Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Life In A Small Southern Town

I was driving along a busy country road one beautiful October afternoon and noticed a sign alongside a house coming up on my left.

The sign said “Fresh Pecans”. I was immediately reminded that my sister loves fresh pecans. She hates the polished, perfect looking pecans you buy in the grocery store at this time of the year. Something happens to the taste of the pecan while it’s being polished and perfected—something she says really ruins the pecan. Anyhow, I remembered that she loved pecans just from the tree and I pulled into the front yard of this home.

I got out of my car and started walking up to the table, expecting someone to come from around the corner of the house to take my order. I looked around. There was no one in sight and no cars in the driveway.

On a closer look at the table, I noticed something very unusual. There was the sign that said “Fresh Pecans” by the side of the table. The table had several prepackaged bags of pecans marked $5.00/2 lbs. Next to the prepackaged bags, was a bucket of loose pecans, some brown paper bags, a scale and a large black money box—rusted with a slit in the top. The can was not bolted to the table or locked around a tree or anything—it was just sitting there.

I stood looking at this sight for a few moments trying to figure out what it meant. After a few seconds, I realized: You were to either take the prepackaged pecans, or weigh your own—Either way you were to put your money (at the rate of 2 lbs. for $5.00) in the black money box. On your honor.

Coming from a big city like New York and then living in a smaller city outside of San Francisco for 30 years, I have seen the best and worst of human nature and though I am the eternal optomist, I have never seen such a representation of belief in the goodness of man as I did alongside that busy country road.

I looked in my wallet. All I had was one five dollar bill and a twenty but I wanted 2 bags for my sister and one for myself. I picked up one bag of pecans, put my $5.00 in the money box, got in my car and drove away.

Two days later, I came back with more money and bought two more bags. I sent 2 bags to my sister and made her day.

Only in small town USA!!!