Everyone Has a Story

“Retirement didn’t agree with him”, she said.

Lyle is 80 years old. He and his wife just celebrated their 60th anniversary last Sunday.

I’m fascinated by the people that you meet on the road. Last week I took a bike ride across Missouri with my uncle and a friend. It was hot and challenging at times, but I was enthralled with the rural countryside as we rolled through the Missouri hills. The towns that we visited welcomed us with open arms. The people were eager to share their lives, to let us get a peak into how they live.


Lyle ran a garage in Clarence for 40 years. After he retired he decided that he didn’t have enough to do. So he reopened the garage. But that wasn’t enough. After all, he had done that all his life; it was time for something different. So he converted the garage to a museum. It’s now full of reminders of times past. The parking lot is now filled with classic cars. And even a wooden car that he built after studying an old picture of one.  And yes, it runs.

Dawn is the manager of a restaurant in Brookfield. She used to be an executive assistant in Jefferson City, but moved to Brookfield for her children.

Paul is the owner of the restaurant in Brookfield. Until this year he has never worked in the restaurant business, much less owned one. And since he is going to Macon to see his sister anyway, he would be happy to give us a lift.

Scott is the owner of Ninja Moose Brewery. Ninja Moose Brewery was a surprised find in this rural countryside. As Scott puts it, we are a nano, nano batch brewery. But they are entering their third year of business and they hope to buy a dishwasher soon.

It’s interesting how people find themselves in whatever situation they are in. How life can take you in unexpected and exciting directions. I was thinking of my own journey as I pumped my legs over the hills. Wondering just how exactly I got here. And daydreaming about where I may find myself tomorrow.

I find it amazing how much people will share of their lives with strangers. How much people want to tell their story if you are willing to listen. A skill that I will definitely try to exercise more often in the future.