This week in Tell Me a Story we have a guest post from a dear friend, Miss Katie O'Block (You may remember her from the First Impressions blog she shared with us a few months ago). Along with being such a good friend, Katie has her own blog titled Stranger Stories, in which she shares her experiences with the wonderful people she meets by chance, and the fantastic life lessons they teach her. After reading her most recent post I decided I just had to bring her lovely story over to our blog and share. So in the spirit of summer time, pastimes, and life-long learning, here is Katie's encounter with the one and only, Ronnie Woo-Woo of Chicago, IL...
... I began a new job in October of 2011 - working as a videographer for an online travel company. My job for the past 9 (or so) months has been to conceptualize videos in the assigned city, travel to the city to shoot all of the videos I'd thought up, and then come back to Boulder and edit them. Dream job? I'd say so.
But often times, especially during the editing process as it's my least favorite, I feel bogged down. Stressed from the amount of work that actually takes to put a city "together" and make it come out as a coherent and quality video. Then, of course, when the stress monster hangs out on my shoulders I feel guilty that I should be always having a blasty blast because I'm working this job that is AMAZING. Oh the cycle!
I have traveled to five very cool cities thus far. And, surprise surprise, I've met some amazing people. But this last trip and the man I met on the subway actually prompted me to sit down and write a Stranger Story: Chicago and Ronnie Woo-Woo.
I ran into Ronnie Woo-Woo in the subway on my way to Wrigleyville (home to the Chicago Cubs baseball team). He was an older man - in his 70s or so - dressed entirely in a baseball uniform. Socks, pants, cap, and! custom jersey with Woo-Woo on the back. I stopped to take a picture of him in hopes of using it in some sort of video about Chicago, but - as with most Stranger Stories - we started talking.
Woo-Woo's story is one-of-a-kind. He attended his first game around the age of 9 to see Jackie Robinson (a baseball legend!) play. He's been to almost every home game since. He's even traveled to watch the team. He's a local celebrity and I believe he gets into Cubs games for free because he's been a super-fan for so long. And while all of that is incredibly captivating, what really touched my heart was his attitude on life.
He told me, as the train rocked slightly back and forth, "You gotta be happy. You ain't got nothin' if you ain't happy," and "It's all about the people. If you're nice to them, if you give back to them, they'll give back to you and you'll be happy."
My heart fluttered with joy as he spoke those words. Everything I've ever believed had been confirmed by a chance encounter with Chicago's Ronnie Woo-Woo.
Beyond my macro view of life in general, though, this was a wake up call. Here I was, as happy as a clam talking to a fascinating man. None of which would have been possible had I not been working for this travel company. So while I feel overwhelmed or bogged down by the weight of the emails and the edits and the drafts, it's really the happiness that counts. The joy - (cheese alert) like hundreds of layers of magical rainbows - that I feel when I meet all of the wonderful people that I do while traveling to these cities far surpasses the stress.
Thank you Katie for letting us share your lovely story here!
*Last time in Books and Stories: Day is Done