It was my first time to visit the very historic sights in Philadelphia, PA. My best friend and I had visited the Liberty Bell and climbed the "Rock Balboa" steps. The cemetery that held Benjamin Franklin was next on the list. We made our way to Christ's Church Burial Grounds.
His grave was dutifully marked and just right on the other side of a black iron fence. My friend and I stood there peeking through, envisioning that grand statesmen alive and persuasive. We recounted what we knew of American history, recited parts of documents we remembered and re-told old Franklin stories. It was a heady moment.
It was a moment that needed to be preserved in a scrapbook. An elderly man INSIDE the fence within about 10 feet of that famous grave flashed a toothy grin our way. Thinking he was the gardener, I struck up a conversation and before I realized what was happening I was handing him my very expensive camera through the black metal poles of the fence. Why sure, he would take our picture together! We posed and re-posed positioning ourselves at just the right angle to include that famous tombstone in this pictorial memory.
The button on my camera clicked down again and again and again. The gentleman was stepping backwards two steps at a time, father and farther away from us. How nice of him to take such care to capture the moment. It WAS Kodak time!
My friends husband was standing a few feet away and began yelling. We were stunned, thinking he'd lost his mind, or at least been stung by a bee. "He's stealing your camera!"
Yep, I had handed my camera to a homeless man that needed a meal, a drink, or a bed for the night. He was probably inside that cemetery fence because that is where he'd safely spent the evening before.
I couldn't believe this was happening. I quickly faced the "thief " and our eyes met for a long, long split second! He slowly walked toward the fence and handed me the Canon which contained my recorded memories. He smiled and walked away. Evidently even homeless men have pity on idiots!
I was stunned and failed to offer him any monetary thanks. He'd surrendered his chance to make a little money at the local pawn shop and I was so ungrateful. He disappeared into the dark corners of that fenced hallowed ground.
My friends husband repeats that story to anyone that will listen, shakes his head and tears of laughter run down his face every time. He declares it to be one of the most insane moments he'd ever witnessed.
Honeybuns and I have since experienced many other fun times with this great couple. My best friend and I have decided that our purpose in life is to give these husbands fresh stand-up comedy material from time to time. Their lives would be very boring without us!! THEY have visions of Lucy and Ethel!