been described as personable, genuine, hospitable, and gracious. And it’s true. I have never seen my husband act none other than gracious to baseball fans. When we are out and about with friends, some have commented about this, as they observe him in “celebrity mode.”
Lesson here for all of us is that we cannot control another person’s experience, memory, or judgment about another human being. Yet if we are involved in the interaction, what we can control is ourselves. We can do our best to ensure that another person takes away the best pieces of ourselves that we have to offer.