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low2go
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Posts: 323
(5/24/01 1:47:10 pm)
Reply HE THOUGHT HIS NAME WAS GORDIE
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HE THOUGHT HIS NAME WAS GORDIE..
John Wilborn
ndialup146.phnx.uswest.net
Fri Jan 5 15:55:07


Nearby my home there is a small shopping
plaza--grocery
store, several video rental shops, barber and
hair
stylist, a McDonald's. Here in the desert
southwest,
there is a need for drinking water and
ice---yup, even in
the winter. Yesterday the temp clocked in at
almost
eighty degrees, while areas throughout the
country was
barely into the single digits. That's the name
of the
franchise store I'm going to tell you
about--WATER 'N
ICE. The owner has asked me to work for
her--the young
school kids she hires, don't have much tact
with the
older customers. I was there yesterday helping
her to
see if I wanted to wade in and go back to work
again. I'm
fully retired now and comfortable with
it--every now and
then I get to chasing cars but so what--don't
all old
retirees? Around at the various stores in the
plaza,
they hire the handicapped, be it physical or
mental
impairments. Bagging groceries, cleaning up
messes,
rounding up the shopping carts. I had seen
this
particular man a number of times--I just
assumed he
worked thereabouts, however I had never
actually seen him
do anything--just wander around. You could tell
he had
problems--I had never talked with him, but
somehow it
just seemed obvious--problems. Yesterday he
come into
the water and ice store--he went right over to
the shaved
ice machine--selected the bottle of red syrup
and
commenced to methodically blend himself a
drink.
Sarah,the shop owner, my potential new boss,
said
"John, this is a customer who comes in every
day and
makes himself a cherry slush--he does it
himself--he's
very careful and we never charge him". Sarah
was
describing to me as if she was talking about a
child--I
walked over to where the fellow was diligently
working
and stuck out my hand --"hi there--I'm John--I
might
start to work here soon". The hand that was
offered
back to me was very limp--nothing--no
feeling--no
grip--looking into the mans very sunbrowned
face was like
looing into the face of a brown teddy
bear--dull,
lusterless eyes stared out at me--reminded be
of the
buttons sewn onto the face of a brown teddy
bear--.
"Lo", he muttered in a toneless voice, "I'm
Gordie". There was a pause--those lifeless,
coloreless eyes stared out at me--"I think", he

continued. He let go of my hand and completly
unconcerned, went back to building his treat.
I watched
him. He chewed rythmically on the tip of his
tounge as
he worked --his glazed looking eyes watching
the motions
of his suntanned hands. He finished his chore,
placed a
cover over his sweet smelling slush, and
departed without
another word. I turned toward
Sarah--what--why--how?
Sarah told me that his name was indeed
Gordie--that he
lived with his aged mother nearby--a wounded
Navy Veteran
she thought from the Vietnam war--. He wandered

continually throughout the little shopping
center
aimlessly, only returning to his home at dark.
His
mother would go around to all of the
establishments on a
regular basis and settle Gordies accounts--that
even
included a big business like McDonald's. I
kind'a laughed
when she told me about Gordies haircuts--every
now and
then he'd venture into and climb up in an empty
barbers
chair--if he was getting shaggy, Tim or John
would shear
him and send him on his way. I suppose there
are
newcomers who may run into Gordie and be
alarmed at his
'devil-may-care' lifestyle. Today, as I write
this, I
kinda reflect how kind fate was to most of
us--many times
we may have been bracketed with arty rounds or
heard the
incoming rockets flopping as they passed us
by--Gordie is
another story--what the hell is he going to do
when his
Mom can no longer care for him--I've made up my
mind if I
do go to work for Sarah, I don't need the
income--I think
in lieu of wages being paid to me for my
services, that
I'll have Sarah take those amount and get
things for the
nearby Vets Hospital--books, games,
crafts--cards and
dice you suggest--probably not those and no
way--no
PLAYBOY subscriptions--golf and boating
magazines
instead--yup, that's what I'm going to tell
Sarah I want
to do with the wages. Goodnight Gordie, where
ever the
hell you are--I wasn't picking on you by
telling the
troops about you--bet you were a good troop
when your
eyes saw things differently.
Wilborn sends.
 
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