Though I was a young man the old guy treated me as though I was much older and wiser than he, asking questions and seeking my thoughts and even my opinion on certain matters. Very little of the conversation do I recall since more than a few decades have passed from that time to now, but strangely my memory of the moment remains with a warm feeling. I did not know his age except my father lovingly referred to him as the Old Man. If I had the talent I could paint a portrait of him, eyes alert as any I have ever seen. I liked him.
I stopped by to see my dad in his office that day and he happened not to be there but the Old Man, a business associate of my father, was available. I, for some reason or other, took a seat and struck up a conversation, the first and maybe the only real visit he and I had. Mr. Mac, I called him, a name obviously shortened from his birth name.
The visit had almost a magical quality to it. I remember commenting several times afterward to my dad and others in our family how Mr. Mac and I had found common ground on which to visit. Honestly, I think I was surprised how easy it was to actually carry on a conversation with a gentleman of his age, a person of vastly superior experience in life. The greater discovery was how many questions a man of his caliber could ask of so young a person as I. He made me feel important.
It was October, of that I am certain, and after about an hour or so visiting I began my goodbyes to Mr. Mac. Suddenly, from seemingly nowhere came the thought I expressed aloud. I said, (and I do clearly remember this) “Mr. Mac, there will be snow on the ground on my birthday.” With that I left. My birthday was the next month, about three weeks away.
The day of my birthday the daily paper of that city ran the headline, “Freak Snow Storm Hits City.” Mr. Mac called me and asked how I knew, since weather forecasting had not advanced to that point.
I hated to admit to him it was just plain dumb luck. But I did.