Mowing the yard at 7am is small potatoes. I bought my first home in a small, middle class community in the early 80s. My one neighbor was a brash New Yorker, we seldom spoke but I got on famously with his wife and daughter. The guy ran an auto body shop a few miles away.

Early my second summer there, the owner of the auto body shop building sold the property, leaving my neighbor's business homeless. He decided he'd use his two car garage (next to my bedroom window) to continue his work until he could rent and set up another shop. This meant lots of banging and clanging, impact wrenches, and assorted other noises of the auto body world.

That summer was a particularly hot one, and soon he was working in the middle of the night because it was cooler. After a couple sleepless nights, I politely pointed out to him his work was keeping me awake. He not so politely responded he didn't give a damn about my sleep deprivation, telling me he had a business to run. He ended his tirade by inviting me to perform a sex act I'm pretty sure is impossible.

So over the next few days, I filed complaints with the police (noise and creating a public nuisance), the fire department (large volumes of flammable liquid/material in a residential property), the zoning commission (running a business in a residential zoned area), the Ohio EPA (dispensing VOCs into the open air since he was painting without a paint booth), the Ohio Secretary of State (violating his state business license), and the HOA (on general principle.) He became very popular with officialdom soon thereafter.

He wound up facing multiple fines and legal fees, lost his business, got divorced and they sold the house the following spring.
I saw that cartoon and spit out my tea. I can so see you ramping up lol. Too funny.
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Well, I have a bit of a strange one here. I've never told anyone about this because it was just so weird and I don't know if I can convey it well enough. I'll try!

I was a student in a big city and I was just entering the main library in town to do some study. My arms were piled high with files and books and there were steps to navigate, and heavy swing doors, plus lots of other people. It was a busy place.

I remember opening one of the doors to go through it and, knowing there was a man behind me, I held the door open for him. He said, "thank you" and I went on my merry way.

A few moments later, I was on a second stairway, making my way to the music section, when said man appeared again and stopped me on the stairs. He said, "you didn't say 'you're welcome.'" I was confused at first and said something along the lines of "I'm sorry, I don't follow", and he repeated himself and stared at me. I realised then that I had neglected to say "you're welcome" when he had said "thank you" when I held the door for him.

Stunned at this bizarre turn of events, I apologised and said, "I'm sorry - I've got a lot on my mind" (referring to my studies) but he just stared at me again. Eventually we went our separate ways, but the encounter has stayed with me ever since.

On the one hand it was incredibly weird because people in big cities hardly ever hold the door for anyone in the first place, so it felt very weird for him to be admonishing me for anything, since I had held the door open for him. The fact that he had said "thank you" would, under normal circumstances, be enough for most people to move on!

Something else struck me, though. He was well dressed, well spoken and very blonde in a sea of people with brown or dark hair. Most people were dressed in casual clothing but his were quite formal. I should also point out that he was not old. He had quite a youthful face and could have been in his late 30s or early 40s at most.

His manner was not at all threatening - it was admonishing, like a father figure. I certainly felt as if I had been gently told off. It was very strange and almost as if he were from another era...
Great story Red, could it have been a spirit guide? Do you think others saw him?
Could have been St. Francis de Sales, the patron saint of politeness.
There's a saint of politeness?? Wow, I didn't know that. It's funny you should suggest that actually, because I've always felt that he was akin to some kind of angel...
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Great story Red, could it have been a spirit guide? Do you think others saw him?
When I was on the second staircase and we had our little exchange, no one else was present. So no, no one else witnessed our conversation. He could well have been some kind of spirit guide, although I've never seen him since...
How I never told you guys about this memorable person is beyond me.
Debi and I grew up at rival high schools and she even knows this man.
Dr. Bill's - yes that's his real name.
He and his wife came from the deep south. So that means he was already a fish out of water in Chicago but he never adopted so many of our cultural mannerisms.

His house was our backyard neighbors.

Dr. Bills lived like it was the 1920s. He wore knickers and a bow tie. Carried an old fashioned pocket watch. Drove a Packard. Pinz Niz eye glasses. And his trademark was - like he needed another one - was bird whistles.
He could mimic every bird you ever saw. He put it to good use in his medical practice. Dr. would come on the floor of his patients and whistle. This gave everybody a heads up that he was coming and the ladies could fix their hair...

He was a gifted surgeon and smart and funny as hell. Even laughed at all of my jokes as a young man in my twenties. And when he would laugh he would show off that old-time dental work. Rappers would be jealous. I even remember when my brother and I were little kids and one of us had a very high fever. Dr. Bills came over in the middle of the night with his doctor bag and wearing pajamas that you haven't seen outside of a Charles Dickens novel. So I guess in the big picture he just settled on one era in time and never left. And I think the world needs more people like that....

Also played a lot of golf with Dr. Bills. My dad had a standing tee time at the local Country Club across the street. 7 am. Saturdays and Sundays. I was the alternate for twenty years. The alternate just means if somebody has to be gone I'm going to be the fill-in guy. Betting purposes.

But over time death and life and retirement happens and I wind up being a full member in that foursome.
So one hot day I was sitting on a bench with Dr. Bills. Hey what's with the 1920s. And he said I was the only guy that ever asked him out loud.
"I like it."
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Dr. Bills came over in the middle of the night with his doctor bag
Great memory Paint. Those were the days. Doctors were doctors and not specialists. I remember going to my childhood doctor and he did virtually everything minus surgery...at least i think so lol. Knowing your doctor is something that has fallen by the way-side. Your modern family doctor won't come to your house at any given time, you just have to wait on their 2 week waiting list. There were no office staff, no clipboards with multiple choice answers...just one guy (for me anyway) and his knowledge of medicine and your family. Thumbs up Dr Bills and Dr Meale :)
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