Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

March 5, 2013

Thankful for small town life

Pat Smith
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — Good grief, sometimes the world seems such an absurd place what with otherwise normal people doing truly stupid things just to get some publicity, undisciplined celebrities seemingly taking pleasure in how many times they go in and out of “rehab,” sports stars cheating in limitless ways and Joan Rivers ... doing whatever it is that she does.

But, the world isn’t really like that. All that nonsense does is to cause me to think about how lucky I am to live in a small community in Decatur County.

I’m glad to see Dale Huntington back on the square where his parents, then he, had the jewelry store for so many years (one door away from the original location.) When I stopped in to see him he helped me with an earring problem and a watch problem, and then we chatted and chatted.

Then I went to County Supply to ask John Curd about the tool someone told me to get for a specific job. He said that wasn’t what I needed, explained why, and showed me what was really needed. It worked perfectly too. I told him of problems with my wireless tool and he said, “bring it in and I’ll see what can be done.”

Next to Sibbitt’s Chevrolet Buick for an oil change. While waiting I observed a “kid” working with customers with grace and patience and obviously enjoying his job. I asked him about some strange buttons on my car. Standing in the cold he explained their purpose. When I, no doubt, looked puzzled he explained it again without once making me feel like I should have known it. I learned that his name is Chris “C. J.” Root and he’s only 22. Tim has done the same thing, but he’s older. I left wondering how he learned to deal with people so well and how he learned so much about cars in so little time.

I stopped at Fifth Third Bank. Others in the bank are always helpful and willing. I get my questions answered when I talk with them, but still, when I want help with something I ask for “young Jason”  (Jason Dye). He has the same gift that C.J. has. Patience and consideration without ever making an a person feel less than sharp. You bet I’m glad to live in Decatur County.

I had an interesting experience last week. At a friend’s suggestion I made an appointment to interview someone. When the day came for us to meet the interviewee didn’t show. The secretary called and I learned that the interviewee had forgotten. I told the forgetful person that it is good to be reminded now and again that we are forgettable.

It was the first time to have an interviewee forget an appointment but there have certainly been other interesting experiences in the nearly four decades of writing a column. Once I quoted “curiouser and curiouser” in a column and was taken down pretty good by a reader that had never read the story of Alice in Wonderland.

The man suggested I learn how to write and spell. I was so surprised that I, like Alice, “for the moment quite forgot how to speak good English.” I remembered an important rule when writing — include the source if using a quote. It’s a good rule.

On another occasion I mentioned an individual with piercings and tattoos. A few individuals from a particular group threatened to boycott the Daily News, or never read another Daily News paper that had my column in it, or demanded equal time to tell why piercings and tattoos are the devil’s work and – well, let’s say that they didn’t like the column.

Readers let me know when I’m wrong or mistaken. I not only appreciate it, I count on it. But 99.99 percent do so with grace and kindness. Readers are, and have always been, generous to a fault with help, time, suggestions and compliments. They make it worthwhile.

An example came last week when I received a note from Judy Bodwell, daughter of Albert Rust, on behalf of his family. She wrote that the columns about her father had brought not only joy, but a lot of comfort to his family since his passing. “For now his legacy can be read by future generations of our family and others.”

She also wrote that many of his friends across the country were able to enjoy the columns by searching the Internet. I’ll treasure the note, but most of all I’ll treasure the memory of meeting her Dad.



— Daily News