I was driving through the park today and spotted an old van, with a surfboard strapped to the roof, and the drivers door slung open. Of course I had to stop.
I approached the open door and there was an old guy sitting there. I said Hi, but he didn't hear me at first, realized he was hard of hearing, so I upped my volume.
I pointed to his roof and said surfboard? He said Yea, do you surf? I told him I have, and I sucked, and we started talking. He told me he was living in his van and just traveling around. He got out, with a cane, and we walked to the other side of the van and he showed me his living space.
I pointed to my truck and told him I have a bed in the back, and I love to travel. We made a connection, and had a great chat.
We talked about California, I told him I knew that great Santa Cruz surfboard maker from the seventies, been to his house, but neither one of us could remember his name.
I told him I've been to Belize a few times, but he blew my adventures out of the water. Back in the sixties he returned from Vietnam and traveled to Belize with a crazy ex-vet buddy. Took them a year and a half to get there, through Mexico, living in caves.
He currently works for Bryce Canyon Tours out of Utah in the Summer to build up his travel money, then visits friends and family during his travels.
I asked him how old he was, and I knew he was going to say 76. I asked him his name, and I knew he was going to say Jim. I knew I had met a kindred spirit.
I gave him my blog name but he said he's not into modern technology, and showed me his old little hand held something that he uses to stay in touch.
I thought about letting him park in front of my house for the night, to get to know him better, but he said he was on his way to Memphis, so we shook hands, and said goodbye. This was a cosmic connection.
Update: I just tracked down that seventies Santa Cruz surfboard maker. His name was Jack O’Neill and he had a great brand (still going strong) with a house out on the ocean. I don't remember how I knew his two beautiful daughters when I lived in Santa Cruz, but I do remember them taking me out to dad's house, and meeting him.