Bill Murphy 2020
I was young and impressionable at the time, hardly thirteen at most. Impressions can be both negative and positive. This one was a most positive impression, one that’s stuck with me all of my life.
It happened around 1953, the dawn of rock & roll. Soft drinks were a nickle each, and came only in glass bottles. When returned to the seller, you were paid a two-cent deposit on the empty bottle.
On weekends, I worked in the Jitney grocery store that my father managed in Mart 51. I did odd jobs around the store, keeping the shopping carts orderly, and bagging groceries. I was also tasked with emptying the trash containers in the check-outs stands.
I was emptying a bag of trash into the dumpster when I heard the distinct clink of glass. “Oops, ”I remarked aloud, “Someone carelessly threw away a bottle.”
“No, not one, but two!” The remark came from Authur England, one of the store’s full-time employees. “One bottle can’t rattle!”
I stood frozen in my tracks, allowing this jewel of truth to sink in.
Almost seventy years later, when my grandkids and great-grandkids begin to bicker and fuss, most often as not pointing a finger and proclaiming, ‘They started it!’ I stop them with this simply truth: It takes two to rattle.
Thanks Arthur, for sharing your wisdom!