When it seems that we’re simply spinning our wheels, getting nowhere; that is just the time to pause and realize that touching the life of one single person can have a profound, positive effect.
Gate Guard Journal
Chapter 3: The Trophy
By Richard Mabey Jr.
After about a year of working as a Gate Guard in GCL (Gated Community Land) in the single, busiest Gatehouse in the entire development; I was reassigned to the southern end of GCL. The southern end of GCL was the land of the rich and famous. The homes there are oversized, the residents that live in that section drive Jaguars, Mercedes Benzes, and other expensive cars. They just plainly look down on Gate Guards.
At first I dreaded being in the RW&S section of GCL. RW&S, of course, stands for Rich, Wealthy and Snobby.
“Hey boy, I forgot my gate pass, open the gate…..NOW!” I remember one particular stuck up resident shouting at me, one hot afternoon.
“Hey fella, my mother-in-law came through yesterday. She said that you didn’t smile at her and give her a hearty welcome. I’ll let it go this time, but let this be a warning. I really don’t want to be calling into your boss and making a complaint against you. We understand each other, right?” I remember that fellow very well.
It was about two years ago that I got moved to the Gatehouse at RW&S. I served there for about a year. It was tough, I’m really not kidding. It was very tough dealing with all the snobs. But then, the good Lord blessed me and the management transferred me to a Gatehouse in the northern section of GLC, where the down-home types live.
But back to the era of working in the RW&S section of GCL. I was so very depressed then. I had applied for jobs at three different regional weekly newspapers. I had been fortunate to have articles publishes in all three of these fine publications. Sadly, that was the very year that all three of them went out of business.
In the midst of all this struggle, there came a father and son duo that touched my heart. Tim (the dad) and Timmy (the son), were two of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet. Tim was between his late fifties and early sixties. Timmy was a senior in high school.
I mean this in a very respectful way. I want to be very sensitive here. Timmy was intellectually challenged. Timmy was a vibrant, high energy lad who displayed this wonderful joy and love of life. Timmy and I hit it off famously. Tim and Timmy would drive by my Gatehouse. Tim would stop and Timmy would tell me about something that happened at school that day.
Timmy attended a trade school. He was studying to be a cook and a baker. From time to time, Timmy would be generous and bring me a piece of cake that he had baked in one of his classes. Or, he would bring me a piece of pie, or some cookies. I gained ten pounds during the year that I worked at the RW&S Gate.
One day Tim and Timmy approached my Gatehouse. I remember it was about four o’clock in the afternoon. Both, Tim and Timmy, had ear-to-ear grins on their faces.
“Well, Richard, my son wants to show you something,” Tim said to me right after he stopped at my Gatehouse door.
“Look Richard! Look! I won a trophy!” I remember Timmy shouted at with joy to me.
“Wow! That is a beautiful trophy,” I said to Timmy as he showed me his trophy.
“I won it for baking the best cake in our class contest,” Timmy told me.
“Congratulations Timmy!” I said to Timmy with a great ring of enthusiasm in my voice.
“Richard, I tell you. All the while we rode from Timmy’s school till now, all Timmy kept saying is ‘I can’t wait to show Richard, I can’t wait to show Richard!'” Tim told me, as he maintained his proud smile.
“That’s right Richard! I kept telling Dad, wait till Richard sees my trophy!” Timmy said to me with great pride.
“Timmy, let Richard hold your trophy,” the proud father said to his son.
“Yea! Here Richard, look at my trophy,” Timmy said to me.
Timmy handed the trophy to his father. Tim handed it to me. It was a beautiful trophy, to say the least. I held the trophy. All the time that I held the trophy, Timmy shouted “I won First Prize!”
Well, I nearly cried as I held that trophy. As I carefully handed the trophy to Tim, I told Timmy that I was so very proud of him. Timmy thanked me.
This was a moment in time, when it seemed that all the angels in Heaven were singing praises for Timmy. I held back the tears.
“See you tomorrow, Richard,” Tim said to me.
“Yea see ya’ tomorrow, Richard,” Timmy said to me.
“See you good men tomorrow,” I said to Tim and Timmy, as Tim took the car out of neutral and began to slowly drive away.
It was in that moment that I understood, despite the poor treatment I was receiving from so many of the other residents at the RW&S Gate, I knew that I was serving a good purpose. Timmy had touched my heart. In that moment, nothing else mattered.
Peace and harmony,