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  • Scott Gardner

Practicing in SW Virginia - Birthdays

Practicing Law in SW Virginia - the birthday edition. Celebrating a birthday, at my age, I’ve come to the realization that the road in front of me is far shorter than the road behind. For that reason, I spend a great deal of time looking back in remembrance…well, of things I can still remember, with the hope I’ve learned something in moving forward. I woke up in the middle of the night and started watching “Smokey and the Bandit.” A favorite. It evokes memories of my childhood. Andrew Lewis. For me, my learning curve spiked in middle school and I will always remember the kid that taught me the most. A great friend at an age of having best friends. Allen Morris is no longer with us, but I think of him often, and certainly every time I see this movie. We watched the Bandit together at the Towers Theater and laughed til our ribs hurt, got thrown out and then sneeked back in. A classic Saturday. I’m not embarrassed to take a life lesson from such a movie and one of my favorite lines is when Burt Reynolds tells Sally Field, “When you tell somebody something, it depends on what part of the country you’re standin in…as to just how dumb you are.” Now, on or about the time I’m getting another year older, I find myself in court questioning a much younger witness, who states that she has been “talking to” my client. I am thinking in my head, as lawyers sometimes do, that it is of some importance that my client and this witness had a face to face conversation. So I ask her if that is what she meant. Shortly afterwards, the judge calls me to the bench to remind me that when a person of a certain age says they are “talking to” someone – it is in fact not an in-person conversation. Ahhhh, happy birthday to me. Later that day, I’m in a different courthouse a little further southwest, questioning another witness. The argument hinged on whether it was possible to park his truck in a field, on a steep hill, and then get out to break some sort of law. He testified that it would be like standing on the first turn at Bristol. I tilted my head like a labradoodle and told him I had no idea what he meant. The judge immediately broke in and said, “That’s okay Mr. Gardner. I know exactly what he means.” There appears to be no question as to just how dumb I am. A good day to fire up a cigar and head out of town listening to “East bound and down.” #RIPAllen #RIPBurt

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