El Niño, Downtown Los Angeles 1966 - age 3.

El Niño, Downtown Los Angeles 1966 - age 3.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Greg Miller's Gloves

A chance encounter, a lifetime of appreciation. In 1985 I drove a motorcycle while attending Cal Poly Pomona. After a commute on a cold November day, I was complaining to a classmate that my hands were numb from the drive to class. His name was Greg Miller, was originally from Ohio and had a cool gravely rock star voice. He mentioned he was selling his motorcycle and would not need his sheepskin lined motorcycle gloves and offered to give them to me. He delivered the gloves to class during Thanksgiving week and I was very appreciative of this thoughtfulness. On Thanksgiving day, Greg had not received any offers on his motorcycle so he used it to transport himself to a Thanksgiving celebration close by. On route to his destination, Greg was struck by a car and badly injured. He did not return to class that Monday as we got the news of his accident and a few days later his badly mangled leg was amputated. Shortly before Christmas, a few of us went to visit him at the home where he was recovering. We met him in the garage as he was lighting up a cigarette while leaning up against his crutches, one leg clearly missing. He greeted us and spoke candidly of the incident but his condition did not seem to bother him at all. I never saw Greg again, but his courage made a lasting impression on me to this day as our lives can instantly change from one minute to the next. I still have those gloves today and use them on cold winter mornings to keep my hands warm on the train platform and on my daily dog walks at 6am. While riding the Gold Line train a few years ago I cringed when I realized I had lost one of the gloves. It must have fallen out of my coat pocket back at the platform. I immediately got off at the next station and headed back to the location where I boarded. I was relieved when I saw the glove on the floor right were I had been standing. Greg, wherever you are I hope you are having a wonderful life.

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