Today I was in Publix grabbing a few items. There was an older man that kept looking at me across the produce aisle. I thought he looked familiar, but couldn't place him.
So, as we get closer, I say, "You look so familiar to me. Do you workout at the NHB gym?"
He replies in a friendly manner, "No."
I say, "Do you live out in Red Bluff?" By now I'm thinking he is my neighbor.
Again, very friendly and patient, "No. I live on Fripp."
My mind is trying to quickly place him. I know that I know him from somewhere and am assuming that he's the husband of one of my friends from PEO, or I've seen him at some military function.
I tell him, "Hmmm... I can't figure out where I know you from."
His answer, "Well, it is close to Oscar."
I'm thinking he must live next to someone named Oscar. (And honestly, I'm thinking that this sweet older man is now just teasing me...) I'm thinking that he's just some man with a familiar face.
So I ponder and ponder and ponder all through Publix.
And I start thinking that maybe the 'Oscar' he's referring to isn't a person, but a little gold statue that is awarded to those in the entertainment industry. So I'm putting Fripp Island and Oscar together. Still pondering...
And then it comes to me: Pat Conroy? Could it be Pat Conroy?
So, I come home and look online. Yep. Pat Conroy.
I'm such a doofus!
Oh, I would have loved to have talked to him for a while. To just chat, to tell him we've enjoyed his movies (The Great Santini, Prince of Tides, etc.) to just hear what he has to say. (For those of you who've never lived here, Pat Conroy is sort of a local legend/hero.)
In my mind's eye, I can just see B rolling his eyes at me and chomping at the bit to have the opportunity to talk with this guy.
But, alas, without even knowing I who he was, I walked away thinking it's just an older man teasing me about his neighbor Oscar...