Traveling Rhonda’s first post was about my friend Ray Chen. He passed away this year way before he should have. The post was simply how amazed I was by Ray’s ability to make friends after turning 30 years old. It honestly seems like an impossible feet.
Well, I am not sure if I made a life-long friend last week, but I definitely had a friend for the day.
I present to you Rich.
Vanessa was in Santa Fe, NM for a week so I was on my own in Madison. One of the every day tasks while living in an RV in a city is to find a place to park and sleep at night. I pulled onto Mifflin St, and found a spot right away. As soon as I opened the door, there was Rich sitting on a front stoop, and bellowing out hello. I made a sandwich in Rhonda while he started telling stories ranging from all the girl’s bikes he fixes in Madison to hitch hiking cross country to being Bart Starr’s paper boy when he was a kid (Bart Starr led the Packers to the first two Super Bowls in NFL history). Rich was probably in his 60’s, and he was a lifelong Wisconsin resident.
I joined him on his porch for a beer, told him I needed my bike fixed, and two seconds later he’s got his tools out and he’s showing me how to fix the brakes. After working together for about an hour or so he said he was out of beer. I gave him $20 to get us some, and we sat drinking and talking and working on the bikes for another hour or so. He was telling me about this girl who brought him cookies last year because he fixed her bike, and two seconds later that same girl showed up to say hi. Unbelievable!
I was planning on going to the student union that night to watch a movie at a place called the Terrace. When I asked Rich to come with me his eyes lit up. He hadn’t been to the Terrace in 13 years! We snuck some tall boys into our backpacks and biked over to watch Total Recall. He had this shit eating grin on his face the entire time we were there. Afterwards, when my bike got a flat tire, he was there to fix it up.
Rich was an awesome friend for the day, and I am hopeful we can stay in touch even though he has never used the internet in his life (or so he says).
Posted by Brett