I was going to title this true story “Welcome Bigfoot Friends,” but probably only Bigfoot fans would read it. And, if you don’t read this, you will miss out on meeting a parent who marches with a different drummer, while making an incredible difference in their child’s life.
However, this is what you should know about me. I strive to be a Welcoming Ambassador to everyone I know. I know it is a difficult task. I act like a Walmart receiver on steroids. I smile, open doors, while shopping, I make positive comments about the team logos that I see wearing strange places. When I see acquaintances and co-workers in the wild in the frozen food section of the supermarket, I start a brief conversation to bring them up to speed. I am a people person.
But what does this story have to do with Bigfoot, a large hairy ape-like creature between 6.6 and 9.8 feet tall weighing over 500 pounds, covered in brown or auburn hair? It is a legend that is hidden somewhere in the forest. Over the years, there have been many eyewitness reports on him, large fingerprints of him, portable film recordings, audio recordings, blood and hair samples. There have also been many hoaxes and jokes related to finding Bigfoot in the wild. But where there is smoke, there is usually fire.
Scenography. Now I can continue with my meeting.
I was waiting for the garage door repairman to fix or replace my garage door slide. My wife accidentally caught him backing up. I tried to fix the metal slide, but wrinkled the curve worse, making it almost irreparable.
As the repairman calmly got out of the truck, I opened the garage door and wondered if I would get the job done without installing expensive new runners. He was wearing jeans and a bulky, dusty black T-shirt. No uniform. No, Mr. Goodwrench look. He looked like a mountaineer or a World Federation fighter. I know that first impressions are not always correct, but I was not impressed.
I said hello and welcomed him to my garage and my problem by adding these jobs “I decided to find an expert to help me.”
He said, “I am not an expert in this area, but I have fixed several doors like this.”
He struggled with the bent runner and after quite a bit of effort he bent it back to its functional form and put some oil on the little caster wheels. He told me it was ready, like new.
I asked him if he wanted a bottle of cold water. He said he had some in the truck.
I wondered what it was that moved this man; in other words, what mattered to him besides his job. I thought it would surprise me. I was already totally wrong about my first impression.
I asked, “So what do you like to do for fun?”
His eyes arched up in memory of a funny scene and he said, “I hunt Bigfoot with my son in the mountains.”
When my mouth opened, I asked him “Do you believe in him?”
He replied, “Well, we have fun looking for him. It’s an adventure. We don’t want to hurt him, just hang out. Maybe take some photos. We bring fruits, nuts, and cold water to share with him. If he doesn’t show up, we eat the treats. ourselves. My son, Ryan, loves hiking and the outdoors. “
“How old is your son?”
“Well, he’s 12, but he’s mentally old 5. Ryan has a brain disorder. He literally has trouble doing things. The nerve endings in his body are mixed up. He has to think things through to do normal things. He’s gone. getting better and better. That’s what counts. And he loves talking about Bigfoot, looking at pictures of Bigfoot, and learning about big animals. We often read together. I have two jobs so I have enough money to get the best help for him. “
Tears formed circles in my eyes. I wrote him a check for his services and said, “Wait a second, I have a present for him and I ran upstairs to get a copy of the poetry book.” Hoping to see the director and other poems.
I signed the paperback for Ryan and said, “There are many repeating lines in my poems. You and Ryan will have fun repeating them. After a while, you will both have them memorized, which makes it even more fun to read.”
“Yes, you will love this book! And the pictures are fun too, kind of like Shel Silverstein’s books. Ryan loves all of his books. Thank you so much. I have to get back on the road. Thanks again.”
“By the way, does Ryan really believe in the existence of Bigfoot?”
“OH YES! It says Bigfoot is just a good concealer. “
And I said to myself: we are all good at hiding unless an interested person asks the right questions.