I had a pre-op appointment at St. Thomas Midtown today and was scheduled for early morning, so I decided to Uber downtown. My driver picked me up in front of my house, and we were on our way.

He was very quiet, I asked him a few questions, but he just nodded and smiled. As we continued, I asked him, What country?” He told me he was from Venezuela, had been in the country for just one year with his wife and his name was Jorge (George).

He turned to me and said, “I speak not so English.” He asked me if I liked music, and I told him I did. He turned his music up…it was “Radio Ga Ga” and he got this big smile. We talked of living in Franklin and how much nicer it was then as he said, crazy cities”like Miami and Orlando, where he lived briefly. He told me he was starting a new Mexican restaurant and I told him about an instrument called a

charango I bought up in the mountains of Argentina.

I told him that I spent three weeks in South America, in Quito, Ecuador, Salta, Argentina, Bogotá, Columbia and Caracas, Venezuela. I also informed him that the only phrase in Spanish I really knew well from that trip. was, “Donde esta el bano?”(Where is the bathroom?) He laughed out loud! I learned that phrase in Mrs. Francis Spanish class. I think she would’ve been proud of how much I remembered.

We talked of music, I spoke of my love for Antonio Carlos Jobim, He told me he liked Hawaiian ukulele music and proceeded to play me “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by an Hawaiian artist.

As we were listening, he looked at me and said, “Good music, good people, good conversation, good trip” We smiled at each other. It was truly a beautiful moment.

When we got to the hospital, I thanked him. and shook his hand….as I gave him my hand…he pulled me over and gave me a big hug. I bid him “Vaya con dios” and he nodded, “Amén.”

It was church on a beautiful ride.

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