Saturday, March 2, 2013

So...You've Got Contacts?

It's a very old joke, but some of our younger readers may not have heard it. It seems a police officer stopped a driver, looked at his license, and told the motorist he was supposed to be wearing glasses. The driver replied, "I've got contacts." The officer promptly shot back, "I don't care who you know, you still gotta wear your glasses."

Does it really matter whom we know? Let's look at two tales from Lauderdale County. A husband and wife started a small business in the eastern end of the county. The husband had a regular job, but both worked hard to make the business a success. Most of their advertising was done by word of mouth, and over the years they developed quite a following for their unique business.

Yes, their business was unique in the Shoals--it was the only one of its kind within a 50 mile radius of the small town. The town was also home to a very rich man. He wasn't a native, but in some ways he had put the small town on the map. The rich man had a son who frequented the local business, but he wasn't happy with it. It didn't cater specifically to him--mainly because it just wouldn't have been profitable. This high school student asked his father for money to start his own business.

Now the young man obviously could have taken part of this money and used it for advertising, but he didn't really have to. Why? The mayor of the small town made a point to publicize this "new and unique" business, even though there had been one in his town for years. In fact, a relative of the owner worked for the city. Of course that meant she wasn't a millionaire and contributed little to the town's tax base. That does make quite a difference, doesn't it? The older business eventually closed, as did the newer endeavor when the young owner left for college. Now the town doesn't have any revenue from either business. Brings a tear to your eye for them, doesn't it?

The second tale is different in many respects, so we'll use real names. The Louis Rosenbaum family did much for their adopted hometown of Florence. The family gave land for a library and over the years contributed much more than most people know to our wonderful trove of books on Wood Avenue.

The basement of the old library housed the processing center for books taken into circulation. Each book was encased in a Mylar cover before being shelved. Obviously many citizens would have liked this done for some of their special books, but even if they paid, the staff just didn't have time. Each employee was told always to refuse politely any such requests.Then one day Mr. Stanley Rosenbaum entered the library with a new book written by his son. The director made a mad dash to phone downstairs--the Rosenbaum book would be an exception. Should it have been? We think so.

So there you have it--two very different cases of who you are and who you know. That brings us to the point of today's blog. If you haven't read this, please do so now:

Sad if true. Not just sad, but more? Are there grounds for a lawsuit? Even if there are, such suits are expensive. Again we say sad that this happens in Florence, Alabama, in 2013.


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