Many interesting people come through our area. Young and old, rich and not so much, interesting and bland, Black and White, Hispanic Americans, Texans, Cajuns…………………you name it……..they’ve come through our area.
Most we know only well enough to wave at but, now and then, a spark of friendship ignites.
Dimas is one of those guys and his story is interesting. I’ve known him for a couple of months and at first he always seemed to be on a downer. You know, someone with a frown all the time. Never a smile.
“Then why the frown? You never smile and it gets me down. Smile. That’s it. You’ve got a great smile. Love that smile.”
Sometimes we get in funks and don’t even realize it. Dimas was in a funk and after that conversation I noticed a change in Dimas. He smiled more as he came through the gate. And I’d tell him “Morning Dimas……good to see ya”. I looked forward to seeing him and I think he liked visiting us.
The other day Dimas even brought us breakfast. Amazing what a smile can do. Dimas puts that smile on his face and he feels good. He can’t help it. It’s impossible to feel bad with a smile on your face.
5 am. “Morning Dimas. What you doing here so early?”
“I’m on call 24/7. They call……I got to go.”
By way of explanation………Dimas is an electrician and along with his cohort is responsible for all things electrical on the job. If it’s electrical and it breaks, he’s got to fix it.
“24/7. Kind of tough isn’t it?”
“Well I’ve been doing this for 23 years so I’m used to it. Besides, the money is good.”
“Wow….23 years. Long time.”
“Yes. And I’ve been all over the world in the process. I’ve worked rigs in the middle East, Europe, India, South America and the far East.”
“What is your favorite place of all?”
“Of all the places I’ve been…(and here he looked me in the eye)….this country, the U.S., is the greatest country on the planet. There is no other country like this.”
Dimas is a Hispanic American and speaks with a slight accent. English was not his first language. When he spoke those words of praise for our country they carried extra weight. He’s seen the world. He knows the truth.
Later, as I thought about our conversation, I choked up. You had to be there. You had to hear the love in his voice, see the pride is his eyes and the smile on his face as he spoke about America, our country.