Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Jerry the knife, Colonel T and Bob

I met some interesting people in Arizona - and I'll tell you about three of them. Let's start with 'Jerry the knife'. No, that's not his name or his handle or street name or whatever, I just think it made a good title. But Jerry and knives do go together, as you will find out.

I met Jerry (and Colonel T and Bob) at a baseball game. They came with us and Sean, who had got us the tickets thanks to his Sergeant. I didn't get to meet the sergeant to say thanks, but I did see him at a distance and noticed he was one of the few individuals wearing a Pirates hat at a Diamondbacks game (their stadium, playing the Pirates).

Jerry is in his early twenties and looks like a young, beardless, blond Jack Black. He had that same enigmatic half smile, that hints at hidden wisdom (perhaps). After the game, we went to Sean's for a barbecue and I spent quite a bit of time talking with Jerry. He was very soft spoken, wore black and we had in depth talks about environment, food security and respect. A gentle soul, mostly I think. He is a computer nerd, and does some work for people fixing this and that. But the other way he earns money is demonstrating a high quality set of kitchen knives. I can imagine him being very good at it, with his soft spoken way and demonstrating how swiftly and effectively his cordon bleu kitchen weaponry can slice through even the soggiest tomato.

He didn't get a chance to demonstrate his knives to us, though he was quite persistent in bringing the subject up after the BBQ, especially as we gave him a lift back to his apartment. 'The knives are just in the house, I could bring them out quickly and show you...' No thank you Jerry.

He also told us that his brother lived in the next building. His brother is a twin, but likes to wear cowboy hats and walks with a silver topped cane. This caused the local supermarket checkout lady a lot of confusion until she finally twigged that there were two of 'him'.

So that was Jerry the knife - a nice guy, and not the sort of person I am likely to bump into all that often in the normal run of things.

But this BBQ also had Colonel T and Bob - as well as Sean, myself, Sandra (Sean's girlfriend), Les and Nadine. An odd assortment in many ways.

Bob and Colonel T are brothers. They are both in their late sixties I'd say, and both work with Sean doing 'serving'. Serving writs for lawyers - delivering papers to people who really don't want those papers. Bob is a retired fingerprint specialist who still does some consultancy. He was a big guy with a big personality, and a lot of tales to tell. The sort of crime scenes he was called to were probably not the type I wanted to hear detailed descriptions of, but he could certainly write an interesting book about the things he's done. He took my fingerprint and pressed it onto a business card. He always carries his little ink pad with him.

His brother, Colonel T, told us tales of his visit to Italy when he was younger. The family originally came from there, and he had visited a valley that suffered a famous flood in the early 60s. He'd got out of the valley just hours before the disaster. He was also quiet a lot of time, unless he was talking, because he was partially deaf. 'I was an artillery gunner for years, makes you deaf'.

These are not the sort of people I usually meet - and they are interesting and different and talking with them was an enriching experience. I may see some of them again (I have met Jerry once before, so am likely to meet him again), I may never see them again. Either way, they have given me something to write about.
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