The Old Fellow on the Bike Path: A Sequel

back view of a person riding a bike near the white cherry blossom trees
Photo by 김 대정 on

Back in June, I wrote about the old fellow on the bike path. I’d see him walking in the morning, a tall, lanky fellow with a handlebar mustache that reminds me of the actor Sam Elliot. And then for a time I wouldn’t see him. I would always grow a little uneasy when that happened. When I finally would see him again, I was always put at ease. Most mornings, on my walk, I see him, me heading one way and he the other. It always feels like a good morning when I see him.

On Monday, Kelly and I took a late morning walk over to the grocery store. We were out of bread and it was beautiful out so we decided to walk. We were walking along the bike path, holding hands as we usually do, and in the distance, I spotted the old fellow walking in our direction. I pointed this out to Kelly. She’s heard me come home from my morning walks saying, “I didn’t see the old guy today,” or “Said hello to the old fellow today.”

As we approached him, he waved and said, “I always like seeing people holding hands.” Kelly, who is the more outgoing of the two of us, then introduced herself. We learned the old fellow’s name; I’ll call him Henry here. We stood chatting on the bike path for about ten minutes. We learned he’s in his mid-80s. We learned about his family and a little of his background. He’s lived in the neighborhood for just about 50 years. He learned our names. We also learned that we enjoy the same restaurants and he suggested we all get together and go for dinner at some point. It was wonderful.

Since then, each morning I’ve seen him, and instead of just waving and saying good morning, Henry stops and say, “Hi, Jamie!” Yesterday we chatted for a few minutes. This morning, when I saw him, he gave me his card, and reminded me that we should go out to the restaurant at some point. I’m looking forward to that. More than that, however, I’m just looking forward to seeing Henry on my walk tomorrow morning. And the next morning. And the next.

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