In this feature, I will highlight different Guying Around Profiles. I will write about different people whom I have met through my travels that are unique and worth sharing about. Some of these different people might sound unbelievable, but trust me they are 100 percent real.
I really don’t know where to begin with this guy. There is so much to share with this legend. I guess I’ll start with how we met. In college I was playing on the Men’s basketball team and we would regularly hang out with members from the Girls team. One of the girls would bring around this wrestler guy pretty often and we later found out they were dating. She was about 6’3” and he was about 5’6”. Most college wrestlers didn’t really have much personality, it always seemed like they were constantly working out, cutting weight and eating celery. You never wanted to mess with any of these guys on the street, they would put you in a pretzel in no time. This guy was different. He was personable, outgoing and informed us that he would not wrestle his last year of college. Summer came and when we arrived back in school in August I had an Elementary Education class with this wrestler. He informed me he was no longer dating the basketball player, had dreads at this point and was planning on student teaching next semester. He was going to finish school a year earlier than me and my roommates. At this time is when we famously nicknamed him “The Rasta Man”.
Throughout the course of that year he would come around and hang out at our house, I had two other roommates. Friday afternoons of Rainbow 6 on the projector while enjoying some Busch Light Guy Sodas became a weekly occurrence. The Rasta Man informed us that after he finished school he was going to move to Colorado to be a ski instructor. The only thing was he never skied before, that just the kind of Guy that he is, carefree and going with the flow. When the Rasta Man began his student teaching he had to cut his dreads, so he looked like the actor Eric Estrada. That spring we got to know more about the Rasta Man, we found out he was adopted from Guatemala, lived in Japan for a few years as a teenager and could play the guitar. He was the most interesting man in the world to my roommates and me.
After graduation, the Rasta Man went radio silent that summer until we were back to school. It was my last year of school, the Rasta Man was going to set out on his westward journey to Colorado. He needed a place to stay for one night, so we had a spare couch with his name on it. When the Rasta Man came back to stay at our place, all he had was some clothes, camping gear and a football in his car. Literally, the bare essentials. Rasta Man asked to stay for a night or two, but he actually ended up staying for a week just because. He spent most nights on the couch, but there was one night we had another visitor and the Rasta Man stayed on our back deck on a sleeping bag. He was our fourth unofficial official roommate. When the Rasta Man left that fall to begin his ski instructor career, a little piece of us also left. Sad day for the boys of 529 Liberty Ave.
All fall and winter we worried about how the Rasta Man was living out in Colorado. Was he living in a house? Did he just camp the entire time? Is he being fed? Did he remember to eat? All valid questions. In April of that year, the Rasta Man contacted us asking to stay at our house yet again on his way back to Delaware from Colorado. His first ski season had wrapped up. I hope he learned how to ski. We said yes of course, but the Rasta Man said he was bringing a friend. A friend of the Rasta Man’s is a friend of ours. When April came we were so excited to see the Rasta Man and meet his friend who at first glance looks like Stephen Baldwin so we called him, Stephen Baldwin. The first night we got a little rowdy and our college town wasn’t very big. It is actually pretty tough to get lost, but Stephen Baldwin managed to do so. He came back to the house hours later, muddy and demoralized.
Fast forward a few years with a few other Rasta Man visits sprinkled in those years. I was Guying Around last summer in Colorado, mainly for a bachelor party visit to Denver. I did a big long USA road trip that I will detail in another post so I had access to wheels out there. Post-bachelor party I was meant to head north to Keystone, Colorado to visit the Rasta Man after years of not seeing one another. After the bachelor party, where plenty of Guying Around occurred that weekend, I drove through the mountains and arrived at the Rasta Mans residence. Boy things don’t change.
I greeted the Rasta Man by bringing him leftover Guy Sauce (booze) and a big hug, the Rasta Man loves hugs. We went out to his back deck overlooking the mountains and had a lot to catch up on. Rasta Man wanted to show me something so he went into his apartment and came back with “Sais”, like what Raphael uses in the Ninja Turtles. I have seen the Rasta Man use Nun chucks before, but his ability to use Sais was out of this world. The Rasta Man learned how to use literally every Ninja Turtle weapon out there. He keeps getting more interesting and interesting. He wanted to show me around town so we planned to take off. I peaked my head in his room which contained clothes rolled up, a weed whacker, ninja weapons, guns, a keyboard, and other Rasta Man tools. We checked out Keystone, Breckenridge and the surrounding areas that day. It was great catching up with the Rasta Man after so many years. The best part of the day was dinner when he took me to a “cook your own steak” restaurant, his big surprise. Also, he didn’t tie his shoes or wear a belt the entire day, pretty impressive.
I could go on and on with more Rasta Man stories and how interesting he really is. From being like “the Guy on the couch” in half baked to being a Division 1 college wrestler to having an elementary education certification to knowing how to use every Ninja Turtle weapon. What really makes the Rasta Man special is his heart and soul. He does not have a mean bone in his body, genuinely cares about people and has an open mind. I credit a lot of my Guying Around mentality because of the Rasta Man. Get out of your comfort zone, try something new, explore, learn and above all be a good person and have a good time. With that, I thank you Rasta Man, wherever you are.