November 2, 2009
As you may know, I strongly believe that one of my most really, very outstanding qualities is that I have virtually no discernible ego whatsoever.
But every now and then, someone says something to me or gives me something that makes me feel pretty good.
As I reported last week, I rode in Baylor University’s Homecoming Parade a week ago Saturday. I’m extremely proud that the Baylor Alumni Association has awarded me the Price Daniel Distinguished Public Service Award, which the association gives out every year. Past winners include great Texas figures including former Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock and former Governor Ann Richards.
I’m not joking at all when I say it’s humbling to receive such an honor. But it’s especially great to get it from Baylor, which did so much for me.
And I recently got another big honor – the Hero for Health award from Marathon Kids.
For those who don’t know about Marathon Kids, you should. It’s a great program that encourages children to be healthy and fit through exercise, nutrition and schoolyard gardening programs. More than 72,000 Austin kids take part in the program.
They held a big annual fundraiser on the roof at Whole Foods, which is where I was recognized for my efforts in the area of, well, health and kids. It was a classic Austin night. The rain had let up that afternoon, so the weather was nice and cool, and it was a great, fun crowd.
The program has become a huge success, and it’s now also offered in Dallas, Houston, the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Chicago, and the Navajo Nation. But as the group’s founder noted, it got its start here in Austin.
I’m glad Austin is a really special place that nurtures programs like this one.
So it was a gratifying, heady couple of weeks. But, as I noted, I don’t need to worry about coming back down to earth. There are strong forces out there to keep me plenty grounded and nip any ego issues in the proverbial bud.
Take, for instance, the Marathon Kids night. On my way out of the Capitol, I sent Liz a text message reminding her that I was going to Whole Foods and was going to be honored.
It’s a nice feeling, honestly, to remind your wife of more than 30 years that you’re being recognized by a group as terrific as Marathon Kids.
Now I need to pause here and emphasize that Liz is a very practical person. She can, and does, always cut to the chase. No bull. Been that way as long as I’ve known her, which is since elementary school. That’s a big reason our family can juggle as many things as we do all the time.
So sure enough, she texted right back. “That’s great,” she wrote – and I must admit that my ego momentarily ticked up a bit.
Then I read the next line: “While you’re there, pick up some eggs and whatever else you want.”
So I shook some hands, thanked folks for the award, headed downstairs, made a beeline for the egg cooler, checked out, headed home, and made myself some dinner.
Yeah, I had eggs.