I went to the Lake Charles film Festival this weekend. While I’m thinking about it, hats off to Patrick Bennett for putting that great event together each year. Believe it or not, there are a number of filmmakers in this area and they do some great work. Don’t assume that just because it’s local that it’s not quality. We have some very talented people in all fields in this area and we should be proud of them and give them out support.

Getting back to the subject at hand, I was just kind of hanging out at the ticket desk when a man walked up to ask what was going on. We told him it was a film festival and he was full of questions. His natural enthusiasm was obvious to everyone and, as a group, we all got these great positive vibes off this guy. For the sake of the story, I’ll call him “Joe.”

Joe began asking each of us what we have to do with film and, one by one, we told him how we were in film. When he found out that I was an actor, he became very interested and quite a conversation broke out. We sat at a desk and began talking and, as we talked, the subject matter became more and more spiritual in nature which just suits me find.

Joe had a lot of wisdom when he spoke and I asked him what he does and so forth. Joe informed me that he was retired, but still works as a consultant in his special field. He spoke of his job very fondly and I learned that he had pretty much traveled the world during his career. Joe had quite an interesting resume to his credit and I was duly impressed with this guy who just wandered into the film festival off the street.

Somehow, the subject got around to money and Joe spoke of having a real knack for making money. He told me that he was just gifted that way and that he was always coming up with some new ways to use his talents to make money. Needless to say I was fascinated by Joe and his life story.

I guess Joe and I talked for a solid hour about many things and he was a colorful speaker to say the least. At one point in the conversation, Joe looked at me and said, “I’m going to give you a bit of wisdom. It’s something I learned in my life and my travels and I want to share it with you.” Joe paused a moment to make sure he had my undivided attention and he solemnly stated, “Never fear a man that won’t lie to you.” Well, “hot damn”, I thought. That’s pretty good stuff. I had to admit that the solid truth was in that statement and for just a moment there, I felt enlightened.

It was about that time that my fellow filmmakers came looking for me and I told Joe that I had to go. I felt that I had just spent an hour in quality conversation. I thoroughly enjoyed my talk with Joe and, again, I was very impressed with this world traveler and very wise man. Yep, Joe seemed to have everything going for him: a great family, a knack for making money and a lot of wisdom. I turned to follow my friends back into the festival when Joe added one last comment to the conversation.

At that point Joe looked at me earnestly and said, “Could you let me have some money for lunch”?

Yep. Joe had a knack for making money all right. You know, I didn’t feel like I was being panhandled at all.The time I spent talking to this man was well spent and I learned a lot from him. He shared his life and his wisdom and all it cost me was 5 bucks. I walked off with a smile on my face. I had just spent a quality hour talking about important things with a total stranger and I learned a great truth. I didn't think one bit less of Joe when he cut to the chase and asked me for money.What a great day. And it only cost me 5 bucks. Life is good, my friends.