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We can’t all be geniuses

Now it’s my turn to steal an idea from Ree. She did a post today about some of her experiences with special people, and I got to thinking "hey I’ve got some too". Plus it gives me a chance to prolong the suspense of the ‘great mining disaster’, don’t worry folks it’s coming. But in the meantime here’s a story concerning some very nice people.

My friend Claude, who owned the Australian Restaurant in San Jose, was a cranky old prick but he had a heart of gold. One of the ways he demonstrated this was by holding monthly picnics for the staff of a  sheltered workshop in SJ. Another was to only employed retarded kitchen hands and busboys. But that’s a story for another day, this story is about the picnics.

I used to work at his restaurant too, but I did it it out of friendship – not for pay. Although I did always eat there for nothing.


This is the outside of the restaurant, from now on I’ll just call it Claude’s. He had it for many years and it was on W.Lincoln Ave.


This is the interior, neither of these pictures have anything to do with the story, but there’s nowhere else for them to be, so here they are.


This is Claude loading my truck with food for the picnic (actually it was ET’s truck, but at this particular time I was driving it). This wasn’t one of our usual picnics, I can’t exactly remember what it was for, but it was bigger than normal.


The guy in the purple shirt was the manager of the workshop, he was a really good guy. Oh, an interesting story, he once shot and killed an intruder in his house. He had friends on the Police force who told him that if you ever have an intruder and you shoot at him, shoot to kill, otherwise they will sue you for everything you have. So he did.


And this is what it was all about. A day out and some food that they don’t usually get to eat.


A funny thing that I learned early in the piece, its easy to relate to those with Downs syndrome or some other physical indicators, as they are generally very friendly, but those who look just like anyone you would meet in the street can sometimes be a bit harder to get to know because their problems can manifest in so many different ways and can be psychological rather than genetic.


Here’s a good example, you wouldn’t know anything was amiss (ok, the outfit kinda gives him away, but put him in a good suit and he’d give Omar Sharif a run for his money), but he was mad as a March Hare. But he was a lot of fun too.