free wishes

There's a guy around town we call Jogger John. Because he runs, everywhere. He's one of the local street people who's been here forever, and people tell of being out on dark country roads in the middle of the night, far from the middle of town, and having John run by.
              John keeps the town streets clean. Not in any official capacity that I know of, but he's always out there sweeping and moving trash into the proper receptacles from where lazy people dropped it when they were done. The local eateries give him coffee and food when he comes in, but he never stays with it, always takes it outside, weather or season no matter. He keeps their storefronts clean and is always happy to do a requested odd job.
              I was sitting on the patio of yum yum noodle bar a few days ago, before they were open, receiving donations to bring to the people of Windham who lost so much in the recent hurricane, and John came by and said hello and went inside. He came out a minute later and asked, "Want half a flower?" holding out an orange bloom missing half its petals. I told him that I'd love half a flower, and asked what happened to the other half? "I was making wishes, and stopped halfway through" he explained. "Did they come true?" I inquired. His eyes widened and he whispered, "I was dumbfounded." Then he placed the half-bloom on top of a pink flower growing in the patio flower garden, and ran away.
              Say what you want about people like John, but for me, I think the world needs more people willing to give half their wishes away.


  1. Amazing! I saw him in that parking lot off Tannery Brook Road on the same day, in the spot where you can see the back of the shops with the mountains in the distance. I only mentally snapped a photo and wanted to tell my daughter who he was. I love that he is still there.

  2. I love this. And I thought running was a solitary sport. Rethinking everything.

  3. John is a very giving Person & always there to Help People even when he doesn't have much himself. I'm glad to say,he is one of my Friends.

  4. I still have a small paper plate with a rose drawn on it that he gave me one spring morning in 1986. He'd just run in from Tannersville, a mere 40 minute drive. John is one of a kind.
    Such a great story sis.

  5. Wow, glad you held on to it. He is truly a civic treasure.