Painting ©2018 John Clark III
Had to hustle today to find a story for this Friday's paper after my interview fell through at the last minute.
I'd been down to John's Java House in Copperas Cove a couple of times, and the owner looked like an interesting guy -- tall, friendly, long salt-and-pepper ponytail down his back -- and I had him on my mental list of possible story victims, I mean subjects, so I decided today was the day.
When I got there, he was behind the counter, talking to some dude, and when I explained who I was and what I wanted, he paused for half-a-minute, then kind of smiled and said, "OK, sure, when you want to do this?"
"Right now," I said.
We sat on opposite sides of the corner table and he asked if I wanted a coffee. I probably should have taken him up on the free offer -- never turn down something free -- but I'd already had some coffee at home, and it's all I can do to finish one cup. That first sip in the morning is absolutely glorious, but it's all downhill from there for me. I usually drink about half a cup, and then I'm done for the day.
"Well, I want one," he said, jumping up and heading back for the kitchen. He came back a few minutes later and I turned on my recorder, after snapping a few photos of him sitting there with his cup of coffee.
It was a great conversation, but I'm gonna make you wait until Friday to find out more. Turns out his name is indeed John, and he's from Minnesota by way of California, spent 15-plus years in the U.S. Army and has suffered his fair share of trials and tribulations during his 53 years.
It's always amazing, and one reason why I love writing about people. Everyone has been through "stuff." Some worse than your stuff, and some not-as-bad. But all of us go through hard times, one way or another, suffer pain and setbacks and loss and everything else.
And it affects people differently. Like John said, you can react to it in a negative way or a positive way. Some people become angry, bitter, resentful, depressed, while others respond just the opposite.
Look for the story in Friday's Copperas Cove Banner, available at various locations throughout town. For you out-of-towners, you can go to covebanner.com, click at the top on e-edition, then click on the front page icon, then on current edition. My column runs on p. 5.
Adios, y'all ...
A few reviews of John's books
The 30-Day Optimism Solution:
“Part memoir, part informative text. You get both when reading 'Depression Blues' by John H. Clark III. Mr. Clark shares his struggles with depression in an honest and real way, and as the book progresses, so does his hope. Woven into the story as jumping off points are bits of information about depression and ways to "conquer" the sadness, loneliness, and despair that comes with it.
Mr. Clark becomes more than an author in this book; he becomes a friend who understands the pain of depression and provides light. I recommend this book to anyone looking for light or to anyone who knows someone with depression and wants to learn more.”
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