Day 266 was Labor Day.
I spent all day here at my dad’s house. I needed to go out and find someone to give my $10 to and he offered to join me. We were going to walk down to the downtown area of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, but his knee and back have been bothering him and he was not sure that walking down there would be a good idea. So we hopped in the car and drove over there and then walked around.
We parked in front of Dieners, a breakfast institution in this town. We walked east down Main Street, past Jo Jo’s Pizzeria, which incidentally has possibly the world’s best Italian sub, when I spotted a laundromat just past the Gingerbread Man. There were two women talking and my dad and I decided to walk up a little further to see who we find. We past the main square where Main and Market Streets come together and walked another block past Myer’s funeral home, where my mother’s funeral was held, until we arrived at Eckels Drug Store (trivia: this is where a scene from Girl Interrupted was filmed.)
Dad and I headed back toward the laundromat to give the $10 to someone there. When we got there Barb was coming out with her dog Diva.
Barb was born in Harrisburg and then moved to Shiremanstown before moving to Mechanicsburg some 45 years ago where she graduated from Mechanicsburg High School. She has three children and two step-children, 15 grandkids and one great-grandson who will be two soon. We spent a lot of time talking about her kids. In fact, she had just returned earlier that day from visiting her son down in Bel Air, Maryland.
She couldn’t decide what she was going to do with the ten dollars, but she did give me her address so I can follow up with her later and see what she decides on. When I told her that I find one person every day and I chose her for this day she said, “Wow…that is really great. It is really nice of you that you do this – not too many people would do it.”
“I love people,” the 62-year-old told me. She lit a cigarette, exhaled and went on, “I don’t have a lot of money to do things for others, but I am always volunteering my services.” She told me about a friend of hers who was going through a difficult time. Her friend, who is battling cancer, has a son in prison out near Pittsburgh who got extremely ill and is now in a coma. “I do what I can for her, sometimes just making some phone calls to let others know how she is doing.”
Main Street was quite dark now and I checked my watch. It was 9pm. She was going to try to get some food at Jo Jo’s so we walked toward the restaurant that is housed in an old fire station. Unfortunately by the time we got there they had just locked the door. “I guess I will head up toward the Chinese place,” Barb said. I felt bad, had I not stopped to talk with her she would have made it in time to get her dinner at Jo Jo’s. Well, at least she had a few extra dollars for her dinner.