My Rare Gem: A Short Story about Johnny Barnes
I did something different today. It wasn’t a big accomplishment like Nahki Wells scoring a goal, or being chosen for some award. It was a lot simpler than that, I just spent time with Johnny Barnes
Being a St Georgian, I don't really get to see him. Most of my days are travelled via the North Shore buses to and from work. Today was different and I finally had the chance to see him and really thought about just saying Hi to him. I had always wondered how or why does he do this for Bermuda. My mind curiously craves the answer, and I know I am not the only Bermudian that ask themselves this.
I visited him today, and it was pleasant being there. I've always just spoke to him while in passing, but this morning I thought it'll be nice to share my story with everyone on Snapchat. I’d admit I was a bit apprehensive at first as I walked up to him. I said, “Hi,” and he replied back with his infectious old smile. I said “I'd like to take a video of you greeting everyone.” His smile widened again and said “sure” .seeming delighted by thought of sharing love even further than to the common passer-by’s. We talked a bit. He’s such a sweet man, asking me if I was in school or working, talking to me as if we were lifelong friends. He is real easy to talk too. We chatted for a few more moments. I remember the morning he wasn't there. I can remember the gut feeling of being lightly upset because my rare gem wasn’t there. Most people know of him and won't wave because he's there all the time... like you know, it's not that special. I felt privileged to be there talking with him – not everyone does.
After about ten minutes, he then realized he needed to go back to waving. I chuckled. He really is a sweet man and he really takes his job seriously. Before continuing my commute into Hamilton he gave me a signed postcard and asked if I know that he loves me very much. I nodded, and then gave him a hug. I wished my rare gem a great day and then walked the rest of the way to work smiling...