I met him outside a barbecue joint in Lynn Haven, Florida. His hair was so white it glowed.
There was a tattoo on his forearm—a crude looking image of a bull. He used to be a rodeo clown long ago. It was a hobby, but turned into something that paid well.
“Not a bad job,” he said. “You DO have occasional bad days, but it’s big fun.”
I asked why he got out of the business.
“My wife got pregnant.”
Once, I met an elderly woman. On Saturdays, she bakes several poundcakes, layer cakes, sugar cookies, and banana puddings. Her adult daughters help. So do her granddaughters.
Until this stage of life, she never had time to teach baking. She was a single mother, fighting to keep her head above water.
“Want my girls to learn my kitchen tricks,” she said. “If I don't teach them, all my mother’s recipes will disappear.”
Last year, her daughters and granddaughters were faced with a choice between summer softball, or cooking lessons with Granny.
They haven’t played softball since.
An elderly man from Crestview, Florida—he retired from driving semi trucks several years ago. He wore a large belt buckle and ostrich-skin boots.
“Driving was my life,” he said. “Retirement is killing me.”
He started driving after his wife left him, forty years ago. Since then, he’s seen America. Every part of it.
“Took my grandson on a trip once,” he said. “At first, he wasn’t happy to be away from home. But then I showed him the Grand Canyon.”
He handed me a photograph of his grandson, sitting behind the steering wheel of thirty-thousand horsepower.
“That boy’s everything to me,” the man said.
In an antique store, yesterday, I…