Saturday, March 18, 2017

Amazing Recapped

Sunday, October 27, 2013

I Met the Most Amazing Man on Saturday: This is Why I'll Never Be (Money) Rich

So before you start reading anything more into this post than what it means, let me further say that I had coffee with two very nice men on Saturday morning, an interview for a feature story.

Yes, I tend to prefer telephone interviews, but one man was over eighty, and the other man was someone I'd interviewed many times for various stories and had never met in person.

Hence, the coffee meeting.

Near the end of the interview, I asked the elder gentleman how he ended up in Joliet, as he originally lived in another state. Well, that's where the story grew interesting.

What really could have been a two sentence answer evolved into a thirty minute expounding of the man's early years as one thought of his bumped into another thought and led to yet another.

Perhaps more efficient reporter types would have re-directed the conversation and quickly, but politely, concluded the meeting, but it seemed to me this man just wanted to talk about this portion of his life and tell this particular story.

Yes, I had a tight schedule for the day. Surprised?

And yet, that's not how I treat the people I interview. I earn my crust of bread by telling other people's stories. The key word here is "people." I respect their sharing, often deep sharing, of significant events in their lives to me and how those events make them feel. They laugh; they cry.

So I reciprocate by respecting their occasional need to talk.

When this man finished, I again thanked him for his time, as I rose, slid on my coat, and then extended my hand. The man, too, stood and firmly returned the greeting.

And then he said, "I like you. You're different from other people."

I wish I could remember more than soundbites. But as I sank, opened-mouthed, back in my chair, the man continued, eyes locked onto mine, for another five minutes or so in this vein:

   *  "I can tell you're deep, but you don't always let people see that, only when they should."

   *  "Women like to talk, but men sometimes have things to say, too. You listen to them. That's a highly unusual quality in a woman. Did you know that?"

   *  "You're a joyful person. Not too many people have joy in their lives. There's not much that upsets you."

   *  "You're all about love, and, love, is always victorious in the end."

I supposed if I didn't spend time with people, I could churn out more stories and make more money.

But then again, my stories wouldn't resonate with the humanness that makes people relate to them.

So, I'll continue on as a struggling freelancer.

Wondering, though, if this gentleman might not like to have coffee again.

1 comment:

Denise M. Baran-Unland said...

Covering a follow-up today from this 2013 story I wrote for The Herald-News, just weeks before I went from independent contractor to employee. I wonder if God chuckled.