August 11, 2005
I've known two people in my life who totally astounded me with their intelligence. One was a friend of my brother. He was a sorta geeky guy, but he scored a perfect 1600 on the SAT, made straight-A grades all through school, was a national STAR student and ended up working for the government.
He was a smart guy. But he had an AMAZING ability to solve word-puzzles. I've enjoyed crosswords and logic problems all my life, and I'm pretty good at solving them. I've just never seen anyone else who could do what he did.
Ever seen those WORD SCRAMBLE puzzles? Those are 10 letters, all scrambled up that form a word when put in the right order. I watched that guy work an entire page of the "Expert" puzzles in about one minute. My jaw dropped. He looked at those letters and SAW the word in them. He could do it every time.
He's also was the only person I ever saw pick up a Rubik's Cube for the first time and have it all figured out in five minutes. It was easy for him to do.
The other guy is a friend of mine from high school. He was Captain of the Jenkins High Quiz Bowl team the year we won the state championship. He claimed that his area of expertise was "trivia." He was cursed with a lack of ambition. He flunked out of the University of Georgia because he seldom bothered to go to class, and ended up working as a projectionist at the "Paris Adult Theater" for a while.
He never did get a degree.
But he DID get into the auto parts business, made a killing, built his own home (I helped him some with that work) and retired at an earlier age than I did, in a nice place on a salt water creek. His garage is where my old band once practiced. I think they still play there today.
I once thought I was a pretty smart fellow. But after meeting those two guys, I saw that I was wrong. I was "bright," but I was no genius.
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