A friend I hadn’t seen for a while asked me the other day, “Art, what have you been doing?” And I responded without hesitation, “Being useful, I hope.” This morning as I was walking down the aisle in church to leave I walked past three folks I had not seen before and I simply said to each in turn as I shook their hands, “Welcome to our church.” and they smiled. Now that ain’t a whole lot but I figure it was better than a silent scowl. When I attend Last Friday events in our community I helped gather the chairs that we had set out earlier for folks to sit on while they listened to the band we hired to entertain them. I can only carry two chairs at a time and I can no longer carry them up the stairs but I do carry them over to the stairs where some young guys carry them up and put them away. I confess there aren’t a whole lot of people doing that much. I figure they are hurrying off somewhere else where they can be useful.
I spoke at a corporate event getting laughs as Almost Andy but also delivering a safety message. I did a humor talk at a luncheon for the Federation of Independent Business over in Raleigh and was followed by our States two Gubernatorial candidates. Folks laughed a lot at all the right places and seemed to enjoy it. Then I attended a car show and we collected money for the Military Order of the Purple Heart. It will be spent for stuff that our members take with them for our comrades who are in the veteran hospitals. I had a wonderful time dressed up like Matlock as Almost Andy and the folks I visited with seem to be having a lot of fun too. I was just trying to be useful. A fellow called last week and asked if Almost Andy would ride in their Christmas parade over in Virginia. It sounded like a useful thing to do. And another group contacted me and wanted me to be in a play here in North Carolina and the name of the play is “Remembering Mayberry..” We did that last February and we had two full houses and the audiences loved us all and next February we plan to do more shows. I’d say that was useful too.
There are so many useful things to do because there are a lot of people out there that haven’t yet learned the joy that comes with being useful. I’m hope to double up on my usefulness in the months to come.