“You must be the guy Larry calls his ‘best manager in life’”, said the stranger to me.
I am usually not the one at loss for words. Ever. Even when I make no sense. Especially when I make no sense.
But I was stumped this time.
The best I could come up with is “I have been called worse!”
It is not often that one goes to Ohio unless they have family. And I do not. And yet, there I was. If you do go to Ohio, I guarantee you, you are not going to go to Independence, Ohio. Even the GPS tried to take me to a town called Independence in a different state. And if you know me… even if you found me in Independence, Ohio, it would be near a Marriott hotel. Not a Holiday Inn.
Certainly not a Holiday Inn where all the rooms were booked by aficionados of “Pez” swarming there for “Pezmania 30”! I know that for a fact because till about a couple of weeks back, I did not know what a Pez is. My guess is most of my readers do not know either. I am not going to describe it to you — you can read it up in Wikipedia. I am going to talk about the human angle to this.
“Larry, this is stupid! Why would so many people come together for a freaking mint dispenser? And they are such nice people, too.”
“You collect fountain pens?”
Ayayayayay!! He got me and he got me good!
It is never about the things. It is always about the passion. How else do you explain that I write with fountain pens or listen to music on much damaged vinyl records from India?
Passion is probably the best way to describe Larry.
We worked as team mates many moons back… I am talking nearly ten thousand moons back. But there has been something about this guy that has always kept me close to him.
He is the inspiration behind how my blog site looks.
He is the reason why I taught myself CSS and HTML.
He is the one who introduced me to ‘I wish you enough”
He is the one who taught me “The difficult, we will do now. The impossible, will take a little more time!”
We have gone thru a lot in our personal lives in those 20+ years we have known each other. He, more than me.
But we have stayed connected. Stayed together. I wish I was even more connected to him than I am today.
A few weeks back, when I was in Dallas for some personal business, I did get a chance to see Larry. And got to know about his fascinating “Pezmania” and 3-D printing. That is when I promised him that I will re-route myself from office to home (which in my case is Chicago to Atlanta) and go to the Holiday Inn in Independence, Ohio where he would be with many other Pezmaniacs.
Can you spot me in the picture/ I am the most well dressed guy – in fact, the only one with a sports jacket. Standing right next to the one of the few true human beings I know – Larry.
Larry apparently had talked to enough people about me that before I left, I walked away with a lot of free gifts – including a T-shirt for my hospice visits!!
Larry Mason, as a runner (who is slowing down in this age of mine) – let me tell you something I have learnt about life from running. We all start from different points. And we all end at different points. It is never about those points. It is always about who you run a little… walk a little… together in that journey. Those two dates of staring point and ending point in our tombstones are meaningless – life truly is in that “dash”.
You were, are and will always be one of a kind.
For the record, I still like how your family calls me (“the most interesting man”) better than how your Pezmaniac friends call me 🙂
But my life is better because who you have been to me. Not the adjectives you happened to have used to describe me. As undeserving as they might have been.
Here’s wishing to a few more intersections in life…..