Lunch today was at the Diocese of South West Florida’s Camp and Conference Centre, on the Manatee River up in Ellenton FL – some 18 miles from my home.
‘Twas the annual lunch for retired Clerics and their spouses - a nice gift from the Diocesan staff to we “old farts” – the retired deacons and priests who serve in various parishes in this neck of the woods.
We were served an excellent meal. I enjoyed sitting at table with three folks I know quite well, and another four other folks who I did not know so well.
Apres lunch I spotted my good friend and former colleague Fred Emrich who was seated at another table. He was engaged across his table in conversation with another retiree.
I approached Fred from behind and tickled his back. As he turned his head I said “it is great to see you here”. He responded likewise.
Then a light dawned for me.
It was not Fred.
It was another retired Priest, a man whom I’d never met before. And he had never previously met me!
We kept up the charade. He was happy to receive my greeting. I was happy to hear his response.
But he was not Fred!
I wonder about two things:
1 Who the heck was he?
2 Is he even now wondering why I greeted him with such enthusiasm?