Through the ages I have traveled cross country and into Canada a few times, meeting a lot of different peoples and working a few different jobs. It has been quite an adventure. For me personally, I think it was a better learning experience than college could ever provide. Book learning is one thing, but experiencing life in general is something else. I’ve met an old Native American Indian chief, and a girl who proclaimed herself to be a full-fledged honest to goodness cauldron stirring witch. I never saw the cauldron, but I did, on occasion, catch a scent of what smelled like a stew cooking. I even had the good fortune to meet the great Muhammad Ali one time.
I met a lady from Santa Monica who “dabbled” in psychiatry. One day, after a friendly visit with much conversation and sipping iced tea, she told me she thought I was the sanest person she ever met. I looked at her square in the eye and said: “What? Are you crazy?” She laughed, but I was serious. For a change.
Anyways, what has been fun for me was, just about everywhere I traveled there would always be a few people who would mistake me for someone else. I know there is a saying about how we each have a twin. But I must have sextuplets times three or four.
Once while working in a restaurant in New Jersey, a slightly older couple came up to pay their tab. The gentleman looked at me and said: “You look like our son-in-law.” I replied: “Sir, I’ve never touched your daughter!”
This time in San Diego, during the autumn season on a Sunday, I would go to the beach and do some writing. Later in the day I would visit a nearby pub, watch a football game and order a pizza. Then go home when the game was finished. One Sunday after arriving home, a group of my friends asked me what I had done that day. I told them where I was. Every one of them could swear on a stack of bibles they had seen me in downtown San Diego, when I was at the beach. Okay, so they actually swore on a stack of old MAD magazines, but you get the point.
One time I let myself “go”; in other words, I had let my hair and beard grow long. How long? Let’s just say I could have been the brother of one of the ZZ Top band members. A lady friend once mentioned I looked like Jesus. So I had this thought: I’d get me one of them monk robes; go to a tent revival meeting; enter through a side of the tent with the sun behind me so all the people inside would see a silhouette figure. Then, in a loud voice proclaiming: “Alright, people. Where is all that money you have supposedly been collecting in my name?”
What I used to get a lot was “Hey, Jerry!”, referring to the late Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead. I never thought I looked like him, but apparently many others did. Young and old alike. Once, as a driving teacher, I had my student pull into the parking lot of a convenience store. I needed to use the pay phone to call the office. Yes, it was before the days of everyone owning a cell phone or three. As we are entering the lot, someone comes out the store heading for their vehicle. Seeing the “Student Driver” bumper sticker on the car, he immediately yells out: “Damn student driver!” We ignored him, of course. After the student parked our car, as I walked to the pay phone, the same person was leaving in his car. He sees me and yells out: “Hey, Jerry!” I yelled back: “You moron! I’m the same person you just yelled at for having a student driver!” He left in a hurry.
The moral of all this? Beats the heck out of me. But it was fun! 😀
Have a good one!