06/06/2013 01:10 pm ET Updated Aug 06, 2013

Willie: New York City, July 12, 2012


For as long as I can remember, Willie has been a doorman at my Aunt Janet's building in New York, usually on the night shift. When I get there late from traveling, or when I roll in late after a night shoot on a film production, I see Willie and we catch up. Willie is a world class bowler, averaging well into the 200s. He's even rolled at least one perfect 300 score -- 12 strikes in a row.

As an avid, decent bowler in my youth, I can carry on a good bowling conversation with Willie. I also update him on my latest doings, especially as relates to the film industry and show business. I feel as though we are engaged in a conversation of friendship that is interrupted by my time away from here but is picked up without missing a beat when I return. On this night, our conversation includes a famous actor I know and am about to work with who has been through some recently-publicized scandal in his personal life, but whom I know to be a good man in many ways. Willie nods his head and then says: "Yeah Robert, people make mistakes... that's why pencils have erasers!"

Helping me into my aunt's apartment with my bags, we bid each other a hushed, smiling good night as I close the door, enriched by this encounter and by Willie's way of seeing things.

For more by Robert G. Zuckerman, click here.

For more GPS for the Soul, click here.

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