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Let me tell you about my new friend John.


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I left my house for an afternoon ride at 1:30.  As I was leaving, I noticed an older gentleman shuffling slowly (very slowly )up the road - leaning on his cane as he slid along.  He was walking with traffic so I had to go around him and I gave him lots of space so not to startle him.  I was returning 3 1/2 hours later and he was still shuffling down my road.  He'd made it about 3/4 on a mile in that time.  I was headed that way later and made a note to check on him.


At about 4:50 p.m. I left the house to stop at a couple stores and who did I see but the same guy.  He's sitting on a landscape rock at the end of a driveway.  He hand't yet made it a full mile.  I pulled over and asked if he needed a ride.  He said maybe.  I asked where he was going and it happened to be one of the same places I was headed.  I told him to get in.  He smiled and shuffled over to the passenger side.


During our 2 1/2 mile ride I learned that his name was John and he is a retired mason from Hawaii.  He's Polynesian and he explained that he had a strode that slurred his speech and left his left side partly paralyzed.  Listening to an elderly heavy Polynesian slurred accent was interesting.  He moved to Michigan from Hawaii 30 days ago to live with his sister and she was in the hospital so she could't drive him  He needed cigarettes so he was walking to the gas station and then going to get something to eat.  Interesting note, as we were talking about his block layer career, he waved his hand and said with a heavy slurred accent, "You know all those big hotels on Waikīkī?  I built those."  *big smile*


He told me about where his sister lived and I dropped him off at the gas station (shaking my head).  He knew where he was.  He knew where he was going and why and he knew where he lived.  I figured he was good but I had some concern.  I was glad to help.  I went to a grocery store near by and about 40 - 45 minutes later there he was about half way between the gas station and Burger King.  So it took him 3/4 of an hour to buy a pack of cigarettes.  I stopped to see if he needed a ride and he said no and pointed at the restrauant.


So I did a little math.  Based on where he was when I first saw him and where he was when I picked him up and knowing about where he lived, he must have started his adventure at about 9 am.  Had he continued walking, he would have gotten to the gas station some time shortly after midnight.  Had he turned right around and walked back to his sisters house, he would have been home some time mid-afternoon tomorrow.


I had a family commitment early evening but by 7pm I returned to where I left him and searched the area for him.  I then took the route to the area where his sister lives and drove around there a bit.  I never found my new friend John but I'm sure he's OK.  I'll keep my eye out for him on my way to work in the morning.



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