Saturday, January 20, 2007

I'm Not Making This Up

"Synchronicity" is the word Mrs. Gleason used last Saturday night in the Superdome. Let me explain.

Last summer--I think it was June--I went to Kinko's on Tchoupitoulas to make some copies. I tried to put my Visa in the copy machine, but it wouldn't go: someone had forgotten his card in the slot. (I've done that myself at least twice, each time luckily retrieving my card from Kinko's a few hours after my carelessness.) I ejected the card, took it, and saw that the raised letters on it read "Stephen Gleason."

"Hey, that's cool," I thought, "the Saints have a guy named Steve Gleason." It's a common enough name, though, so I wasn't thinking much as I brought the card to the desk. I turned it in to the clerk.

I made my few copies, ejected my own card (for once), then headed for the door, and that's when I recognized Steve Gleason of the New Orleans Saints standing at a table organizing some papers.

"Mr. Gleason, hi. I just found your card in that machine over there and turned it in at the desk."

"Oh, wow. Thanks." We walked to the desk together, and he retrieved his card from the clerk.

I asked him,"How's it going this summer at Airline Drive? Are we going to see you in the Dome again this year?"

"It's good, but you never know. We have new coaches, so I'm just working hard, and we'll see how it goes."

"Well, my brother and I have season tickets, and we're cheering you on. Take it easy."

"Thanks."

Fast forward to September 25, 2006, when this happened:

Steve Gleason and Curtis Deloach made the pivotal play of this season. That blocked punt and touchdown set Our New Orleans Saints on the path that has led to the NFC Championship Game.

For Christmas, Dr. Mrs. Clio gave me a huge poster of that picture. It's now framed and on my office wall. It is quite admired by everyone in my building. So I see an airborn Steve Gleason every day at work.

Now fast forward to January 13, 2007. Dr. Morris and I were in the corridor outside Section 635 in the Dome, heading up to see Chef Who Dat. We saw two women wearing "Steve Gleason Fan Club" t-shirts. Being sociable guys, Ashley and I approached them.

"In my office, I have a poster of Steve Gleason blocking the punt in the Atlanta game," I said.

"That's great!" said one of the women.

I then relayed my Steve Gleason credit card story.

One of the women said, "That's a great story, and she will be happy to hear that, because that's Steve Gleason's mom, and I'm his aunt."

I swooned. I was speaking with the mother of the author of The Block. This woman gave birth to him.

"Thank you for giving us your son," I said.

"Well, you're welcome," she said with a big smile.

I don't really remember the rest of the conversation. It involved me blathering on a lot about how her son had done one of the greatest things in the history of this city, with the Gleason ladies expressing their enjoyment of the Saints and our city. (Oh, Mrs. Gleason did thank me for returning the credit card to Steve.)

Anyway, Steve Gleason's mom and aunt had 300-level tickets and had accidentally gone too high in the Dome, ending up talking to us Terrace dwellers in the corridor near the escalators.

Mrs. Gleason told Ashley it was synchronicity. We were supposed to meet so that I could tell her that story.

It turns out that Mrs. Gleason (who is working on her Ph.D.) helped Steve collect 7,000 school bags and supplies and shipped them to New Orleans after Katrina and the levee failures. As the Times-Picayune showed a few days ago, Steve Gleason (and his mom) "get" New Orleans.

So here it is (photography by Dr. Morris): me, in my Dilly mode with eyeblack applied by Dr. Morris, with Steve Gleason's mom and aunt.

4 comments:

Marco said...

That's a great story! It was meaningful coincidence, as Dr. C.G. Jung would say.

Big__Shot said...

That's special.

Speaking of Gleason, go over to SR.com and one guy posted pictures of the team driving to the airport. He pointed out Gleason's truck, which proudly displayed a "Defend New Orleans" sticker. Oh yeah, Gleason and mom definitely get it.

rickngentilly said...

one more reason to love this town. im so happy that happened to you.

Gail Gleason said...

I'm here to tell you that this is a true story. And another case of "synchronicity."

It's 1:47 am and I'm searching for some material for a technology class assignment. All my other assignments have been related to my research for my dissertation, but this is my last one so I decided to make a fun flash presentation about Steve's season. My google search for Steve's blocked punt led me to your blog site and this story.

It was meant to be--again.

BTW: My research project is about using desktop web conferencing to connect teachers in Washington with teachers in Louisiana for collaborative learning projects as a way to help them in the process of rebuilding their curriculum. So far we have connected 75 pairs of teachers. The project will continue for at least one more year--hopefully more.

Love your blog site!

Geaux Saints!!

Gail Gleason