Wayne sports his fish tie pose in Aruba.
Wayne sports his fish tie pose in Aruba.

Wayne, an old friend of mine, has been a proud member of the Vancouver Elks Lodge 823 for decades. As you probably can judge from the photo, and as his lady friend of years most certainly can attest, Wayne is quite a character. The photo was taken of Wayne in Aruba last year.

Do you see that goofy tie that Wayne is wearing, the tie that looks like a fish? Well, Wayne told me that he bought that tie in Eugene in 1960, has never washed it, and wears it only for special occasions.

On one such occasion, he was going to the Vatican to see Pope John Paul II. Before the pope made his appearance that sunny day in St. Peter’s Square, Wayne bought eight rosaries from a nun. He then suspended the rosaries from a string that he held up for the pope to bless as the pontiff made his way through the crowd. As Pope John Paul passed Wayne, the future saint reached out and blessed Wayne’s rosaries. He then took a second look at Wayne’s silly fish tie, smiled and blessed it as well.

Van der Hout lives in Southeast Portland.