By Richard A. DiLiberto Jr., Esq.
The boy waited for just the right moment, and asked the question, “Daddy, can I try on the World Series ring?” The old man looked at him, kind of surprised, and laughed. “Son, you know I never take off this ring … I probably couldn’t even get it off if I wanted to!”
“Please, Dad. I promise I’ll be careful.” The old man looked at the boy, for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, without saying a word, he reached down and tried to take off the ring. The boy saw his father’s forearm muscles define and strain as he tugged and twisted the ring. As the old man predicted, it would not come off. The boy’s heart sank. Then the old man reached into the tackle box and took out a tube of sunscreen. He squirted a little dab on his ring finger, twisted the World Series ring a few times, and off it came! The boy cupped his hands as if he were about to receive Holy Communion, and the old man carefully, gingerly, and with great ceremony, put the ring perfectly in the center of the boy’s nested palms. “Some day, this ring will be yours,” the old man promised. The boy could feel its heaviness, its density, its importance. No wonder the old man loved this ring. It was like the rings the doctors and lawyers wore at the country club, where the boy cut grass. It meant you were “a somebody.” The boy extended his left ring finger, and with his right hand, started to put on the World Series ring. It seemed like everything was in slow motion.
Zeeeeezz! The fishing reel whined as line peeled off the reel. The rod jumped in a violent bounce. The boy reacted, lunged for and grabbed the hopping rod. The lubricated ring slipped out of his hand, bounced once on the dock, and plopped into the lake, quickly sinking out of sight, while spiraling downward, into the murky water. Both thought about jumping in the lake, but quickly reconsidered. Neither said a word, but they knew the lake was at least 30 feet deep there. They had heard the stories about the kid who drowned there years ago. It took the state police divers seven hours to find the body, that lake was so deep, dark and weedy. The World Series ring was gone.
This article originally appeared in the March 2009 issue of The Journal of the Delaware State Bar Association, a publication of the Delaware State Bar Association. Copyright Delaware State Bar Association 2009. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.
About the author: Rick DiLiberto is a Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP personal injury section law partner who enjoys writing. He is a past president of the Delaware Trial Lawyers Association, served in the Delaware House of Representatives for a decade, is chairman of the Delaware Commission on Italian Heritage and Culture, a member of the Governor’s Magistrate Screening Committee, and treasurer of the Law-Related Education Center. The Delaware State Bar Association presented him with the Daniel L. Herrmann Professional Conduct Award in 2015,and the Delaware Christopher Columbus Monument Committee honored him as its Man of the Year in 2017. Rick is a cum laude graduate of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and Delaware Law School, Widener University.