Thursday, June 09, 2011

West Side Encounter

Among the reasons Val and I love living on Buffalo's West Side are the seemingly everyday encounters which provide smiles.
As Walker Evans and I approached the end of our walk this morning, we had crossed Elmwood Avenue coming back home and were on West Utica Street between Ashland and Norwood Avenues. Walker is strolling slower as his arthritis and other conditions progress, but he still enjoys and demands his walks.
As we walked on the sidewalk, a woman came up from behind, just on the street, pulling her two-wheel wire basket cart with several bags in it; she had probably just been to PriceRite down the street.
She noted that Walker seemed to be setting his own pace and taking the walk where and when he wanted to; I laughed and agreed, noting that as he slowed down, he was more determined to go where he wanted to go, and that while our walks have become shorter, he always insists on them.
She then asked me how old he was; I told her Walker was 12 1/2 years old. She smiled and said that he was getting on in years but looked good for his age, and God bless him. She then added, "I see that as he walks slower and more deliberate as you say, that you two are walking exactly alike."
Instead of being offended or confused, I laughed and agreed with her, as she walked to the bus stop. Honestly, a couple of blocks before that, I thought to myself that as our walks went slower, that I was walking more like Walker in these jaunts, slower and with a very determined, small-stepped gait.
But when I go to the library, PriceRite or the pharmacy, I still walk rather fast and use my long stride. Some things never fully change.


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