He’s the type of guy who can do it all…and usually does.
Soccer. Hoops. Baseball. Floor hockey. As a player. As a coach.
But more than anything else, Desmond Banning is my best friend. We met at work seven years ago. He delivers our mail and always-inspiration.
“Thanks for coming in today,” he tells others during his daily rounds around the building.
“Nice to see you today, Desmond,” I say when he stops by my executive suite.
“Thank you,” he replies, “Nice to be seen.”
He helps with our many community projects. Comfortable in any scenario; he enjoys chillin’ with PGA golfer Fred Couples at a local tourney or helping out with his good pal, whom he refers to as, “The President of Santa Barbara.” (Psst: Lois Capps serves double duty as our US Congressional Representative.)
Desmond is one busy dude….
I never know what to expect with him around – except one thing: we always have fun. He laughs at my jokes and we can do silly things. Just boys being boys.
Throughout it all – Desmond helps me a better person every day by sharing his life perspective.
It’s a unique, simple and beautiful view of the world around us….
He wears his emotions on his sleeves. “What you see is what you get” – just the way I like it.
Fortunately, he now takes better care of himself. Gone are the days of him putting Coca-Cola on his morning Frosted Flakes.
Whenever we’re traveling around in the car, Desmond is often a special guest on our make-believe sports radio show. We use a plastic water bottle as our ‘mike.” Here’s a sample:
Me: We’re LIVE – on the air with the world famous Desmundo, a very decorated Special Olympian. How ya doing today?
Me: Desmundo, you are a leader on the local sports scene. Can you describe to our many listeners how it feels to be an amazingly talented athlete?
Him: Umm. Not really.
Me: A few years ago you set a then-Santa Barbara County record, I believe, in the softball toss at the Special Olympics annual track meet. Can you tell us about that?
Me: OK, go ahead….
Him: I don’t know. I just did it.
Me: Desmundo. You have the biggest heart in the world. You always like to help others all the time. Why do you do it?
Him: It just feels good.
Me: And that’s our show for today. Thank you. Thank you very much….
Sometimes when we hang out together, others ask if we are in the “Big Brother Program.” I always tell the truth…
“Yes, it took me awhile but I finally convinced Desmond to be my Big Brother.”
Everyone seems to know him. Around town…at Forester baseball games…at the local Boys and Girls Club…where ever we go, he always gets a shout-out from someone.
“What’s it like being famous?” I ask him.
“I don’t know. It’s OK,” he offers honestly.
Desmond brings out the best in others. I watch their reactions – an always smile. It’s amazing to see him in action.
This past week, he had his 30-something birthday. He celebrated by taking the day off and going to IHOP – twice.
That’s “LIVING LARGE!”
My wonderful friend truly enjoys life. He’s a giver, not a taker (except for free IHOP pancakes) and there is much we can learn from him about living in each and every moment.
I know because he teaches me all the time.
In my opinion, Desmond Banning is really life’s greatest ambassador…
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Randy Weiss WeissCrax appears regularly on Presidiosports.com