Posts tagged ‘louisville’

Timelines Converge

Two "Chips" meet and time lines converge.

Two “Chips” meet and time lines converge.

We saw only one person moving about in the cemetery.

If it wasn’t a caretaker, it must be him.

He was adjusting his lawn chair near the headstone of his wife.

I walked towards him.

When I got close enough to speak, I reached out to shake hands and said, “Good morning, my name is Chip.”

He smiled and said, “My name is Chip, too.”

My attention went directly to the tombstone, “I was sorry to learn of your wife’s passing.”
“She had dementia and died of double pneumonia.”

Our eyes met and I replied, “My wife was waiting on a liver transplant and died of double pneumonia.”

My voice broke.

He instinctively reached out and put his hand on my shoulder to offer comfort.

That was the sign my friend and two family members who were waiting in the car had hoped might appear. My brother-in-law said, “When he put his hand on your shoulder, we knew everything was okay.”

Our group consisted of a close friend, Art Hoffman, and my brother-in-law, John Coe and his wife, Veronica. Our outing that morning had been to visit a location Art had found a week or so before our visit to Louisville from North Carolina. My return to work begins next week and we all needed a break from home, Chip and Bob’s Flamingo Farm.

Earlier, the lady who told us about Mr. Chip appeared with little warning as we soaked in the ambiance of Art’s surprise. It

John, Veronica, and Art in front of Sissy's Consignment store.

John, Veronica, and Art in front of Sissy’s Consignment store.

was a consignment store that featured numerous flamingoes, my wife’s favorite fowl. The mystery lady said Mr. Chip had been keeping a daily vigil in the cemetery and cautioned us to approach with care and respect. It isn’t often a community sees a seventy-something year old man make daily visits to the grave of his wife—visits that last hours. The cemetery was on the main thoroughfare in town, just a block or two from the fire station. Mr. Chip was in plain view every day, on stage, for all to see. According to the mystery lady, the local townspeople had pitched in to purchase the headstone for Mrs. Perkins.

We had more than a nickname in common. His given name is Charles Franklin. Mine is Frank Cecil. So we share reversed initials, C.F. and F.C.

This morning, we had found him about to get situated in a lawn chair, in a blazing sun.

He was about to read to his wife from Open Windows, a devotional publication from LifeWay.

It was her birthday.

Who would have thought that on her birthday, a Chip from the present would cross trails with a Chip of the future.

I hope Mr. Chip found an unexpected visit from another “Chip” as comforting as I did.

Video, Part One:

For Part Two of the video, click, HERE.

Happy Santas!

A group of Santas get together in the off season and here's what happens!

A group of Santas get together in the off season and here’s what happens!

Born to be Jolly

My only shot at being Santa.

One summer over ten years ago, our church in Baton Rouge had “Christmas in July.” The usual “Santa” was unavailable so I got drafted. It was my only  and closest encounter with Sainthood. My wife made me a Hawaiian shirt with Christmas themed material, a do-rag, and I got a temporary tattoo.

Flash forward to 2015 and a group of professional Santas (one of whom is a close friend) who couldn’t wait till July. Let’s see what kind of fun they have in April. Were they convening an income tax session? I think not! These guys know how to be jolly and how to get HAPPY!  Sing, dance, and clap along with them!

My good friend, Art Hoffman, does great video work and had done all my video book trailers. He’s also captured many of the acts at North Carolina’s annual Folkmoot USA festival. See more Santa video and the amazing variety of topics by visiting Art’s YouTube channel, HERE.

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