I’ve had a hard time writing this. It’s crazy to even try because it sounds insane without the backstory.
But I can’t tell that.
So last week I was busy with paper work when I heard the door open, followed by a voice saying, “Hey, I’m Ben. I followed your blog last night.”
A jolt of totally paralyzing fear shot through me.
Y’all know I’m on the down-low with this blog. It would not be good at all for anyone in my life to know I write here.
(No one in my life knows except Adam and he never reads it.)
My heart stopped racing when I realized this guy was talking about my work/facility blog.
“Do you think it’s weird that I’m here to see if you have some time to talk about PUBLISHING EVENT and THE MAIN PERSON?”
I answered Ben with a smile, “Ha ha, no. It’s not weird at all, it happens all the time.”
As it turned out I had time that afternoon so we spent a few hours together.
Like so many others before him, he needed a place to put all the feels that THE PUBLISHING EVENT and THE MAIN PERSON engender.
Part of my mission in life now is to gladly receive all those feelings.
And I totally got this guy. We were on the same wavelength within just a few minutes and we both knew it.
As the day wound on, I learned that he’s a professor and researcher at a major university in a neighboring state.
That surprised me. He looked so young, but he’s about 37 or so, based on the graduation year he mentioned.
(He’s originally from a a major metropolitan area in this state though.)
“Coincidentally, my four times great-grandfather founded the first church in this county.”
“Ben, I know who that is! Wow!”
This family was so instrumental in the founding of this entire area that I was quite familiar with their history.
I’m working on an oral history of the area and have already added information about Ben’s ancestors to the archives.
It was his turn to be surprised.
Because our county is so rural and decentralized, he had no idea that the information was known outside his family. They have been out of this county since The Depression.
If we were having a moment before, we were really having one now!
When he got ready to go he asked me to come out to his van so he could show me something.
Is this weird that I didn’t hesitate?
Rural area, alone in the building, walked right outside with the guy, at dusk.
He opened the passenger door, reached in the glovebox, and handed me a yellowed silk glove and a photo.
“That’s my three times great-grandfather when he ran the depot, and my great-grandmother’s glove.”
I love history and since it had a connection to my work, I was fascinated and told him so.
“Ben, I’ve so enjoyed meeting you. You made my day. Promise me you’ll come back, before you head back to Philly.”
I handed him the glove and asked if he had time for me to run in and copy the photo.
“No, I want you to keep them.”
So I did.
“I’ll come back next week,” he assured me, “and bring more.”
And so he did.
As friends often do
I cared not for love, nor money
I think he knew
The people, they love him
And still, they are the most cruel