Friday, September 23, 2005


(Run originally 3/29/04 on our old site)

Tom Pry

“You don’t even know who I am, do you?” challenged the counter man who was processing my debit card.

“Sure I do,” I replied, “you’re Jimmy Don Jackson.” I’d seen him earlier, when I’d first come in, and thought that I SHOULD know him, but why had escaped me .. until he’d opened his mouth.

“You know this guy?” asked a youngish ex-colleague, who just coincidentally happened to be there at the same time as me.

“Oh, just for about …” I did some quick math in my head “… 52 years.” The counter man nodded his head in agreement, while the young man by me looked at us in some amazement. “Matter of fact,” I continued, “Jimmy Don and Elmer Dale Yancey were the first guys I ever partnered up with on a class assignment.”

“What was that?” the youngster wanted to know.

“It was our freshman year in high school, back in 1952, and our English teacher assigned us the task of selecting any scene from Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar’ and then rewriting it in the language of teenagers. We picked Act 1, Scene 1, the one with the ‘Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears’ speech.”

“Betcha Shakespeare wouldn’t have thought too much of it,” said my young friend. Jimmy Don and I both agreed with him.

You just never know where or when you’ll run into someone who shares a small piece of your history, and your memories, with you.

As for my youngish friend, he just stared at us in amazement, realizing he himself hadn’t been alive as long as our shared experience.

You just never know ….


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