Do yourself a favour, world. If you’re ever going to write a blog post about how awesome someone is, make sure that the next time you see them, you recognize them. I wrote a blog post about an author who I knew once upon a time from when I worked in sales, and her publisher even linked to it. Then I saw her on the weekend, and I didn’t recognize her. *facepalm*
So, because of that, I’m going to prove that I have a horrible memory by writing about my other favourite customer from my times at That Shithole.
Imagine a strange man coming up to you in your workplace, saying “Hey Adam, how are you?” Giving you a hug, talking for a while as if you’re long buddies and even inviting you out for lunch one day. That was my first recollection of Richard Bell, but, I hope, it wasn’t his first recollection of me.
Over the years that I worked at that computer store, he’d call me up frequently and I’d help him with his sales and we always had a lot to talk about. If someone was looking for a definition of the word mensch, I’d point them in the direction of Richard Bell. He seemed to treat everyone with dignity, respect, and as an equal. He had a kind heart and was always a pleasure to talk to. I couldn’t even call him my client, as he dealt with a lot of the other staffers at the store, mostly in pro audio. I didn’t know why for a while, I just figured, he’s a musician. The store saw a lot of people who worked in creative fields, it was nothing out of the usual.
One day, years later, I finally found out who he was professionally. Richard Bell played keys for Janis Joplin, The Band, Burrito Deluxe, Ronnie Hawkins, Crowbar, Bob Dylan, and many other artists that would make any music nerd drool.
But that wasn’t the man I knew, I just knew a man who was a real kind soul. When I found out he had passed away a few years ago, I was sad, mostly sad that I didn’t keep in touch with him after leaving that employer.