I met Primus Butler in 2007 as he walked 20 miles with a cane across the Tooele Valley, and we became friends. Primus was born with a form of muscular dystrophy. As he explained to me, the left side of his brain is highly developed, while the right side has the faculty of an eight-year-old. Thus disabled, he reads voraciously, completing his five thousandth book this year. And I’m not talking Hardy Boys, but long and complex works of non-fiction, like Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton. He rates and lists every book—a select few he finds “indispensable.” He can discourse for hours about history, politics, biography, religion, and world civilizations. He earned a degree in Bible and Christian Education from Central Bible College in Springfield Missouri. And he is a writer. His first published book is entitled, Heroes of Hope, a collection of 52 biographical sketches of men and women whom Primus considers to have “changed the world by daring to hope.” (See the Xulon Press bookstore.) Mom and I each bought a first edition. Once every month or two I take pizza or fried chicken and Coke to Primus’ house to catch up and talk about whatever interesting subjects cross our minds. Primus does most of the talking because, well, he knows most of the information. I called him to tell him I had moved from the valley and would not be able to see him as often, but that I would stop by from time to time. He did not betray any sadness. But we have become friends, and I will keep in touch. Primus is preparing his second book for publication: 52 sketches of his Heroes of Love.
We should all cultivate a friendship with people like Primus.
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