Never assume

Back in the day, when I was a very young feller, my dad and I would do a good bit of outside work together. Dad grew up on a farm and was handy, always planting trees and doing dirt work and building stuff. My dad was quite a dude. When dad would call for dirt delivery, the local dirt company would send Elroy Towle with his six-wheel Ford dump truck. Between swigs, Elroy, with an old Hough front-end loader, would freight his five-yard dumper with our desired dirt, and deliver to us with glee. After Elroy dumped his topsoil on a dime I might add Dad and El would chat some, and El would navigate his rickety rig back down the road, but only after dad would slide El a couple or three dollars. A recent acting role had me on a multiple location shoot. The production is first rate, but small in scope. The producer/photographer/sound guy, works alone. Its just he and I going from location to location getting footage. One of the locations was a large construction company where the owner lent us one of his employees to guide us and make sure we would be safe going from one camera set-up to another. Our guide was capable, nice, and also quite entertaining. We wrapped all our shooting on the site in less than 90 minutes, but still, when we left, I was surprised the guy I was working with didnt slip our guide at least a sawbuck (ten bucks). I was recently called by two separate groups who were doing political fundraisers for the Democratic Party. Im not an auctioneer, but I can do them, so I get called from time to time by groups who are trying to raise money. By the way, yes, these two were Democratic fundraisers, but dont peg me on whom Ill vote for because, first off, my dad always told me, Religion, politics, finance, and sex, best not let your hand on those things be known to too many people. Ive always thought dads rule was a wise one. Second off, some folks told me at the fundraisers that they were glad to see I was on their side, to which I replied, You might not want to assume everybody here is a Democrat. Im for the process. If the Republicans call me to help, Id be there, too. You should have seen the looks I got it was like I was infected. Anyway, I feel I did a good job raising money, especially at the one fundraiser that happened to be well organized. Good job or not, I donated a hang of a bunch of personal hours to each. A high school senior contacted me asking if I could help her raise money for her senior project. She happened to live in a town where I had two shows scheduled so I told her if shed like, she could set up a 50/50 raffle in the lobby and sell to her heart was content. She was a cute gal, nice, and she had fun. The first night she brought her brother to help, the second night her boyfriend. Several days after the shows I received a card in the mail. Dear Rusty, Thanks so much for letting me do the 50/50 raffle at your shows. I had a great time and raised over $300. The total amount raised for Walk For Warmth was over $4,200. Thanks again for helping out! If you help at fancy political fundraisers in trendy towns, with stars, and politicians, and women and men in bobbled up clothes who are eating stinky cheese and drinking smelly wine, dont expect so much as even an e-mail thank-you. But if you help a 17-year-old small town Vermont girl, you can expect a beautiful, thoughtful, handwritten card. Say one thing for those non-e-mail thank-you senders. It seems like theyre raising their kids right. Rusty DeWees tours Vermont and Northern New York with his act The Logger. His column appears weekly. He can be reached at rustyd@pshift.com. Listen for The Logger, Rusty DeWees, Thursdays at 7:40 on the Big Station, 98.9 WOKO or visit his website at www.thelogger.com

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