Sunday, July 19, 2009

A True Kindness

This post doesn't have anything to do about baseball, so if you want to skip it, the Fan will understand. But it's a post that needs to be written because sometimes such things have to come out of the soul. Today is such a day.

First a few things about the Fan. The Fan has two knees and neither one works very well. Besides that, months working in the basement and at the mall during the Christmas season have left the Fan with a painful heel that is hard to stand on, never mind walk on. Not to sound like your Aunt Margaret, but the Fan also has a bad back. Lastly, money is kind of tight (the understatement of the year). So when a recent freak storm blew 65 MPH for four or five hours, the shingles on the garage nearly all blew off. It was one of those things where the garage faces south and the wind was a south wind.

The insurance company would have covered it, but they have a $500 deductible and so the Fan decided to forgo that route (why do we even have insurance anyway when it never pays to have it?). So the Fan went to the hardware store and purchased some packs of shingles, some nails and was going to attempt the roof alone. Well, the storm was a month and a half ago and the roof was still a mess. With some major orders to fill and really crappy weather this summer, the roof had to wait.

When John heard of the Fan's plight, he offered to help. The Fan didn't think he was serious. After all, John was just an acquaintance: not someone the Fan has even known that long. So the Fan didn't think much of it until the Fan ran into John the other day and he said he'd be over Saturday. "Okay," thought the Fan.

The Fan woke up on the appointed Saturday and it was pouring. Teeming is more like the word. And the radar looked like it was going to rain all day. So the Fan poured some coffee and started planning what to do on a rainy day. But then John's pickup pulled into the driveway. "What the heck?"

So in the rain, John sets up his ladder and gets his tools out. "Uh, John, it's pouring."


Well, okay. So the ladder is set up and John heads up. The Fan started heading up and John saw the Fan wincing in pain plus saw the look of ennui on the Fan's face and said, "I don't expect you to be on the roof."

When the Fan replied that didn't make sense, John just smiled and said that the Fan could be his gofer.

In the pouring rain, John stripped off broken shingles, pried up half buried nails until he had a clean work space and then spread the tar paper out. The Fan retrieved dead shingles from the yard, brought up supplies, bought lunch at Burger King (well the Fan's wife did), and fretted on the ground about not doing anything very constructive.

But John worked up there all day. Did the Fan mention that it was raining all day? John finished at six o'clock after ten hours on the roof. His Saturday was spent on the Fan's roof when he could have been with his family. He worked in the rain when he could have been home and dry. He gave up his day off with his kids to see the Fan's rain soaked face all day.

When John was done, we shook hands and the Fan has to admit that he cried with thanksgiving and relief. A major problem was solved and a man the Fan hardly knows did all the work and saved the Fan countless days and endless frustration. The Fan doesn't know how to shingle! Not that the Fan wouldn't have given it a go. But now the Fan doesn't have to because John did it for him.

Shingling isn't what John does for a living. He's not a handyman or a carpenter. He's not a factory worker or someone who gets paid for working with his hands. This kindness...this incredible kindness...was performed by the president of our local bank. John is the president of the Fan's local bank. And he shingled the Fan's roof. Incredible.

Thank you, John. Thank you so very much.


bobook said...

Nice! And, incidently, my word verification is 'mulpr'.

William said...

mulpr? My apologies, but you mystified me with what you are talking about...

Thanks for the comment though as always.