One summer BW and I drove to Washington, D.C. I grow weary just remembering all the places we visited.
Then we motored homeward through Gatlinburg. There is no place more rakish, more garish, spawning more visual pollution that seems to be the plight of every popular tourist site in America.
We went into one of those stores that has everything that you don't need and several things that you want. They were selling university street signs all from the South. "Why," I asked with the politeness of Winnie The Pooh, "don't you have any IU signs?"
"My signs are made by a company in Ohio and the salesman will be in the store next week. If you will leave me your credit card number, I will have him make a sign for you and then I'll mail itto you." Did he see "na*ve hillbilly" tattooed on my forehead? We caucused. It's only $18. He swiped my credit card and gave us a receipt. I forgot about it. In October the school system had a
four-day fall vacation.
The following Monday morning before dawn there came a knocking on our front door. We were still abed. I stumbled to the door and inquired who was-a-knockin'. A voice said, "Lloyd."
I recognized the name and the voice. He said, "I have something for you."
He and his wife, a teacher, had been in Gatlinburg over the weekend and in the same store where we saw the signs. The owner asked, "Where are you from?" "Indiana." "Where in Indiana?" "The westside of Indianapolis. Why?" "I am sending an IU sign to a person in Indiana." "Really? Where? I might know the people."
The owner said, "It is to an address in Plainfield."
"Plainfield! I live in Plainfield. What is the name? I might know the person. Plainfield is not a large city and I have lived there most of my life."
"The name is Larry Vandeventer." "I know him! We live about two blocks apart. If you trust me I'll take it to him and save you the postage."
Now the store owner had to make a decision. Do I trust this guy? Do I risk losing a $20 sale just to save postage? He decided to trust Lloyd and the sign was on the way.
That is why Lloyd was banging on my door so early in the morning. He was on the way to work and delivering the sign as he promised. Lloyd and I are both retired now and we spent last Thursday evening at the IRT Theater in Indy with a group of church friends seeing "The Mousetrap" one of Agatha Christie's most memorable plays.
Trust is a valuable commodity and is in short supply in many facets of life. I am reminded of this every day during this interminable, incessant presidential election campaign. I find myself not trusting any of the candidates and becoming more cynical. There are many people I trust implicitly others not so much. The IU sign still hangs in my
Larry Vandeventer. Go to my website --Larryvandeventer.com -- and purchase my books. I grew up North of Calvertville and graduated from Worthington High School and Indiana State. Contact me atGoosecrick@aol.com or 317-839-7656.