He has on a button down shirt, a nice smile. He reminds me of someone.
We shake hands on introductions.
This is the first interview of the day and the hardest I would now say.
He's older, an elder. He's planning on going fishing and doing some chores on Christmas break. Semi-retired. He saved but also he's not in to spending so much.
He has advice.
"Kids are wise," he says.
His eyes are wise, I think.
"They are left on their own."
"But we were, too. Weren't we? I mean, we were out in the woods blazing trails as they would say. Mama had to call us in for supper. Right?"
He nods. Smiles.
"Kids are not out there like that."
"No. They're at home. But the internet. They can go anywhere they want."
This is the second of the four.
He's tall. Polite.
Again, the handshake.
The one photo I thought I had, it wasn't there.
"Dad is intelligent. Mom is independent."
This is the third.
Sits to my right, an athlete.
"Let's say the World Series is that. That thing, that place you see yourself. What if that doesn't happen? Where would you be then?"
It's the sickest interview question in the history of all interview questions to ask, and I just asked it.
I know it's sick, but it really is the question he's asking himself. I was just wondering what he was saying.
This is the last.
She is also the first of four, and what she has been is an example to the rest. A cheerleader, hair in a ponytail until she runs home to take it down for the impromptu photo session.
She is excited to be a nutritionist. She wants to work with cancer patients.
"From my Mom I learned to be a good listener. My Dad taught me strength."
What four people taught me today is that as much as things have changed, things haven't changed all that much.
(there's some comfort in that)
Today I am grateful for the chance to shake hands with four strangers, to ask them personal questions and have them answer me. I am grateful for a group of kids who sang and danced and raised their hands and yes, complete insanity.