This is a tale of a recent graduation ceremony. Not mine or Larry’s, but of a young man of great worth to us.

Especially Larry. The young collegiate had pulled himself up by his bootstraps, sort of like his ‘Uncle Lar.’ He was/is someone to love, respect, and applaud.

Four years of college was something to celebrate in style. So, like many young men before him, the young man drank, caroused, and partied. It was carpe the nighttime, a pre-celebration and reward for all of his work and effort to achieve a college degree. Rock on-and-on-and-on! Twist and Shout!

Of course, he woke up late on the day of his very important date. Carpe the diem and holy crap!

He hastily showered, drank strong coffee and dressed, grabbed his gown and mortarboard, and ran out the door. A half-hour remained before the ceremony began in the campus’s basketball arena. He’d make it to the arena on time.

Oh no! His car windows were smashed and his graduation gift to himself – a serious stereo system – and been stolen.

There was no time to call 911 and wait for the cops. He sighed, took a photo, and then re-pocketed his phone. He galloped to the basketball arena in his new leather oxfords, his cap and gown flailing in the breeze. Thank goodness no video of his haste was captured.

He arrived a couple of minutes late only to find the doors locked for security’s sake.

He banged on the doors – each one all around the arena. At last, he caught the attention of a single security guard posted near one of the doors. He flailed his arms to signal his plight and then donned his cap and gown. The security guard caught the drift and rushed to open the door.

The young man thanked the guard and asked which door allowed entry to the back of the temporary stage set up for the thousand graduates to stride across to shake hands and receive their diploma. He may have had blisters from the uncommonly uncomfortable shoes, but onward he lurched.

The was only one graduate yet to mount the stage steps. Our man had missed his alphabetical spot in the parade of gowned graduates – and his party of twenty family and friends, including us who’d flown from California to attend his ceremony, couldn’t be let down.

Hastily, he made a request of the final graduate, an Asian gent whose name was Wu, and glided into place before him.

Blake’s entire entourage stood, relieved to see him at last… and cheered wildly as he turned to chest bump the kid who was several inches shorter and slighter of body. He’d made it on time, made it with style… and made his insurance claims after the family party.