Monday, 12 March 2012

Not Fred

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?

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