Back in 1989 I was working for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and attended a national meeting of district managers and executives south of Charleston, South Carolina. At the Saturday evening banquet, there was the usual head table and then the "rounds" of 8-10 scattered throughout the ballroom.
I had meandered through the room during the cocktail hour and had not found a seat by the time the dinner was about to begin. Looking around, I saw two seats were available at the head table, so I made my way in that direction.
Arriving at the head table, I explained the seating problem and asked if I could sit in one of the two empty chairs. The president of NFIB looked at the chairs, at me, and back at the two chairs. Then he said that one of them was for the evening's guest speaker, who hadn't arrived yet.
I said again that there weren't any other seats and that I was attending alone, and I asked again. I guess he felt that he couldn't say "No", so I sat down.
About five minutes later, the evening's speaker arrived and sat down next to me, holding out his hand and saying, "Hi, I'm Bart Starr."
The next day a number of colleagues asked why I had been sitting at the head table. "Bart and I had a few plays to talk over..." was my answer. I never told them the rest of the story.