Over the past few years, I have visited every courthouse in southwest Virginia, with the exception of one. But today I checked that venue off the list, as I gave a quick nod to the War Memorial out front, listing all the sons and daughters that gave their all. It's a tough contract case, so I'm wearing my lucky tie. (Thanks Doug Kidd) It's practically unbeatable. Not unbeatable like the Hokies against in-state Division 2 teams at home not named JMU, but 80-yard bomb against Nebraska kinda lucky. Anyway, first deputy asks me if I have been to Myrtle Beach -Uhhhhh, no; takes my temp, which reads 92.5 degrees - I tell her it was a long ride and my car has a great air conditioner; and then she tells me I have to lose the tie. "No ties in the courtroom." "Seriously?" There is a long discussion about the science behind that policy but I'm only concerned about losing my mojo.
Second deputy takes my bar card. I tell him I'm from Salem. He asks me if I know the photographer named Gardner and then describes in great detail a picture he saw online of his daughter playing lacrosse against SHS. I remembered the picture, promised to send it to him and made a new fan. Inside waiting on the judge and another deputy is having a discussion with an attorney about the new hand sanitizer on the table. I'm a little distracted with my naked neck and all. Deputy, "We got the sanitizer from a distillery and it smells like moonshine." Lawyer, "I don't have any idea," sniffing the bottle. A voice from the back of the room I haven't heard since college blurts out, "Junior (that's me) can tell you. He used to bring some great shine to football games." Ahhh reunions! Half an hour later, I'm arguing the terms of a contract in front of the judge. Judge: "Mr. Gardner, what's the exact language used in that section?" I pull a copy from my file. Look at it. (Understand, I can't wear glasses and a mask at the same time because they fog up - glasses are in the car.) Squint. Extend my arm as far as it will go. Squint some more like George Costanza spotting raccoons on the side of the road. "Judge, I have no idea, but you'll have to look at it yourself." There may have been some laughter. Left the courtroom a little smaller than when I went in, hands smelling of Mountain Dew and pulled away to Jimmy Buffet's "God's Own Drunk." I will never be able to smoke a cigar under these conditions.
Nice to be recognized and remembered for my lawyering instead of ...... you know.