Saturday, May 31, 2014
The Camera Man
If you know me, you are probably aware I make no major purchases by myself. When I bought a new car, I took Brian Burney with me. When I purchased my two laptops, Michael Fonville handled the whole affair. When I needed my first cell phone and calling plan, it was Lisa Berglund to the rescue. When I acquired my first camera for my first mission trip to China, Gary Keese pored through some ads after picking my less than knowledgeable brain, and chose a CANON PowerShot SX100 for my overseas adventures. It served me well until it fell out of a cab I was entering in Can Tho, Vietnam. It sustained damage and held on for a while but it entered digital camera eternity last fall. It lasted almost six years; I'm not sure what that would be in the human life span but it paid for itself in utility. I had mentioned to Gary through his wife, Karen, who is an amazing art teacher at WCS, that I needed a new camera before I leave for Vietnam on July 9. Gary, who is in charge of all the photography and yearbooks at one of Houston's public schools, and I spoke several times at church services and I knew he was doing homework on my behalf. After Wednesday night Bible study, Gary asked me if I wanted to go camera shopping on Thursday night- I did! So after he cooked Filipino fried rice- he was a missionary in The Philippines- for me and his daughter, Kellie- one of my all time favorite students- we headed out to the Best Buy near the Galleria, armed with a Sunday Houston Chronicle advertising insert! I wasn't leaving empty handed.
As we entered the store and made our way to the Canon area, Gary engaged an employee, a young man named Dennis. In all honesty, I pretty much stayed out of it. Gary knew the questions and Dennis had the answers and when he wasn't sure, he checked. I had my eye on the Canon SX50 HS shown above but it's always wise to review your options. Once the decision was made to purchase the SX50 HS, there were questions. Did I want the bundle and the insurance? Gary again asked the questions and helped me choose the package best suiting my needs and again, Dennis was extremely helpful. We made it to the checkout counter and I told Dennis I wanted to pay by check. He laughed and told us some of the employees don't even know how to process checks. (OK, I'm still in the Stone Age when it comes to payment options!)
And as he rang up my stuff, the three of us engaged in small talk. We found out Dennis has worked at Best Buy for two years and is a college student. Then, our conversation took an almost mystical turn. Dennis mentioned he was born in Brooklyn- I was born in Brooklyn! He told us that when he was a boy, his family moved to Nebraska- we moved to Nebraska when I was small! Then he ended up in Houston where I now reside. I told him the camera was for my upcoming mission to Vietnam and Gary and I exchanged some Honduras remembrances. You guessed it- Dennis' parents were born in Honduras where I've made eleven mission trips including my first five! Gary asked about his faith in the Lord and Dennis related he is a member of a congregation of the churches of Christ, just as Gary and myself are. That sealed it. With Dennis, it was like looking in a mirror! Well, except that I am considerably older and we are of different races. But so many of the moves in his life mirror moves that I have also made. I bet there might be thousands of Best Buy employees in Houston and yet the one Gary and I collided with might be the one with whom I have the most in common. I don't think it was coincidental. Proverbs 16:9 tells us 'We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.' (NLT) Truthfully, as Gary and I left, I found I had gained almost as much as enjoyment from our interaction with Dennis as I had with my new camera, which will require considerable getting used to on my part. In the next several days, I'm going to fill out those online surveys that ask about your experience and maybe even write a glowing letter to Dennis' manager about his incredibly valuable employee. I will have to be careful about going overboard, though. Nobody likes it when you brag about yourself!
Applicable quote of the day:
“Life is like a camera. Focus on what's important. Capture the good times. And if things don't work out, just take another shot.”
Ziad K. Abdelnour
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Steve Hawley at 10:03 PM