a CEO & Me
A few weeks ago our neighbor’s daughter came to town for about a week’s visit.
She lives in Fairfax County, Virginia. I knew she was coming. She always calls to make sure it is OK for her to borrow Willow for her morning runs. Sure, why not.
This time she needed my services too. A male friend was coming with her. On the second day her, her daughter, and her mother were going to a relative’s wedding. She wanted me to drive her friend Kirk around to show him Marietta.
Kirk reminded me of Jay Leno, a big chin, white hair, and dressed nice, neat, and expensive.
Kirk lived in this area back when he was in high school. He lived here for about 4 years. He said everything had changed. I think Kirk is the same age as Jane, so he is about 50, He lived here about 32 or 33 years ago.
I told him I hope it was OK for us to take my old pickup truck, Anna had to run errands in her car. He seemed taken back, but said, “Sure!”
When we got on the road, I remembered I had NPR on which was playing classical music at the time. I asked him did he want to hear something else. He said, no, he loved classical music. I like it too when I drive alone. At least I didn’t have to surf the stations trying to find something he liked. He was easy to please. I like that.
He wanted to see his old house off Holly Springs Road. He told me the street name and I automatically thought “92!”. That was the route number of the street he used to live on, 6292. I knew exactly where it was at and took him there and he found his house and was somewhat taken back that some bigger trees were no longer there and the house needed a paint job.
He asked to see Blackwell Elementary School. While driving there I asked him did he go to school at Blackwell. He said no, he was a janitor there. He worked part time when he was in school. Again, he was surprised to see how Blackwell School had grown. I told him it had grown so big it swallowed itself. That cracked him up.
He said at times he imagines himself returning to Blackwell School and walk around and tell the people his position now. I said, "That was about 30 years ago, you think the same people would be around?" He, almost like admitting defeat, said no.
I thought I would drive downtown and show him things. He was amazed how Canton Highway had changed with all the businesses. When he lived in the area Canton Road was mostly farms and pastures, with a few mom and pop stores.
He liked downtown Marietta. He thought it looked the same, only now it looked much better. “Cleaner and neater” he said.
“A yuppie’s paradise”, I said. He glanced at me with no comment.
I went on and told him now downtown is mostly antique shops and lawyers’ offices. He said that was good, he has a degree in law too.
I said, “Business must be good for so many lawyers.”
He laughed and repeated, “Business is good.”
I asked did he live in Fairfax, Virginia, also and he said no, he lived near Springfield, Virginia and his office was in D.C.
My distant cousin and wife, William and Dorothy Hunter live in Springfield, Virginia.
Someplace in our conversation he brought up that he owns a 500 year old house in historic Belgium. He said he bought it when he lived there for eight years and never sold it…and returns there from time to time for a get away.
“Whoop-dee-do”, I thought but politely kept it to myself.
I pointed out highlights I thought he might be interested in, like the Confederate Cemetery the National Cemetery, where Mary Phagan was buried, where Jon Benet Ramsey was buried, where Jon Benet’s grandfather lived, where I grew up, where I did this, where I did that, and so on.
After a three hour tour I dropped him off at my neighbor’s house and he thanked me, he said he really appreciated the personal tour.
I enjoyed it too I told him.
And that was that.
He flew back in the next couple of days and Jane did some maintenance for her mother and drove on down to Saint Augustine, Florida, to meet up with another school chum that lives there.
After Jane left I asked my neighbor what did Kirk do for a living.
She said he is a CEO for an oil company.
Damn, I let him slip through my fingers!
It is probably best I didn’t know Kirk was a CEO for an oil company. I would have made a fool of myself, one way or the other – that is if I hadn’t already.