Saturday, October 06, 2007

A Senior moment

"They don't make them like they used to." That statement is true for many things, but it can also apply to people.
Last week, during my sons homecoming band performance, his trumpet broke. The little piece of metal that holds the Lyre broke off. He temporarily held the Lyre in place with duct tape. When we got home from the high school I called our local music store. They told me if I brought it down, it would take about 5 days to repair. They didn't say how much the repair would be, but I'm sure I was looking at at least 50.00. I didn't take it in to the store. I waited for my husband to come home... he can usually fix anything, but not in this case. Saturday slipped away and so did the trumpet problem from my pre-occupied mind. On Sunday evening, My son reminded me that he needed the trumpet for monday at school. I remembered my friend at homecoming mentioning if I had a problem getting it fixed to call her... she may know someone..... So enters Mannie Gotleeb. ( How great is that name?)
I gave him a call about 5:00 pm sunday, apologizing for bothering him on the weekend... He sounded about 105 years old! He kindly told me to come right on over, but then in a crusty tone said.. " I may not be able to do it today!". I told him I wouldn't expect him to and that I so I appreciated him letting us drop it off on a sunday. He only lives about 5 minutes away from me. He answered the door before we were out of the car and was very friendly. He also MAY have been about 90. He invited my son and I to go downstairs to his "work shop". Mrs. Gotleeb was also very old, but busy chopping vegetables. They were adorable. In the workshop Mannie explained several problems he saw with the trumpet and was coaxing us to let him "fix it all up".. I was ready to say 'do whatever needs to be done' but I thought, maybe I should ask how much that would be. He replies.... "Well, it wouldn't be any more than 10 dollars." I told him how reasonable that was and left him the trumpet. He walked us to the door..... ( do you remember how Tim Conway walked as that old man character in the Carol Burnett show??) YeaH! That is an accurate image... As we walked he again said in a suddenly crotchety tone... "NOW, I'm not sure when I will get to this". (me)- "No problem Mr. Gotleeb, we so appreciate you doing this". Well, at 6:45 p.m. that same night Mr. Gotleeb calls and says " It's all ready... make sure you bring the trumpet player back with you". Again, he wants us to walk ( ever SO slowly) with him downstairs to the workshop. He looked so proud of his handy work. My son played him a quick tune. He did charge only $10. I insisted I had to give him a $10. tip as well for doing it so quickly. At first he said No,No! When I expressed how pleased we were to find him and how happy my son was to have his trumpet ready for Monday, he gave in and shyly smiled looking excited to receive the $20.00. He enthusiastically retrieved his business cards from the workbench shelf, and told me to tell my friends. That is just what I'm doing. Telling my friends, that kindness, honesty & superior work ethics can still be found today, Especially when we look to our sensational seniors.


Gill said...

Isn't that lovely! What a "feel good" post :-)

Anonymous said...

That's such a good story. I spent most of this morning fussing with and muttering about a certain jewelry store in town that could use this older gentleman's lesson of kindness, honesty and superior work. I'm glad to know that such things exist somewhere.

Anonymous said...

What a great experience! He's a treasure.

Anonymous said...

Sweet!! I have an open hole flute that needs attention and was assaulted by the local music shop. It is insulting, really. Wonderful story. He sounds like a real treasure.

Anonymous said...

Honest to goodness, you need to write a book. You have such a way with words and a story. I can see Mr. Gotleeb as clear as day. Thank you for sharing.