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The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story

 
UseLess RepEATER
Those who know the least obey the best: G.F.

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11/25/2012 10:39 PM

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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
I never could get myself to make fun of "retarded" kids (which is what they were called in the 60's and 70's) when I was a youngster. I got choked up two paragraphs in, once I could see where this was going. Kind of puts things into perspective.

5* OP.

hf
Real Eyes, Realize, Real Lies
~U.R.~

Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
~H. L. Mencken~

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.
~Plato~

When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations,
the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.
~Dresden James~
Hawk-02

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11/25/2012 10:40 PM

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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
I never could get myself to make fun of "retarded" kids (which is what they were called in the 60's and 70's) when I was a youngster. I got choked up two paragraphs in, once I could see where this was going. Kind of puts things into perspective.

5* OP.

hf
 Quoting: UseLess RepEATER


RetardTard!
WAR INSIDE MY HEAD.
TheCartel

User ID: 11312040
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11/25/2012 10:42 PM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
Cool, and someone has already brought up race..shame..
Captain Spaulding
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11/25/2012 10:59 PM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
My old man died a few years ago and since I had lost my home and business I went back to Wisconsin to clean and fix up the family farm we owned since 1939. It took about a year and a half and the property sold. I left "the farm" on Thanksgiving day all alone with my dog in back, not sure where I was even headed, Just driving west. And it was unusually cold.

I felt so damn alone and empty inside. My dog has her head on my lap and the radio was off. I pulled up to a toll booth, I think in Southern Illinois or Missouri and went to pay the guy. he said "the truck in front of you paid your toll and said to say Happy Thanksgiving".

Sometimes the world IS a good place.

Check out Tom Waits song "Big Joe and the Phantom 309". For me, anything Tom Waits does is gold, lined with diamonds and cigarette ashes.

Good luck to us all...
Captain Spaulding
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United States
11/25/2012 11:00 PM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
My old man died a few years ago and since I had lost my home and business I went back to Wisconsin to clean and fix up the family farm we owned since 1939. It took about a year and a half and the property sold. I left "the farm" on Thanksgiving day all alone with my dog in back, not sure where I was even headed, Just driving west. And it was unusually cold.

I felt so damn alone and empty inside. My dog has her head on my lap and the radio was off. I pulled up to a toll booth, I think in Southern Illinois or Missouri and went to pay the guy. he said "the truck in front of you paid your toll and said to say Happy Thanksgiving".

Sometimes the world IS a good place.

Check out Tom Waits song "Big Joe and the Phantom 309". For me, anything Tom Waits does is gold, lined with diamonds and cigarette ashes.

Good luck to us all...
INK3

User ID: 27337849
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11/25/2012 11:03 PM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
Lovely, and loving. Here's what I've learned from Hurricane Sandy (I live, pretty much at the eye of that storm). People here in NJ (contrary to what the rest of the world may think of us), really banded together. Clothes were collected, and given out, meals were cooked and served to people who had no utilities, people from all across the country sent; food, money, clothes and good will. We all helped each other. Those who lost their houses were invited in to other houses, volunteers worked many hours, and they too, were provided with meals, housing and whatever else could be offered. For the most part, the people here didn't rely on government assistance, they had already been helped, for their immediate needs, by friends, family, and absolute strangers who just wanted to lessen their pain and lighten their burden. That is who we really are.
"When tyrants tremble in their fear, and hear their death knell ringing,
When friends rejoice both far and near, how can I keep from singing"

page7
Anonymous Coward
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11/25/2012 11:04 PM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
Ty Op for sharing that. Just like the truckers, uou are special as well for doing it.
Captain Spaulding
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11/25/2012 11:07 PM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
Sorry for the double post. A server message came up.
Anonymous Coward
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11/25/2012 11:18 PM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
If stevie
The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story

I try not to be biased, but I had my doubts about hiring Stevie. His placement counselor assured me that he would be a good, reliable busboy. But I had never had a mentally handicapped employee and wasn't sure I wanted one. I wasn't sure how my customers would react to Stevie. He was short, a little dumpy with the smooth facial features and thick-tongued sp
eech of Downs Syndrome.

I wasn't worried about most of my trucker customers because truckers don't generally care who buses tables as long as the meatloaf platter is good and the pies are homemade. The four-wheeler drivers were the ones who concerned me; the mouthy college kids traveling to school; the yuppie snobs who secretly polish their silverware with their napkins for fear of catching some dreaded "truck stop germ" the pairs of white-shirted business men on expense accounts who think every truck stop waitress wants to be flirted with. I knew those people would be uncomfortable around Stevie so I closely watched him for the first few weeks.

I shouldn't have worried. After the first week, Stevie had my staff wrapped around his stubby little finger, and within a month my truck regulars had adopted him as their official truck stop mascot. After that, I really didn't care what the rest of the customers thought of him. He was like a 21-year-old in blue jeans and Nikes, eager to laugh and eager to please, but fierce in his attention to his duties. Every salt and pepper shaker was exactly in its place, not a bread crumb or coffee spill was visible when Stevie got done with the table.

Our only problem was persuading him to wait to clean a table until after the customers were finished. He would hover in the background, shifting his weight from one foot to the other, scanning the dining room until a table was empty. Then he would scurry to the empty table and carefully bus dishes and glasses onto cart and meticulously wipe the table up with a practiced flourish of his rag. If he thought a customer was watching, his brow would pucker with added concentration. He took pride in doing his job exactly right, and you had to love how hard he tried to please each and every person he met.

Over time, we learned that he lived with his mother, a widow who was disabled after repeated surgeries for cancer. They lived on their Social Security benefits in public housing two miles from the truck stop. Their social worker, who stopped to check on him every so often, admitted they had fallen between the cracks. Money was tight, and what I paid him was probably the difference between them being able to live together and Stevie being sent to a group home. That's why the restaurant was a gloomy place that morning last August, the first morning in three years that Stevie missed work.

He was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester getting a new valve or something put in his heart. His social worker said that people with Downs Syndrome often have heart problems at an early age so this wasn't unexpected, and there was a good chance he would come through the surgery in good shape and be back at work in a few months.

A ripple of excitement ran through the staff later that morning when word came that he was out of surgery, in recovery, and doing fine. Frannie, the head waitress, let out a war hoop and did a little dance in the aisle when she heard the good news. Bell Ringer, one of our regular trucker customers, stared at the sight of this 50-year-old grandmother of four doing a victory shimmy beside his table. Frannie blushed, smoothed her apron and shot Belle Ringer a withering look.

He grinned. "OK, Frannie, what was that all about?" he asked.

"We just got word that Stevie is out of surgery and going to be okay."

"I was wondering where he was. I had a new joke to tell him. What was the surgery about?"

Frannie quickly told Bell Ringer and the other two drivers sitting at his booth about Stevie's surgery, then sighed: "Yeah, I'm glad he is going to be OK," she said. "But I don't know how he and his Mom are going to handle all the bills. From what I hear, they're barely getting by as it is." Belle Ringer nodded thoughtfully, and Frannie hurried off to wait on the rest of her tables.

Since I hadn't had time to round up a busboy to replace Stevie and really didn't want to replace him, the girls were busing their own tables that day until we decided what to do. After the morning rush, Frannie walked into my office. She had a couple of paper napkins in her hand and a funny look on her face.

"What's up?" I asked.

"I didn't get that table where Bell Ringer and his friends were sitting cleared off after they left, and Pony Pete and Tony Tipper were sitting there when I got back to clean it off," she said. "This was folded and tucked under a coffee cup."

She handed the napkin to me, and three $20 bills fell onto my desk when I opened it. On the outside, in big, bold letters, was printed "Something For Stevie.

Pony Pete asked me what that was all about," she said, "so I told him about Stevie and his Mom and everything, and Pete looked at Tony and Tony looked at Pete, and they ended up giving me this." She handed me another paper napkin that had "Something For Stevie" scrawled on its outside. Two $50 bills were tucked within its folds.

Frannie looked at me with wet, shiny eyes, shook her head and said simply: "truckers."

That was three months ago. Today is Thanksgiving, the first day Stevie is supposed to be back to work. His placement worker said he's been counting the days until the doctor said he could work, and it didn't matter at all that it was a holiday. He called 10 times in the past week, making sure we knew he was coming, fearful that we had forgotten him or that his job was in jeopardy.

I arranged to have his mother bring him to work. I then met them in the parking lot and invited them both to celebrate his day back. Stevie was thinner and paler, but couldn't stop grinning as he pushed through the doors and headed for the back room where his apron and busing cart were waiting.

"Hold up there, Stevie, not so fast," I said. I took him and his mother by their arms. "Work can wait for a minute. To celebrate you coming back, breakfast for you and your mother is on me!"

I led them toward a large corner booth at the rear of the room. I could feel and hear the rest of the staff following behind as we marched through the dining room. Glancing over my shoulder, I saw booth after booth of grinning truckers empty and join the procession. We stopped in front of the big table. Its surface was covered with coffee cups, saucers and dinner plates, all sitting slightly crooked on dozens of folded paper napkins.

"First thing you have to do, Stevie, is clean up this mess," I said. I tried to sound stern. Stevie looked at me, and then at his mother, then pulled out one of the napkins. It had "Something for Stevie" printed on the outside. As he picked it up, two $10 bills fell onto the table.

Stevie stared at the money, then at all the napkins peeking from beneath the tableware, each with his name printed or scrawled on it. I turned to his mother.

"There's more than $10,000 in cash and checks on table, all from truckers and trucking companies that heard about your problems. "Happy Thanksgiving,"

Well, it got real noisy about that time, with everybody hollering and shouting, and there were a few tears, as well. But you know what's funny? While everybody else was busy shaking hands and hugging each other, Stevie, with a big, big smile on his face, was busy clearing all the cups and dishes from the table. Best worker I ever hired.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 25783006
If stevie was black he whould be trashed,by the truckers.
 Quoting: CORNHAULER (cornholer) 27720836




YOU are the racist....not the truckdrivers
Alpacalips

User ID: 25902452
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11/25/2012 11:23 PM

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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
hf
SLIPPERY NIPPPS

User ID: 28491147
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11/25/2012 11:26 PM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
Totally AWESOME story thanks for sharing!
telling it straight

User ID: 1461054
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11/25/2012 11:38 PM

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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
Wonderful story best post of the day!!sweet_kiss
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28222898


Best post of the year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Matrix-V

User ID: 27588863
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11/25/2012 11:38 PM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
cool story bro..
but im calling bsflag
Copperhead

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11/25/2012 11:41 PM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story


Last Edited by Copperhead on 11/25/2012 11:41 PM
Anonymous Coward
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11/25/2012 11:41 PM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
Brings a tear to this old man's eye...

imagine this country if the politicians and leaders could come together like this
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1381928


It's not about them, forget about politicians because they don't come together like this.

we the people do, that's all that matters.
Matrix-V

User ID: 27588863
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11/25/2012 11:43 PM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story

 Quoting: Copperhead


google is DOWN too now?!?!

so is many other sites in my bookmark list!!!

wtf

GLP seems like the only site right now thats loading fine

Last Edited by Matrix-V on 11/25/2012 11:43 PM
Anonymous Coward
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11/25/2012 11:43 PM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
Wonder if he had Medicaid to pay for the hospital bill, coz 10 grand would barely put a dent in it otherwise!
LilacFrost

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11/25/2012 11:44 PM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
Beautiful and the timing of this is uncanny. hf
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 17579430
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11/25/2012 11:45 PM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
bsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflag

Story reeks of BS cuz it is

Besides this is GLP where giving handouts to others is frowned upon (to put it lightly)
Copperhead

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11/25/2012 11:50 PM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
bsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflagbsflag

Story reeks of BS cuz it is

Besides this is GLP where giving handouts to others is frowned upon (to put it lightly)
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 17579430


There is a difference between freely giving out money to those in need, and having the government backed by force of arms steal your money to give to those they decide are in need.
LilacFrost

User ID: 1469248
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11/25/2012 11:53 PM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
One random act of kindness. One smile. A few nice words. You never know what another person is going through, even if they look fine on the outside. Sorry for your loss. How are you feeling these days Captain?

My old man died a few years ago and since I had lost my home and business I went back to Wisconsin to clean and fix up the family farm we owned since 1939. It took about a year and a half and the property sold. I left "the farm" on Thanksgiving day all alone with my dog in back, not sure where I was even headed, Just driving west. And it was unusually cold.

I felt so damn alone and empty inside. My dog has her head on my lap and the radio was off. I pulled up to a toll booth, I think in Southern Illinois or Missouri and went to pay the guy. he said "the truck in front of you paid your toll and said to say Happy Thanksgiving".

Sometimes the world IS a good place.

Check out Tom Waits song "Big Joe and the Phantom 309". For me, anything Tom Waits does is gold, lined with diamonds and cigarette ashes.

Good luck to us all...
 Quoting: Captain Spaulding 28245340
LilacFrost

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11/25/2012 11:56 PM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
Great testimony. How are things there now INK3?

Lovely, and loving. Here's what I've learned from Hurricane Sandy (I live, pretty much at the eye of that storm). People here in NJ (contrary to what the rest of the world may think of us), really banded together. Clothes were collected, and given out, meals were cooked and served to people who had no utilities, people from all across the country sent; food, money, clothes and good will. We all helped each other. Those who lost their houses were invited in to other houses, volunteers worked many hours, and they too, were provided with meals, housing and whatever else could be offered. For the most part, the people here didn't rely on government assistance, they had already been helped, for their immediate needs, by friends, family, and absolute strangers who just wanted to lessen their pain and lighten their burden. That is who we really are.
 Quoting: INK3
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 25783006
United States
11/26/2012 12:12 AM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
I sincerely wish you had posted as a "regular" rather than anonymous. Would love to give you green Karma for this unexpected & uplifting story!

Thank you.
 Quoting: sTTsTTT


Thank you for your kind offer of Karma. I feel as though I have received much as I read the warm responses.

I don't post often, but I couldn't resist posting this poignant story. And thanks for my first pin.
NightWisp

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11/26/2012 12:20 AM

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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
Yes the Steveies of the world are dears. But.. they do not belong in a voting booth.. if that is the point.
Life is not fair.
Lindalee

User ID: 3177816
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11/26/2012 12:21 AM

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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
Thanks, Op ! tissue
Circling the Sun @ 63,000 MPH
<3
Chas

User ID: 1376646
United States
11/26/2012 12:34 AM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
AC...you should be a writer...maybe you are as well...very good story well told :)) It touched my heart...
Chas
Anonymous Coward
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11/26/2012 12:36 AM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
bsflag
 Quoting: dieoff

You are an asshole!


Great story OP! 5 stars!
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 817672
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11/26/2012 12:41 AM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
Not to pee on your parade but this is email fantasy. I like the part where they make the truckers the good guys and everyone else assholes. I'm an actual trucker and in my experience the percentage of asshole in the trucker population is high.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28476673


doesn't matter if it is true or not. the story is an inspiration to have a heart.
you are right, a lot of truckers are assholes just like a lot of others in this world...but there are some good people (including truckers) and those are the ones who can make a difference in someone's life.
Anonymous Coward
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11/26/2012 12:42 AM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
Not to pee on your parade but this is email fantasy. I like the part where they make the truckers the good guys and everyone else assholes. I'm an actual trucker and in my experience the percentage of asshole in the trucker population is high.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 28476673


doesn't matter if it is true or not. the story is an inspiration to have a heart.
you are right, a lot of truckers are assholes just like a lot of others in this world...but there are some good people (including truckers) and those are the ones who can make a difference in someone's life.
Anonymous Coward
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Canada
11/26/2012 12:55 AM
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Re: The Folded Napkin ... A Truckers Story
People are very easily deceived.
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