I guess that since I have gotten older, and on occasion have too much time on my hands to think, I randomly think about the people I have encountered over the years. There have been some characters for sure and I wouldn’t want to stick them all in one room since I have never been that good of a referee.
The other day I was thinking of my friend from back in my Fredericksburg, Virginia years.
Mr Andrew, who had a wonderful British sense of humor, was a gentle soul and very much what one would expect to see when encountering a man of English personage or a Brit as they address each other. A career missionary, he had retired after a long and fruitful posting in India.
He was a delightful and distinguished old gentleman and we would often spend afternoons engaged in stories of India and all the diverse and exceptional people he had encountered. Mr. Andrew and his wife’s apartment was also a treasure trove of objects they had collected during their lengthy foreign service years.
I was also educated during our visits with Mr. Andrew. My understanding of India was limited to the book ‘Bayonets In The Sun’ which he had to set me straight on a few notable historic items. In turn, I answered questions about American history which Fredericksburg had proved to be a pivotal location.
Occasionally, Mr. Andrew and I would sit on the front steps of the apartment building and eat freshly prepared radishes from a light green colored plastic bowl.
Mr. Andrew relished them and the late summer afternoons would be highlighted by soft laughter and a profusion of smiles. It wasn’t long before several of our neighbors joined us on the steps. The atmosphere of frivolity and fellowship was indeed infectious. It was a time to remember and cherish.
After a few short summers, Mr. Andrew and Ms. Silvia moved back to England. I guess their home was strongly calling him. A few years later, we got word that Mr. Andrew had passed away with Ms. Silvia following shortly afterwards.
I really hated to hear it and thought of our time together while eating freshly prepared radishes from a light green plastic bowl. He was my friend and I still miss him.
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