Saturday, October 21, 2006

Clearing tables

This morning I worked at a company breakfast, clearning tables. It was at Master Hughes's work, a food processing plant I've always wanted to visit. Every year he volunteers our school to help with clean up and to do a little TKD demonstration. This year, he wanted the children to demonstrate.

Well, I can certainly clear tables, so I went over for an hour in the morning. It was cool to be in an old hall that was part of the huge plant. The red brick hall had a high ceiling, big windows, and a stage at one end. Round tables were set up throughout, and workers and their families had been invited for a big buffet breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and hashed browns.

I got to wander around and pretend to be a waitress, asking "Can I get that out of your way?" and "Let me clear that place for you." Somehow it was nice to have an anonymous service job like that.

Some workers came down for a break from their shifts, still wearing work jeans, head coverings and earplugs around their necks. One of them was Bob, who along with his son Nolan, sometimes takes TKD with us. He's maybe 50, and he doesn't study too regularly, but he has good insights about forms and sparring. Someone told me that he had been a boxer.

He waved to me, and I went over to chat.

"So are you and Nolan going to be at tae kwon do this week?" I asked. "You know, Nolan's really a natural at it."

"Yeah, he likes it," said Bob. "But you're really a natural yourself."

This surprised me. "Well, I like it."

"I wish I had your flexibility. Then I'd really be good."

I asked Bob about boxing. He told me that he had done a lot of it, and he'd learned just about every martial art there is.

"It's helped me in fights," he said. "But that's one thing I want those kids in tae kwon do to know: not to get in fights."

"I'm not interested in fighting," I said. "I love to spar, but I'm not interested in fighting."

"That's good," said Bob.

The children did a nice demonstration, the tiniest ones broke some of the thin balsa boards, and some kids from among the breakfasters got a chance to break, too.

A good chance for our school to demonstrate our work ethic and our TKD skills.

No comments: