Important Things in Life

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Two Rivers


Life is funny sometimes.

Submitted: June 06, 2018

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Submitted: June 06, 2018

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I was in a coffee shop the other day and overheard two men talking.
The first guy probably near eighty sat reading a stack of newspapers.  He had separated the three different publications into two stacks.  
A second walked by the man evidently a stranger to the first and nearly the same age and said, “You think there will be another Watergate this election?”
“What?” the first one said.
The second man said, “You know a scandal in the Whitehouse like when Nixon was President?”  
“When was that?” the first asked.
“In the seventies,” he answered.  “You have all those newspapers, what do you read in them?”
The first man flipped the one stack on the edge of the table where he sat.  “Oh this stuff, I don’t read any of that.  I only read only what’s most important.”
“And what’s that?” the second asked nonplussed.  
The first answered, “Sports!”
“Okay,” the second man said standing there for a moment.  “Tell me the most impressive thing in your opinion that has happened in the world of sport.”
“That’s easy.  Don Larsen pitching a perfect game in World Series in 1956,” the first said, and then added.  “We had a great pitcher in the fifties going to Elkhart High, Jack Stump.  You couldn’t hit the guy.”  
The second guy shrugged and walked away.  When I heard the first guy mention the name Jack Stump, I got intrigued.  I had worked with a Jack Stump at Bayer for nearly 22 years.  I asked the man with newspapers if gone to school with Jack.  “Yeah, now there was an athlete!  He got a full-ride scholarship to Notre Dame in track but didn’t take it.  I don’t know what happened to him.  What a waste of potential.”
“I worked with him at Bayer.  He retired from there after 39 years there,” I said.
“Well, what do you know?  As good as he was in track he was a better baseball player,” he said.  
The next time I saw Jack I said, “I didn’t know you got a full scholarship to Notre Dame?”
“Yeah, I wasn’t smart enough for all that book work,” he said.  “But, I’ve had a good life.”
 
Of late I’ve been thinking about the important things in life.  I would come home from my walk after listening to Public Radio on MP3 player and I’d be expounding on all the inequities in life and my wife will ask, “And, what are you going to do about it?”  Of course, there is nothing I could do.  I’m only a peon in this vast world of the rich and powerful people.  
I stopped once in my travels to get an ice cream cone at an open-air ice cream stand on a two-lane country road.  Across the way, there was an elderly Amish man maybe in his late sixties plowing with four horses.  A fellow came up behind me in the parking area licking his cone and said.  “That Amish man has chosen the important things in life.  Out there it is just him and his horses.  He doesn’t worry about who’s in power, or who’s going off to war.”  
“Yeah,” I said as I headed to my car.  I realized life goes on whether we worry ourselves about it or not.  The important things in life are who we are, and the ones we love.  Everything else is just background noise.


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