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Envisioning an epiphany

  • Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bobby Jonte

It is really hard to realize that something you do, say, see, hear, or experience is an epiphany. Iím not talking about the manifestation of Christ. Iím talking about an experience of sudden and striking realization. People have them all the time and donít realize what is happening. Sometimes a sudden realization is easy to identify. In 1975, I show an airshow act. It was really an epiphany and I didnít know it. I knew that what I had seen was a great vision of things to come but I didnít have any idea that it would take eight years to accomplish what I had just seen. Most of the time, we just look at things and brush them off as being something neat to watch. Later I wrote a book about it but that took thirty-five years. There was not any way to predict what would happen thirty-five years later.

Just a few weeks ago, I got to look at a house that I had been watching for forty-seven years. Thatís right, forty-seven years. Sometime around 1966 or 1967, I was walking in downtown Charleston, S.C. I wasnít sure where I was going or what I was looking for. No particular place to go and nothing to do when I got there. It was just a walk around the city. I happened down a street called Bedonís Alley.

There was a neat looking house on that street. I thought that it was a beautiful house and stood for a minute to look at it. There was something about the brick driveway or the fence around the property or the looks of the house that made this house stand out from all the other houses I had walked by. Strange as it seems, I just thought it was a pretty house. It was near the Battery, in the old section of Charleston and I thought it would be interesting to live there. Iím not sure of the reason; it just seemed like a nice house.

There was no way of knowing that it would take forty-seven years to get a look at the house. There was no reason to think that anything would ever come of seeing this house for the first time and almost five decades later going into the house.

It was just a pretty house. Throughout the years, every time I would go to Charleston, I would drive or walk past the house. There was no reason for it. I just thought the house was interesting and wanted to see it. This went on until about four years ago. There was a for rent sign in front of the house. There was only one thing to do. I called the number and got someone on the phone. Yes the house was for rent and I would have to call this number. I called and left messages. No response. I called some other numbers listed on the sign. No response. This went on for two weeks. I would call daily and not get a response. This was frustrating. I was planning to rent the house for a few months and get this out of my system. No response. Finally, the for rent sign was gone and it looked like someone had moved into the house.

That seemed like the end of my ever living in the house of getting to look at it. I still drove by the house every time I was in Charleston. Nothing had changed. It was just a neat house.

A few weeks ago I was in Charleston. I had to drive by the house. There was a for sale sign in front of the property. I called the number. The real estate agent said I could come look at the house. I explained that I had been looking at the house for forty-seven years and I just had to take a look inside.

This was arranged and I got to view the property that I had looked at for so long. The agent asked if the house was what I had envisioned. There was no way of knowing. When I first saw the house, I thought it was interesting and that was all. Now I was looking at the house nearly fifty years later and not sure what to think. The property was for sale for $1,095,000.00. Yes, that is over a million dollars. We discussed how if the property had been bought those many years ago what might have happened. Even if that were true, there would have been a time that the property would have been sold. If you bought something for ten thousand dollars there would have been some amount of money that would make you sell it. It would be incredible to believe that you would really hold a property for over forty years.

I certainly couldnít have imagined looking a property for all this time. Who could have known that this could happen? Iím not changing my address to Charleston. You can figure out the million reasons that I am not going to move.

Still it has been an interesting experience. Watching a property for over forty years has made me appreciate how long it takes to get what we want. Seeing the inside of the house was a treat. Now I look at things in a different way. You can never be sure that some things that you see might turn into an epiphany that takes the rest of your life to figure out.

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