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.