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Lasting Impressions - August 2023

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

There are some people in your life that leave a lasting impression despite it not being an important event. I want to share one of mine.

Many, and I do mean many years ago, when I was in the 4th grade my school had, what was traditional then (we were naive to realities), a black janitor. His name was Mr. Kelly. Mr. Kelly was a good soul and would allow some of us to help him clean the rooms in exchange for some basketball time in the gymnasium. Looking back, I am sure that was probably not permitted but for us kids and Mr. Kelly, it was a fine mutually satisfying relationship and, apparently, effective for the school.

One day, when it was really hot, Mr. Kelly said something that I will share: "It's so hot, corn is popping. My mule thought it was snowing and froze to death." Now, this was a sort of cheerful insight provided during an undesirable event. (It was a sort of Song of the South moment, not having seen that movie until a year ago.) It made me admire him all the more as we were all suffering the heat. I suppose it was a defining moment for what would become my sense of humor.

A year later Mr. Kelly was in a terrible automobile accident and did not come back to work for nearly a year. But when he did, all of us were happy to see him back, not because of the gymnasium, but for who he was. So, Mr. Kelly, while nature has reclaimed you, a bit of you still lives forward and I am proud to share it.

Thank you, again, Mr. Kelly.

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