I would like to introduce you to Mr. John Rath.
You will learn more of him in a few as for now I will set-up the story.
In moments where the situation brings forth set-backs and you appreciate that you still have your well-being and good health, there is the delight of the most interesting experiences that occur.
Maybe you have exhausted all your financial resources, with your car running on fumes, and stranded in a town that is fifty miles from where you need to be. You have no phone. You have no one to contact. It is just you and the world (and your dogs).
Maybe you are starting out on your road trip, you park your car to run into the store to purchase a few items, and when you get back the car – of which is suppose to get you twelve hours down the road – and it won’t start.
These two “maybes” met one day in Aberdeen, WA on March 16, 2012 in the parking lot of a craptastic stale-blue big-box store.
Again everyone, meet Mr. John Rath who was parked next to us.
The gentleman who is maybe #1, travels with five small dogs, a bag of dog food, an old trusty guitar, and in a very late model Civic. Meet Mr. John Rath who for the hours we were stranded sang several blue-grass and folk songs – and the worn voice was pleasantly good. Meet Mr. John Rath who with all of the randomness seemed fitting to raise everyone’s spirits.
The word was that we were stranded in Abderdeen for the night and the car would not be fixed until the next day. We had the option of getting a hotel room, seeking warm food and laughing over our experiences. Mr. John Rath did not have that luxury.
I thought I would write a song inspired by him. If I only had the ability to draft an appropriate sonnet.
We were about to leave when I felt responsible for this man who was down on his luck. After all, he kept us company while he offered advice, sang us songs and shared stories of his life. Who hasn’t been in those shoes of needing help. If we had parked in another row, or the car had started we would have not had experienced the entertainment of Mr. John Rath.
I told Mr. John Rath to meet me at the gas station that was a few hundred feet away. With the most humble expression of words and the look in his eyes offered a good feeling to give. I paid the cashier as Mr. John Rath proceeded to pump a full tank of gas into his car. An offer of paying back the gesture was given, however, I told the weary voice and weary guitar playing new friend to pay it forward.
I proceeded to walk back to the tow truck and Mr. John Rath hit the road.
I wonder how he is doing? Maybe one day I will pen that song.