Sherpa Guide

“It’s hard to be a person who never gives up.” – Babe Ruth

6 P.M. St Francis.

Picked up a guy for a ride to the main entrance.

He was there to visit his 84-year-old mother.

She had fallen while getting out of bed and hurt her hip.

He said her bed is really high.

How high is it?

It is so high she needs a Sherpa guide to climb into it.

In spite of myself, I laughed.

“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first– Mark Twain

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Jillian The Britt

“So many people are concerned with being the perfect something. I don’t want to be the perfect anything.” – Halsey

5 PM.

Late shift at St Francis. Main entrance. Rain. Fog. 47 degrees. Raw.

An elderly lady climbs in the shuttle.

Good evening.

Hi.

Where would you like to go?

To my car in P2.

We begin our journey.

I hear an accent. Mind if I ask where you’re from?

England originally.

Thought so. Never been there but I love much about England. Two of my favorite people in the world are English.

Really. Who might they be?

Winston Churchill and Sarah Brightman.

Yes. Winston was a great man. The world could use a man like that right now.

Yes he was and yes it could.

Who was the other person you mentioned?

Sarah Brightman. You know her?

No. Is she still alive?

Yes. She’s a vocalist. She was married to Andrew Lloyd Weber, one of the greatest composers who ever lived. In my humble opinion. He wrote Cats and Phantom of the Opera just to name a few.

He composed his musicals for her. Anyway, God blessed her with a beautiful voice and the ability to sing like no other.

She is my favorite of all time. She sings and I escape to a parallel world.

So how did you end up in Tulsa, OK?

It’s a long story.

I’m all ears.

Well….my father was an officer in the English Army and we’ve lived all over the world.

Cool. So have I. What countries have you lived in?

China. Germany. India. My earliest memory is of Singapore.

Wow. Singapore.

I was very young but I do remember we got on the last ship out as WWII began.

After America entered the war, I remember, as a little girl, we would watch the American G.I.s as they walked by. We would ask them for chocolate and they always had some to give us kids. One time I ran into our house and told my parents I was going to marry an American.

When I was eighteen I fell in love with an American Sergeant. When my Dad learned that we planned to marry my very proper English Officer Dad was horrified. But he’s only a Sergeant. And an American at that. You can’t.

But I could and I did. We honeymooned in Paris. How neat is that!

We migrated to Arkansas and eventually Tulsa.

Do you ever go back to visit?

Several times but I’m always glad to come back to America. I love this country.

So do I.

“I love to laugh. It’s the only way to live and enjoy each day.” – Doris Day

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People and Their Toys

“Be nice to jerks because we still don’t know the criteria for getting into heaven” – Maya Rudolph

I got a call from the main entrance to take a lady to her car.

Arrived at the entrance and an elderly lady with a big smile got in the shuttle.

Along the way, we made small talk. She was engaging and I thoroughly enjoyed the repartee.

The garage holds 800 automobiles. As we approached it I asked her the make and color of her car.

Silver Mercedes sedan she replied. It’s parked in the fourth row against the back wall.

I navigated the twists and turns and shortly arrived at a beautiful, silver, sparkling new Mercedes sedan.Image result for pics of 2019 mercedes benz

Wow. I love Mercedes cars and I’m sure I began to turn green with envy.

That is a beautiful car. How do you like it?

It’s OK.

Just OK I asked dumbfounded. Just OK? Are you kidding me?

It gets me around but I liked my BMW better. I should have bought another one.

And then there was Cindy from Arkansas. What a hoot she was.

As I was taking her to her car, she regaled me with tales of cruising the hills of Oklahoma in her Lexus hard top convertible.

 

Image result for lexus hardtop convertible 2018

I only have to push one button to lower the top. Then I crank up my Country music and hit the road.

Hope I run into her again. She was fun.

Oh yes……her husband was in the hospital recovering from a motorcycle accident.

I wonder….would these ladies be interested in tales of cruising Tulsa in my Chevy Malibu?

“If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.” – Lao Tzo

 

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Call Security

“Sometimes you just need a break, in a beautiful place, alone, to figure everything out.”

I got a call to pick up this guy at the Emergency Center. This is a take them to their car 99% of the time.

This rough-looking man crawls into the shuttle. Looks to be in his late sixties or early seventies.

Where do you want to go my friend?

To the Children’s Hospital.

Whoops. OK. Because the Hospital is so huge, often people park in the wrong garage and end up leaving themselves a very long walk to their destination. In these situations it is best to have them follow me to the parking garage close to where they need to go.

So I ask him where he parked.

I didn’t. I don’t have a car. I walked to the hospital.

I ponder that for a minute.

Mind if I ask how far?

Five miles.

Five miles. Why?

I had a heart attack.

I’m beginning to suspect a line of B.S. is flowing my way. No one in their right mind has a heart attack and walks five miles to a hospital.

How do you know you had a heart attack?

I’ve had five of them. I know a heart attack.

Wow. My mind is racing. This guy had a heart attack and walked five miles to the Emergency Center. Now he wants to go to the Children’s Hospital.

Shouldn’t you be back at the Emergency Center? Why do you want to go to the Children’s Hospital?

I got tired of waiting. Besides, I want to see my grandson before he dies.

At this point I start to doubt my hearing. Did I just hear what I heard?

What? Wait a minute. How old is your Grandson?

Four years old.

Oh man. How to react to that. He seems so sincere. Either this guy is the world’s biggest B.S. artist or one of its most unfortunate souls.

I kind of meekly ask…what is he dying of?

Something to do with his stomach.

We arrive at the Children’s Hospital. As he disappears through the doors I don’t know whether to feel sadness or call Security.

As I continue to prowl the hospital grounds, in a garage near the main entry, five cops have a man in handcuffs.

Is this a hospital or a circus? Hey God……are you pranking me?

 

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” – Willie Nelson

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Hospital Food and Strange People

“Everybody’s a teacher if you listen.” – Doris Roberts

The following is true. It really happened.

Often, while driving the shuttle, I’ll park by the main entrance for a few minutes to offer anyone leaving a ride to their parked vehicle or other parts of the hospital.

Recently I chanced upon this lady. She appeared to be 70 ish, dressed to the nines, and in good health. We’ll call her Ruth. She emerged from the entrance with a big smile and holding a large plastic bag full of something.

Ma’am…do you need a ride today?

She gives me a big smile and says her car is just right there but thanks anyway as she walks away.

Suddenly she stops and comes back to my vehicle.

Have you ever tasted the Chicken N Dumplings and Carrot Cake they serve here?

No, I haven’t.

You should be arrested.

Laughing, I ask her why?

She sticks her head in my window…. She holds up the plastic bag and forcefully states, this is the best Chicken N Dumplings and Carrot Cake on the planet.

Taken aback I say I’ve always heard hospital food is horrible.

This is not hospital food. This is hospital Cafeteria food.

I pause. So you were not a patient or visiting one?

No. I drove 60 miles from Claremore to get this for my husband.

Where’s your husband?

He’s on the other side of town at St John’s hospital.

So you drove from Claremore just to get the Chicken N Dumplings and Carrot Cake here at St Francis hospital and now you’ll drive to St Johns, where your husband is a patient, just to deliver them to him.

Yes. And then I’m driving back to Claremore.

Wow. Your husband is a lucky man.

Yes, he is. And try the Chicken N Dumplings and Carrot Cake.

You are starting to scare me. I will surely try them. I promise.

“Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.– Ernest Hemmingway

 

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Between Jobs

“Age is something that doesn’t matter. Unless you are a cheese.”

 

Hello.

Morning Cliff. How are you doing?

Fine. You?

Concerned. Seems like friends and family are dying at an alarming rate.

I know what you mean. Have you noticed the trend?

Not sure what you mean. What trend?

At some point in life you look in the mirror and suddenly realize you are old. You look like your Dad.

Well………..yes. I suppose so.

Then you retire.

Then you die.

Ok.

Don’t you see it? The chain? Old…retire…die.

Ok. So what.

The secret to a long life is to break the chain.

How?

I’m now officially BETWEEN JOBS. Not retired. BETWEEN JOBS. That breaks the chain.

My brain hurts Cliff. Talk to you next week.

 

“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”

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First Rock N Roll music

“If I’m not working on something, I literally just sit and think, which I don’t think is productive.” – Adam Driver

During a conversation with my wife and daughter, the subject of the first Rock N Roll song came up.

What was it?

It was probably some obscure Black gospel type thing. Gaby recalls the first Rock n Roll song she remembers hearing was Rock Around the Clock.

I clearly remember the first time I heard Rock N Roll. It was 1956. I was 13. My brother and I were searching the air waves in rural South Carolina just out of curiosity. Just passing time.

Suddenly, a sound we’d never heard before. Did not know it then, but it proved to be the first Rock N Roll music we ever heard.

Our reaction was immediate. WOW. That was different. What is this?

Most of my generation were there at the beginning. Do you remember?

”Songs are a funny thing. I always believed that the right song at the right moment could change history.” – Pete Seeger

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A Father’s Love

“Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.”

Sitting on a park bench, enjoying the warmth of the noonday sun.

Shortly, a man and his young son sat on a bench close by.

The rhythm of their conversation was soothing and, while the words were lost in the wind, it was obvious they were discussing pleasant things. The scene and tones further soothed my soul.

And in a while, with tears in his eyes, the man lovingly hugged and kissed his young son.

I tried to turn away, not wanting to intrude on this private moment. I could not.

The son asked, “Daddy why are you crying”?

Son, there will come a time when you will not want me to kiss and hug you. I want you to have these good moments to remember. Someday you’ll remember this and know in your heart that your father loved you. This is the greatest gift I can give to you.

With a heavy heart, I turned away.

 “Music……it’s pure and it’s real. It moves, it heals, it communicates and does all these incredible things.” – Tom Petty

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Needle In A Haystack

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” – Albert Einstein

On the job. Phone rings. Pick up at North entrance. Guy needs help finding his car.

The North entrance is the furthest point from my current position.

Drove there.

Guy hobbles up to my van on crutches and clutching a key.

Hops in. Points key at me and says “Need to find my car”.

I stare at him expecting more info. Like vehicle description. Maybe which garage he parked it in. Something.

A long moment of silence.

Finally, I asked “that’s it? There are 4,500 possible locations around this hospital. Do you at least know which parking garage? A possible starting point?”

He gets huffy. I was having a heart attack when I got here. A security guard parked my car. I don’t know where.

I’m thinking this guy is a whack job. So you drove yourself here while having a heart attack. Correct?

Yes.

You probably drove to the emergency room entrance. Then, while you were wheeled into the emergency room, a security guard parked your car. Does that sound right?

Yes.

I think I know where it is.

Drove to the garage and there, on the second level, is the guy’s car.

He thanks me profusely and hops out.

I am a miracle worker.

Should have bought a lottery ticket that day.

“When I see friends from school, I think they’ve all grown old and I’ve stayed the same.” – Steve Coogan

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The Hospital

“Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” – Ernest Hemmingway

 

Several months ago I took a part-time job driving a shuttle for a local hospital in Tulsa.

I thought it would be a benign, brain dead affair. Driving people to and from their parked cars.  All on the hospital grounds.

Six parking garages with as many as 6 levels. A possible 4,800 parking slots. 6 different hospital buildings. At least 30 acres in all.

A big campus. The geography is such a good GPS is a must.

Well….soon it became obvious that, while mild in nature, it has its moments.

Such as:

Got a call to pick up a lady at the main entrance.

Good afternoon. Where do you want to go?

To my car but I’m not sure where I parked it.

Hmm. Well….was it a top level or below?

Top level for sure.

Car and color?

White Lexus.

Your visit purpose?

What do you mean?

Were you visiting someone or was this personal?

To visit my mom. She was admitted yesterday.

After you parked your car, how long was your walk to the hospital?

Not very long at all.

(These questions are designed to give me an idea of where to start looking)

After 30 minutes of futile search, it became obvious she didn’t have a clue.

I decided to begin a macro search. Looking everywhere.

Descending down to the lower levels she insisted she had parked it on the top level.

We’ve searched the top levels. It was not there. Therefore, it has either been stolen or is on one of the lower levels.

As I descended she exclaimed, what are you doing? It’s not down here.

Work with me.

30 minutes in we found the car. It was on the lowest level. And it was not white. It was silver.

But it was a Lexus.

This scenario happens every day. Several times a day.

And it is not gender-specific.

So I’ve learned how to tell someone they are dumber than a fence post without creating a scene.

 

“If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat. Just get on.” – Sheryl Sandberg

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