This is an update to the story “Mr. Fix-It” that I wrote nearly a year ago. In it I described how my desire to solve all problems often is my undoing.
Recently at our 50th high school reunion another classmate, Steve Maples, who was familiar with my earlier story and who knew all participants in that great debate (of which I was the biggest loser) had a little fun at my expense.
In my early days I had a desire to become a lawyer when I grew up but I suspect I lost interest in that career after unsuccessfully arguing my first case of which the prize for losing was a good ole fashion playground whipping in front of much of the student body.
Anyway Steve who went on to become a criminal defense lawyer had a lot of fun razzing me about who may or may not be at the class reunion and even though it had been more than 53 years since I lost that fight, Russell could likely do it again if he showed up. Steve finally acknowledged that he had talked with Russell and that I didn’t have to worry because Russell would not be attending. Thank God I didn’t have to reargue that case. If only Steve had argued my earlier case maybe there would have been a better outcome for me. I can’t say what would have happened to Steve if he lost that original argument. Maybe I would have been writing my earlier story about him?
Now that we have had a little fun with the story there has been one very good thing that I can report since I wrote it.
I was having some work done on my house and the contractor had pretty well tried my patience as much as I could take. He promised to complete it in five days but after dealing with several of his well meaning but incompetent sub-contractors the job was already in its third month.
One small task was to replace a linen closet door in the bathroom we were remodeling. It was obvious the sub-contractor didn’t have the expertise to replace the door without really botching it. I had seen several of his suggested options. After complaining to the person I had contracted with, I was assured that they would get a cabinet maker to install a new door.
The next day I receive a telephone call and the voice on the other end of the line said, “Mr. Brady, my name is Chuck and I need to come out and take measurements to replace a cabinet door.”
I said ok and we settled on a day and time. Afterwards the voice asked me, “Did you grow up in Prichard?”
“Yes,” I said.
“Did you live in Alabama Village?”
“Yes,” I said.
“Did you go to Clark school?”
Then he said, “I think I know you.”
I responded, “I don’t remember someone named Chuck from school.”
He said, “I was called Charles back then. Charles Hatchett.”
My response was quick and clear, “Oh yeah, I remember you Charles. I took a whipping for you one time.”
He said, “I very well remember that. You are not going to punch me in the nose when I come over are you?”
“No I am not. We were too good of friends and I am looking forward to seeing you.”
To make this story a little shorter, we really had a wonderful time reminiscing about our youthful days and we have renewed a far too long estranged friendship. I have since met Charles’ beautiful wife Rose and had the pleasure of their company at our high school reunion.
When I think about our frustrating experience dealing with a poor performing remodeler, I am reminded that without some of the issues we had, I may have lived the rest of my life without the fellowship of an old friend.
Wayne Brady 4/25/2014