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September 26, 2022: Only You

This is what it says on my hat. And this is what it says on my new lunch box. The two both have a picture on the front of Smoky Bear. I was told that it is not Smoky the Bear. Rather, it’s Smoky Bear.

Such a small thing, but big to me. I’d been wanting a lunch box for some time. One jumped out at me at Saturday’s Emergency Preparedness Fair. There it was, a lunchbox with Smoky Bear on it.

Alys and her lunch box

I’d been given a raffle ticket. I checked the board with winning numbers. Mine did not match up. One number almost did – I had a one and the number was a 0 with a line through it. Looked like a line to me.

I was told no; I was not a winner. I asked the powers that be if I might have the box. I was told no; the woman who said no had a half-smile on her face. I usually am not so brazen about asking for things, but I figured that the raffle organizers would just hand over the box, no questions asked. After all, I have worked tirelessly on behalf of our local community for some time.

Could there be any one more deserving of this lunchbox than me? I didn’t think so, but they did think so. They didn’t even ask why I wanted it. Had they done this, I would have said that I was in part reliving my childhood. Furthermore, there is nothing wrong with reliving your childhood.

I mentioned that I wanted the box to Bea Adler, who is one of the Emergency Preparedness Fair organizers. She took me over to the Forestry Department table, and the fellow there said that they had another one at their main office, and to come by for it on Monday, which was today.

So this morning, I drove over there, and was told that yes, I could have the lunchbox.

What I learned from this is perhaps the most important life lesson of all, and that is to be generous and giving as often as possible. For you see, happy people don’t fold, spindle, or mutilate other people. Angry people fold, spindle, and mutilate other people. The Forestry representative who handed me the box was practicing what’s known as a random act of kindness.

I have big plans for my lunchbox. I am going to carry my lunch in it. I do not like carrying my lunch in dirty canvas bags. Plus, having this box on hand is going to motivate me to take my lunch with me, which is something I often forget to do. Sometimes I remember to pack a lunch, then leave the gross, dirty canvas bag behind.

I’m still thinking that I also want someday to write about the history of Smoky Bear. I don’t have any particular attachment to the logo, but I suspect that there is an interesting story here.

Maybe having read this dispatch, those who didn’t fully understand why I wanted the Smoky Bear lunchbox will finally get it. Just maybe.

Next: 265. 9/27/22: Moving in Slow Motion

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