|Photo courtesy Pixabay|
I worked for a small landscape maintenance company in the Toronto area years ago. The intention was to become one of the core employees and work with them year round instead of being seasonal help. For that reason I was an early hire that year. The partners were two brothers. The one was serious all the time and the other could find the humour in anything.
Some of the people we hired that spring were – unique. One in particular will live on in my memory forever. I remember when he came in for his interview. In walks a small mountain man. Long wavy mane of unkempt dark hair with a matching beard. Closest thing I'd ever seen in real life to Cousin Itt from the Addam's Family. Not very much face apparent in between all that hair.
After he leaves, partner number two come out of the office, “See that guy I just hired? Guess what his name is?”
We responded with arched eyebrows not sure we should ask.
“Harry!” and he laughed himself almost to tears.
Harry turned out to be one of the best workers they hired that spring. He was flying as straight as his individualism allowed. He'd given up drugs and alcohol years before and unlike some of the other guys, didn't have to report to his parole officer after work. We ribbed him mercilessly about his appearance and lifestyle, which he took well and gave as good as he got. You can take the boy out of the country but you can't take the country out of the boy definitely applied in his case. I liked him.
One of his moments that summer stands out from all the rest. We were cutting the lawn, cleaning up and doing trimming around a good size office complex with large reflective glass windows. The people inside could see out but we couldn't see in. Well Harry had an urge and since there were no bathrooms handy he “concealed” himself amoung some shrubbery and took a leak. We got a complaint from some secretarial pool over that. We were in tears, every time it was mentioned, for weeks.
We all found him so uniquely weird and likeable at the same time. We were in for a surprise though. Harry rushed home after work one day as we finished up putting all the tools away. A passerby ran over just after Harry left and asked us, “Hey was that Harry Jones (last name changed)?”
“Yeah. You know him?”
“Naw. I know his brother Dave. Looks just like him.”
We all just gaped at each other speechless. There couldn't be more than one.