VirgoVoice

I'm just sayin'

One More Man In My Life…

on August 8, 2012

Sometimes it’s a little difficult to find things to write about in this blog that I think would interest at least some of you. I seem to have out of the ordinary things happen to me regularly. Sometimes they are not monumental things, sometimes they are just things that make you say, hummm. But are they worth writing about? Are they interesting enough to others? Hummm. Maybe the moment didn’t even impact my life that much. But what if it did to someone else?  And perhaps I don’t even know it. I can walk away and make up scenarios in my head of how it may have touched another soul. I think most people like to think there interaction has positively affected someone else’s life. But maybe it’s just a passing moment to that person who never thinks of it again. In most cases we will never know. I recently had a moment like that. You know, one where the stars must have been all aligned correctly for the meeting to happen.

I was in San Francisco for a few hours to show an out-of-town guest the city in a quick highlight tour of the wharf, the Presidio National Cemetery, of course “The Bridge” ( the golden one) Lombard Street, the trolley cars plus we took a few minutes to grab a bite to eat at a place I have been to once before. As usual for me,  I found a parking spot right outside the front door of the restaurant ( I have good parking karma in the city ). As my out of town guest and I were finishing up our lunch I noticed an elderly man, walking rickety but with purpose come through the front door and approach a vendor who had just come in to the restaurant. The way the old guy approached him I thought something must have happened between the two out front. The vendor shook his head no. So the guy moved on to the server and he pointed out towards the front door. But this time I overheard him ask about the truck parked out front. That was my truck. So I gestured to the old guy and he came towards me speaking in another language. I recognized it, he was speaking Norwegian. I don’t speak Norwegian. However, my mother did and I recognized a couple of words. I had to stop him and tell him he was a lot more fluent than I. He had noticed my license plate that acknowledges my Norwegian heritage and wanted to connect.

His name is David McGinnis, half Irish and half Swedish. He is 80-years-old and has traveled all over the world, including several trips to Norway. He spoke of his travels there and encouraged me to go visit the luscious green mountains and the fjords. He told about traveling on their trains. He shared how he ended up in San Francisco from Wenatchee, Washington. I told him I lived in Washington for two years in the area where Lewis and Clark made their expedition and met Sacajawea. He knew of it and had been there, too. He said he left Washington to live with his sister in Modesto some 60-years ago. I told him I graduated from Modesto Junior College. He got a kick out of that. He left Modesto to work in Oakland and then on to San Francisco where he worked at the Clift Hotel, a very exclusive hotel in San Francisco. He left the Clift because he wanted to work part time so he could dedicate more time to his religious studies. They wouldn’t let him work part time. So he went on to work at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in the money cage and sometimes night manager. This allowed him to study and travel to meet others who studied the same religion as he did. He never married and still lived in the same building for 50 years.

David was dressed very clean and neat. His tan jacket had numerous repairs on it with areas that would need a little stitch here and there again. He had on a fresh looking hat like you see old time golfers wear. He was just delightful to talk with. I noticed he was carrying a plastic bag. He told us he had gone to the hardware store. The bag was from Mervyn’s, they’ve been closed for years. He managed to keep his bags as spiffy as he did himself and his clothes. By this time I was a little concerned  about my parking meter out front. Thankfully, I could see my truck and no meter maids. He blushed a little when I mentioned how great his skin looked for someone his age. When I reached out to shake his hand he took off his gloves.  He was wearing a pair of brown, inexpensive cotton gloves, which he said, he didn’t just wear for warmth but he stuffed them with wash-clothes so if he fell, which he had done several times, it didn’t tear up his hands. His hands were so smooth and cold, despite the gloves. I held them in mine to give them a little warmth, he seemed to like that and just continued talking while I held his hand. He told us he had spoken with a couple other people that day; one from South Africa and a local guy. But he said we were the ones who spoke with him the longest. With the doom of the meter maid hanging over my head I told him I needed to go tend to it. As we walked together to my truck  he said he was getting more and more forgetful and he wished he could remember every detail of this conversation. I think there’s a message in the whole scenario. But which message is it? I just hope when I’m 80-years-old and teetering around on my own someone will want to hear my stories. Simple as that.

Top of the mornin’ to ya! David McGinnis, 80, walks everyday through the streets of San Francisco chatting with those who will give him the time of day.

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2 responses to “One More Man In My Life…

  1. realteal says:

    Love it, vv. Thanks for honoring David’s story by sharing it with us. What a great life he’s had. David, keep enjoying it out there!

  2. Noele says:

    Only you….

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