Les tells of a new friend from across the sea.
Some five months ago I met someone from the U.S.A. a man not so many years younger than me. We "bonded" from day one. We had the same sense of humour and so on and when I discovered he was in the money lending business I at once "demanded" a loan of some 1500 dollars repayable in 25 years time when I would be 100 years old. Never a day went by that I didn't ask him, "When do I get my money"? I never did get it. I think I was told, "Your credit isn't good enough" or something like that.
He and his Wife were very religious; he told me they prayed everyday. I have never done that in my life, so in that sense, we were opposites. But then they do say that opposites attract. So what was the big deal? Why did we get on so well together? Why did we like each other which obviously we did? He wasn't perfect but then neither am I, so just what was the attraction? I spent far more time in his company than I did in his Wife's and yet what an attractive and charming Lady she was. In a way it didn't add up, yet the answer was simple. He was my kind of person, yes he was on holiday so he had plenty of time to "spread himself around", but he went out of his way to meet and make friends with people.
As a certain lady said, "He was very down to earth" and I believe from this man we can all learn so much. He asked me before he left for home to read a letter he had written and then send it to our village newsletter. After reading it, what was clear was that he had become very fond of, not just our village but also, it's people. Criticism was something which was not part of his make up which was a subject I could be well advised to address. And yet, since he was human, surely there had to be some people or places that he didn't like; but then so what, just how important is that?
The question I ask is, "Just what can we learn from someone like Allen Texan Jackson?" He was born in Texas and indeed that was his middle name, it could be that I shall never even see him again. He was a man who liked people and as a result that took him more than once to our Church, Chapel and our Sunday School Room, where every Monday morning refreshments are sold, proceeds to Church and Chapel. And just as important to him was the visits he made to our village pub and our social club.
On the last Sunday here he went to Church in the morning, and in the evening we both enjoyed snooker together in our club, and a few drinks as well.
I will always think of this man as someone far more religious than I will ever be, but a man who is convinced that God isn't just to be found at our Church or Chapel, but in places like our village pub and our club. And when more of us take on board that sort of thinking our Village and us will be all the better for it.