Happy Saturday to all, wherever you call home. I write you this afternoon from the public library in downtown Rochester, New york. I arrived here yesterday evening from Castle Corners, Vermont, after a long four hour drive through
the beautiful upstate New York countryside. As you know I now passed the halfway point of my journey and I am heading mostly west as I weave through the heart of the Midwestern states for the next couple of months. I really enjoyed the New England area, although
it did have its challenging aspects and frustrating moments, it ended up well after all. I could have not had a better time closing out the region than what I just experienced in Vermont, and this is how it went down.
Vermont was the last of the New
England states remaining and proving to be the most difficult to score a gig, after two and a half weeks in the area. Once I completed Maine last Saturday, I headed back to Enfield, N.H. the next morning with Charlene and Michael Mehegan. I spent all Sunday
in search of something to come my way in the Green Mountain state. There was very little to nothing in the CL, with the exception of a gig up in the St. Johnsbury area and another in Williston. I inquired about both and still emailed a couple more longshot
ads. After a nice dinner so lovingly prepared by Charlene, Michael and I sat to watch some NFL on the tube. Still I continued to scan my phone for any responses or anything new that might pop up. The Johnsbury man responded, but couldn’t confirm the
job until sometime Monday, he said. Then I decided to think outside of the box.
I checked the ‘Domestics’ section in the gigs page on the CL, now feeling the desperation starting to set in. One ad posted caught my attention. It was a poster
looking for a person to give him Spanish lessons $15 an hour. I thought maybe they might be looking for a professor/teacher type of person to help with some homework or business. I’m not a teacher, I realized, but I am fluent in my native tongue. Not
at a university level of course, but more importantly, on a practical street language dialogue that is far more useful to the common business or tourist person I thought. What the heck, what do I have to lose I felt, so I emailed the person and went to bed,
as usual, unsure of what the next day would bring.
By morning I decided to head to Burlington, the largest city, thinking that would position me more centrally and I had the Home Depot to fall back on, it nothing came through. As I sipped my last cup
of Joe with Charlene, I received a reply via email, from Adam who posted the Spanish lessons. He sent me his business address and phone number and asked me to call him. There I was once again standing on the fork in the road trying to decide which road to
take? Should I go to St Johnsbury to the north where it seemed more secure, Burlington to the Northwest or the Rutland area and a tutoring gig to the west? I called the number to speak to Adam and the business was still close. On pure gut instinct, I chose
the latter. I fueled up and headed west, without making contact with my student! I figured if it didn’t pan out, I could detour north to Burlington. After an hour or so Adam returned my call. I pulled over and redialed. I told him I could drop by and
we could speak about the gig but that I was still a couple of hours away from his location. I then sent him my web address so he could see what I was all about, while I made my way to him. He agreed and off I went down the beautiful state route #4, excited
about the opportunity to finish off the northeast with a unique job!
I arrived at the Vapor Store in Castle Corners, which Adam owns, Monday afternoon and met him in person. He by that time had already checked out my website and knew all about my tour
and adventures so far. He simply googled my name from my email address and it took him directly there. He was a young and friendly guy I felt and asked him the reason for his interest in the Spanish lessons. He told me he had recently spent some time in Ecuador,
South America and was planning to move back, so he wanted to work on his Spanish while his business sold and he could return permanently, better prepared to speak the local language. But before we could come to any talk about lessons he threw out a better
option for the both of us.
Since his business is for sale, he also needed some help with his house, to ready it for the eventual sale and move to Ecuador. So instead of Spanish lessons, he felt, I could be of better use to him with some home improvements!
He had looked at my array of skills on the website and since I don’t look much like a professor, he figured I was probably a better tradesman than a tutor. For my part, I wasn’t disappointed, I was just thrilled to have an opportunity to
earn money and kiss Vermont adios! So much for my teaching career, the degree I earned on the streets of South Tucson will just have to wait until I get hired from some obscure institution of average learning, sometime in the not so near future. On top of
that, Adam offered to give me a room in the 220 year old house to stay, along with his teenage daughter, while I worked on the drywall. A break from the backseat and truck stops! The deal was made and I returned later that afternoon to follow him home a few
miles up the road to his residence, near the beuatiful lake Bomoseen area.
I spent the next four and a half days doing not one my favorite trades, but you couldn’t tell by the ease and tranquil working mode I was in. Adam did everything possible
to make me feel at home and never question any of my work during the entire process. A fine cook, he prepared dinner a couple of nights and even allowed me the kitchen and the opportunity to showcase my culinary skills with a couple of Mexican dishes on two
Adam, a single father, along with Cianna his daughter, made me feel like an old friend visiting for a few days, not a hired hand. Adam studied law and has a good head on his shoulders. We sat at the table for hours discussing everything
from politics to religion, family and the ways of love and life, both in Vermont and in my part of the world. His ex and mine are both from Vermont, so you can bet we had quite a conversation about that topic! I was amazed at his good nature and sense of humor
with every aspect of life, but mostly with the hospitality which he so warmly extended to a stranger he had never heard of just a week ago! Who does that these days anymore? I’m sure he will do fine with his dream of moving to South America someday.
By Friday morning I was done with both rooms and we ate lunch and said our good byes. He paid me the agreed wage and wished me continued success on my journey. He is the best Vermonter I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, bar none.
the end, he didn’t learn much Spanish from the gig guy, but the way he treated me and others, I believe will come back to him many times over in the future. Life has a way of making sure that good is rewarded with good for those who extend it from the
heart, regardless of age, race or any other feature that separates one person from another. Thanks Adam and Cianna for a wonderful four days in your presences, I will always remember Castle Corners, Vermont!
And thanks to you who follow the gigs
guy around! Adios amigos, que les vaya bien!