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February 1, 2013

DODD: In support of service

JEFFERSONVILLE — This past Tuesday evening, I had planned to attend the Rotary Service Above Self banquet. Since I work in Jeffersonville and live in Otisco, it would have been quite a feat to drive home, shower and make it back by the 5:30 social hour. Instead, I opted to take my suit and shoes and bathe at my mom’s house in town.

I found out about 5 o’clock when getting dressed that I had forgotten to bring my black dress belt.

Other than being a fashion accessory faux pas, there was another issue that arose from my neglect to accessorize appropriately. I haven’t worn this particular suit since I lost about 24 pounds. Had I been going to a rap concert or a Justin Bieber show, this would have not posed a problem. However, the shrinking waist size and no belt made me paranoid about my pants sagging. The Rotary is not really a pants-sagging crowd.

For just an evening, I felt a bit of what some young folks feel when they walk around having to hold up their britches. The sensation was kind of irritating for me and made me a bit self-conscious.

Thank goodness I have rather round hips and I realized that there was no possibility that the pants would actually truly sag below my Hanes. But it was a bit different from the old habit of sucking in your gut to being able to actually breathe out and try to expand the waistline to conform to the larger fit.

I was there to support my buddy Harold Goodlett Sr., who received one of the Gold Leaf Volunteer service pins. I thought I should spring for the ritzy dinner serving price and charitable donation. You would have thought that for the ticket price, a celebrity like me would have been at the honoree’s table. But just like so many years ago, I was delegated to the kiddie table with his children.

OK, all of his kids were well past the minimal adult age.

I did manage to get a free drink courtesy of Harold and that alone was almost worth the price of admission. Since I hadn’t eaten much that particular day, that drink and another I bought myself made for a truly “happy hour” for a guy who rarely drinks liquor much harder than V-8 juice. Kye's doesn’t skimp on the most important ingredient in a 7 and 7.

Since the bartender did not actually have the 7-UP, I suspect she might have compensated for the inconvenience by serving 8 and 6’s.

So if anyone who saw me thought I was a bit giddy and seemingly walking awkwardly with a gait that looked like my back was out of whack, it was simply the result of a couple of belts — the ones I had and the one I forgot.

One of the nice aspects of Thursday’s nominees was the fact that so many of the honorees were average, everyday people who didn’t perform extraordinary feats, but gave many hours of time commitments to things such as volunteering for a nonprofit organization or even helping coach young children’s sports programs. You know what I mean — the kind of volunteers that make any community a better place to live.

Anyway, I enjoyed the event and support Rotary’s missions. As a proud alumnus of the 2000 Rotary International GSE team that visited India for a cultural exchange for a month, I always feel compelled to support and acknowledge the fine works and mission of the Rotary organization.

The room appeared pretty full and the funds raised will certainly circulate throughout Southern Indiana  and benefit many deserving causes and people.

Personally, these types of events allow me to mingle with many people I know I only see at such charitable programs once or twice each year. Many are some of the most active and giving people in Southern Indiana that I have the pleasure to get to know.

Since I mentioned Harold, I would be remiss not to mention the other award recipients; Linda Hughes, Heather Ligman, fellow News and Tribune columnist Carol Dawson, Marilyn Czape, Ann Receveur, David Hammett, Hal Kovert, Robert “Bob” White, Jay Conner, Todd Brandon, Mike Reynolds, Joshua Rodriguez, Nick Duran and Mike Desaro. A special acknowledgment goes out to past Rotary President and George Strickland President Award recipient, Fay Allen.

I hesitate to have my suit pants altered anytime soon. I have no idea when I will buy another suit. There is always the chance that a few pounds will be added before a new wardrobe.

A spare belt in the trunk seems to be the smarter investment.

— Lindon.dodd is a freelance writer who can be reached at lindon.dodd@hotmail.com

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