He lived in a nursing home, a frail man who had little to say. To most they would see him as miserable, rude, and unsociable. Even myself I took such a judgement, which within weeks I found was completly untrue .
I work in community nursing, and it was that this gentleman was to be a client I would visit. My first meeting with him was one of total resistance to anything I was going to do, and we seemed to be not at all getting along.
On my second visit, a week later, I noticed an old musical theater poster in a frame, it was hanging in his hall. Before I left that day, I asked him about it. He was sharp in response saying, "Well it does not matter anymore." He never said anymore and after I completed recording data, I left.
My third visit the following week was different, he was co-operative, and as I worked he told me, "That poster you mentioned last week, I was in that show, you will see my name three rows down." I asked him what he did and he replied, "I was a comic singer, did turns all over the country, even had a few records released."
Well I have always loved the magic of musical theater, with the stand up acts and the singers, along with the juglers etc. So I engaged him in conversation and he was thrilled to talk. I stayed for much longer than I should have and had a cup of tea with him.
The forth week I had done my homework, and I turned up not only to treat him as a client, but also to treat him to something I had printed off the internet. I had found some pictures of him on stage, as well as I had cd with 14 of his amusing songs. He was thrilled to look over what I had, and I think more so that someone had taken an interest in his better years.
In the weeks ahead I always looked forward to calling on Stan. People at the nursing home said he was a changed man, it must have been his leg the poor man.
For six months I went to Stan as a client, then my visits ended. Though I did pay a personal visit a month or so later. It was sad to hear he had passed away at the age of 93. I felt I had lost a friend, but as the years have moved on, it was a pleasure to have met you Stan. It was also nice to have shared your memories of a time that will never come again.