When I was quite young, say, twelve years old, there was an elderly man that we’d see jogging along the road. My Dad was the first person I remember who pointed him out. I can’t even begin to count the number of times we saw this guy on the way to school or baseball practice. Must’ve been a hundred times. And every time, Dad would smile and point, claiming, “Hey, there’s Grandpa!”
He was referring to his father in-law. My maternal grandfather Gilbert Freeman.
Spotting “the jogger who looks like Grandpa” became something of a pastime in the car for us, not unlike the sort of license plate games you play on a cross-country road trip in the station wagon. Only we never really kept score.
This was all twenty-five-plus years ago at least.
I’ve had a recurring surreal experience that keeps happening to me in the last five years since moving to the other side of town and learning that:
Our buddy’s still around!
Still jogging, seemingly every day, without fail. In the last five years there have been dozens of times that I’ll see this guy and smile to myself.
Yesterday was no different, except I had my camera on me. I’m happy to report that our buddy is alive and well, and still getting his morning runs in along Paseo Del Mar in San Pedro.
Spitting image, no?
My grandfather Gil in ’99 (with his lovely wife and my Gran):
For the full effect, check out the video of Gill the Jogger in action on October 20, 2006: