Huckleberry Finn

It’s been quite a while since I have written.  Much has happened–joy, disappointment, success and failure.  One of our drivers told me some time back that the transportation business is a three legged stool:  drivers, mechanical parts, and customers.   Keeping all the gears  moving harmoniously  is not always easy.   Not that John and Co. doesn’t work hard at the mechanical end or that drivers aren’t professional or that customers are difficult.  It is just a human business and sometimes we humans get a little cranky and God knows! the machines are the prima donas.   However, looking back at the summer, I can honestly weigh “the agony of defeat and the thrill of victory” in victory’s corner.   The rushing days dull my memory but one special encounter stands out.

I had wanted to write about this soon after the experience so that the conversation wouldn’t fade its fresh gloss.  It was one of those surreal times when it seems like you have stepped into the scene of a movie. Someone has handed you a script and you are speaking the lines.

I picked up the phone one evening to hear a young boy’s voice  “Is this the trolley company?”  This very confident young man that I guessed to be about 9 or 10 called to tell me that the doors of the trolley were open and he was worried about that.  However  he hadn’t called to just end the conversation there.  At first I wondered how he had gotten our phone number when I realized it was on the back of the trolley.   I’m not sure whose cell phone he was using.

The trolley was parked at Eddy’s place for repairs and this young man had wandered over from a nearby neighborhood to take a look.  Trolleys are like that.  They have a special magnetism for children and children at heart.  I’m sure he must of climbed inside because which huckleberry finn could resist the temptation?  I told him that he mustn’t go underneath the trolley for safety sake.  (I do hope that he climbed on the back porch though.)

Our conversation ensued for some 20 minutes.  It was delightful to see how this precocious young man engineered the conversation to continue endlessly.  He asked me questions.  He asked more questions.  I asked far fewer because I didn’t want to pry.   He told me the family ups and downs.   I listened patiently.  I learned that he had a younger sister.  He told me proudly that he cooked for her.  His Dad must have been unemployed because he told me several times that his Dad was looking for a job.  Quite boldly he told me that his Dad could wash the trolley if it needed it.  Eventually  he asked me the question that might have been on his mind from the beginning, “Do you have a job I can do at the trolley company?”    Motherly instinct girded with a shield and helmet imagination rose to the need.

“I have a job you can do.  You know it worries me that our trolley is down there outside of a fence.   First, I would like you to close the doors…”  “Oh, I can do that.”  “…check and make sure the back door is closed”  “I can do that.” “…and then make sure that nobody and especially your sister crawls underneath it.”

The next day I took $5 and gave it to the mechanic.  “If you see a young boy who comes by asking about the trolley, give this to him.”

He never called again.


One Response to “Huckleberry Finn”

  1. mechanical engineerings Says:

    I love it, love, just perfect article, you need to keep workign, for sure !

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