Monday, July 20, 2009

Folks Along the Way

I was out yesterday on the scooter and paused in front of the church where my beloved grandfather was the organist for over 25 years. I remember being very young and sitting beside him on the organ bench while he played for various masses and services at St. Joseph's in Georgetown. I'm humbled that Gramps' musical abilities live on in me along with a few other special things about him that that endeared him so much to me.

This morning I set out to visit the site of the annual St. Ann Novena in Scranton where I met three great Scranton police officers. I began the questionable ascent of St. Ann's St. in Scranton where parking was three lanes deep and only one lane was open heading west with the east lane shut down entirely. I got to the first officer about halfway up the hill and asked if there was a flat place where I could put the bike. He waved me through and suggested the crest of the hill itself. When I got to the top there were two officers directing traffic there. I asked them the same question and they gave me the best seat in the house, so to speak. A perfect parking place right across the street from the basilica. Not only that, but both of them came over to talk to me about the BV, asking all sorts of questions. I love answering questions about the scooter and scootering and they were the perfect audience because of their curiosity.

I walked the grounds, said a few prayers, and picked up a St. Ann medal, but didn't stay for any of the services. The directors of the novena would do well to put up some kind of schedule board to let us pilgrims know what's going on when. Since I was more or less just around the corner from where Gramps grew up I decided that a picture in front of the old homestead was in order.

On the way I noticed a small scooter parked beside a Dunmore business and because it was parked in an out of the way space I guessed that it might belong to one of the folks who worked there. I remembered a while back having posted to one of the scooter forums the question, "Would you stop?" in which I asked if you were scootering along and somebody else on a scooter motioned for you to pull over, would you? I was thinking about impromptu interviews with other scooterists and wanted to know if others would participate in some spontaneous talk for the blog. The answers were quite positive so when I saw this particular scooter this morning I decided to get up the guts to walk into the place and ask if the owner of the scooter was about.

When I got inside I noticed two workers - a young woman, and a very tall young man with a beard. The gentleman was busy so I approached the young lady and asked her if the scooter owner worked there. She gestured toward the man and I chuckled inwardly because I'd not have guessed that he'd have been the one because of his height I waited till he finished helping a customer and struck up a small conversation. After a while I told him about this blog and asked if I could get a picture of him with his ride.

As Mark and I continued talking outside by our scooters I discovered that he lives down here in the valley and not far from where I hang my own hat. He said that his two brothers and both of their wives are scooterists as well which I thought was very cool. He was hoping for a dry commute today and while the weather was great when I was about this morning and early afternoon the sky's taken a decided looking turn for the worse. I think his scooter's a Vino, but I'd not swear to it because when I start talking to somebody it's more about the person than the machine.

It turned out that my talk with Mark gave me a swell of confidence that would come in handy just a little while later when I got to my grandfather's homestead and discovered that the inner door was open and only the screen door was closed on the front of the house. Though it was out of character for me to be so bold, with no hesitation at all I walked up the path to the porch, mounted the stairs, and rang the doorbell. A gentleman who appeared to be perhaps half a generation younger than myself answered the door and I bluntly told him why I was there and asked his indulgence in taking a picture of me with the scooter in front of the house. He not only obliged most graciously, but gave me a tour of the backyard and the first floor of the house itself. What a wave of incredible memories washed over me as I walked through the rooms where as a kid my family and I on Sunday afternoons had often visited Gramp's sister and her husband - Aunt Anna and Uncle Butch!

Photo by Bryan Peters

On the way back under thicker and darker clouds I passed by yet another scooter, this one parked outside a hair salon near Old Forge. I just had to stop. Inside I was greeted by a most pleasant young lady, but the scooter belonged to her manager who wasn't there at the time. Nevertheless she and I talked for a while and it was a delightful experience I'd not have had if not for my trusty BV and the scooter parked outside the shop as the common denominator that linked my life with hers for a brief time. Scooters seem to bring out the best in people!

I don't know where tomorrow might take me. I'm guessing not far from here because of a partly rainy forecast.

On Wednesday there's a scheduling meeting at the school so my riding will be at the mercy of how expediently we come up with a workable plan. The whole process of scheduling classes to me is like working a Rubik's Cube which I used to solve by peeling the colored squares off the smaller cubes and reaffixing them as needed. I'll sit back, beam my best scooter riding smile, and encourage the others who are gifted with the ability to plan well to do their thing. It'll be good to see them and catch up with what we've been doing since school got out, but I'm not ready to go back quite yet.


Baron's Life said...

Superb and great post...with the pictures and all... Your new friend Mark will look funny on his tiny scooter and glad you visited the old house ... now that Gramps gave you an extra bit of strength maybe you can add me to your blog roll.... I don't bite you
I enjoyed the stuff thanks for sharing prof....!

Joe said...

Geez, Baron, I'm not sure what to say. Every time I go to add you to my roll I find something on your site that would scandalize any of my school kids who might find me and then follow my link to you. Like that lovely Miss with the keg, for example. Yeah, I know, it's tame compared to what they might find on the 'net on their own, but I can't afford to have them suggesting that I sent them to find anything risque, and if you know kids, you know that's exactly what they would do.


Baron's Life said...

Fully worries.... cheers...keep on blogging bud.
GOd bless.

bobskoot said...


I wished I had the summer off like you. You had a very interesting day meeting new "friends". I can't imagine that you would be such a shy guy, after all . . . you talk in front of a room full of students every day.

Glad you are putting your scooter to its full use. enjoy your time off, time is irreplaceable and cannot be recycled.

bobskoot: wet coast scootin