This past week, my beloved and I have been taking care of a friend's dachshunds. When they dropped the girls off, they also left us some newspapers to put down in case they had to eliminate when we were gone or sleeping. I've not been a subscriber of the local paper for a couple years, so took the opportunity to take a gander at what had been going on in my town of late. Turns out that most of the papers were from June of '08. Talk about sad times; W (or should I say Cheney) was in charge back then. This didn't stop me from perusing a bit while eating lunch a couple days ago.
The first thing I grabbed was the lifestyle section. In it could be found pics of couples who had plans to be married over the summer (to think, they're not even newlyweds any longer). I carefully looked at the last names and found one that I recognized: Stokes. There was only one person I've ever known that has that name; a guy by the name of Ted who was a social worker of sorts for me in 1993. Well, wouldn't you know it. It WAS him. Getting married in his late 30's was somewhat unconventional, but who am I to judge?
Back in '93, I was seeing a psychiatrist who monitored the meds I was taking, a psychologist who I relied on for therapy, and Ted. I forget what his official title was, but his job was to meet with me every couple of weeks and take me somewhere for an hour where we might chat (it differed from traditional therapy in that it was less formal and we actually went outside of the mental health building).
Many times I would opt to go to a fast food joint to have lunch. He didn't always order food for himself as many of his clients throughout the day chose to go to restaurants. It's good he didn't have a problem with people eating in front of him. I recall that he was a big fan of the band Live and Hootie and the Blowfish. It was great to socialize a bit with someone my age (though he was actually getting paid to do so).
One afternoon, I arrived at his office a bit early, so waited out in the hall. I looked up and saw that all of the counselors had their names listed in white letters on a black board (similar to the one pictured below):
I got a wicked idea as I looked at Ted's name. I adjusted a few letters so that his name was listed as "Ted Strokes". I chuckled as he called me in. I did this again a couple weeks later when I saw that his name had been put back to normal. A week after that, as I sat with him, I mentioned that I'd recently seen his name listed on the board as Ted Strokes. He laughed a bit and said that he was aware of the issue.
A few months later, I was well on the road to recovery and no longer needed his services, but seeing his pic sure brought back some memories and for that, I thank you, Master Strokes.