Good People

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This was my admittance ticket for my visit to Sun Studio nearly 28 years ago. It was such an awesome experience that I’ve been carrying that ticket in my billfold ever since.

And now, all these years later, I’m in Memphis again. But, sadly, without time to visit the shrines of American music. Maybe next time.

But I did have time to visit the Soulfish Cafe for a supper of catfish, hush puppies, cole slaw and collard greens. It was off-the-charts good.

I’m on east coast time so I ate early. There weren’t many people in the restaurant with me. The only other table had four young people, two young black men withΒ two young black women.

As I was enjoying my catfish supper an elderly white woman came in and picked up take-out. On the way to her car, visible to us through the restaurant window, she fell in the parking lot. Almost quicker than I could process what had happened, those two young men had rushed outside to help her. They helped her to her feet, made sure she was OK, then came back inside to resume their meals. A simple act of kindness. No doubt there are literally millions of them every day. But it made me smile, knowing that such things reflect who we are as people, and they never make the news. I even felt a little ashamed at myself that those young men had reacted more quickly than I did.

They were quicker to their feet than I was, but I wasn’t left without a chance to help. I paid their tab and asked their waitress not to tell them until I was gone. I wasn’t going to let those guys have all the fun.

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28 comments on “Good People

  1. This is so wonderful … so glad you shared it …

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    • Bill says:

      Thanks Teresa. There are two things about the post that concerned me–identifying the races of the people involved and taking credit for paying for their meal. But because we seem to live in a race-obsessed culture, where we’re fairly regularly told by the media that we don’t treat each other properly, I felt that made the story even better. And I wanted to tell the story but didn’t want folks wondering why I hadn’t done something nice for those folks in return. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Good on you and the two young gentlemen!
    M and I were just discussing last night how few genuinely nice and helpful people we encounter in our daily lives and when we do how “news worthy” it is to us because it, sadly, just doesn’t happen that often. I think it’s because of the area we live in (a bit on the snobby/self-absorbed side) but we have high hopes for the are where our farm is located.

    Now I’m hungry for hush puppies…

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    • Bill says:

      I’m convinced that nearly all of us are well-disposed to our fellow humanoids. I heard a sociologist once remark that one of the most incredible things about humans is how well we get along with one another. There’s still plenty of violence and brutality, but it is rare and nearly universally condemned.

      That is not to say that they aren’t cultural arrangements that mask our natural hospitality. When I moved into a condo in the city during the time I was commuting, one of the first things I did was go across the hall and knock of the door of my new next-door neighbors to introduce myself. They peered warily at me through the cracked door, evidently wondering what kind of maniac (or bumpkin) I was. I never saw them again and only got to know a couple of the people in the building. The kind of neighborliness I thought was natural was very weird in that context.

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      • I like to think that we are all good inside we just get too caught up in ourselves and our busy lives and forget how it feels to be kind and courteous. M likes to provide rude people with “happy hellos” – maybe they will stop for a moment and realize that a happy hello is much better for them than being rude/snooty/self-important ; D

        Liked by 1 person

      • shoreacres says:

        I’m not fussing, really, but I have to mention — we aren’t “humanoid!” That’s part of the problem. We’re slowly allowing the parameters of what it means to be human to be stretched, or truncated, or otherwise messed with. We’re human beings, not some biological-mechanical hybrid with a bit of AI thrown in — although, to watch people with their iGadgets, I do sometimes wonder.

        There’s nothing wrong with mentioning the race of the young men. As a matter of fact, given the negative stereotyping that goes on, it probably has some value. And paying for their meal was perfect. Think how good they must have felt!

        In the same vein, I just got a new neighbor, and did what you’re ‘sposed to do — took her some muffins, and said hello. Within a day, I found a hand-written thank you note tucked in my door. Thus shall civilization be preserved.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I LOVE this Bill! ❀
    Diana xo

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  4. MaryQuiContrary says:

    Thanks, Bill! This made me smile! It’s so nice to know that courtesy and kindness still are practised arts. Perfect example of how circular blessings can be!

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    • Bill says:

      I so agree Mary. Those fellows acted so quickly it was clear that they didn’t have time to ponder what the right thing to do was–they just knew automatically. Their mamas would be proud. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You started my day with a HAPPY HEART!

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  6. Scott says:

    A good meal and a good dose of kindness. Sweet.
    I try to help out where I can, and people usually act so surprised. I’m usually a little disheartened by their surprise, since it means to me that kindness doesn’t happen often enough from strangers…

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  7. Laurie Graves says:

    This post made me smile. What a great way to start the day!

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  8. Joanna says:

    After wondering why you were eating your shoes (hush puppies) the post made me smile. Glad you got a chance to reward those two young fellas

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  9. So cool. Thanks for supporting them. Nice to see people help each other. Sun Records—I got to visit there once. Have my photo out by the sign!

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    • Bill says:

      I would like to have gone back in, but I was worried about being late for an appointment and there was a tour bus parked out front. I remember feeling the history in that place.

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  10. Dearest Bill,
    What a joy to read this as it reinforces the hope for humanity. Yes there are lots of good people out there but sadly they never, or seldom will make the news headlines.
    You are a gentleman yourself and I send you kudos for doing so!
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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  11. BeeHappee says:

    Thank you, Bill, for this encouraging story.

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  12. Ah, nice one Bill! I’d call that payin’ it forward with perfect pitch: ) – and please forgive the mixed metaphors

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    • Bill says:

      I thought of it as paying forward too. On the one hand I didn’t want them to think they’d done something extraordinary, but on the other hand I wanted them to know that sometimes good things come back to you when you do something thoughtful.

      Liked by 1 person

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