“those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.”-jmb

Standard

a call came from a director

who had worked with my grandson

on an entertainment project

he and his crew were in town

to shoot a pilot for a new show

the idea is to surprise someone

but instead of pranking them

it’s focus is on thanking them

he was looking for locals to help with the show

those who know ‘afternoon delight’

a local breakfast/lunch spot

not fancy, with great food

an unchanged part of this town for many years

the surprise was to be for walter

a local, humble, and very deserving gentleman

who has worked there for 40+ years and refuses to retire

he lives without a phone

(the farmers at the market let him use theirs when he needs one)

he lives without a car

(the local pedi-cab guy gives him rides to work and whenever he needs one)

he’s never been on a plane or boat

he lives alone with his many plants

his family is the restaurant crew and all who pass through the doors

he shows up every single day, works hard, and is unfailingly kind to everyone

but his presence is so much more than that

he has touched so many lives over the years and in so many ways

after keeping walter at home a bit longer than usual

 worrying about being needed at work

everything was finally ready

the moment he walked in

he looked teary

saying, “i can’t believe my eyes”

with the sweetest smile

he thanked everyone for coming

and was told

“walter, we are here to thank you!”

for impacting the town and the people

he had a chance to talk to every person

as we each presented him with a plant and our story

he had walked one down the aisle

when she was a waitress there and didn’t have a father

the pedi-cab driver had worked there too

some had worked with him for many years

or had been coming in for many years

and one after another

each person thanked him

multiple generations had eaten there

and he listened and he smiled and he thanked them

for being such an important part of his life

 when he sat in the booth that now has his name on it forever

he told his stories

how things had changed over the years but stayed the same

how life had been hard at times but was so thankful for everything

when he first started it was bob dylan and joan baez stopping by after a concert

 each era brought new music and new people

along with people who continued to come in over and over

bringing children and grandchildren

while the food is very good

walter is what makes the difference

why people keep coming

as we said our goodbyes

walter climbed into the pedi-cab,

now with bubbles flowing, music playing, for a ride around town

his town

to celebrate his special day

before coming back to his other home

the restaurant

as i walked back to my car

someone saw my t-shirt

stopped his car and asked:

“is that for walter from afternoon delight?”

when i said it was

he told me he owns a nearby deli

 whenever he sees walter making his way down the street

he makes walter’s favorite sandwich for him

walter is a treasured family member to everyone lucky enough to meet him.

“there is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter.

we sometimes lose sight of this…

then suddenly the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people,

who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways.”

-sir richard attenborough

107 responses »

  1. Walter, you are so loved. Thank you for being you. Beth, I just love your heart filled with so much gratitude. And for recognizing and sharing this story with us. I’ll not forget Walter! The world needs more Walter! 💛😭

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So many good people everywhere. A very touching story and there are thousands more out there.
    The only time I heard “Director! Director” being called was at a bridge tournament. Somebody not following the rules. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How wonderful that Walter got an overwhelming sense that those whom he considers his family feel exactly the same way about him. God bless all who pulled together to make these moments in time memories that Walter will always treasure! Thank you for sharing this story of love!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am crying at the tenderness of this story, of a community’s love of Walter and the “thank you” extended to him. I am crying at the essence of Walter. We should all strive to be a Walter both in living and in kindness and gratitude. This is, by far, my favorite of all your wonderful posts. Thank you, Beth, for recognizing Walter and for introducing us to this wonderfully humble and loving man.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, my gosh. I already love walter. And I love your community for doing this. It’s like giving your testimonies and not having to wait for the funeral. Prank shows are awful and this is so much better. And I love that it’s called afternoon delight. Anyone over 50 can appreciate that.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My goodness! This was a beautiful story, a powerful story, an inspiring story. I love Walter. I love his genuine kindness. Thank you for sharing this, Beth. Please let us know if it becomes the pilot for a new show.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s