Last night after running an errand to the west side Kroger, I stopped in the ol' Forest Park Dairy Queen for a dipped cone.
"Hmm. That looks like Mr. Baughman, my sophomore year driving instructor."
I order. I study him some more. It was the early '80s but, yes, pretty sure that's him.
"Here's your cone!"
"Excuse me, are you Mr. Baughman?"
Curious look, ""Why, yes I am..."
"I'm Morgan Young. You taught me how to drive. Thank you very much."
Huge smile now, "Well that must have been a few years ago!"
"Just a few ;-)"
Still with a huge smile that's nearly a laugh, "Thank you for saying something--thank you for remembering!"
"Thank you for teaching me, Mr. Baughman."
When I had walked in, he looked so old and serious. Intent. Unemotional. Alone.
When I walked out he had the look of an excited school boy on his face. Genuine joy. Happiness. He was known. Appreciated.
As I stood there eyeing the menu and Mr. Baumann, I kept wondering if I should say something or just let it go. As I drove away I was so glad I had uttered those few words and given that tiny bit of time to him.
How many more chances will I get to thank teachers who taught me in school? How many more times will men and women like Mr. Baughman get thanked for what they gave their lives to?
The power of the human touch is so powerful. I saw Mr. Baughman's face and emotions transformed...all because of a silly dipped cone. Life is in the details, friends.