|Salsa Delgado Disc rims laced to purple Surly hubs for my old Inbred|
The man's name was Don. Not a name with much going for it, but the man transcended that name with grace, courage, and kindness. Don had a physical limitation, but you'd never know that. His leg was amputated below the knee on one side. Don never let it slow him down, and in his prime, he could drop you on his road bike like a bad habit. He also had a great sense of humor about his physical being. He'd play practical jokes by pulling off his prosthetic and doing goofy, unexpected things to shock folks. But mostly, he seemed "normal", because, well......he was.
But that isn't what influenced me. Don was diagnosed with cancer late in his life, and he had to quit work and concentrate on his battle. Don played guitar most of his life, and he was part of a church worship team, like me, so he would stop into the shop once a week to commiserate and share his wisdom, all under the guise of two fellows talking bicycles and guit-boxes. But like I said, it was his perspectives on life that really struck me.
Here was a guy that was suffering and dying, yet he would never let on that he had anything but joy in his heart and a will to encourage his fellow man. I didn't say much on the blog about this back then, just a mention of attending his funeral. But trust me, Don made a big impact on me ten years ago, and I have not forgotten him.