Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wednesday GUEST Blog

5-4-11 grateful brain 
Thanks Ann for filling in again this week, especially since I've been sick this week and not up to writing much! I believe you might actually be enjoying this blogging discipline? -Judy

Guilty Feelings and Paying it Forward

Ponder this …. Do you think it’s normal to see someone work and feel deeply guilty for no specific reason? I am perplexed with this thought as I was growing up in the big city of Washington DC. Call it culture clash or who else would do this job, I’ve felt uneasy as I’ve walked by vendors on the street corner selling flowers and/or shining shoes in the mall. Intellectually, I know everyone has to make a living and who’s to know, selling flowers and shinning shoes may just be a higher paying job than most would imagine. So back to my question, is it me or do you have an uneasy feeling with this?

I’ve decided not to understand the reasons for my feeling but do something about it. That’s where Paying it Forward comes into play. What a novel concept and one that get’s me off my butt when I see the movie, Pay It Forward.

For the last ten plus years, I’ve walked by an aged man, Eddie, shinning shoes in the skywalk . What I’m embarrassed about is that I’ve never stopped to say hello yet alone have my shoes shined. Then Eddied passed away in January and I learned of what a great man Reverend Eddie Davis was. Yes, Eddie was a Reverend. He died at age 96, working at his shoe shine establishment one day before he died. I regret not stopping to say hello. Rev. Eddie was a great man.

After he passed, one of his mentees decided to carry on his legacy by keeping the lights on with polish in hand. That’s where my paying forward comes in. After reading the two-part story, I made it a point to talk to his mentee. His name is Scotty, from Mississippi and over the years, Rev. Eddie has helped him out through some tough times. Scotty was honoring the Rev. by continuing his legacy. Shortly after my Dad passed away, I stopped and chatted with Scotty. He was working hard cleaning the small cubby shop (think of a small broom closet) and he was ready for business. I asked how much and he said $6 for ladies shoes and $8 for men’s. With that said, I dropped off the shoe I was wearing and boy did he do a bang up job on my black heels.

As I picked up the shoes, I noticed his hand written cardboard sign on the glass door. That’s when I had my “aha” moment to Pay it Forward. I said “Scotty, would you mind if I spruce up your sign?” He was tickled pink and said “that’s the nicest thing someone has said to me”. He said nope, he did not mind. I quickly snapped a shot of Scotty with my shoes for the sign.

Then next day, I made his sign and as I was taping it to the glass door, he asked “who is Larry?” Oops … I made the sign with “call Larry” instead of “call Scotty”. We both had a laugh and I said to him “Scotty, you will always be Larry to me”.

Paying it Forward helped me put my guilt behind and put Scotty to work. I’ve passed his name around the office and before long, he will have shined every shoes in my closet.

I will be doing a lot of Paying it Forward in 2011 for me and in honor of my Dad.

Chat Later, That Girl

Ann Marie


  1. Oops .. his name is Scottie and I just picked up my short boots (black and brown) and he gave me some cowboy boots. He's a very sweet man.