Fellow Who Dats,
Now that we have started the season 5-0, I thought it would be a good time to share a heartwarming story about crowd favorite Marques Colston, aka “The Quiet Storm.”
A few weeks before Kohl was born, I decided to paint him a picture for his room. My next door neighbor Frank, who has twin boys, had recently taken up painting as a hobby and made some pretty good quality pieces for their room. And so I embarked on my artistic journey, picking up the canvas and brush for the first time since school and set out to paint Kohl something special.
I went next door and linked up with Frank, a fellow Marine, and began to paint with him. “That’s cute guys,” another friend that was over there said mockingly. “It’s ‘arts and crafts’ time. Are ya’ll gonna watch ‘The View’ together next?”
But like any good artist, we would not be denied by such cheap criticism. I sat down and contemplated starting with something such as a tree or a bird. But instead, I opened up the sports section to see a picture of Marques Colston catching one of many touchdowns scored against the Panthers the previous weekend. It would be a difficult thing to paint, but nothing worth having comes easy as they say. And what better way to begin young Kohl’s indoctrination into Who Dat Nation than to adorn his room with such a masterpiece?
Unfortunately, a masterpiece it would never be. The piece, entitled “Quiet Storm Making It Rain,” received no critical acclaim, and its reviews were mixed:
“That’s pretty good. For a sixth grader.” — Reuben Chrestman
“The most important part is that you tried hard.” — Mary Ann Chrestman
“It’s really not that bad. I’d say maybe seventh grade level.” –Anonymous NICU nurse
But despite its below-average quality, it became a source of comfort for us after Kohl’s unexpected challenges at birth and hung inside his room at the NICU the entire month he was there.
Fast forward approximately 18 months, and my sister Allison gave me one of my all-time favorite gifts. Shortly after my 33rd birthday, I opened an envelope from her with the following poem inside:
In honor of your birthday, we wanted to do something really sweet.
When you find out what it is, we hope you think it’s really neat!
We had to take something of yours and borrow it for a bit.
When you find out what it is, we know you won’t throw a fit!
We took this little something for a ride in the car, but don’t worry!
We’ll get it back again and we hope it’s in a hurry.
For today, we have nothing to show, but thought with this poem,
We’d tell you all you need to know.
You see, young Andy, we took a painting created by you!
You know the one.
It sat in Kohl’s room at the NICU.
This is not a joke, so please don’t start to laugh.
We got the “Quiet Storm” to give you his autograph!
Much love and Happy 33rd Birthday,
Allison, Mark, Ellie and Tripp
Your painting was stolen from Kohl’s room the other day.
But, don’t worry, it’s not too far away.
It was taken (using lots of TLC) to Chuck’s Sports cards, in Albany.
Chuck is going to call as soon as he can. You will get your painting back.
That’s the plan!
This little adventure, it was no walk in the “parques”. But, it was so well worth it, to have your painting signed by Marques!
Colston signed the painting, read the poem aloud to his wife and child and took it and a picture of Kohl and a brief note about his background with him when he left. Kohl has touched many lives in his 20 months on this Earth so far. I like to think that he touched the Quiet Storm that day.