Dimon Kendrick-Holmes: Nothing wrong with recognizing a beautiful day

October 11, 2013 

OK, I applaud Len McWilliams.

The principal of Calvary Christian School gave his students the day off on Friday because the weather was beautiful.

Apparently, everybody in America thinks this was a great idea, which makes a cynical person like me want to write about how this was a bad idea.

But I cannot. It was a great idea.

It was a freaking great idea.

Still, I can't help but feel a little sad. As a parent of four school-aged children, I know how they would have used this day off, or wanted to use it. They would have slept late, then played video games, listened to music and watched movies -- all at the same time.

And probably without opening the curtains.

Youth is wasted on the young.

George Bernard Shaw wrote this about 90 years ago, but most people first heard it while watching "It's a Wonderful Life," when George botches an opportunity to kiss Mary and a crotchety neighbor hollers, "Aw, youth is wasted on the young!"

Which reminds me of a rant that my college Latin teacher made on a fine spring day in Nashville in the late 1980s.

His name was Dr. Huber and he wore dark suits and addressed us by our last names, but he had long hair and looked a lot like Robert Plant. One day he slammed "Latina Lingua" down on the podium and started complaining about the absence of public display of affection on the Vanderbilt campus.

"If you go over to Belmont and walk across the campus," he said, referring to a nearby Christian college, "couples are holding hands and even locked in fond embrace.

"What's the matter with you people? It's a glorious day! The gods are smiling on us! Carpe diem!"

I'm not sure if those were his exact words. It was my sophomore year and I didn't take many notes. On the last day of class, when I turned in my exam, Dr. Huber told me a story about a friend of his who was really smart but didn't pay attention in class, dropped out and became a pulp wooder, and barely survived a string of accidents involving high-powered saws and falling trees.

But I digress. I wanted to mention the most beautiful day I can remember.

It was almost exactly three years ago at Turner Field. Bottom of the eighth inning in the pivotal Game 3 of the National League Division Series. Tim Hudson had pitched a gem, but the Braves were losing 1-0 to the Giants because of a Brooks Conrad error. Alex Gonzalez was standing on first base. Eric Hinske was in the batter's box.

It was a late fall afternoon with a crisp breeze, and the sun was dipping behind the stadium and everything was bathed in a golden light. My sons were with me and along with the rest of the packed house we were chanting and chopping.

I paused for a moment and noticed that it was a beautiful day. Not because the Braves still had a chance to win, although that certainly didn't hurt, but because it was just a beautiful day. I will always remember that moment.

Of course, you know the rest. Hinske hit a two-run homer, and all of a sudden the Braves were winning and Craig Kimbrel was on the mound to close the game.

Pandemonium. And then Conrad made another error and it was all over.

The boys and I drove home in the last light. "Man, what a beautiful day," I said more than once.

And they kept saying, "But Dad, we lost the game."

It was still a beautiful day.

Aw, youth is wasted on the young.

Contact Dimon Kendrick-Holmes, executive editor, at dkholmes@ledger-enquirer.com

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