Thursday, June 15, 2006


Now I’m sure you’ve heard of the individual that started out with a red paper clip and with that red paper clip which he listed on E-Bay he is trading up to reach the ultimate goal of a new house. And he is making good and steady progress. I guess Hub’s dream is kind of like that, but we are not starting out with a red paper clip. We are starting out with a faint hope and a letter of application that will be eventually transcribed in calligraphy script on a piece of stiff lace-edged original high quality linen that I found in my Grandmother’s trunk. And so the correspondence begins.


If it please Your Majesty, I wish you to consider this application for Knighthood.
The man I want you to consider is Bobby Smith.

If it please Your Majesty, Bobby is a simple man. He has done nothing of great notoriety. He has penned no unforgettable lyrics, composed no music, erected no architecture, written no profound works, accumulated no wealth. He has protested nothing and lobbied nothing.

But if it please Your Majesty, he is brave. He is brave to the point of being foolish, and foolish to the point of being brave. If that were not the case he would not have allowed me to write this application. If it please Your Majesty, how fearless is a simple common man who has done nothing of repute to suggest that he would like to be a Knight.

And if it please Your Majesty, Bobby is affable. Easy to approach and easily approachable. Most of us style our lives in order to assure a place in our afterlife. But for Bobby, it is not the laws of man or Deity that prompt his sense of justice and honor. He has always said he does not want anything he has not rightfully earned. And for this reason, Bobby has never traded up or sold anything above its value or even equal to its value. And he has never sold anything without full disclosure, including that which is anticipated though yet without symptom.

If it please Your Majesty, now that Bobby is retired and his youth declining, I beseech you for realization of the dream that best fits the aptitude that he has displayed while unmindful of any reward. Only last week, in consequence of him suggesting this new dream, I realized that his virtues have never stemmed from competitiveness, self-righteousness or a desire for applause. He has lived his life with virtue because moral virtue is what gave him peace.

And if it please Your Majesty, there is something else. It is a small thing that I hesitate to mention but I know how much Bobby has hated being called ‘Bobby’ all his life. All he ever wanted was for people to call him ‘Bob’. But it never happened. And the reason it never happened is because he is the kind of endearing individual that didn’t fit with a curt, terse name like ‘Bob’. He has been called ‘Bobby’ for an entire lifetime because ‘Bobby’ is the indicator of his magnetism and others immediate perception of his sensitivity and sweetness. So if it please Your Majesty, what a special gift it would be for him to be referred to as “Sir Bobby”. That has a ring of sophistication that removes any childishness from a mature individual’s name.

And finally, if it please Your Majesty, when I asked Bobby what privileges come with Knighthood that make him long to be a Knight, he was unaware of any. So, if it please Your Majesty, then I asked him why he wanted to be a Knight and this is what he told me.

“I saw a Knighting ceremony the other day. Her Royal Majesty presiding, touching the sword to one shoulder and than the other. That same gracious Queen who ruled when I first entered a Grade One class and still rules. I have never understood other’s terms of eternal redemption but in watching that ritual I felt that here, at last, was something with redemptive value like a spiritual baptism. All I know is after watching that I need to be a Knight. And, in retrospect, though I have done nothing, I have done something.”

I was rather taken aback at this comment but as I pondered it in subsequent days, I realized that Bobby is right. If it please Your Majesty, how he has conducted himself might suggest Knighthood, though he be a simple man without a litany of conquests.

Respectfully and Affectionately Yours,

Roberta Smith


Anonymous Scotia said...

I guess I'm the only person in the world that hasn't heard of the red paper clip story. :)

6:25 PM  
Blogger the old bag said...

beautiful post!

7:53 PM  
Blogger Roberta said...

Hi scotia, if you want you can find out everything you need to know about the 'red paper clip story' by googling 'news red paper clip' or probably any other phrase that includes 'red paper clip'.

Hi the old bag, I think from your comment you must see value in my rant in the same magical way some saw value in a 'red paper clip'. Do you think Bobby as a chance? Do you think what I have written is good to go, or should I change anything in it?

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Dick said...

Roberta, I'm going to suspend my anti-royalism in wishing you good luck with your application for a K for Bobby. How could she refuse so elegant a request?

12:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So elegante, and LOVING, a request...

Good luck!


4:35 PM  
Blogger the old bag said...

Sorry I didn't stop back sooner!

Please, please know that I read with a viewer's distance rather than a writer's ownership; and that I very, very respectfully offer up the following thought (because it is a beautifully and well-written piece):

The one thing that talks to me is in the "brave" para -- the "If that were not the case" sentence seems a tad incongruent given the active feel of the sentence vs. the descriptive nature of the rest of the piece.

Again, very minor -- I loved this tribute!

- OB

8:28 AM  
Blogger Roberta said...

dick, your support is appreciated and even more so, considering that such support required a temporary suspension of personal convictions. Not many people will suspend their own perspectives in order to support another's. So for that I sincerely thank you.

Buffy, thank you for that meaningful comment. You are a dear friend.

the old bag, thank you for the editing assistance. Your comment is well taken and I believe you are absolutely right in your assessment. I will correct that before the mail goes out.

Even if Bobby is not knighted, I know he will feel really special when I tell him how many supported the cause.

10:59 AM  

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