Believe Me?

I wanted to get to the office products store. That's it. But I also needed to get gas. As always I knew there was a good reason for this side trip. This time it was an 84 year old superman. "Hello! Where are you headed?", I asked the old man. "I'm trying to get to Public Square. Are you headed there?" he asked. "Yes. Sure I am. Hop in."

I wasn't headed that way at all. But I knew I was suppose to talk to this man. I knew it the minute I saw him get out of the pickup truck that dropped him off at the gas station. His name was Michael.

We chit chatted about the weather and such for a few minutes. But I was curious. I always am when I'm around senior citizens.

He just got out of the Veterans hospital and was visiting a friend. "I was told I could get the #6 bus and it would take me into Public Square." he said.

"I waited two hours. I guess it ain't comin'!" He spoke to me about his 23 years as an Air Force pilot. Bombed Berlin. He served in England for a good portion of that time. I was overwhelmed with his story. I asked how he felt about killing people. He said it was part of his job. "My father told me not to think about it. But I can't help it." I thanked God for connecting me with him. He continued. Two of his sons were killed in Vietnam. He had eight children. How powerful! Just like it was in the old days, big families. For a period he played on a major hockey team out of Pittsburgh. My heart stopped. What a find Perks! Then spent 8 years with the Steelers. Wait a minute. What an incredible man. Why haven't we read about this great man living here in the Valley?

"Yes Buddy. I have lived a great life. No regrets." he continued.

"I also was in the Olympics." He smiled on that one. "I won the gold for speed skating."

Wait just one minute. "What year?" "1932"

I didn't even know if there was an Olympics that year. Did I find Superman or the Joker? I wanted so desperately to believe him. He could be. He might have. He told me thanks and God Bless you! How could he be lying to me. He was so polite.

I went home to check him out on the internet. Olympics speed skating, 1932. USA Gold medal. It wasn't Michael. Disappointment poured over my body. But then suddenly I stopped. So what? What was more important? Me thinking I found this incredible athlete and war hero or that I went out of my way to help an elderly man get home on a hot day.

He gave me something. He permitted me to get into his world whether he created it or lived it. In times like this where old men get beaten and robbed and strangers never stop to pick anyone up, two human beings shared a ten minute drive and a world of dreams. You can't pay for stuff like that.

You see, sometimes when it's really difficult and damn near impossible, the only thing that will keep you going is believing in things you can't out right prove. Like when I tell you how very important you are. How you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. That God has incredible plans for you. Believe me?

I still thank God for permitting me to meet Michael. And for giving me YOU!

~ Bob Perks ~

[ by: Bob Perks Copyright © 2008 ( -- {used with permission} ]

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