Sunday, March 30, 2008
Dave just came in to kiss me goodnight. Soft lips and freshly brushed teeth. I like to kiss Dave. The morning he was sworn in as a new judge my sister Libby and I accompanied him to court. He was to be officially sworn-in by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court at 4:00 that afternoon, but they needed him to start hearing cases at 8:30 am, so like Romeo and Juliettes we snuck into the courtroom with Judge Dawson and a handful of bailiffs and cops and clerks and watched Dave raise his arm to the square. I have witnessed David raise his arm to the square many times, each of them at monumental moments in our lives. In sacred places - in public places. He lowers his head with his arm to the square and whispers promises. He stands head erect and swears to uphold the laws and ordinances of our fair city as councilman and mayor. He raised his strong young arm years ago when he was admitted to the PA bar. I was there for that. He raised his arm four times as he stood waist deep in pure, clean water and baptized our four children. Was there for that, too. He joins in the throng of raised hands each Sunday as we support each other in our religious responsibilities. Raises the sacrament cup to his lips with his right hand, the hand of oaths. And, come to think of it, I've shrunk sometimes into my shoulders as I've witnessed Big Dave (that's what the team called him) raise his arm up and make his way toward an umpire, "Hold up, Mister...you don't quite have your rules down pat with that call now, do ya?" He didn't really say that; just meant it. Tonight, at the grocery store when I forgot that I needed coconut for his Germans Chocolate Birthday cake, he raised his right arm and caught the mistossed bag I threw to him at the checkout. He is a good arm raiser, that Dave!
After Libby and I watched him take the judicial oath in January, his first day on the bench as Judge Connors, everyone shook his hand, then took their places and opened the doors to the "items" before him that morning. Lib and I stayed to watch. It took a couple hours. He was surprisingly calm and believable. And level headed. When all the cases had been heard and judgments were made and the courtroom was empty except for two clerks and his new bailiff, I asked for permission to approach the bench. He stood. We stood. I walked up to the bench and raised my head up as far as I could. He lowered his as far as he needed and I planted a good one on his Honor, the Judge.
Someone commented as we walked back to his new chambers, "Hey, did you know all that is taped for the record...on video?"
So let it be known.
Happy Birthday, Your Honor.