On April 3rd of this year, I drove down to Center, Texas, which, incidentally, is nowhere near the center of the state, in order to take the deposition of a police officer. This day was going to be an absolute whipping. After the officer’s deposition that morning, I was to take the deposition of a crusty old woman who was driving an 18-wheeler involved in the accident made the basis of the suit I was working. After that deposition, I was to be in Lufkin, Texas to meet with a new client on a case for which I had just been retained, the trial for which was set for a month later.
When I set up in the conference room in Center, the court reporter came in beaming, “I just found a $100.00 bill outside!”
“Wow, I know who’s buyin’ us lunch today, Don,” I told the other lawyer.
“Of course, I really think I ought to since I found it outside your office,” she said to Don.
“We’ll do it,” Don said, and it was settled.
Except it wasn’t.
The officer’s deposition concluded about 11:30 and the court reporter (Chris—a woman) said, “Okay gentlemen, where to?”
“Let’s just go somewhere within walking distance,” I replied.
“Oh, I’m going to have to bow out, I’m afraid,” was Don’s response.
I was stuck. I have it as a policy to not eat alone with a woman who is not my wife, and I wasn’t thrilled about the awkward situation in which I’d placed myself.
As we walked out to head over and get our enchiladas, I called the fair Tish to tell her I was having lunch with another woman. She was less than thrilled, not because she was nervous (I created my policy, she didn’t mandate it) but because she wondered why I would break with tradition. I explained, and she was “okay” with it. Bah! And now I wouldn’t be home until at least 7:00 p.m.
Over the course of lunch we discussed several things, including family. I told Chris that we didn’t have children, but we were “on the list” at an adoption agency in Tyler, and I mentioned that we were open to adopting a child of any race. Chris said that she and her husband had adopted a black boy years ago. She went on to tell me about that experience—it was all positive.
Before the next deposition, I called Tish and told her about my lunch conversation. She seemed pleased.
As I predicted, the rest of that day was, indeed, crazy. After my second deposition in Center, I trekked over to Lufkin to meet with my car-dealer client, then about five started heading home to Tyler. And there was the worst storm I’ve ever driven through in my life. I have never before been afraid of my car being struck by lightning, but as I came up through Jacksonville, I was getting concerned. It happened that one of my law-partners was five minutes ahead of me on the road (he had been out of town for something else) and we ended up sitting out the storm at a public house on the south side of Tyler, imbibing while the hail passed over. I think we spent most of our time discussing how we thought the Supreme Court would strike down Obamacare.