There were two men in my teens that were instrumental in making me who I am today. Depending on what you think of me as a person, you can either credit them or blame them for that. (The Wife chooses to blame them, if that gives you any indication as to her thoughts on the matter.) No, I’m not referring to my dad, an influential teacher, coach, pastor or even an athlete. Those are all obvious choices, but failed to have the impact of these two gentlemen that, honestly, I don’t know a lot about.
|Not Mr. Jones|
The first I simply knew as Mr. Jones. He was a bit older than me. We didn’t do a lot together as he was usually did find time to talk to me, we’d end up telling each other fairy tales about this or that. Often they’d devolve into dreams of being famous and looking at the moving picture box in hopes that’d we’d see ourselves looking back at us.
I’m not sure what happened to Mr. Jones. We lost touch in the mid-90s and I haven’t heard from him sense. I assume he eventually found that beautiful woman he was always staring at. Of course, it’s possible he got eaten by a lion as he was trying to pass as a cat. Either way, the man had a profound impact on my life despite the fact neither of us ended up as big stars.
The other was a man known to me as Mr. Wendal. I honestly couldn’t tell you if Mr. Wendal was his first or last name. He was simply known to everyone he met as Mr. Wendal. I’d dare say he might be like Sting or Bono and only have one name. Anyway, Mr. Wendal could be considered the crazy guy like the ones with the sandwich boards proclaiming “The End is Near” with his talk warning us about our ways. A lot of people didn’t bother to get to know him, which was their loss. I’d buy him lunch and he’d drop knowledge on me like Randy Jackson drop names on American Idol.
I don’t know what happened to Mr. Wendal either. I got busy and our weekly meetings seemed to end. Sadly, Mitch Albom stole my idea and met with some guy named Morrie on a weekly basis and turned it into a best-selling book. Maybe he and Mr. Jones met and became famous, but nationally or internationally, but that seems unlikely as I haven’t heard of them as a duo and a Google search for the two together turns up nothing. So I guess it’s safe to say they’ve both faded into obscurity.