I Know A Guy In The News

As I have mentioned, I have been known to click crime stories in Milwaukee or St. Louis to see if I knew any of the participants, and once in a while, I would. Well, I have been out of those cities for over a decade or two these days, and most of the guys from the projects or the trailer parks who had gotten on the wrong side of the law have probably died by now.

But here in Springfield, if I click through a story, if I know someone, it’s probably on a positive story. Like Gyms in the Ozarks returning to normal as pandemic restrictions end. I clicked through to see if it was a gym I’d recognize (basically, Planet Fitness on Republic Road, the parks’ Chesterfield or Kinney Family Center, or the downtown or Pat Jones YMCA).

And so it was–it was the Pat Jones YMCA, where I work out. So then I watched to see if I knew anyone there. Or see if I made an appearance, although I would not immediately recognize the old man I am in photographs but not the mirror.

I didn’t recognize anyone working out–the bit was not filmed at my normal time, 8am to 9am on weekdays, or I would have recognized many of the older people who have been working out there for years in the mornings. Like me–almost a decade now, off and on, at roughly the same time in the mornings (although I am probably going to switch to afternoons soon, as I will not make a daily run into Springfield to drop a child off at the Lutheran school there).

I didn’t recognize any of the staff–the CEO of the YMCA was interviewed, not any of the front desk people or trainers that I see around.

However, I did recognize the young man they interviewed. Well, no, I recognized the name and then the young man.

He and his mother and father studied at my dojo; they were a couple of months ahead of us. When they reached their black belts, the mother dropped, and then the father and son came sparingly, and then the son dropped, and then the father came on his own a couple of times before dropping. It’s a common pattern amongst families, one I’m trying to avoid.

Of course, I did not recognize the guy because it’s been five years, and he’s grown up a bit in the interim and grew some facial hair. But working off the name, I recognized him.

Between my martial arts classes and the church, I end up recognizing a far better class of people in the news these days.

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