Today is my buddy Greg White’s 67th birthday, if my high school math still works. But that’s only a number. In reality Greg is just 30, plus shipping and handling. Okay, a LOT of shipping and handling!
I tease Greg all the time but that’s only because he’s the guy comedian Jeff Foxworthy is talking about in his You Might Be A Redneck monologues. But don’t let that accent fool you, Greg is probably the smartest person I’ve ever known. I’m not sure if that’s a compliment to Greg or a comment on the people I hang around with.
But at least he’s a handsome devil. I know this because the first time I met Greg, Terry and I were teaching at Life on Wheels and he and his pretty wife Jan were students. I wore glasses back then and we look so much alike that people kept giving him money for Gypsy Journal subscriptions. Greg always says he kept the money but he did at least give me their addresses so I could send them their papers.
Actually, it’s pretty easy to tell us apart. If you see the two of us together and one of us has a tool in his hand and is fixing something, that’s Greg. After that first meeting at Life on Wheels, Greg and Jan came to a couple of our Gypsy Journal rallies, but we were always so busy that there wasn’t much time for visiting.
Then one cold, rainy autumn morning at Elkhart Campground in Indiana they were parked right behind us. The wind blowing hard woke us up and I discovered that the water heater in our Winnebago had stopped working. I went outside and slogged through the puddle that we were parked in, opened the water heater access door and confirmed that yes, it was still there, and had not fallen prey to a wandering band of water heater thieves. So much for the easy solutions!
I’m nothing if not resourceful, so I did the next logical thing. I walked over to Greg’s motorhome and banged on the door. I figured that if I was going to be standing outside, ankle deep in cold rainwater, somebody should be keeping me company! Greg came outside with me, stared at the contraption for a few minutes, scratched his head and a couple of other things, and said “Yep, you’re right. It’s broke.” Thanks a lot, guy!
But then he tested this and tested that, and decided it was a bad thermo cut-out or some such thing and replaced it. I offered to pay him for his trouble but he wouldn’t take a penny, setting a precedent that has kept Greg busy and me solvent for a lot of years now. I figured that a guy who could fix things and worked for free was worth having around, and the rest is history.
That day set the pattern for our whole relationship. Here is Greg working on our motorhome’s batteries.
And here he is working on our leaking black water tank valve. That’s when you know who your real friends are!
This one is Greg replacing a relay in our rig. Doesn’t he look like he’s wishing he never answered the door when I knocked on that fateful day back in Elklhart?
Here he is trying to convince me it’s really easy to do simple things like checking the oil level on a diesel motorhome. At least that’s what he said, but what the hell is he planning to do with that electrical probe in his hand? Is that not a “who me?” expression on his face if there ever was one?
When we’re together we both wear that expression a lot. It’s like there is some sort of chemical reaction and we regress back to about junior high school. Seriously, it’s one step above “pull my finger” at best.
But it’s not like Greg spends every day fixing things for me. Sometimes he fixes things on his own coach. A few years ago we were camping at the Pima County Fairgrounds in Tucson and he pulled out of his site and forgot to unplug his 50 amp power cord, so he got to fix it. I’m always quick to point out somebody else’s flaws. (Yes, Greg, I am going to use that against you until the end of time.)
Yeah, I’m not ashamed to say I love the guy. Happy birthday, brother.
Okay, that walk down memory lane made me tired. Now it’s nap time.
Congratulations Tom Van de Bussche, winner of an audiobook of Ken Rossignol’s Pirate Trials: Famous Murderous Pirates Book Series: THE LIVES AND ADVENTURES of FAMOUS and SUNDRY PIRATES in our latest drawing. We had 75 entries this time around. Stay tuned, a new contest starts soon.
Thought For The Day – A good friend can finish your sentences. A best friend does the same thing, but makes it sound ten times funnier in the process.