man of substance

©2011 gary garbett.com

Yesterday I met one of the richest persons I’ve ever known.

Douglas Moody is the shoeshine man at the Richmond International Airport. There were few travelers in the terminal as I passed by his stand in the afternoon, but his smile was welcoming and better yet, real. I was compelled to stop… just to say hello. The two of us chatted and laughed for a moment. His words were genuine and in between bites of his Almond Joy, he offered me his $7 shine for $5. He explained it as his “slow day” special. I wasn’t really interested in shining my old Dr. Martens, but I knew at that price, the time with Mr. Moody would be worth every dollar. How could I possibly go wrong?

He gave my old docs one hell of a shine, but his tale about how to be a good man and an honest person really polished my soul. He was also quick to offer repeatedly just how much he loved his wife. His baseball cap pretty much said it all. Man of Faith.

As he finished shining my shoes, he wrapped up his story. Another customer then walked up and waited for a shine. Saturday was getting just a little bit busier for Mr. Moody and just as he had minutes earlier, he welcomed it all with his sincere smile. I handed him a $10 bill, told him to keep it, and thanked him for the special.

You’re a rich soul, Mr. Douglas Moody. For a small $10 investment, I walked away a little richer myself, …and with shiny shoes. Thank you again.

6 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    January 23, 2011

    humbling and precious…perfect for a sunday morning

    Reply
  2. Pam Connolly
    January 23, 2011

    This is beautiful Gary, picture and words…

    Reply
  3. gary garbett
    January 23, 2011

    Thanks guys. It really was an amazing experience and an example that pure humanity still survives.

    Reply
  4. Bone Machine
    January 23, 2011

    This may be my most favorite yet.

    Reply
  5. bibliofinz
    January 24, 2011

    I love how you make my mind slow down, Gary, and think about something besides our daily routines.

    Reply
  6. gary garbett
    January 24, 2011

    Thanks for the good words.

    Reply

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