A Story: March 16, 2017

Worked for the Goods at their Corn Stand for a decade. Once a week, a man would stop after his round of golf, roll up in his white Lexus SUV, and command me to get him 6 ears of corn and 2 tomatoes. Same order once a week, same abrupt delivery. I politely told him one day that most people like picking out their own produce, but he said that if he happened to bring home a bad ear of corn he could blame me to his wife and didn’t mind waiting if I needed to serve other customers first. He had all day! Must be nice.

One day he rolled up and I was alone. Making conversation for once as I went to the wagon to select corn for him, he asked what I was reading as he saw an open book on the counter. We actually had a conversation. “I’m a college student at Elon University in North Carolina. I’m majoring in History. My dad taught Government before becoming a Principal and my mom teaches A.P. U.S. History as her specialty, but I love learning European History.”

Later that summer (of 2004), I had a day off and came to the Corn Stand the next day to a bemused smile from Jan. “A man came yesterday and brought a book for you. His message was that he hopes this book will be as entertaining for you as it was for him, even though it’s American History.” The book was his copy of Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. It sat unread on my shelf for years, my mom has even borrowed it and read it twice! And then come to find out that Lin-Manuel Miranda was so captivated by this particular book’s presentation of Alexander Hamilton that he made it into a hit musical. Now, all these years later, I’m FINALLY going to read it. Can’t help but think of that man at the Corn Stand–and wonder if he’s even a little bit nicer to people who serve him after our interactions and his gift to me.