An old man came to the door just now asking directions. He was at least 75--probably closer to 80--and seemed more confused than just needing direction. I would say dementia is not far off. He was driving a nice Jag, and he was dressed smartly. He couldn't tell me an exact address of where he was going, just the general location of a home which he used to own and from where he knew how to get to his ultimate destination---or so he said.
We first looked at a map, and then I used Google Street View and "drove around" general neighborhoods until he recognized landmarks and eventually his old house. I drew a map for him to take with him, and happily, the route was simple.
I asked him what he had done for a living, and it turns out he was a Navy pilot, at least for a time. He was stationed in Pensacola, Florida, in the early 1960's, and flew a Grumman S-2 Tracker. His face brightened when I brought up a page of images on my computer screen!
Later, he was the commanding officer of a squadron of T-28 Trojans, and trained pilots to land on aircraft carriers. He had 175 carrier landings himself.
He pronounced one word with a southern accent, and I asked where he was from. He was raised in West Virginia, and his name was Sam.
It was a great chance meeting of an interesting man whose life was well lived.
I finally got a picture of one of the Anna's Hummingbirds that visits me first thing every morning. It's sitting on the swing I bought for them. $15 seemed like a lot at the time, but it's so much fun watching them sit on the swing---especially when it's windy. LOL
It's below freezing out, and there's ice in the feeder.
Once I lived a few doors down from a retirement home, and every morning around 10, I saw an old man who lived there walk around the block. I thought he’d like company, so I asked if I could join him. He thought it was a great idea, and we walked regularly together for several months. He was a retired ship builder from New England.
One morning when we met he was crying. He was ashamed that he couldn't remember my name, and he wanted me to know how much he appreciated our friendship. I told him I was sure he knew my name, but just couldn't remember it. I also suggested that the day may come when he couldn't remember me at all, and he would still be my friend.
He smiled broadly, his eyes twinkled, and he said: “Thanks, Barry.”
I've been drawing structures and thinking about how buildings are held together with concrete and steel for 35 years, so I find that aspect of the newsreel particularly fascinating. I'd like to see the drawings for the mezzanine slab.