Growing Up Ralph - The Lunch Box
So, I decide to start doing sporadic posts about my youth, teen years, and young adult life. Realizing I may only have 30 – 40 years left, I decided to start now. The posts about my younger years will be titled ‘Growing Up Ralph’.
I want to capture some of these stories for my kids, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and future generations. Hopefully, they will read them, set back in their chair, and say, “So...he really was as crazy as everyone says!”)
The meeting was over and the Park’s Superintendent was walking me out of the building. As we crossed one of the rooms, I noticed a display case. Inside the case was a black metal lunch box and a brass plaque that I couldn’t read from across the room. “Tell me about that lunch box.” I asked.
Well, the lunch box belonged to the town’s first parks superintendent. He never missed a day’s work from the time he became superintendent until he retired. It also seems like every day he had the exact same think for lunch: a bologna and cheese sandwich, a handful of chips, an apple and a candy bar. The parks superintendent stated, “He was the best parks superintendent this town has ever had, including me. That lunch box is a symbol of reliability and consistency.”
As I walked outside, I flashed back to when I was five years old. I was setting on the porch of my Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Like most five year olds, I loved spending the night with Grandpa and Grandma.
My Grandpa was a mechanic and from what I’ve heard a really good one. Every night he would pull into the driveway at the exact same time. When I spent the night, I would set out on the front porch and wait for him. Once he pulled into the driveway all the “action” took place.
I greeted him as soon as he got out the car. He always had a smile and a lunch box. He would ask if you wanted to carry the lunchbox for him. Of course, you did.
Then somewhere between the driveway and the house, he would say those magic words, “You know, you might want to check in that lunch box and see if there’s anything left.”
It might be a candy bar, a pack of gum, or a few pieces of candy but there was always something. And, it was always delivered to you in that black metal lunch box.
Maybe those black metal lunch boxes are a sign of reliability and consistency – or at least as much as a five year old needed.