Thanksgiving week is usually a time for family gatherings. While some like to plan these social events in fine detail, for others a seat of the pants method is preferred.
Chris Garrison has been an important fixture in Auburn since 1995. He’s been the baseball coach at Auburn Riverside High School since it opened that year and in 1999 was awarded the SPSL North Division Coach of the Year. At least one Auburn school district site gives him credit for coaching since 1945—at least a FEW years before he was born. He also teaches Freshman Health and Human survival and has a 4.7 out of 5 rating on www.ratemyteachers.com. One student commented, “A great teacher and even more a respectable man.”
Coach Garrison is however, also known for a major family social event “faux paux” caused by using the seat of the pants planning method. Chris is one of eight brothers and sisters—one short of fielding their own baseball team. One summer about eight years ago Chris and his wife, Terrie, hosted a family reunion for Chris’ siblings.
Terrie is the Principal at Sunrise Elementary in Puyallup. She’s also a meticulous planner which helps her succeed in that role. Normally she plans family gatherings but in this case Chris took the lead. After all, it was his family.
When he called each up to invite them they asked, like good guests, “What can we bring?”
His response to each was, “Just bring a watermelon or something.”
Nobody brought the “something.” All eight brought watermelons. Even Chris and Terrie had one on hand. A quick trip to the grocery store was required to rescue the occasion which has ever after been referred to as the “Watermelon Incident.”
I suspect that this Thanksgiving it will be Terrie, not Chris, doing the planning. There will be checklists and guests who volunteer to bring something will be given a specific assignment. I’m sure it will be a well-planned event.
Coach Garrison however, may choose to toss another watermelon on the barbecue, if the food runs low.
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