Steve is driven about getting out early in the morning, so while I sleep, he goes up top and talks to whoever’s there. Often it’s Bruce, a fifty-year-old arborist, who looks like a kid amongst all these seasoned seniors. Bruce is traveling with his 93-years-young father, Jim. Jim doesn’t need an escort. He walks with the best of us and shows no slippage in the knowhow department. On one of our first stops, Bruce passed us on a street somewhere in Franconia and asked if Steve had seen Jim. He sounded concerned, so we asked other passengers to keep an eye out as we walked the other way. One of our guys seemed to take the suggestion that Jim was lost as an affront to seniors everywhere. He said, “He’s sitting on that bench right there.” Then he savored the victory, “Jim’s not lost. His kid’s lost.”
After a couple weeks onboard, Bruce volunteered to lead a Sunday service as he’s also a pastor. Steve didn’t know he’d been talking to a man of God most every morning, and when he read the notice, he all but gulped while he scoured his memory for blasphemies. When I finally got to meet Bruce over dinner, what a treat. His passion is personal development and growing into goals. We sing in the same choir!
Later a folk dancing group came aboard and invited guests to join in. I stepped on Bruce’s foot and felt like a clod, but I cheered myself with the thought that he had to forgive me. When I mentioned my regrets to him later, I confirmed that Bruce is the real deal. He not only forgave, he forgot.