Reflections of the Model-A Model Story
By Richard Mabey Jr.
“The Model-A Model” is a short essay that I wrote for the Independent News back in February of 2001. I was honored to find out that it made the “Commentary Page.” The “Commentary Page” was the title of the coveted Editorial Page of the old Independent News.
The Independent News had a phenomenal circulation range. It was a weekly newspaper that was circulated pretty much throughout northeastern New Jersey.
“The Model-A Model” story is a true story. I remember that right after it was published that I got a lot of compliments and feedback on it. For me, it was a time when I was struggling with working at a particular ad agency. I say struggling because I was having a heavy conscious about some of the business practices and methods of this particular ad agency. Which, by the way, has since gone out of business and no longer exists. Deep inside, I wondered was there a place for the simple story that has a moral or uplifting quality. Essentially, a parable.
The reason that I still hold a heart-felt appreciation for “The Model-A Model” story is that once again I am wondering if there is a place for the true-to-life, down home, simple story with a moral to it. The book publishing industry has changed radically in most recent times. They want pizzazz, a tell-all book. They want books that are written by famous people. They want books that are going to sell, sell, sell and make tons and tons of money.
It wasn’t always that way in the book publishing industry. A local history book would be considered for publication, knowing it would only sell a few thousand copies, but would still make a profit. Not necessarily a huge profit, but a profit none-the-less. It’s a whole new scene today.
“If we’re gonna push the button to start the presses, we wanna guarantee a million copy seller!” That’s pretty much the attitude of the movers and shakers of the book publishing industry today. Most of the book publishers, even small press publishers, are no longer accepting unsolicited manuscripts. It’s a changing world to say the least.
So, alas, I return to my old “The Model-A Model” story. It gives me comfort and hope to know that a few years ago it made the coveted “Commentary Page” of the well respected Independent News. It gives me inspiration to keep writing the true-life simple story, with a moral to it.
It was in October of 1965 that my fellow scouts of the Beaver Patrol of Boy Scout Troop 170 pooled together their nickels and dimes to buy me a Model-A model. They had forsaken buying themselves comic books, baseball cards, candy bars or bottles of soda. There at Moe’s Sweet Shop in dear old Lincoln Park, one act of kindness was enacted. It’s far reaching effect? Nearly fifty years later, the recipient of that kind act is still in deep heart-felt appreciation. And, still writing about that one simple act of kindness and sacrifice.
Peace and harmony,