You’re here today? They told me you only come here on weekends.
The speaker was a woman working at a warehouse store. I had stopped in one day last week on the way home from work, a weeknight. I hadn’t seen her before. But she knew me. Apparently, she watches TV.
Good to see you. Now I’m gonna go tell my friend I saw Richard Belcher in here on a weekday. Have a blessed day!
“You too!” I said cheerily, and walked off.
As you probably know, Belcher is an enterprising hard-news animal who breaks stories on WSB. Like me, he’s got the grey maned, middle-aged / old guy thing going. Belcher is a distinctive looking guy.
I’m the guy who just sort of looks like him at first glance, pretty much everywhere I go.
“Hey. Hey!” A stranger is smiling and pointing in recognition. “You’re that newsman. What’s your name again?”
“Richards.” I go with the last name because I know that’s what they want to hear.
“Yessir! Richards Belcher. Great to meet you.”
At first glance, I’m frequently also Jeff Dore, Dale Russell and Randy Travis. I kinda get Dore, another grey-haired guy. Russell and I have the same initials, so I get that. But Travis and I don’t look anything alike.
“Hey! Randy Travis!”
“No, but I know Randy. I’ll tell him you said hi.”
It’s not just from a distance. A couple of years ago, I met a friend for a beer at the Grove, a pub in my neighborhood. A fortyish woman sitting next to me interjected in our conversation. “Soon as I heard your voice, I knew who you were. You do a great job on the news.”
She began complaining about local news, one of my favorite topics. “So much blood and guts. But you do a great job.” As she drank, her level of friendliness increased. I put my my ring-bearing left hand on prominent display, and diverted the conversation back toward the amused man I’d originally met there.
She finally paid her tab and started to stagger out.
“It was great talking with you,” she said. “Can’t wait to tell my girlfriends I shared a barstool with Richard Belcher.”