Wayne Newton, Joe Biden and Me

Wayne Newton called me one night. I was in high school, I was home alone, and Wayne Newton called.

At a horse show there is something called a rotating trophy. You win it one year and have to return it to the horse show the next year. By coming in first, you are the custodian of the trophy for one year.

It was the 70’s. I won a championship that Wayne Newton’s horse had won the year prior. Neither Wayne Newton nor his trainer nor his horses exhibited at that horse show the year I won. They had not returned the trophy.

The good news was that I won. I won an “open” class against amateurs and professionals, of all ages. The bad news was that I received no trophy.

My dad took it upon himself to get me that trophy. This was before the internet so he had the written letter and the phone as his options. He campaigned endlessly to get me my trophy.

One December night my parents were with my sister at some event. I was sure gremlins were on the phone when it rang. To my surprise it was WAYNE NEWTON himself. He called to apologize and assure me that he was sending the trophy to me.

He did. Coincidentally I received the trophy on the first night of Chanukah.

It still had to be returned the first week of June regardless that I was denied six months of custodianship. I did receive the trophy, eventually. I did not get the rush of being handed that trophy, being photographed with that trophy, babysitting that trophy all the way home.

Yes I still won. The win didn’t have all of the pageantry that it should have.

That Saturday that we sat glued to the TV when Biden was announced the winner turned out to be like my trophy. Yes Biden will become the next president. Let’s be honest. Even that day we were denied a true victory. Trump withholding his concession was like Wayne Newton withholding the trophy. I still won; it just didn’t have the same punch.

Biden is mature enough to move past it gracefully and keep moving forward. Decades later I remember other’s actions affect us all.

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