Something I don’t hear often

I met this man when I saw him caring for his impeccably kept automobile in a quiet Tacoma parking lot.  He had all the doors open and was going over it inside and out.  It was already much cleaner than my car.  Somewhere in our conversation I asked if I could take his picture.  “Now that’s a question I don’t hear very often,” he said.  He obliged; even moved to the other side of the car to help me take advantage of the better lighting.

His jacket revealed him to be a veteran and he told me a little about his tour of Vietnam courtesy of the Johnson administration — not much, but enough to reveal to me that it was still with him in some ways.  I thanked him for the photo and, as I was leaving, thanked him for his service. He echoed his earlier statement: “Now that’s something I don’t hear very often either.”

(Tacoma, July 2014)