Five for Friday #145

Welcome to Friday!

Not much about “145” stirs memories worthy of the intro to this column.  However, as I ruminated on the number, a thought crystallized: my mom.

Right about now, she’s swearing.  Out loud.  You see, she’s a regular reader of the Friday column and, at this moment, is both certain and pissed that I’m going to say she’s 145 years old.

Mom, as I often say, don’t think so much.


If you say it “1 4  5,” well, you’ve summed up my baseball career.  As in, I was a terrible hitter:  “1 for 5” was an above average game at bat for me.

What’s this got to do with my mom?

My basement is a typical “man cave.”  Sports memorabilia dominates.  Last night, I paced back and forth across the basement trying to think of a topic for today’s blog.  As I did, I tossed a baseball from hand to hand.  It was a ball that I’d grabbed from a shelf.  Not just any old baseball, this baseball:


1977 was my first year in Little League.  I played left field for the A’s.  That year, we beat the Dodgers in the championship game.  My mom saved the game ball, noted the date & score, and had everyone sign it.  You can see where I signed, and where Shawn Lacey signed.  The rest of my teammates & coaches signed too.

Last night, I considered whether to use the ball as a metaphor for life.  Something along the lines of how, in that moment, my teammates and I were, quite literally, the most important thing in the world to each other.  Yet, now, I can’t put faces to two of the names, and can’t remember the last time that I saw any of them.

Although somewhat melancholy, it was a great memory.  So great that I was struck by how fortunate I was to have kept the ball.

Then I realized something very important:

I only have the ball because my mom took the time to save it and have it signed.

My mom’s life is a huge story.  One so huge that I’m beyond proud of her and unable to tell the story completely here.

In short, my mom grew up in Bradford.  She moved to the big city of Burlington and, after two years, had a degree in dental hygiene. Back then, it wasn’t yet popular to help or encourage women to do anything other than what the times expected of them.  For my mom, nobody expected that she’d do anything but go back to Bradford, work for Dr. Barton, live out her life as a hygienist in the town she grew up in, and, every now and then, spend a weekend at Weirs Beach with her family.

My mom has never let others’ expectations deter her.

Yes, she spent several years working as a hygienist and was damn good at it.  She also did other things.  For instance, get elected to the School Board, get elected to two terms in the Vermont Legislature, serve as Executive Director of the Vermont Democratic party, and spend the past 25 or so years running a successful lobbying business that she started from scratch.

She also runs costume races with me:


All of those big accomplishments?  She did them herself.  There was no movement helping her.  And I seriously doubt that her parents thought any of it made sense.

But she also made me that baseball.

The baseball that, last night, made me smile thinking about something that happened 41 years ago.  Something that I can’t really remember, but that I know, then, was my entire world.  The memory of a forgotten memory is now as valuable as the memory once was.  All thanks to my mom.

There are at least 145 million other little things that my mom has done for my brother and me, and infinitely as many that she’s done for others.  As proud as we are of her for accomplishing the big things, it’s those little things that make us so thankful that she’s our mom.

Throughout 2019, you’re going to have many chances to do a little thing for someone.

Do it.

The kid who went for 1 for 5 and who rolled his eyes as his mom ran around asking his teammates to autograph a baseball will thank you for it someday.

Thank you mom! For all the little things.

Onto the quiz!


  • None.  Open book, open search engine, text/phone/email-a-friend.
  • Exception – but one that is loosely enforced – #5 (“loosely” = “aspirational”)
  • Unless stated otherwise, the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct apply
  • Team entries welcome, creative team names even more welcome.
  • E-mail answers to
  • I’ll post the answers & Honor Roll on Monday
  • Please don’t use the “comment” feature to post your answers
  • Please consider sharing the quiz with friends & colleagues
  • Please consider sharing the quiz on social media.  Hashtag it – #fiveforfriday

Question 1

Earlier this week, I blogged that lawyers likely won’t go wrong if they remember the “5 Cs” of ethics.  Name at least one of the 5 Cs.

Question 2

Fill in the blank.

Generally, incivility isn’t a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct. However, there’s a rule that makes it professional misconduct to “engage in undignified or discourteous conduct which is degrading or disrupting to ____________”

  • A.    opposing parties and counsel
  • B.    a tribunal
  • C.    the profession
  • D.   Trick question.  There is no such rule.

Question 3

The term “IOLTA” does not appear in the rules.  What’s the term that the rules use when referring to what we all more commonly refer to as an “IOLTA?”

  • A.  Pooled interest-bearing trust account
  • B.  Client trust account
  • C.   Operating account
  • D.   Vermont Bar Foundation account

Question 4

True or false.

The rule on trial publicity only applies to criminal cases.

Question 5

Speaking of baseball, autographs and my mom . . .

. . . in the 1970’s, she was a huge fan of the Cincinnati Reds, the so-called “Big Red Machine.”  Such a fan that not only would we go see them play in Montreal, but my mom would figure out what hotel they were in and try to get autographs from them.

True story: once in Montreal, I think it was at the Bonaventure, she spotted Joe Morgan and another player in a booth eating dinner.  She sat down with them and asked for their autographs.  The other player replied: “I don’t give autographs to people who are sitting on my sport coat.”

Joe Morgan is in the Hall of Fame.  The player in the booth with him is not.  In fact, besides suffering the indignity of having my mom sit on his sport coat, the player who was with Morgan has been banned from baseball. Disbarred, if you will.

Name him.





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