An old blog…found and reposted…
I sat in a Knoxville eatery in 2004 and pointed at a woman, with friends and family, eating. “Ian…..See her?”
My then husband took my finger down, “STOP GAWKING!”
“IT’S HER! IT’S PAT!” I whispered., “Please PLEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASE let me go get her autograph. I got Peyton’s. Having her would be…U.T. HEAVEN.”
My husband rolled his eyes and I took out my work notebook, where I jotted down ideas, recipes, to do lists and grabbed my pen. Ironically, the pen had another university on it.
I got up, walked to the table, and Pat Summitt looked up.
“Yes, ma’am?” she asked me, her friends and family turned to see “who dared” come to bother her as she ate dinner on a Sunday evening.
“My granddaddy was a professor at UT….and I’m a third gen Volunteer fan. My daddy also got his Ph.D. here. And you are one of my heroines. May I?”
She beamed. No, in fact, she got up, came over, and hugged me, “Well, what’s your name?”
“Anne Hendricks,” I told her.
“Well, Anne Hendricks, for Volunteers, we do autographs on Sundays with family and friends. Because YOU are a friend now!”
And the little table cheered.
She gave me her autograph and hugged me again, and I walked away. “Ah…Miss Anne?” She called back, “You left this.” And she read my pen.
“Yah, I couldn’t leave him,” I pointed to my Georgia husband.
“Good medical school,” she commented.
“Keep the pen. You never know.”
She laughed and put it on the table and later, in her purse.
And that my friends is how I met Pat Summitt.
Happy birthday to the best and most wonderful lady of the University of Tennessee! I pray for you often and you are in my thoughts. And you are STILL my heroine!