Drinking Alcohol taught me how to fly
Then it took away the sky....

Sunday, December 22, 2013

THE INTERVIEW



A HAPPY LIFE...THEIRS AND MINE

Several years I taxied people to their work at a hotel laundry five days each week--and picked them up after their job. The four of them were "mentally challenged", in slang words, "retarded". The trip each way lasted nearly an hour. Coaches and counselors worked with these people regularly, but on these long rides, I could not help myself from an attempt at entertaining them--helping them to be happy, rather than bored or despondent.


A small pocket-sized tape recorder did the trick. Me, the driver, became Steve, the radio interview guy. Interviewing each in turn, I asked questions about their lives, work, parents, home, goals. After each taped interview, I'd play it back so all five had opportunity to hear each other's "life story". This went on for a number of months, before we all tired of it, ran out of questions as well as responses.


Typical interview began simply:


Q. Hello what is YOUR name?

A. Da-Low-Russ!
Q. And Delores, what do you do?

A. Work!

And progressed in a week, to somewhat more revealing details:


Q. Dolly, (we had changed her name from Da-Low-russ...) what do like to do at home?

A. Help my sister clean house and do dishes. I like doing that. She wants me DON'T BREAK ANYTHING! I love my sister.

Q. John, what do you do in your spare time?

A. Well (ahem!) Steve...(pause, clearing throat)
I-I-I  d-do a little bit of this,
a little bit of that,
and little bit of everything else!

NOTE:

After many days, our interviews got so complicated, that I'd write out questions for them at night at home...to keep the connection--and the fun--going.

These four (I remember their names even now, after 20 years!) changed over the course of time...and so did I.  We became a closely knitted group, we prayed, talked, joked, and laughed together...a LOT!

I grew to love my "crew". One, a tiny, old black guy, was a deaf-mute...never looked up, never smiled, or joined in. I discovered that he might hear some things, because sometimes--in my rear-vision mirror--I caught him smiling at something which was repeated on tape. But he never spoke, although I had a feeling he could. There had probably been some trauma in his life. 


To this day, when someone asks me what I did for my life's work, I answer, 

"Oh...a little bit of this, 
a little bit of that, 
and little bit of everything else!"

Steve E
Sunday December 22, 2013

12 comments:

  1. Steve,

    This is such a beautiful story..I think I might be crying..in fact I am..

    Peace & Light

    ReplyDelete
  2. smiles...its cool to take the time to get to know them...and develop that connection with them as well...hey if you are going to spend time with people you might as well listen and take interest you know...never know what you might learn in the process...lots...lots...

    merry christmas my good friend...i'll still be around a few days but did not want to miss wishing you a good one....

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh! Steve, this is one of those lovely posts...Loved it... Loads of love, to you :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. one of the best things you have ever written!!!!!!!!! touched me deep within <3

    ReplyDelete
  5. a little bit of this,
    a little bit of that,
    and little bit of everything else!... i think that's a good answer you know... love that you talked to them and found a creative way to their heart and to get them talk.... it's all about the people we meet along the way, isn't it...? have a blessed christmas steve...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Steve, this was beautiful and this work ws great. These have become my recent fav lines. A lil bit of this, a lil bit of that and a lil bit of everything else.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh I love the story!! So cute! I can almost hear my name as... "Da...Russ" hahaha

    DaRuss :-)

    ReplyDelete
  8. What an amazing story Steve, truly!

    ReplyDelete
  9. what a cool way to touch the world

    ReplyDelete
  10. Enjoyed this story Steve ~ Merry Christmas to you and yours ~ Thanks for visiting me and leaving me with your kind words ~

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh no, just forget my wishes to you.

    Merry Christmas to you.

    ReplyDelete
  12. you're such a blessing sir...just thought i'd stop to tell you this...smiles... happy new year to you steve...

    ReplyDelete