low2go *Senior Chief Moderator* Posts: 323 (5/24/01 1:47:10 pm) Reply HE THOUGHT HIS NAME WAS GORDIE -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 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.