A friend (Out of respect to his children I will not put his name)
When I first met him, I was teaching his daughters. We spoke briefly and somehow, I one day found myself at his home, which is where he conducted his cabinet work. He was not a rich man, but he had a home of his own and below the house he had has business. I discovered that he belonged to the same political party as I did, which gave us much to share.
At his business place we would meet and talk and sometimes drink a little. Sometimes we would go to a club to drink and engage in senseless talk, mainly to relieve the pressures of life. He had four children, and he tried his best with them. Their performances in school was at times not stellar but he tried hard to get them through.
Three of his children were girls and that is not an easy job for a man. He lived with a woman who was not his wife. Now the amazing about my friend is that he seemed never to be wrong; that is, he would never admit to being wrong. That meant that at times we had some terrific arguments because I was a know it all at times, also. The argument would be noisy and he would not give ground at all even when, to me, he was not making sense.
I remember one time, when he was applying for a loan to purchase a house. He had the papers and needed a cosigner. There were three of us down stairs at his house talking as usual. He took the papers upstairs for his woman to sign, which he told us, and we waited. Sometime later he came downstairs back, furious; the woman had not signed as guarantor. Well his other friend, of many years, asked him what reason she had given for not singing.
He explained: he asked her to sign the paper, and she asked him just what would be her role in the house. Would she share ownership in the house? He told us that he had told her no, and she being an unreasonable person, at least from his perspective, said she would not sign to guarantee a loan for a house in which she did not have part ownership.
At the time there were three of us together. Him, his long-time friend, and myself. When he told us that my immediate inclination was to ask, ‘Are you crazy.’ I did not because of the seriousness of the situation and he was not in a good mood. Along with the question was a big loud laugh which wanted to reach my mouth. I forced it down. There are few times when I have felt that a person is an idiot or has behaved like one; that was one of the times. Here is a man living with woman for years, one with whom he has a child of at least 9 years. He wishes this woman to sign for him to guarantee a house loan, but he will not make her a partner. It sounded like perhaps the stupidest thing I had ever heard. Indeed, I gave the woman full credit for not being a complete fool, and I would have thought little of her if she had signed under those conditions; very little. If later he decided to go his way she had no guarantee of being repaid and in fact if he decided to take another woman into the house, she would be paying for it.
He had other qualities which recommended him to us and one of them is that he was helpful to us and would stand firmly by us if we had problems. And so, I liked the guy very much, but had to recognize that at some level he was unthinking.