Thursday, September 9, 2010

Richard

I do meet the most interesting people. Today, on the way home from class, I stopped at the Russell spring to get five gallons of spring water for the water cooler at work. I'm the logical one to get it since I pass by the Russell spring 6 out of 7 days a week (minimum). So I pulled in and it was raining, a cold mist. There was an elderly man there, along with his wife. He was filling up a bunch of five gallon jugs and was embarrassed to be holding me up. He offered to let me fill my jug, but I said, "It's cold and it's miserable, and you were here first. You go on ahead. The spring hasn't run dry in all the years I've known it, so I imagine that there will be plenty of water there when you are done." Seeing his Florida license plate, I also commented, "We're a pretty laid back bunch here. You hardly ever hear of anyone getting killed in a water dispute at the Russell Spring." Which made him laugh, and hard, too.

He chatted a little, and his wife made a disparaging comment about his talking. Placidly, I said, "Oh, heck. You don't know me. I can carry on a conversation with a stump. I am a blabber." She rolled her eyes and jerked her thumb at her husband. "Him, too," she said, and she said it like it was not a good thing. Another fellow pulled up, and, wouldn't you know? He turned out to be a blabber too. The three of us blabbed on, and, outnumbered, the guy's wife said, "I'm going to wait in the van," and so she did.

Now, believe it or not, Richard was a roller skating champion, and had competed on the international level. "I'm 79," he said. "I had a stroke a few years ago. The kind of stuff that I did, well, it was just dangerous. I wouldn't dare try it again." And he told us how he was mostly recovered, but really, his coordination and balance was not what it was, and he didn't expect that it ever would be again. "So," he said, with a big grin, "I took up square dancing. It's the only way I know that you can grab all the ladies you want, and nobody gets mad." Pretty funny guy, and we talked easily as I helped him carry the big containers of water to his van as mine filled.

"Hey," he said, as he headed for the driver's side of his vehicle and I walked back to my five gallon jug at the spring. "We're headed over to have lunch at the Chinese buffet, if you want to come along." I shook my head. "I can't. I've got a paper to finish up and I've got some studying to do, and supper to make. I've got to go to work tonight."

And with that, we parted ways, waving. His wife waved too.

I gotta ask. How many times do you run into a international roller skater in the middle of the woods of podunk Pennsylvania?

And yeah. I had a camera in my purse. I did not take a picture, and I am ashamed.

9 comments:

Jayne said...

You get to meet the most interesting people and find out their life stories, Debby!

Twain12 said...

you would love my d/h , he is a blabber too lol. I'm more like the wife ;) and my son also inherited that gift. My husband and i go shopping or anywhere and i'm constantly looking or waiting for him because he found somebody to chat with. But i guess you guys also find the most interesting people.

Lydia said...

Amazing. Thanks for sharing! There are so many interesting people in the world, you just wonder who might be standing beside you in the grocery line.

jeanie said...

he he he - reminds me of my family - all the women can talk and all the men can sit and watch.

I once met a man on a train who built his own car and caravan - in the 1930s.

Hal Johnson said...

I'm not consistent as a blabber, but Rhonda often rolls her eyes when we're in public, and says things like, "Didn't your mom tell you not to talk to strangers?" Fun post, Debby. But then, I think you could write about watching paint dry and make it fun to read.

Kelly said...

Great story!! You meets some of the most interesting folks.

Bob said...

I've said it before and will say it again: interesting people just gravitate toward you. You might even be able to make ME sound interesting!

Debby said...

Hey Bob, you're not all that boring, actually.

PaintedPromise said...

my kids make fun of me but i am a blabber too... you hear the most interesting stories that way! and meet the most interesting people... but i must admit i have never met an international roller skater in podunk PA!!!