Thursday, November 29, 2007

With a little help from my friends (1)

Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly.
Then heigh-ho! the holly!
This life is most jolly.

Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
That dost not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot:
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As friend remember'd not.
Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly.
Then heigh-ho! the holly!
This life is most jolly.

"As You Like It, II. vii." by William Shakespeare

Mein lieber Freund Wilhelm and I have known one another for over thirty years. In a very German way way, we are soulmates (my Grandma's name was Wilhelmina). Willi stops by my office once in a while to see if I need to buy something he sells, to speak German, to compare notes, mostly about religion, politics, business, sometimes about Schalke 04 or Rot-Weiss Essen. Willi's bobber is always floating. The man is amazing. I seldom need to buy anything, but usually do.

I thought about Willi last week, around Thanksgiving. I had not seen him for months. I was concerned. Yesterday Willi walked into my office. "Guten Tag Lazarus." Willi smiled. His wife had suffered a stroke. She had made a miraculous recovery. She was out in the van, waiting for him. Willi's prayers could heal anyone. Willi fears God. In the end, Willi even believes there will be hope for everybody, even me.

"So?" Willi asked.
"Will America follow Germany's example and elect a woman President?" I ask.
"You always know just what buttons to push. Don't get me going on this! This country is so great, but so messed up!"
"With all your good German common sense Willi, would you run for President?"
"Of course."
"Could I take your photograph to get your campaign going?"
"Of course."
"Campaign slogan "So great, but so messed up?"
"Of course."

Willi would get my vote.

1 comment:

Dietmar Bethge said...

Onkel Jim,
I did not know you had more friends with good taste in soccer!! Blau und WeiƟ ein Leben lang!

You people live in a great country, cherish that treasure!

See you after Christmas,
Dietmar