SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 36: It’s Like Sitting With Neighbors On A Summer Night.

I drive to Bob’s Big Boy, home of more than great hamburgers. Seems that every Friday night it becomes the center of cool car nirvana.

I arrive 6sh, sun setting in the background. The scene is building; with cars, motorcycles, classic to muscle, arriving for the evenings festivities. Cliques of every kind are forming, as the pavement is slowly morphing from parking lot to showroom. Everywhere I look is chrome, perfect paint and automotive brawn. I’m loving this place.

I approach several people, engage in conversation with little success at first. A routine that I am becoming wholly familiar with. I take my hits with a stiff upper lip. Denial one, rejection two, lack of interest three, all words that I am growing accustomed to in my 365 day outreach. I now know that patience is key and I can twist no arms in finding my daily friends.

Thirty minutes into my car browsing and I meet husband and wife team, Tom and Judith. They are warm and welcoming, even offering me dinner when the Bob’s waitress arrives to take parking lot orders. I have to pass, knowing that Friday night dinner waits for me at home.

They grab me a chair and instantly we are in a neighborly conversation. It feels like I am sitting with long time friends. Both being self-employed for the majorities of our careers, we exchange business stories. But there is much more to our conversation than business commonalities.

We discuss the art of understanding and what it takes to be successfully married. As we chat, I can see the love and unity between them. Little unspoken things like Tom affectionately placing a fork in Judith’s salad, concerned that she enjoys her meal while it is fresh; their unified smiles in response to my questions, letting us all know that Judith is the spokesperson for the interview. In my eyes, incredibly considerate gestures, evidence of a happy and trusting relationship.

Per their truck, it is a one of a kind. Tom shows me a scrapbook documenting the history of its restoration. Photos showing its original heavily rusted state… a $300 dollar purchase he found corroding in a barn. Three years and $130,000 later, what Tom proudly shows is 455 cubic inches of powered eye candy. From bumper to bumper, the truck is perfect.

I’ve always wanted to restore a car of my own. And after chatting with Tom and Judith, I’m ready to start saving. Don’t think I can swing the $130K at the moment. But a man’s got to dream… doesn’t he?

“Friendships are important”
“Life is not about money or status”
“Exercise gratitude and patience”
“Appreciate your health”
“Be glad for every day”
“We all put our pants on one leg at a time”

All philosophies bestowed upon me by Tom and Judith this evening.

The sun has set. It’s time for me to return home to family. We wrap our conversation and as I depart Tom wishes me this:

“Be Good!

Thanks Tom, pleasure meeting you and your gal. The truck is pretty cool too.

One comment

  1. Dannica Wood

    Richard, My sister Judy sent me to your blog to see her interview. I loved the story along with your background info. You have a wonderful writing style, and I think your “365 strangers” project is refreshing. I will continue to enjoy your stories. Dannica in Oceanside

    Like

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