All the talk in recent headlines about the Pope resigning and the new Pope being chosen makes me think of a humorous little experience regarding My Knight and the Pope. Pope Walter. What??? You never heard of Pope Walter?? Let me explain.Years ago, we were on a cruise and planning to see an afternoon movie. While I was Walter Cronkite, who had unfortunately passed away that week. Walter Cronkite had lived a fascinating life, and My Knight kept shouting out to me, “Did you know…..” and then sharing whatever trivial, interesting facts he had just learned about Mr. Cronkite. We finally left the room to head up to the movie, but surprise of all surprises, we were running late. (a wave of shock goes through the crowd, I know.) I’m not sure how people can actually be late when all they had to do was leave the pool, walk down stairs, shower, get dressed, walk back upstairs and be there, but we were late. It just so happened that the movie theater on this ship was located behind the art gallery, meaning that you had to walk through the art gallery to get to the theater. And it further just so happened that they were having an art show in the art gallery at the precise moment we needed to dash through to get to our movie. Late. And trying to blend in and not draw attention to ourselves. The gallery was pretty crowded with people walking around silently, carrying their plastic glasses of complimentary champagne with their pinkie fingers raised in the proper “I am important because I am attending an art show” fashion. Never mind that the art show is in an art gallery on a cruise ship. It still gives people airs of confidence and culture. The host of the art show was on the microphone praising the highlights of a painting that was on display underneath a spotlight. The host was standing right beside the painting pointing out the features and details as he described them. It was a portrait of Pope John Paul II, who had passed away a few years earlier. Evidently, My Knight saw none of that. As we weaved hurriedly through the cultural and confident art show attendees, a woman near us asked loudly the name of the Pope in the portrait. Evidently, My Knight did not hear that. The host on the microphone replied that he did not know. (Seriously, people? It’s the featured portrait at an art gallery that has maybe 30 pieces total, he’s hosting the art show, he’s talking about this showcased painting, and he has no idea which Pope it is? I know, I know, it’s an art gallery on a cruise ship. But anyway…..) The host then said (on the microphone), “He’s the one that was always on TV who just died.” THIS My Knight heard. Loud and clear. And ever the helpful Knight that he is, he shouted across the art gallery, “WALTER CRONKITE!” People were startled and nearly spilled their plastic glasses of complimentary champagne. No one shouts in an art gallery. Even on a cruise ship. The host looked bewildered and confused. “Excuse me, Sir? I don't understand.” My Knight looked at the host as though HE was an idiot and must be hard of hearing. “Walter Cronkite!” My Knight assured him confidently. “His name was Walter Cronkite.” People then turned to look at My Knight as we hurried through the gallery. Then they looked at the portrait of the Pope, who didn’t appear at all to look like Walter Cronkite. So they looked back at us in confusion and, dare I say, a bit of disgust for our presence, our loudness, and our obvious lack of culture or knowledge of fine art. I put my head down and gently placed my hand in My Knight’s back tochanging from pool clothes to movie clothes, My Knight was watching stories on the news about
shove hurry him along before he could speak again.
“What?” he says loudly, turning to me, still oblivious to the portrait of the man glowing all in white under the spotlight, but aware that everyone in the room was now staring at him as though he was nuts. “The dude’s name was Walter Cronkite.”
“Yes, it was, honey. Yes, it was. Keep walking.”
I bet you never knew there was a Pope Walter.