‘Hanging with Mr. Craig’

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wow, hard to believe it’s been a little over two months since I’ve left Tucson, AZ!?   To say I’ve been distracted since I returned to Florida would be a gross understatement.  The reality of family life, with it’s many challenges, has a way of sucking you in.  I’m not complaining though.  I knew what I was walking into and I am now more certain than ever that returning was the ‘right’ move.

As for Tucson, I’ll miss it, but I can say that about nearly every place I’ve lived; they’re all special to me in some way.  Truthfully though, I never thought I would be much of a desert man, and really, I stand by that, but it was a fascinating experience nonetheless.  I said this before, but there is a beauty in that kind of landscape that is quite unique.  As interesting as the scenery and climate of the desert were however, they pale in comparison to some of the very special people I was able to cross paths with there, not to mention being able to reconnect with an already great friend.

This post is about one of those people I met and I am convinced this person will now and forever remain a an ally.  His name is William Craig and he is a retired school teacher and overall super human being that I took a shining to immediately.  I first met Bill the day I was flying home to visit my family in Florida.  My flight was scheduled to leave very early in the morning, but had been delayed some five or six hours.  With all the extra time and knowing much of my day would be spent sitting indoors, I thought I would walk down to the park and exercise in the sunshine for a little.  I’ve told a number of friends about this and there are a couple comical details about the encounter that I’ll leave out for the sake of brevity.  In short, after getting out of his old El Camino that was filled with tree stumps, we began chatting.  Five minutes later, the stranger (Bill) graciously offered to take me to the airport, which I thought was a bit unusual, but ok.

To be honest, I didn’t know if that ride to the airport would materialize, but the first thing I learned of Bill is that he is a man of his word, and before long, I found myself in the passenger seat of his car listening to classical music and chatting while he drove me to Tucson International.  Two weeks later, after a number of failed attempts to get a ride from other people I know, Bill wound up picking me from the airport; curb to curb service.  From that moment on, many (most?) of my social outings in Tucson were spent with Mr. Craig.

This may sound a little melodramatic, but I honestly believe that meeting him when I did was the hand of fate slapping me upside my head.  I was in a very unhealthy place mentally at the time and Bill, whom I consider a kindred spirit of sorts, and not only because he deplores the overuse of the word ‘like’ even more than I, helped me remember who I was.  For this and many other things, I am forever grateful to him.  Here’s to you, Mr. Bill!  Wishing you and your (far) better half Happy and healthy holidays.

I look forward to our next encounter. ;o)

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‘My farewell dinner’ – Bill and his lovely wife, Marie

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