Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Albert and Blake

Albert Moore was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs for 35 years. Life in a pressure cooker was everything Albert wanted. He made money. He moved in elite circles. He financed some of the largest building projects in New York. He worked from dawn until dusk.

His wife and children left him.
He had a heart attack.

He retired the day they released him from the hospital, sold everything, packed his belongings and left the world that had given and taken so much.  It was time to leave the fast lane;  in fact, it was time to get off the freeway completely.

Albert started a new life in the Shire. He purchased and renovated a log cabin five miles off Highway 1 where he has lived for the last three years. Today he gets up when his body says its time. He takes long hikes in the pine covered mountains above Cloverdale.   Long lunches with his new friends occupy his afternoons, and a little banjo music at The Kicking Donkey Pub finishes his perfect days. Along the way he met a lovely lady, and with Mary at his side,  he hoped fortune would smile and grant him a second chance with his children in the world outside the Shire.

Last week his son and grandson arrived in Cloverdale for a week’s visit.  Blake had never met his grandfather. He recognized his face from a picture which hung above the staircase in his home. Albert and Blake spent many evenings on the cabin’s front porch. It was a bit uncomfortable at first, so Albert filled the empty air with banjo music.

Blake was fascinated by the instrument and wanted to learn.  Albert taught him a few simple chords and let him pluck away. Every mistake Blake made brought laughter. The laughter drew them closer together. By week’s end, Albert felt a new happiness - the kind that only comes from family.

Albert and Mary saw Blake and his father off last Sunday. Blake cried at the railroad station. He wanted this giant of a grandpa in his life. Albert invited Blake to spend a part of his summer in Cloverdale.  Albert’s son agreed.

Albert spends many of his evenings on the cabin's front porch playing his Banjo;  and, when occasion permits, shooting deer that cross his field with Blake’s forgotten paintball gun.

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