Second Glance Gratuities

It is a great opportunity in life to have the chance to experience something in life that one would say is so “unimaginable” that it renders the viewer to take a second glance. I know for me, this is an experience, that is not only welcomed, but it is invited, as I truly love to laugh. And if I have someone to share it with, it makes it all that much better.

Just recently I was conversing with an old co-worker and still friend and confidant, Tom Berry (T-Berry). Tom works out of Mississippi and we used to work homeowners claims together. While we were talking, the topic entered my mind of all of those times throughout the years I had worked with people in this area. Scott Robinson – left one company, and I took his place, only to find our office closed a year later and we had to find new jobs. I found another job, and as I looked across the departments, I took a second glance when who should I see, but Scott Robinson.

I quickly met my desk partner there – Kermit Barber Sr. We quickly learned that every time we went out we would find there was something. We drove to the town I came from. I had no more told him how all of those rumors about this backwards town was not true, when we passed a lone guitar man wearing a cowboy hat, blue-jean shorts and suspenders, and cowboy boots, strumming along; he had one foot on the ground, and one on the side of the house. I looked back again, and allowed myself to be corrected.

 My boss told me it was just Kermit, but I didn’t listen. I tagged along with him to Union parish one day to view 6 claims in one day. We were trying to really covering the territory or being heroes or something. However, we came upon this house that appeared to have a type of shingles that I was not accustomed to. I am never one to voice my inability, so I charged the ladder, locked myself in place, and up I went. My first step let me, and Kermit, knowing this was troublesome yelled, “You got it kid?” and then he burst into laughter. I was not to be defeated, so I steadied my footing and started up the roof.

    Now, if you know anything about roofs, then you know it is not so much as the shingle that can get you, as it is the slope. And let me tell say, I was slowly moving up, and Kermit was still standing there laughing. I yelled, “Well, are you coming, I am here?” He said, “Yep, you and your friend!” I just glanced around the perimeter and then I saw him. I stared at him a moment, and yes, in the next yard in a pen was a little baby goat, also referred to as a “kid”, standing on top of the roof of the house in his pen. Kermit admitted “I didn’t realize until you started up that roof like “Catwoman” that you hadn’t seen “Billy the Kid” over there.” He did give me credit, as he said “I wouldn’t have tried that slope, but you did alright.”

I know I was thinking about T-Berry and how I need to go harass Kermit on my way to the park. I sure miss having that fuel man card too. I am happy about those falling gas prices. I recently read where the average price for a gallon of gas in the U.S. is $3.27, according to AAA. This is an 11 cent decline from 2 weeks ago and a 20 cent decrease since Halloween. For those who drive trucks  to get back and forth, all I could think of was, keep it coming, Santa – Jingle, Jingle, Jingle.

That is when it happened, people on bikes, people in boats paddling across the waters of Lincoln Parish Park’s waters, people running through the trees. I was taking a second glance every two seconds. All I could think of was, “what is this?” And I wish I was in better shape? And I hope they don’t mistake me for one of? (Like that would happen) Who are these people, and man, where is a camera when you need one? “I am asking Santa one for Christmas,” then I saw a sign. Jingle in the Woods Adventure Race, and once more, a second glance, a man with a camera.

I quickly approached the young fellow, and grabbed his camera! No, I did not grab his camera, but he did take some pictures, because I am only a writer, not a photographer, for the moment. I do plan to get one, so I can catch friends across the office that I haven’t seen in a while. I also plan to shoot people playing guitars on their houses in boots and shorts with suspenders. I can’t forget Billy the Kid, and co-workers you move on away from. I will definitely capture the shot of the gas pump when the price of gas gets below $2.50 again. And for events like this where people are running, riding, and paddling in 40 degree weather, and giving it their all. I will make sure I capture the spirit within the person that keeps them going, and makes me take a second glance.

            Published December 15, 2011, Ruston Daily Leader, The Park Bench.

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