banner
Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Lend Me a Hand!

Posted November 1, 2007 7:57 a.m. EDT
Updated November 1, 2007 9:25 a.m. EDT

Only twice in my life have I feared for the structural integrity of my right hand when engaging in North Carolina's favorite gesture of accomodation.

When I first shook the hand of Wake County Sheriff John Baker more than 20 years ago I thought I would require immediate surgery. Fortunately, Baker eased off just in time to spare me a trip to the hospital. WRAL's Amanda Lamb says she had a similar experience when she first shook Baker's hand more than a dozen years ago. His huge hands had wrestled burly runningbacks to the turf in the NFL. And for nearly a quarter of a century, the big and long arm of John Baker pulled criminals off the streets. I will miss this gentle giant who died at the age of 72 this week. He was a good friend, excellent law officer and tremendous role model.

The other person who almost crushed my hand was also a legendary athlete. But instead of throwing people to the ground this man allegedly threw some mean spitballs in the major leagues. Several years ago, Gaylord Perry stopped by our studios to help promote a charity to help victims of ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. What a character! The big Williamston native was wearing one of those Davey Crockett frontier jackets and when he pumped my paw I thought my bones would be reduced to dust. But he, too, had the compassion to ease off just in time. Gaylord’s hands are huge!

Today's questions: what are your rules for shaking hands? How long do you hold on? Who has the best and worst hand shake? When is a hug more appropriate? Should you cut back on hand shaking during the cold and flu season? What do you think of the knuckle or pound shake? When was the last time you gave someone the High Five?

Come on, folks! Lend me a hand! Lets generate 100 comments today!  Have fun!