Guts and charm aren't usually combined in the same package.
But Weddington columnist Sari Monaco is an exception.
She's a smooth talker. And brave.
I wouldn't normally write about a columnist cohort, but Sari shared a quirky claim to fame (QCF) that I thought would provide a great ending to the QCF series I've been running as conversation starters for newcomers.
Sari is the only woman I know with the guts to simply walk up to – and charm – a Motown legend.
“I met Smokey Robinson on a flight in Atlanta,” she shared.
I begged her to tell me about it in an e-mail, and she obliged.
“I told him he was beautiful,” she wrote. “He said, ‘No, you're beautiful.' His friend took our picture.”
I pressed for more information. She said she and her husband had boarded the airplane “and everyone was whispering and making a fuss but doing nothing about it.
“I said to my husband, ‘Do you know who that is!' ” she said, recalling it as a exclamation rather than a question.
“My husband said, ‘Don't bother him.' And I said, ‘He is a legend. I will never meet him again. I am going to introduce myself and say hello!'”
And that's exactly what she did.
“He kissed me and was so sweet and gracious!” she said.
And, she added, “He has the most beautiful green eyes I have ever seen, and they are not contacts.”
Now, when the topic comes up of the singer who sang with the Miracles and made an even bigger name for himself as a solo artist, songwriter and Motown mogul, Sari has a response ready.
“I always kid my friends and family that me and Smokey go ‘way back,'” she said.
Smokey's probably saying the same thing about Sari, that charismatic, gutsy columnist he met on a plane.
Activities for teens, revisited
Last week, I featured questions from a New Jersey newcomer who wanted to know about fun, safe activities for her son and other Union County teens. While waiting for reader suggestions, I searched for some possibilities on the Internet. Paintball players are in luck, based on the options I discovered in Union County, including:
Paintball Kingdom, 2407 Ansonville Road in Marshville. It has indoor and outdoor fields open every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the first and third Sundays of the month, 2-6 p.m. Information: 704-624-4115 or visit www.paintballkingdom.com.
X-Treme Tactical, 5801 W. Highway 74 in Indian Trail. Its field is in Waxhaw, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, and 1-5 p.m. Sundays. Information, 704-821-1304 or visit www.x-tremetactical.com.
Prefer laser tag to paintball? I found a couple of nearby options: Laser Quest at 5323 E. Independence Blvd. (www.laserquest.com); and Sports Connection at 11611 Ardrey Kell Road (www.sportsconnection .com).
Do any of you readers have more ideas for this New Jersey newcomer mom and her high-school-age son?