Almost 20 years ago, I was a counselor at a youth camp in Europe when I rounded a corner in the hallway and quite literally bumped into a lady who was trying to register her grandchildren for the camp.
That chance encounter was the beginning, as the saying goes, of a beautiful friendship.
Her grandson grew up to become one of my dearest friends. In fact, he became more than a friend, he became family—and so did his grandmother.
“Nana” is a fascinating lady. She has pizazz and an unmatched level of energy. As if that weren’t enough, she is one of the kindest persons I’ve ever met.
Recently, we gathered to celebrate her 83rd birthday. It was an incredibly fun day, and a genuine celebration of her life.
During the party, she showed me two interesting photos. One made me laugh, the other made my jaw drop.
The first photo was a shot of me and her grandson taken the week he attended that youth camp all those years ago. It made me laugh, because it was taken during my pre-follically challenged days, and I was reminded of how much hair I used to have. (In hindsight, maybe tears should have been the more appropriate emotional response, instead of laughter!)
The second photo was taken at a party Nana’s family had thrown for her father on his 65th birthday. The picture captured a much younger version of Nana on the dance floor with her father. It is a touching moment that happened to be captured on film.
What made my jaw drop, though, was the band Nana pointed out to me in the background of the photo.
Nana is from Liverpool, England and her family had hired a local band to play at her father’s party.
Diehard Fab Four fans can already guess where this story is going. For everyone else, the band in the background is the foundation of Rock and Roll legends, the Beatles.
Yes, that’s a very young Liverpudlian by the name of John Lennon behind the microphone, with Paul McCartney and George Harrison performing alongside him.
So…what does this photo have to do with being a good teammate? Not a lot, really.
I just found Nana’s photo to be fascinating and wanted to share—because that is what good teammates do, they share.
The more I thought about the photo, the more I started wondering about how many times I may have snapped a picture and some yet-to-be-famous person happened to be in the background.
When I got back home, I went on a mission to try and unearth one of those rare photos that I had perhaps taken.
I thought surely that type of thing must happen all the time, especially in the era of selfies and readily available camera phones.
Sadly, I didn’t come across any such photos.
But as I rummaged through my photo albums, I did derive a sense of pleasure from looking at my old team photos.
I was reminded of how many good teammates I played with and coached over the years, and how often—like Nana’s Beatles photo—those individuals somehow seemed to get lost in the background.
The reality is that what made being a part of those teams so enjoyable for me was the good teammates on them.
Find some time today to peruse your old photos and take a moment to reflect on how grateful you are to have had your special teammates by your side.
And if you happen to stumble upon any photos that may have an undiscovered celebrity in the background, make sure you share them with me.
As always…Remember: Good teammates care. Good teammates share. Good teammates listen. Go be a good teammate.