Sunday, March 9, 2008

Friends Gather, to Support a Neighbor

In a small town, there is a small tavern. The Pine st Bar serves the residents of Steeleville IL, and the surrounding rural community.

Small towns enjoy intimacy that larger communities lack. Friends and neighbors are much more aware each other, and in this small community, they joined together to help a friend in need.

Franco was ill, and spent quite some time in a local hospital. The bills grew quite large, and he was unable to work. Franco's friends got together, and decided to raise some funds, to help the man with his overwhelming bills. That's not a rare event in small towns, that's the norm.

Franco's friends brought him to the Pine st Bar, where they had a raffle, and an auction. The price of drinks was adjusted, to suit the occasion, and the additional money generated was added to the fund.

My wife donated a basket of scented candles, and they were sold to the highest bidder for $25. I had bid $15, and was pleased to see someone out-bid me.

My wife won two shirts, and a $5 certificate from Domino's Pizza. Franco won the 50/50 drawing! That was an amazing display of good fortune, as the 50/50 drawing was designed to split the proceeds from the sale with Franco, and it turned out the he won it all! The 50/50 tickets were sold at $1 ( or 6 for $5 ), and Franco received $300!

Food was cooked outside on Bar B Q grills, and sold to Franco's friends. Braughts Hamburgers Hot Dogs, Potato Salad, several cakes, and many types of chips where offered. All you could eat $6 per plate.

My wife ate Hot Dogs, a Hamburger, and Potato Salad. I enjoyed at least 5 large Braughts! The food went well with the Budweiser, and shots of Jack Daniels that I was drinking.

It's a good thing my wife doesn't drink, and was able to drive us home safely because I got plowed! ( It was for a good cause, so my wife didn't complain. I haven't been drinking much lately, at her request, so a noble cause is served me well. )

This is Franco. He drives a truck, and hauls coal for a living ( when he's healthy ).

Although I didn't know Franco prior to the fund-raiser, my wife had got to know him well where she works ( Stephanie works at a small convenience store, that many truckers frequent for coffee, and sandwiches ). I was able to speak with him for quite a while, and found we had much in common. It would seem that his health went bad, due to overwork, and ignoring the symptoms of a serious illness.

I had done the same, years ago. My passion for my work wouldn't allow me to stop and rest. The work ethic is strong in this community, and sometimes it brings us grief.

Franco is a good, hard working man. It pleases me to see so many of his friends stepping in to help, when he needs to rest.

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