MORE Tastes of Home
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One day I was in Chicago on business with my friend Stan. I remembered Paul Jr.s address and decided to stop in to say hello and thank him for his help. It was lunch time, so Paul Jr. invited us to stay and eat. Were having tuna salad sandwiches, he said. Is that okay?
My parents had taught me to eat what was put before me, so I said tuna salad was fine. Truthfully, tuna salad is not my favorite food, but since we hadnt told him we were stopping by, I didnt feel I should be picky.
Stan said, I really dont care for tuna salad. Do you have anything else? I wanted to slap him.
Then Paul Jr. said, We eat lunch with my mother and father, so we need to go next door. Ive listened to Paul Harvey on the radio all my life. My father has listened to him for the past forty years. Now Stan and I were walking across his yard to have lunch with him. We went to the living room to wait for Mr. Harvey. There was a Bose Wave radio on the table. Mr. Harveys been telling us for years how wonderful they sound. Paul Jr. turned it on for me. We listened to a guy named Monty Vonny, or something like that. Hes not from these parts, so Id never heard of him. The only Monty I knew was Monty Chadwick, who owned the Jiffy Carwash back in my hometown of Danville. But it was pretty music. I may save up and buy one of his CDs.
Then Mr. Harvey walked in the room. He looked at me and said, Well, Ill be; Phil Gulley is standing in my living room. I cant believe it!
I couldnt believe it, either. I shook his hand and introduced him to Stan.
Is this the guy who doesnt like tuna salad? he asked, pointing to Stan.
The same, I answered.
Is this the guy who doesnt like tuna salad?|
After lunch we sat around the table and visited awhile. Then it was time to go. They walked us out to our car. As we drove away, Stan turned to me and said, I cant believe we just ate lunch in Paul Harveys kitchen.
I said, I cant believe you told them you didnt like tuna salad. He said, I cant help it. I tell the truth without even thinking about it.
I told him it was obvious he wasnt thinking. As famous as Mr. Harvey is, I wasnt too nervous about meeting him. Ive been around famous people before. I met Michael Landon back when he was Little Joe on Bonanza and came to Danville to give a speech on the courthouse lawn. I was six years old and remember being mad he didnt bring his horse.
My cousin, Matt Griffith, once dated a beauty queen from Florida. She was Miss Navel Orange of 1972. He brought her to our house for a visit. She was wearing a sash and a crown topped with a gold orange. She signed a Sunkist for me, but the next day my brother Glenn ate it for breakfast.
Heres what I learned about famous people. Most of them are wonderful human beings, because somewhere along the line, someone gave them a leg up and they remember that. At least the good ones do. When Paul Harvey was fourteen years old, his teacher took him in hand and introduced him to the folks at the local radio station. Over half a century later, he remembers it still.
None of us ever got anywhere except through the kindness of others. Sometimes we boast about being self-made, but thats just a lie we tell ourselves to feel important. Were all indebted to someone. Next time youre driving by the house of someone who has done you a good turn, knock on his door and thank him. Hell appreciate it. Who knows, you might even be offered a tuna salad sandwich. If you are, sit down and eat it. And be sure to put the napkin on your lap instead of tucking it into your shirt collar like my friend Stan did. Boy, I cant take that guy anywhere.
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