6:30 this morning. I stared down at my nearly flat back tire. A long string of profanities rolled off my tongue like a string of black pearls. (There's not many problems that a lot of cussing can't solve.)
But now... sitting here at the end of the day I see that if it weren't for that tire, I wouldn't have gone to the tire place after school. And if I hadn't gone to the tire place, I wouldn't have been there when all 6 feet of 91 year old Bill came teetering in the waiting room door.
And if Bill had not plopped down on the chair across from me clutching his can of power steering fluid, we would never had started talking. And if we hadn't started talking I wouldn't have known that he moved here from New York in 1946. I wouldn't have found out that you used to be able to buy 2 tires for $13. I wouldn't have found out that it used to take Bill 10 minutes to walk down the street to the tire store, but now it takes him an hour. I wouldn't have had a chance to yack with an interesting old fellow about heads of state, the Armenian genocide of 1915, whether tires are made of just rubber or composite materials, or his last big birthday bash.
And then of course if I hadn't done all that I probably wouldn't have offered Bill a ride home once my tire got fixed. He probably wouldn't have accepted and I wouldn't have found out when I dropped him off at his office, his full name. And if I hadn't known his full name I wouldn't have been able to google him when I got home. Wouldn't have discovered that NPR featured him in a segment a few years back. Nope. Sure wouldn't have known about that.
The world is full of interesting people. Marvelous old growth forests living right among us. wow.
None of the people in these photos are Bill. But when we were in Lisbon last year, Carol took some great photos of people who could have been Bill. Or Fidel Castro, either one.