Posted September 20, 2013 by jimhigley
Loyalty was a big thing with my parents. And they didn’t just preach it. They lived it. Starting with my father who worked for one man his entire adult life.
My mom earned her loyalty stripes, as well.
Family folklore has it that when she walked into our grade school cafeteria to volunteer as a “Wednesday Lunch Lady,” they asked for a one year commitment.
“I’ll give you 11!” she told them – promising to load up lunch plates full of green beans until her youngest son graduated from 8th grade.
The lunch crew chuckled.
But she fulfilled that pledge – missing only one Wednesday due to surgery.
Nowhere, however, did my mom’s loyalty badge shine brighter than with her friendship with Glady. They met when they were 13 at a church youth group. And remained best friends throughout their entire lives.
The were prehistoric BFFs.
And, despite living in different cities – and at times different countries – beginning when they were 18, they remained connected through letters and regular visits year after year.
Glady married a character everyone called “Dap” – one of the funniest, comically stingy, and big-hearted guys you’d ever want to meet. He could also stretch – and save – a dollar better than anyone.
I never knew him to have a radio in his car. And he’d wear the same clothes for years. He also relished in his weekly ritual of buying the “mystery cans” at the grocery store for pennies on the dollar. I’m talking about the cans of fruits or vegetables that had lost their labels, leaving the contents a true mysteries – and hence the deep discount. But Dap was sure he had perfected a method for narrowing down the possibilities of what he was buying.
So what if what he guessed was a can of creamed corn turned out to be sauerkraut? Food was food as far as Dap was concerned.
Dap and my own father, in many ways, were two peas in a pod. And became lifelong friends themselves.
A fringe – and lasting benefit – of this chance friendship that began with two young girls.
And that’s what made this relationship between our families so cherished – and protected – by everyone. Husbands and kids alike. It was the origin of a friendship coupled with its longevity. In a world long before the benefits – and burdens – of technology.
An important lesson, I think, for every young kid: to see their own parents validated by being someone else’s lifelong friend.
This memory is brought to you through my partnership with Kimberly-Clark during the months of September and October. It’s part of their Pick Up the Values Program– providing tips and ideas for parents to stretch their budgets.
Today’s memory is compliments of Scott Brand. Why Scott? Well, I didn’t tell you, but Dap worked for them for years…managing paper mills all over the world. To this day, I’m a loyal Scott user. And I always think of dear old Dap when I’m in the grocery store. And no, I don’t purchase any mystery cans. Ever.
And for daily tips and ideas, be sure to “like” the Pick Up the Values Facebook Page!
Rest assured, while I’ve been compensated by Kimberly-Clark for this story, the memory, and belief in their product is as real as it comes.