A funny yet strange encounter happened at a Roadside Rest Stop today.
In my travels today I had to go up to a job we are doing out west of Waco. It’s up where SpaceX tests its rocket engines.
After seeing everything I needed to, I left there and the same thing happened that always happens when I go up there. I had to make a pit stop when I got south of Salado at the very nice Highway Rest Stop.
When I came out I noticed an older gentleman sitting in his pickup. He motioned for me to come closer. I was pretty sure it was in my best interest to walk on and ignore this fellow, but for whatever reason I sidled on over to see what he had to say.
“Are you from around here” he ask. I told him not that I lived about 50 miles west of here, at Bertram. He said he knew a couple of people from Bertram, but it was no one that I recognized. From that I started to see a scam brewing.
I could tell he was having difficulty talking, then he went on to explain that he had a stroke a couple of weeks ago, that has made him unable to move the left side of his mouth. Then he showed me his arm where he had slipped on the ice, last week. It was swollen and the skin was torn open all up and down his arm.
He said things hadn’t been going so well lately and that he is trying to get to San Antonio to see his nephew, whom he isn’t expecting to live much longer. Then he asked for $40 to buy gas to get down to the hospital tonight. I gave him the money, something I wouldn’t normally do.
When I handed him the money we shook hands and he introduced himself. I told him who I was. He said he used to operate a wrecker business and gas station in Georgetown. I processed the name. I used to trade with him. I would never have recognized this man. We are both 25 years older now.
He broke down and cried about the money. He went on to tell how many friends and family members he has lost recently. It is a staggering number. His wife packed up after forty years and left. She felt she needed to move with her dad to care for him.
As we talked more we realized how many of the same people we know.
Now this is where this story gets perhaps a little more coarse than I’m completely comfortable with, but I’m going to ease into it in the best way I know how, so as not to offend anyone.
So here goes – As we visited I said “I know you to be a legend”. He ask what I meant.
I went on to say “I’ve been told that when you had the Gulf Station that you would pull out your ample manhood (I’m softening up the language here for y’all) out of the top of your jeans, then lean across and squash it up against the glass when you cleaned the windshields of certain pretty girls”.
The story goes that all went real well for him until one lady went through a second time and had her camera ready.
I could see a smile come across his face, kind of a lopsided sheepish grin actually. He said “You know that caused me a trip to jail and a lot of money to get out of that jam.”
That is exactly the way I’d heard the story. I hadn’t thought about it in a long time, but it all made me glad I didn’t ignore that old fellow sitting in his truck. It was well worth the $40, just for the entertainment I got out of that encounter today.