Meeting an all-American family

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 9, 2013

While walking to the St. James High School gym from the parking lot, I noticed this young lady carrying a covered tray of goodies. I immediately said, “Excuse me. What do we have for dessert?” She said, “Some homemade cake squares,” and continued, “Everything I bake is homemade. I never use cake mix. Do you want to try one?” “I surely do,” I replied, as Jeanne was telling me I shouldn’t do that.  
She lifted the tray cover and placed a cake square on a napkin, and I said, “I need one for my wife.” We both laughed, and she gave one to my wife.  
The pretty young lady was Rose Mitchell. “I remember you when we went to the St. Charles gym,” she said. She told me that her son was No. 10 on the St. James team. Rose was accompanied by her pretty 9-year-old niece, Alexis.  
I met her husband, Harold, working in the concession stand. It just so happened that her son, Andre, guarded my grandson, Kameron. I later told her that he guarded him too close.
They beat us, but we played one of our best games.  
I noticed the new Wildcat football coach, Dwain Jenkins, in the gym. He is a personal friend and, I believe, one of the best coaches in the River Parishes. He is hard-working, thorough, and a student of the game. This is his first head-coaching job after years as offensive coordinator under one of the most successful coaches, Tim Detillier of Lutcher.  
Will he be successful? Without a doubt, the people in St. James have a classy young family man who will carry on the proud tradition of Wildcat football. If the people in St. James are half as excited as I am about their future, it will be a win-win for the team, the fans and Coach Jenkins.
After the game, I thanked the Mitchells for their hospitality and wished them well.  
Getting back to the cake squares, we kept them until we got home, and I ate mine, and even though I felt a little guilty, I ate half of Jeanne’s with a glass of milk. It was some of the best I’ve ever eaten!
I called Mrs. Mitchell the next day and again thanked her. I found out that she has a son, Harold Jr., age 26, who is attending Tuskegee University in Alabama and working on his masters in occupational therapy. He is a graduate of Dillard University in New Orleans.
I thought, “What a beautiful all-American family!”
As I reflect on my evening at St. James High School, I am reminded of how God has blessed Jeanne and me with the people we meet on our journey to eternity. Included in that number are Harold and Rose Mitchell and Dwain Jenkins. The longer I live, the more exciting my life becomes. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
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