Attend My Charlotte Lit Class: Putting Pen to Paper
By 1983, the ads on TV had convinced me how a desktop computer was the perfect choice for a young business like mine. With dreams of creating newsletters, tracking sales, and communicating more quickly, I knew this new technology was just what we needed to set us apart from the rest.
There’s a small bowl on a table in our home. The bowl shows a couple who appear blissfully in love; to their side are six red hearts. When I turn the bowl over I can read where the artist has etched, “The secret of a long marriage is to put a little romance in every day.” It’s signed, “Mary.” I don’t know Mary but I’d like to meet her, and thank her for crafting the most perfect of gifts.
Uber is a ride-hailing company with a cute sounding name. The service is popular when wanting to save time, avoiding the worry of a place to park. Recently, our granddaughter offered an intriguing suggestion. “Granddaddy, you should drive for Uber. You’ll meet new people and hear their stories. Plus,” she added, “it’ll be great fun.” I did, picked up my first fare .. and then I ran the numbers.
The men in our family have always carried handkerchiefs. Not the fancy silk models perfectly placed to impress, but the functional variety kept at the ready for work. These simple squares of fabric offer more than the obvious benefits. They can hold back your wife’s tears at a wedding, clean ice cream off a grandchild’s cheek, and polish your glasses – as well as become make-do as a sling, tourniquet, bandage, signal flag, washcloth … it’s a long list. But I found one more to add to it …
Todd Hastings was in lock down at a city hospital where he’d been for nine months after a massive stroke from Wernicke’s encephalopathy. His years of substance abuse, along with excessive drinking, had led to a thiamine deficiency, that brought on his stroke the night he was arrested. Fortunately, the officer called paramedics instead of simply throwing him in the drunk tank. After almost a year in Carolina Medical Center, with most of his memory lost in the damaged areas of his brain, Todd started his eight-year trip to recovery.
I want to be that guy. You know him. He always takes time to listen, never jumps in. When you’re with him, you feel important. You matter with that guy. Some are born that way, others need time. The saddest are those who never become that guy; even when they try. I wasn’t born that guy. I’ve been given plenty of time. So if I want to join, I’ll need to get to changin’ – and here’s where I’ll start.