Observations #2

An avid gardener and outdoorsman all his life, now that the season is warming, he longs to get his hands dirty, to work the soil, to do the planting like he used to do but, alas, there will be no gardening this year. His last attempt to deal with nature’s bounty was difficult. Already his health was going downhill, but he was not ready to give up on his garden and in his mind, admit defeat. So he improvised. Even though his stamina was restricted he figured out a way to somewhat overcome his limitations. He would do one row of his garden at a time so he placed a chair at either end of the row and when he completed the row, he would rest before continuing to another. But now even that strategy does not seem to work. Life has become “chair-less.”
When he was born, people with special needs were often referred to as handicapped no longer politically correct. He had his problems but instead of feeling sorry for the hand he was dealt, his weakness only made him try harder not only to be as good as his peers but also to be better. He had a sharp mind, and he used it to develop many skills that he might have otherwise ignored. It made him even more determined to prove to all that no one had to look on him with pity. He thrived on overcoming challenges and his life is the proof of his achievements. He loved to hunt and fish and to camp out away from everybody for days at a time; he was what one might call a survivalist. He learned to improvise, to be independent, traits he still enjoys to this day.
When the HERALD goes on sale, there are countless salespersons strategically located to sell the newspapers to those who perhaps do not subscribe or who want to get the news first through immediate curbside delivery. There are obviously some locations that are better suited for sales than others, but I witnessed one enthusiastic salesperson recently who made the best of his out-of-the-way station. He was not on the well-traveled routes but rather was positioned on the Old Mullins highway not too far from the SCDOT headquarters. As I approached him, a block away, he immediately began waving his arms while holding a copy of the HERALD for any motorist to see. I had already bought a copy but if not, I would have rewarded his eagerness with a purchase. One of the first principles in sales is to be enthusiastic about what you are selling. He earned an A from me and probably attracted many customers.
Most funerals are somber occasions that mostly follow a rather rigid protocol from the attire to the muted conversations.
The grief is pervasive. But not all. While I was not a witness to this particular end-of-life event, it was reported that the atmosphere was shall we say somewhat relaxed.
The dress for most of the attendees was informal, the typical coat and tie ensemble was restricted to only two people who perhaps felt out of place. The departed was evidently well-liked, a late popular patron of a local business where good times were the order of the day.
There were some floral arrangements but the two rather distinctive parts of the occasion that in my mind must have stood out were the prominent position of the NASCAR logo (You can guess where it was located.) and even more personal was the tee shirt that had been signed by a multitude of his friends of happier days. The winner in this race was sent across the checkered flag finish line with gusto and style he undoubtedly would have welcomed.
Bill Lee
PO Box 128
Hamer, SC 29547

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