More From "The Guy who lives up the Street" by Pete Bennett
For those of you who do not know about the Guy who lives up the street, I have written several articles that featured him as a character. Although I have never disclosed his true identify I will say he IS a character and he once lived up the street from me.
Although I now live two hours away from the street where the Guy lives I still choose to call him that. You see, to me its just a very loong street. I stop in to see him occasionally when I get back in the old stomping grounds and he's still the same as ever, with his dry wit, and I do mean dry.
Here are some of the most recent things he related to me when I saw him last.
He said that eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines. We got to talking about his driving and he said, you know I drive way too fast to worry about my cholesterol. He said when everything's coming your way, you know you're in the wrong lane. He said he needed his brakes repaired and couldn't get an appointment right away so he said I think I'll just make my horn louder! He says, I wonder what happens if you get scared half to death. Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself, where the heck is the ceiling? He told his wife, I don't have an attitude problem, you have a perception problem.
More of his words of wisdom... when the bosses talk about improving productivity, they are never talking about themselves. And....you can go anywhere you want if you look serious and carry a clipboard. Not too bad huh? Another....A pat on the back is only a few inches from a kick in the butt. He's getting good. He continued with, everybody is somebody else's weirdo and accept the fact that some days you are the pigeon and some days the statue . I was ready to leave when he came out with, never argue with an idiot, they drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.
Then, on the way to the door he said, I don't suffer from stress. I am a carrier. Boy he said it all that time! I'd better go home and write this stuff down.
I recall some of the things he said as really having meaning like, after any salary raise, you will have less money at the end of the month than you did before. That's good, as was, tell me what you need, and I'll tell you how to get along without it. I never knew him to be so helpful.
He told me he used to know a guy who was an airline pilot and the fellow was telling him that on one particular flight he had hammered the plane into the runway really hard on landing. It seems the airline had a policy, which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, give a smile, and a 'Thanks for flying "Whatever airlines." He said that in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment, but no one seemed annoyed. Finally everyone had gotten off except for one little old lady walking with a cane. She approached and asked, conspiratorially, "Sonny, mind if I ask you a question?" "Why no Ma'am, what is it?" "Did we land here or were we shot down?"
You know the Guy and I talked about a lot of things during our visit and you know what, most of it boils down to is, that it all depends on how you look at things. Look at it simple and it IS simple, look at it hard and it IS hard.
Take the following:
One day a father and his rich family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose to show him how poor people can be. They spent a day and a night in the farm of a very poor family. When they got back from their trip the father asked his son,
"How was the trip?" "Very good Dad!"
"Did you see how poor people can be?" the father asked.
"And what did you learn?"
The son answered, "I saw that we have a dog at home, and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of the garden, they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lamps in the garden, they have the stars. Our patio reaches to the front yard, they have a whole horizon."
When the little boy was finishing, his father was speechless.
His son added, "Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are!"
Isn't it true that it all depends on the way you look at things?
If you have love, friends, family, health, good humor and a positive attitude towards life -- you've got everything! You can't buy any of these things, but still you can have all the material possessions you can imagine, provisions for the future, etc., but if you are poor of spirit, you have nothing!
That's it for this time friends, I've got to go phone the Guy for more material. See ya next time!
footnote: It is with great sadness that I have learned my wonderful friend, the Guy up the Street", Rudolph Gornati, died on 23 July 2007. He certainly was a guy who brightened many of my days as well as all those who's lives he touched with his humor and smile. I know that he will be dearly missed by his wife Betty and family and my condolences go out to them. I have never revealed who the Guy up the Street was until now, not that I was not proud to be his friend but because he deserved his privacy. He was the best of the best!
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