I pulled into my driveway to find a red car that didn't look at all familiar. Hmm, must be one of Adam's friends. On closer inspection I discovered an older man looking at papers on his lap. I tapped on his window which startled him. I wonder how long he had been sitting there. Maybe he was napping, I don't know. "Can I help you?"
"Yes, you may". Rats, I hate when someone corrects me. I want to say, "I know that, but...."
He tells me his name is Fred Smith (or was it Frank?) and he worked for the census bureau. I told him someone was just here a month or two ago, which led him to chatter on about something that I didn't pay much attention to since I had mail in my hand to look at and goats bahhing my name. "Could we sit in the shade?", he asked. I led him to the table on our front porch. "This will only take a few minutes". Yeah, right.
"Karen J. Pannabecker". It took 5 times repeating the spelling but he finally got it. I could go on and on about him writing our names down because it was so unbelievable, but I won't make this any longer than I should. It's good he had an eraser on his pencil.
"I've never heard that name before". Yes, I know.....more uninteresting conversation.
"I also live in Rockbridge County."
"Uh huh. May (I said "may" this time) I let my dogs out before they scratch up the door?"
"Sure, I have a blue tick hound, my third one. My first one died of cancer at age 8. My second one...........(chatter, chatter) then ran away and never came back. I think coyotes............
My son has 3 boys and a wife and he gave me this blue tick puppy...........they live in.............2 months old...."
"Well, they say white on here but I'm not allowed to make judgement just from looking. I've only come across one black person today. Ok, ok, ok, and we did this in English".
I say, "oh, do you speak other languages?"
"Then it's good I spoke English, huh?"
"I haven't encountered any Spaniards or anyone of that origin anyway. Nothing but white.... just that one black guy and he was really very helpful (says he, like he expected something different)"
There were a lot more questions that led to something more he wanted to tell me but I've bored you long enough. I think he was here at least 30 minutes. Even the dogs gave up on begging for scratches.
"Well, thanks for your time"
"Yes, have a good day."
"Well, I have to work and ................."
I was afraid to encourage any more conversation so I walked to my door. I think Fred was lonely - or was it Frank? Did I mention Fred/Frank was about 75 years old?
I wonder how many people he met with today. 4?