Saturday, February 23, 2008

Small Town, U.S.A.

Brett walked in the door the other day from his bi-monthly visit to the barber shop chuckling a little bit more than usual.

By usual, I mean that a trip to our eccentric barber shop usually provides some kind of humor each time he visits. Sometimes he's entertained by the local "good 'ol boys" gossiping about politics. Sometimes it's the mom in there, letting her teenage son pick out his own haircut for the first time that makes him smile. Sometimes he sees someone we went to high school with and a session of "way too much information" takes place, in which he comes home and shares. Oh, I love it when he shares.

But the other day, he could barely contain himself when he came home from his haircut.

My 4th grade teacher has been our town's "maintenance guy" for years and years. I don't know when he retired from teaching, but let's just say, for the sake of politeness, that when I had him for a teacher in 1983, he probably should have been doing something other than molding the minds of young children for a living.

He is, however, a wonderful caretaker of the shopping center's rosebushes, the holiday decorations, the burnt-out light bulbs and anything else that must be kept tidy. He is the kind of character that tips his hat to you and greets you with a smile and a genuine interest in your life.

On more than one occasion, he's inquired about my children, my parents and my brother. And I do not mind at all spending a few minutes chatting with him. He gives my kids quarters for the lead toy machines outside the grocery store and thanks them for making his job easier by picking up stray garbage.

I have come to appreciate him in ways that I never thought possible when I sat in his classroom, a petrified 10-year-old girl, being told that "girls weren't good at math," and afraid that I'd get my knuckles hit with a ruler if I wasn't holding my pencil the correct way.

When he saw my husband at the barber shop, he immediately knew who he was.

"And how is Mr. My Maiden Name, doing today?" he inquired.

Brett answered, "Well I'm fine, Charlie, and I may have married a My Maiden Name, but I didn't take her name when I did."

I love small towns.


jen said...

there's nothing else like small towns.

painted maypole said...

he he he

Family Adventure said...

So funny!

I love that you still see your 4th grade math teacher around. Having never lived in the same place for long enough, I just cannot fathom that. :)


Mrs Pushy said...

He must be a very progressive older gentleman to have thought that your husband took your maiden name as his own.


Stacey @Real World Mom said...

LOL! What a cute story! Great way to get my day started! :-)

Tracy said...

I am definitely getting a good chuckle out of it.....especially since I had that very same teacher once upon a time! LOL!

mrsmogul said...

Wow I have never lived in a really small town so have no idea if I would like it or not. However, we do live with ONE walmart here so we try not to do anything crazy in the store for fear of being banished!

Cathy said...

That's hilarious! I often wonder about a few of mine -- what they're doing now, etc...

Tracey said...

I love that I run into people from "way back when" all the time. And I don't even live in a small town!

kimi said...

I love that. I bowl in a league next to my second grade teacher and I LOVE seeing her! there's nothing like getting they "hey you grew up much better than I thought you would" look ;)