My brother called me last night with an unbelievable story. I told him to write it down and e-mail it to me. This is my brother's story of his father's day message from dad...
"Back in the '70s, my Dad did a bit of traveling as Ronald McDonald. Thirty-five or so years ago, he came home from a trip and had an autograph he wanted to give me. The autograph was from Jethro Pugh. At that time, Jethro Pugh was a star defensive lineman for the Dallas Cowboys, "America’s Team" and my favorite team, still is. I took that autograph and proudly tacked it on the bulletin board in my bedroom. That autograph hung on my bedroom wall for 15 years or so.
A few weeks ago I had to plan a trip to New Orleans. I booked the trip myself. I normally use the corporate travel agency, but was given the chance to choose my own seat. I like sitting near the wing and by the window. However, on this flight the only seat I could choose in the area of the wing was a center seat, row 16 seat D.
After boarding the flight I saw a tall gentleman coming toward my row. He fell into the seat and said, “It's hell gettin’ old.” My reply? “Amen, brother.” We started having the usual airplane conversations. “Are you from New Orleans?” He said, “Nope, Dallas.” I asked, “Why were you in New Orleans?” He replied, “Airport retailing conference.” He continued, “I own a few shops in the Dallas airport.” Being cordial I asked which ones. He listed about four or five shops. The first he mentioned was Jethro Pugh’s.
My first thought was, no flippin’ way am I sitting on an airplane next to the same guy my dad sat next to nearly 40 years ago. So, I questioned him a bit more. I asked him how he got involved with Jethro Pugh. He told me that some friends convinced him that owning shops in the Dallas airport would be a good business investment. I then asked the big question: “What’s your name?” He, of course, replied, “Jethro Pugh.”
I shared my story with him about my dad and the autograph he had given him thirty or so years ago and he thought it was funny. “Small world,” he said. We talked about the Cowboys back in the “America’s Team” days and he told me that when the Cowboys traveled to New Orleans for two Super Bowls, coach Tom Landry would tell the players, “The French Quarter is off limits.” Jethro Pugh seems to be a great guy and it was a joy meeting him.
Mr. Pugh also shared with me that he wasn't even supposed to be on my flight, but that he had left the conference early. And, ended up on this particular flight...sitting next to me...next to my seat...a seat that I had personally picked weeks ago.
My thoughts, of course, are that dad set all this up. How else do you explain it? How could I end up sitting on a plane next to one of the greatest Dallas Cowboys that ever played the game and who my dad had also sat by forty years ago? Did I mention that it was two days after Fathers Day? Coincidence? Not in a million years.
God is great and thanks, Dad. You never cease to amaze us.
If you read this blog, you know about the photo that showed up in the Beaumont paper the day before Fathers Day. It wasn't actually dad, but it sure looked like him. Can’t wait to see what’s next."
Stu also had this to add about some restaurants he ate at while in New Orleans...
"Coops Bar - on Decatur next to Margaritaville - Cajun/Creole - Some of the best I have ever had. And, I have had a lot. Allegedly, they are famous for their fried chicken. However, I just don’t have the heart to pass up the Jambalaya Deluxe: tasso, shrimp, crawfish, chicken and sausage.
Stanley Café – northeast corner of Jackson Square across from St. Louis Cathedral. “Breaux Bridge Benedict” - you will never look at breakfast the same way again. French bread, boudin, poached egg and Hollandaise sauce…add a little Cajun Chef hot sauce….OMG. Can’t wait to get back."