Extraordinary Stories

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Saturday, October 29, 2016

The "Faces Of Strangers: #41" Story

Effem "Egghead" Stubbs
It was an ordinary day.  Walking into the Grace Bay Supermarket on Leeward Highway in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, when this fellow who was sitting close to the entrance smiled at me and said, "You look a spry 35 years old today, Sir." I smiled at him and continued to follow my wife into the supermarket.  Once inside I decided I needed to call the car rental company and tell them I had just run over a curb in the parking lot of the supermarket and that the tire was now flat and I had damaged the hubcap.  Talked to Amos, who had rented me the car about 15 minutes ago, and walked back outside to wait for him to arrive.  As I exited the supermarket I saw the fellow who had talked to me before and walked his direction.  Introduced myself and started a conversation with him to kill some time until Amos arrived.  Guy's name was Effem Stubbs and he had been born on the island 37 years ago.  Very likeable fellow and I immediately knew I was in for a real treat.  Effem had been in a severe automobile accident in his late teens and had been severely injured.  "My own fault since I wasn't wearing a seat belt.  I spent quite a bit of time in the hospital and then spent the next couple of years on my back with what they thought was a spinal injury.  Then they realized it was a brain injury that affected motion in my back and after some time I was able to walk again.  Eventually traveled to the States to study Architecture in college.  Was back on the island for a visit when I was in another accident and injured again."  The entire time Effem was telling me his story he was commenting to customers entering the store.  "Sweetheart, you look fabulous today," he said to one young woman.  To another woman he said, "You don't look a day over 20 today."  Effem is now 37 years old and this personable guy still has some physical problems that prevents him from working.  His main reason for being at the store is to ask for financial help.  I said to him, "Allow me to take your photo and I'll donate to your rehab."  Gave me a good pose just as Amos arrived in his pickup truck.  Amos and Effem were good friend I found out and after showing Amos where I was parked, he followed me in his truck to my rental car.  "You know Effem?" I asked Amos.  "Sure, but I call him "Egghead".  We've been good friends for years.  Nice guy who's had plenty of bad luck during his life."  Well, the tire only needed air and the hubcap had already been damaged.  Lucky me.  I thanked Amos and told him I was sorry to bother him and made my way back toward Effem.  "He told me your name's Egghead," I said to him.  Brought a big laugh as he called out to another young woman.  I thanked him for his conversation and headed back into the store to see what my wife had in the shopping cart by then.  My day had been a success already having gained a new friend in Effem.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

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