During the summer of 1962 I learned a valuable lesson from my dad, though I did not know it at the time.
Daddy was a truck farmer. He grew vegetables, harvested them, and took them to Greenville, Alabama, to sell. He grew collards, butter beans, corn, okra, squash, field peas, tomatoes, and snap beans. That year he even planted a garden spot of butter beans for me to sell. I would pick my beans and he would load the hamper on the truck. He would give me all of the profit.
I have such vivid memories of that summer. I went with daddy to town. He would bath and put on nice, clean, starched and ironed shirt and pants. When we arrived in town he would painstakingly visit every house in the neighborhood. I would wait in the truck while he would go around to the back door. Most of his customers were white housewives, and in those days my dad did what was expected of him. He was also very respectful. He would say “Good morning Ma’am, do you need any vegetables today?” They almost always did, and my dad and the lady would come to the truck. Most of the time she would have a big dish pan. We always sold out.
Sometime he would allow me to drive to the next house. He had taught me to drive the 1949 blue pickup truck with the three gears in floor, but I didn’t have a driver’s license so I didn’t do much driving. It was a very hot summer and often I would get a headache and have to take an aspirin and lie down when we got home, but I would not have missed spending this time with my dad.
The lesson I learned would come back to me years later when I became a real estate agent in the city of Columbus, Georgia. In the early years, I walked apartment complexes in the city and knocked on doors looking for leads to buyers. I also became an expert at cold-calling and developed many clients from those calls. It was almost like my dad walked with me or whispered to me to make another call when I became weary and disheartened. Oh how I thank God for my daddy.
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