Just A Smile, Ask The Shoeshine Man

Friday, July 16, 2010

Yesterday was such a wonderful day for me, reading all those comments and gathering new friends, I had fun. Thank you all. But this morning as I tired to write I felt somewhat pressured and began to be over whelmed by the fear of how to follow such a whirlwind post. So how do I follow that?

I pulled up some rough drafts I had wrote and found this one. I hope you don’t mind but I felt it attribute to the emotions I have from your presence here yesterday. Please except it as my thank you for commenting on and following my blog.
I sit here on this day feeling somewhat reminiscent. I begin to recall all the good people that have passed by in my working life. Those people I have toiled with, laughed with, and yes, even argued with. As I take this stroll down memory lane a disheveled, somewhat oddly dressed character comes to mind. Do you need a shoeshine, miss?

My memory had stuck on our local shoeshine man. To my knowledge we only had one and oh, what a colorful character. A middle-aged black man with dreadlocks, wearing tennis shoes and sporting his thrift store mix and match business suit topped by a depression era hat. He always had some new accessory he just had to share with you. Which he used as a conversation starter.

The shoeshine man would always start by explaining his new accessory. Why he wore it, where it had come from and most importantly what it meant. This was his hook and the hook would always lead to his latest new big plan of which, he was most certain would work. 

Now, most people shooed the shoeshine man away, with a simple wave of their hand they would send him on his way. Most people never ever heard his new big plan, let alone the latest version. I on the other hand would take the time to listen, to hear this new big plan; after all it did not cost anything.

His plan always went something like this: if I do this, causing this result, this will happen and we all will be better. His whole thought process centered on finding one workable way to solve the world’s problems. He just wanted everyone to get along, to be loved, to give love, and to find a way that everyone could live their lives with joy.

A couple of months after I was laid off, so too was the shoeshine man. One day last summer he dropped dead on the street and had lay there for hours before someone thought to help. But do you know what the really sad part was?

He had not been a crazy shoeshine man and in fact he was harmless. He was a college-educated man who had thrown away his a wealthy, businessman job. Why? Because he felt being a shoeshine man would allow him to meet people and afford him the chance to make things better, besides in his mind shoe shinning was a lost art.

I recall all of this because on at his passing the local paper afforded him a fine farewell obituary. But do you know what his one goal in life was quoted as being? His only goal in life had been to meet people and make them smile. To spread joy where ever he could and if you were so inclined he would shine your shoes too.

So as I read your comments yesterday they reminded me of the shoeshine man and his wish to make one smile. Did you know the shoeshine man? Why do I ask, because you sure did make me smile.


Gail said, 

Wow! I do not know why you were worried, this was also fantastic.

I am so glad I found you.

Write on!

July 16, 2010 at 9:36 AM  
Cluttered Brain said, 

That is a fabulous story!!
That shoeshine man is a good guy!

July 16, 2010 at 9:56 AM  
welcome to my world of poetry said, 

I felt overwhelmed at first one minute not having many followers then wow got 200+ but I think the secret is just be yourself. My poems are based mainly on my life so I know only too well what has happened ...good or bad. I do come up sometimes with a different type of poem but not that often.
Enjoyed today.s well written and a pleasure to read.


July 16, 2010 at 4:16 PM  
Jules said, 

I'm glad we found each other.

Ms. Brain,
Thank you, he was!:)

Again thank you. You are becoming my rock.

July 16, 2010 at 5:33 PM  
Velvet Over Steel said, 

What a Great and touching story! I wanted to cry when you said he laid there for hours.... sad, but what a nice man with a good heart! He knew that money was/is not everything and that being happy is!
You were lucky to have known of him an can pass on his story!
Following and will be back soon!

July 16, 2010 at 9:34 PM  
Holly said, 

I teared up, too! I remember seeing a clip of a shoeshine man that was happy and dancing the whole time he was shining shes. I couldn't find it or I would have posted the link for you. I'd think more people would stop to get their shoes shined just for the entertainment of the conversation and upliftment! (Is that a word? Well, you know what I mean. LOL!)
Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to you as my new bloggy friend! ;D

July 17, 2010 at 2:37 PM  
Jules said, 

Thanks Coreen and Holly. Sorry for the tears but oh so glad you both got the message. I will look to chatting with both of you. :)


July 17, 2010 at 8:20 PM  
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