March 19, 2019
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Balancing a tray loaded with dirty glassware, Darrien Summers dodged the masked men and women in evening dress as he made his way through the dining room. The annual Mardi Gras ball at the country club in Williams County, Mississippi, was in full swing, the dance floor so crowded that many guests swayed to the jazz band in the narrow spaces between the tables.
Darrien shouldered his way through the door into the kitchen. As it swung shut, the heavy door caught his bad knee. He grimaced and dropped his tray on a metal counter by the dishwasher. Limping over to a chair, he sat to massage the knee with both hands.
A white-haired waiter stood by the back door, blowing cigarette smoke into the outside air. He pointed the cigarette at Darrien. “That football knee still hurting you?”
Darrien nodded with a rueful laugh. “Sometimes it sure does.”
“You played at Alabama? Or was it Arkansas?”
“Arkansas,” Darrien said. He added, “Arkansas State. Not good enough for U of A.”Continue Reading