I ran into an old acquaintance today. I didn’t recognize him. Not even a little. He knew me, my kids and where I lived for the past 15 years.
It might sound creepy. Like he’s some weird stalker. (Actually, is there any other kind of stalker?) Let me explain how this came about. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon.
I drive home past an apple orchard. I’ve been driving past that apple orchard for the past 8 years. It’s owned by a man named Paul Adams. He runs a fruit orchard called “Adams Apples.”
Paul is an acquaintance I met many years ago. He had some extra peaches one year and let us harvest them. I took him a couple of quarts of canned peaches as a thank you. Paul is a character. He was drunk most times I talked to him. And he loves the orchards. I’ve also met Paul’s son. His son isn’t thrilled with owning orchards.
I noticed a few weeks ago a for sale sale sign went up on the orchard.
I think Paul may have finally passed on. An orchard, espically in the middle of a city with sky rocketing land prices, is a very valuable piece of real estate. The apples didn’t get harvested this year. The leaves have mostly gone.
Today on the way home I saw some trucks and a bunch of kids picking apples. I assumed that the orchard was allowing the community to come pick apples. I can two things when the occasion permits; grape juice and applesauce. And the occasion permits when I can get the fruit for free.
After I got home, I talked to my lovely wife and we headed back to the orchard. The kids had finished picking and the gates were locked. As I was checking, a man came walking toward me. I later realized he was just walking to his car. But, we started talking.
Were you with the group picking apples?
Yeah, it’s a service project.
I wondered if they were opening it to the public.
I don’t think so. We donated the apples to Tabitha’s Way
I arranged to get information about the people who had set up the service project. They might be able to tell me if we can come glean some apples for applesauce.
I’m Rodney Bliss, by the way.
He told me his name and asked me a question,
Didn’t you use to live in North Orem?
Yeah, over by Windsor Elementary.
Yeah, we lived in the little blue house on the corner of Main. And you’ve done a bunch with scouts, right?
Yes. For the past several years in Pleasant Grove.
At first I couldn’t remember where I’d seen you before. And then I heard your name.
I don’t say that to brag. If anything I wish I were a little less interesting. You know from my signature that I have 13 children. Despite what you might think, thirteen children is really not that memorable in Utah. I know a family with 25 kids.
No, what makes my family interesting is our racial makeup. The white people are a minority. Three of my kids are white, three are Asian and seven are black. I don’t even know the distribution of my ten grandkids. It doesn’t really matter to me.
People who meet my family, remember us. Sometimes they might struggle to recall the family name, but they know who we are. Just as the acquaintance from 15 years ago remembered who I was. People often come up to me because they recognize me or remember my family
The problem is that while my family is interesting and instantly recognizable to those we meet the same isn’t always true of everyone else. Don’t get me wrong. Everyone is unique. Everyone has a story. Everyone is important.
But, not everyone is interesting. Forgive me if I don’t remember your name.
Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.
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