Thursday, July 4, 2013
Close to Nowhere
I miss our crotchety old man
Here at the newspaper, we count the weeks, not the days or months. For instance this year is Volume 148 (how many years The South Reporter has been published), and last week was Issue 26 (how many weeks so far in the year).
With 52 weeks in a year (once in a while there are 53 Thursdays, but not often) week 26 is the halfway point.
And as we all mention that we’re halfway through the year again, we all think of Mr. Freddie (DeBardeleben -- and I can still spell his name!).
Mr. Freddie loved to announce that it was week 26 and the year was halfway gone. He kept us on track!
He also taught me to parallel park. Not willingly though.
The alley on the side of the building is where Barbara and I have always parked. On Wednesdays, the van has to load and unload at the big door in the back, so only Barbara and I can park there.
The rest of the week, we can pull forward and someone else can park there also. While Mr. Freddie was here, that was his parking place.
My car is often in the middle. Mr. Freddie would pull up right on my rear bumper so he wouldn’t block the sidewalk traffic.
Right smack on my bumper! I generally go get the mail from the post office in the morning. I could get out, but then would have to park on the street if Mr. Freddie was still in the office.
I don’t like to park on the street, so... Mr. Freddie would stand outside while I’d start fuming because I couldn’t get in my parking space and he’d “direct” me.
I used to say that if I’d had to parallel park to get my driver’s license, I’d be driving without a license. Thanks to Mr. Freddie, I can parallel park anywhere, anyhow.
I guess I’ll always miss Mr. Freddie up here. I could mumble to myself about math and he could tell me the answer before I could get my calculator out.
He always had an answer -- for everything; whether you wanted that answer or not.
He frequently told me that I was “too nice,” especially after a phone conversation where I’d be polite and then hang up and fuss.
It’s funny the things that make you maudlin and sad.
Week 26 will always make me think of Mr. Freddie. And just about every time I have to parallel park, especially here at work, I have to laugh and miss Mr. Freddie.
Crotchety old men who can do math in split seconds in their heads and can teach you to parallel park are really hard to find!
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