04/20/05 — Distinguished: Depth of commitment seen in Boy Scouts’ honoree

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Distinguished: Depth of commitment seen in Boy Scouts’ honoree

There were a lot of things said about Lee Borden at this year’s Boy Scout Distinguished Citizen Award banquet.

Mostly, they centered around food, eating and various stages of undistinguished behavior certainly not befitting the Boy Scouts’ highest honoree for community service.

And then there were the tightwad jokes. They were certainly not in short supply, either.

But what should strike anyone who attended Monday night’s banquet is what lay hidden beneath the mirth. This is a man who understands what matters in life.

This is a man who teared up when he talked of the lessons his father and mother taught him, and how he tries to live up to the example they set for him.

This is a man who admitted that his service to the community sometimes took him away from his family more than he wanted to be.

This is a man who took good-natured ribbing from a whole bunch of friends he probably had one or more stories about, too, just because it was for a good cause.

And this is a man who decided a long time ago that his family was his greatest joy, and proceeded to make them, and not all that other stuff, his top priority.

You can tell the stature of the man by the company he keeps and by the words his associates use to describe him.

For Lee Borden, chief among those words is “friend.” There can be no higher compliment.

But to sum up the man, you only have to look at a picture — a father and a son, shot from behind, walking down a trail. It might have been a few years ago, but the message is clear, as his business partner Charles Royal pointed out when he flashed the shot up on the screen Monday.

This is a man who is making sure his son — and daughter — have footsteps to follow and a hand to hold, just as his father did for him.

Now that is a family legacy worth celebrating.

Published in Editorials on April 20, 2005 11:19 AM