Swimming and unforgettable characters

Oakton Community College

Interesting things often happen. Today I went for my usual thrice a week swim and I saw Jerry, the guy who saved the exercise facility by turning off the water going into the pool. For some reason we started talking and he mentioned that he had worked at Zenith. That provoked thoughts for me of an unforgettable character that I had met. My father-in-law was convinced, in his retirement, that McDonald’s was a café and had a group of friends at his ‘stamtisch,’ which is what you find in a German pub, a table that has regulars. Wayne Chiodi was one of his friends there, a long gone brilliant man who died way too young. Wayne (perhaps the most brilliant man I have ever met, owner of numerous patents) and his wife, Carol, lived in nearby Northbrook (where Carol still lives) and were an interesting couple to enter our lives. There is more coming here in a future blog. Through them, we met Dan Barry, the astronaut (PhD, doctor, etc.), who happens to be Carol’s brother. As it turns out, Jerry knew Wayne from Zenith and we had a bit of a talk about him.
So we talked a bit and then Jerry left to go to church because his granddaughter was serving as an ‘altar girl’ and I was left alone in the pool. Apparently, it had been a busy day because before I arrived, the pool had over eight people in it at one time and this is all before 7:00 AM.

While swimming, I noticed that one of my fellow Sachs’ patrons, Marky Mark, a young man who frequents the gym, showed up as he has been for the past few days to get in the whirlpool. I had just gotten in when he arrived, dressed for a workout. He takes off his t-shirt and plops in with his nylon jersey workout shorts, never once admitting to the fact that there was someone else in the vicinity. I think he is one of the few people I have seen who regularly avoid trunks in the whirlpool, any others I know just don’t wear anything. I have noticed that he is always listening to a music, either he is crazy for it or he is using it as a ploy (as so many do, it is quite effective on a plane if you don’t want to strike up a conversation) to avoid communication. I got out, hit the locker room, shaved, took a shower and he flew in, showered, and dressed faster than the speed of light. That usually doesn’t happen as I am notoriously fast in the locker room. Needless to say, Marky Mark is an interesting character.

My thoughts go to Wayne, Dan, and Carol. I remember their most interesting shared experience with us, when they helped Richie work on a science fair project, one of my pet peeves. More to come. Off to check out the roof!

About Richard Koerner

Sixty something, father, papi, educator, organizer, Francophile, traveler, amateur photographer, gardener, cyclist, kayaker, calligrapher, cinephile, reader, and overall renaissance type human being.
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