I never knew how he did it. Maybe just his manner: all the good bits of Southern gentility, without the racism or pomposity. There were always at least four girls sitting with him at lunch, loudly razzing him, vying for his attention, or just soaking up his kindness. He didn't date much that year -- his sweetheart was a year older, already at college. But oh, how they loved him. And for one sweet, blessed year, I sat with them, trying like hell not to make a fool of myself as I learned what it was to be a gentleman.