January 29, 2015 – adventures with the Ayatollah

First I apologize for having to type this on the iPad… I cannot get on the Internet on my computer for some reason and on here I tend to make more errors and have trouble editing.i arrived safe  and sound to DC and am setting in with the kids. My job tomorrow is to take care of a sick child and let the plumber in when he gets here.

tonight I will tell you the story of the Ayatollah. yes, we had our own fellow and that was what we called him before we knew his real name.

the Albany newspaper use to come in the late afternoon.  we did not get that paper but Sue did.  we would see this fellow in a white VW van with Indian painted on the side drive around and deliver the paper. he was an old guy with a shaggy beard and maybe longish hair.. if Sue reads this and wants to comment on his appearance or correct any of my perceptions that would greatly add to the story.

anyway we found out the fellows name was Harry Gilson.  he really thought Sue was quite the beauty in fact one day he told us “she walks like a symphony”. I guess the rest of us were chopped meat compared to her. but the laughter was hysterical and to this day we love to remind her that she does “walk like a symphony.”

some days she would signal that she wanted someone to come up and keep her company because Harry was just staying there chatting with her.  he was a hoot and we all started to get to know him better. one day Harry told us he had a way to get groceries at lower prices, we were curious.  he explained that he called the store managers and offered to come to the back of the store and purchase for a reduced cost the nearly outdated foods that really were still good to eat.

so one day Sue and I went off with Harry or following him to a store. might have been Price Chopper or another one. it was long ago.  we went in the back of the store and they had bins just stuffed with food that was  taken off the shelves.   We could not believe it and we were going to pay something like twentyfive cents on the dollar.   There were boxes and we picked out things we knew we would use and some treats along the way and paid up and off we went. after that in the neighbourhood we were known as the garbage pickers. no one else wanted to do it but we were able to save a lot of money doing it. We went as long as Harry arranged it.  We wanted to remain nameless at the store..

Then Harry announced he was going to be gone for awhile. He was drivng in the van to Central America to visit native villages to purchase the goods they produced and then would bring them back here to sell and when he got back he would bring the items over for us to see.  We were blown away, who was this man really?  he was obviously very smart and what had he been in his life?

when he returned he brought beautiful items, hand stitched and lovely. I still have the robe I bought from him. we had all the neighbours at Sues house so they could see things and buy what they wanted.

THen one day we went to Harry’s house for some reason.. he had something he wanted to show us. he and his wife and son lived in an old farm house about a mile from us. it is still there.  He took us to the  barn to show us his sons studio.  Our mouths fell open. he was a famous artist who worked with wood and other mediums, but the wood items were awesome to see.  Harry told us his son had works in the metropolitan art museum in  New York City and other famous museums. We were so pleased that he had chosen to share this part of his family’s works with us.

Turns out that last week Harry’s son Giles died. Harry had died a few year ago but I don’t think the sons death was expected.   As I read Giles obituary I realized that Harry had come from quite a family.. His father was one of the 18 founders of General Electric Company in Schenectady.  Harry was a pilot and taught his son to fly at an early age…n In the obit they just seem to say that Harry did a lot of things. I tried to find his obituary on the net but have not found it yet.

We missed Harry when he no longer came to deliver the newspaper.  he certainly added some spirit to our lives and became a memory for those of us who knew him. he was a one of a kind kind of guy..

Addendum from yesterday’s story:  my husband informed me that the husbands were at Sues that night talkng about our neighbour who wanted to know about which way a body would have to fall for him not to be charged with murder…. And honey tells me that he is the one who came up with WINO,s.  I think I might remember that now.. Such an honor for him………

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