I was touched yesterday by the act of a friend, a very old friend. Later, I’ll get into what happened yesterday, but first, let me tell you a little about this friend.
Back in 1977, I was 15 years old. I got my first “real job” at a store called T.G.&Y. A while back, I wrote an article on another one of my websites about my work at T.G.&Y. and one of my mentors there, James Daniel. James was a real mentor to me, and a man that I greatly respected. I enjoyed working for him, and even more I enjoyed learning from him. About a year or so after I started working for T.G.&Y., a new Assistant Manager was assigned to the store, his name was David Thurber. David was a young guy, full of ideas and a real go-getter.
I instantly hit it off with David, and while I was his employee, I also considered him both a buddy and a mentor. I learned a lot from David, just like I did from James Daniel. David and I were closer in age (I just looked it up, David is 13 years older than I am), and that led to a different relationship with David than I had with James.
After a year or so of working for David, I quit my job because I was soon to go off to college and leave the retailing world behind. After my Sophomore year at college, the USA was in a deep recession and jobs were scarce. I needed a summer job to make some money for my next year of schooling. I heard that David had been promoted to being a store manager at a T.G.&Y. store in Baton Rouge, where I was attending college at LSU. I went to visit David, both to catch up with him and also to see if I could get a job working for him. I had always been a hard worker, and I feel that I did a great job too. I guess David felt the same, because it didn’t take much reasoning, he hired me right away. He put me in charge of the hardware section of the store. When it was time to go back to school, I decided to stay on with T.G.&Y. while studying as well.
It was after this that I decided to get into the management program with the company, and went on to manage retail stores all over the Southeast part of the USA. David left T.G.&Y. to do other things, but for a few years I kept in touch with him, went to visit him from time to time (he moved a few hours away from Baton Rouge), and generally just remained friends.
After a few years, though, we lost touch with each other. I don’t recall how that happened, but it did. A few years ago, though, we found each other on Facebook! David was living in Arkansas, I had relocated to the Philippines. It was really good to reconnect with him, as he was an important figure in my younger life.
Well, yesterday, as I mentioned at the beginning of this article, I was really touched by the actions of David, and it made me value him even more.
A friend indeed
During the early afternoon yesterday, another friend who also lives in the Philippines posted something on Facebook saying that he owed $350 on his electricity bill, yet he had no money to pay. I felt sorry for this friend, who shall remain nameless. I posted a comment and told him that I was thinking about him and wishing him good luck with his problem. After that, I went and did something else, away from my computer. Three or 4 hours later, I returned to my computer, and saw that David Thurber had also left a comment on that thread about my other friend’s electric bill. I went and looked, and David had left this comment:
Bob I can pay half of your light bill right now. Call me. (he left his number, which I will not publish here)
Apparently David had misinterpreted the post and thought that I was having trouble paying MY electric bill! I had not seen David for 30 years, had only become friends on Facebook a couple of years ago, and also had not even talked on the phone for at least 30 years! Now, he was offering to send me money to help pay my electric bill, and not a trivial amount of money either! Amazing.
I called David, and we talked for a while on the phone, just catching up. It sure was nice to hear his voice again after so many years. As we hung up, I told David that I would be calling him back again from time to time, to stay in touch.
After I hung up with David, a thought came to my mind… you know the old saying, “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” Well, as it turns out, I was not in need, but David thought that I was, and he stepped up to make sure I would be OK. I was deeply touched when I thought about that. Thirty years with nearly no contact, and David showed me that he felt the same about me as I felt about him. A true friend.
Thank you for your kindness, David. You are a friend…. indeed.