NOW THAT’S CLASS
People are often said to have real “class.” Usually this is attributed to someone who dresses very well, speaks well, and treats others with respect. Sometimes “class” is put-on or phony. Sometimes “class” just comes naturally.My grandfather ran a successful business in Philadelphia. He earned a good living which allowed him to retire while his sons (my uncles, not my Dad) ran the business. Grandma and Grandpa spent the spring and the fall in a nice apartment in the Philadelphia suburbs. In the summer they had a house on the Jersey Shore. In the winter, after Christmas, they fled to a small house on one of the many canals in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
At the Fort Lauderdale house Grandpa owned an 18 foot fishing boat which he kept at his dock on the canal. Clearly Grandpa was a relatively wealthy man; deservedly so, as he worked hard his whole life, running a family business from the age of 15.
I say relatively wealthy, as in the Fort Lauderdale area in the nineteen sixties, some of the residents were unbelievably wealthy.
One day returning from a fishing trip, Grandpa pulled into the local marina to refuel his yacht. He had a tight fit to the fuel pump between two real yachts. An old man on one of the real yachts, a 75 footer with a tender on the deck which put Grandpa’s fishing skiff to shame, stopped polishing the ship’s hardware to help Grandpa dock his boat. The old guy had a three day beard, wore a torn tee shirt, raggedy shorts and a beat-up St Louis Cardinal Baseball cap.
“Throw me the line; it’s a bit of a tight fit here.” The old deck hand called out. Grandpa complied, and the old dude helped pull in his boat and tie him securely to the dock.
Grandpa hopped off his boat and while the marina attendant went about filling his tank, Grandpa went over to the deck hand who was now back to polishing hardware on the 75 foot yacht.
“Thanks for your help.” Grandpa called out, and he flipped a fifty cent piece to the deck hand.
“You’re welcome, and thank you very much sir.” The deck hand replied, obviously pleased with the fifty cent tip which he snatched out of the air.
Grandpa returned to his boat and paid the attendant for his fill up. “How much did you tip the old guy?” The attendant asked.
“Oh, I gave him fifty cents. It was real nice of him to stop his job to give me a hand, and I’m not so sure his boss would like it if he knew he was taking time off his work to help me.”
“It was nice of him, but he don’t have to worry none about upsetting the boss. That there’s Mr. Busch. He is the owner!”
The old “deck hand” owner graciously accepted and thanked Grandpa for his tip. He said nothing about being the owner. He did not want to make Grandpa feel silly and spoil his big tipper, big shot moment.
Now that’s CLASS!