Helping hands

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Few acts in life are more rewarding than lending a helping hand to someone who wasn’t expecting it.

I remember years back when we lived in a small community just north of Santa Maria California, Nipomo. Nearby was a hamburger stand we frequented called Little Jockos. Terri and I had already given up meat but we still enjoyed Jocko’s version of a grilled cheese: hamburger bun, melted cheese, tomato, pickles, lettuce and thousand island dressing, and french fries cooked the right way—in saturated fats—and before the 1990 disaster McDonald’s (and others) perpetrated on their once signature fries.

One of the kids working at the stand, Barry, was an eager 16-year old that loved music. As I waited for my order he and I would often chat about music and he learned that I was an audiophile. I never thought much about it until one day I had a wild hair of an idea. Maybe Barry would like to hear what real music sounded like on a decent hifi system. At first, he declined, convinced it would be a burden (or maybe I was some weirdo). But, over time, he relented.

At the time, I had a pair of Infinity RS1s, the lowest cost 4-piece Infinity speaker system of the day. These were set up in our home’s spare bedroom and sounded pretty respectable, and for good reason. The twin servo controlled woofer towers had six 8″ polypropylene woofers each, the midrange set had seven EMIM midrange drivers and these were married to three EMIT tweeters. It was a heck of a system and far beyond anything young Barry had ever dreamt was even possible.

He came to the house to hear a “real stereo system” and I think he walked away in a dream state. He had never heard recorded music reproduced with the power and beauty only a good system can offer. It was a pure joy to watch the astonished looks and mile-wide grins on Barry’s face as we played track after track.

Years later I got a letter from Barry. He’d become an audiophile himself. A small pair of excellent bookshelf speakers and respectable electronics. A system that brought him great joy.

It’s a joy he would likely never have enriched his life had he not gotten a taste of good sound.

If you want to have great joy in your own life, share yours with someone who might appreciate it.

You never know when a simple act of kindness might change someone’s life.