Just some thoughts:
That evening they were having a street fair so we all took some chairs and found ourselves near the stage for a show that featured an old rock-n’-roll act. The act was Jan and Dean from the late 1950s’.
As I sat and watched the show, I was reminded of a story that involved Jan and Dean. At the time of this performance, Jan was no longer a part of the act as he had died in March of 2004. Jan Berry was in a serious car accident in 1966. He did recover enough to continue performing, but physically and mentally was never the same.
Kindness comes dressed in a lot of different costumes. Two years prior to Jan’s accident one of their hit songs was called “Dead Man’s Curve.” In 1966 Berry was driving too fast in a sports car and lived the lyrics of that song in real life. Berry crashed and was left with some speech difficulties, mobility and memory problems. But the years that followed the duo continued to work the road and perform. Under the best of circumstance, such a life for a performer can be a strain.
When performing and traveling the road, the band would often be waiting for Jan to meet up with them to make their travel schedule. On one such occasion Dean went looking for Jan as the band was about ready to board a plane. Dean found Jan in a little coffee shop sitting at a table all alone. Bouts of confusion were so much a part of Jan’s life and even things of a daily routine became difficult sometimes. On this day Dean saw Jan sitting alone trying to manage breakfast; he went to the table and pulled up a chair across from Jan. They talk quietly, and then Dean could be seen reaching across the table for Jan’s tray. He picked up a small jelly container along with a pad of butter and proceeded to put butter and jelly on Jan’s toast. He cut the toast into small pieces so it would be easier for Jan to manage; then slid the tray back to Jan.
On this warm summer evening in central Indiana as we sat and watched Dean and the band perform, I thought:
“Sometimes kindness can be something as simple
as someone putting jelly and butter on your toast.”
August 15, 2010