Reshared post from +Tim Johnson
I stopped by 7-11 on the way to work the other day to pick up an energy drink. Ray, the owner was there, which was unusual for the morning. When he sees me, he tells me to "shine on, you crazy diamond" and cracks a grin. "Do you know that song?" "Yeah, Ray, I think you told me about it."
Over the years I've lived here, I've learned a bit of Ray's story. If I have it all correct, he was born an ethnic Persian in Turkey, and even though he had to be a practicing Muslim in his youth, his family's religion is Zoroastrian (I had to look that one up when I found that out. It's pretty fascinating). For the last 16 or so years he's run this 7-11 in Santa Clara, and he talks to just about every customer that comes in.
I'm happy to see him so upbeat. The last few times I talked to him it seemed like he was having a string of bad luck with health issues. His face lit up even more. "Did you hear? They're going to make more…" he pauses searching for the words. I chime in. "Yeah, they're making another album." We were both referring to Pink Floyd.
One thing you should know about Ray is that I've only ever seen him not be in his store one time that wasn't due to serious illness or emergency. That was when he flew to Vegas to go to an AC/DC concert. So maybe I should have expected what happened next.
"Yeah, and that means they may go on tour! You know what is gonna happen?" he asked. "Oh! You're going to go fly out to see their show?" "I'm gonna see all of them. I'm going to buy one of every ticket and follow the tour!"
I was blown away, and thanks to a combination of a little bit of a language barrier and my never having seen him be this enthusiastic about anything, I still can't be sure if he's really going to do it. I really hope he does. I like the thought of Ray following his dream and getting a much-needed vacation. On the other hand, I really have a hard time picturing it. He's just…always there.