As I was standing talking to a friend at the Paraclete booth in the book exhibits Saturday at the SBL/AAR Annual Meetings, I happened to see my former Dean at Trinity seminary, Walt Kaiser, wander into the booth. He did not spot me, I spotted him and here’s what happened:
He began to look at each book on each display, moving from one table to another. Nothing seemed to interest him until — no kidding — he spotted some copies of The Real Mary. Now I was really interested. Would he see it, say “What’s McKnight writing about Mary for?,” and move on? Or would he show some interest. I was watching with great interest. He not only spotted it, but he picked it up.
Then, after looking at that nice cover, he opened the book and began to make the faces of interest. Then he turned the pages. Lo and behold! He walked around the table as if he might purchase it.
Then he moved to the purchase table and said, “This author was a student of mine.” Then he said, “I’d like to buy it.” Then, pointing at me and blowing my cover, Karen Minster from Paraclete said, “He’s right there.” Walt looked at me, I said to him, “Whew! Am I glad. I was afraid you’d pick it up and put it down and walk on.”
Walt: “You rascal. You watched me and didn’t say anything until you saw what I did?” Then he gave me a big bear hug and we had a great chat about the good ol’ days.