This is part of an occasional series about the adventures of a beer-drinking guy we'll call “Ed.”
Ed is a good listener. He's also a good handyman. He can fix a leak, install a faucet, and he understands how electricity works. As a man who has lived in many homes, in many states, he is familiar with a variety of styles and ages of appliances.
He is generally available, and he also likes to solve problems.
These skills make him a helluva a guy. They also landed him a slot on the board of his condominium.
He had no idea what he was getting into.
Widows discovered his sense of empathy. Longtime owners with long-ignored complaints found a sympathetic ear. Business professionals learned if they slipped a note under his door, they would get a response. Other board members found a guy who would follow-up on the smallest detail.
I hear reports of him lopping hedges on 90-degree days.
He's been spotted on his knees planting caladiums in the shade.
He follows up on security breaches, organizes parties in the lounge and knows almost everyone in the building.
He's cleaned out storage spaces untouched since the 1960s.
He was elected to the condominium board as a volunteer, he tells me over a bottle of Negra Modelo at his kitchen table.
I suspect that before it's all over, he'll have earned the unofficial title of mayor.
Lola Thomas is the pen name of a writer who knows Ed.