Throughout the years, during my travels as a consultant, I would send post cards to my grandchildren, Erin and Will, from the various cities in which I worked. I knew they would be entertained by the city scenes on the front and the funny things I wrote on the back.

In 2001 I was consulting at a telecommunications company in St. Louis and staying at a downtown hotel near the Mississippi River and the Gateway Arch. One night I decided to entertain myself by watching the gamblers at the local riverboat casino. Although I didn't really wager any money I did spend a buck on a post card picturing the riverboat casino. I addressed it to Erin and Will, and wrote on the back, "This is the riverboat gambling casino that I visted today .... I lost my shirt!". I knew they were too young to understand the shirt reference (6 and 4) but I assumed their mom would have fun trying to explain what that meant.

About 2 weeks later it was my birthday and was at home in North Carolina opening presents with Virginia. A birthday present had been sent from Erin and Will in Arkansas. I was told that Lisa had taken Erin and Will out to buy me a present, and when Lisa asked Erin for some ideas Erin said "Oh .. I know! ... I know!" and she picked out the present that she knew would be right.

When I opened the gift box I found .... you guessed it ... a shirt! I'm sure Erin and Will spent that whole 2 weeks picturing me shivering away, shirtless, along side the muddy Mississippi River! I guess Lisa had a tough time explaining my gambling reference.