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wheel

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14 May 2015

“Good morning, Chuck, it’s a bit warmer today.”

“I’m cold, because of my poor circulation. I’m wearing a pair of summer socks, over them I’ve got a pair of winter socks and my feet are still frozen. I would have worn my Fall boots, but the sole is half ripped off — too many times getting them wet. They were good boots, had a nice lining in them, perfect for taking Goldie for a walk.

“I remember back in the sixties, before the hippies, it was beatniks then, there were a lot of coffee shops with entertainment. You could buy an espresso for not very much and sit all night listening to some great live music.”

I said, “I remember going to the Riverboat and seeing Gordon Lightfoot live.”

Chuck said, “Oh, I would love to have been there. One night my wife and I had a fight, she stormed out. I put my Lightfoot records on the hi-fi and sat down on the front step with my case of beer. I had the volume turned up loud. I noticed a car stopped across the street, another followed. They were enjoying the music. After a while I invited them over for a beer. We had a grand time.

“A week later, I was in the department store, in line to pay for something, when a guy shouts, ‘Hey, it’s the Gordon Lightfoot guy.’ People were a lot friendlier back then. One time I was in another city. I had no place to stay, so I asked this long-haired guy where the nearest YMCA was. He pulled out a twenty, handed it to me and said, ‘You don’t have to stay there, find yourself a nicer place.’

“When I was younger I never had a problem finding work. I was five foot, six with a grade school education, but I was tough. I worked in a factory making brushes. There was this eighteen foot long lathe that ran at about one hundred and fifty miles an hour. My job was to feed the wood in at one end and it would be whittled to the diameter of a broom handle. It was dangerous, there were no safety guards to prevent you from falling against the machine, but it was mostly boring. Some people complained about that, but I could take boring.

“I did a lot of labor jobs. I saw these guys struggling to lift a barrel onto a table. I leaned it against the table edge, grabbed the bottom with one hand, flipped and turned it with one motion. I asked, ‘What was hard about that?’ “

Read more about my friends at http://ow.ly/Nc8k0

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