Are You Out There Ben Van Pelt?


Inspirational, Personal / Sunday, October 26th, 2008
Are you out there Ben Van Pelt?
Are you out there Ben Van Pelt?

For those of you who know me personally, you know I like to walk. There is a special part of East Memphis in which I like to spend my Saturday mornings traversing the quiet, tree lined streets. In myiPod fueled world I often walk looking straight ahead and either thinking or just taking in the beauty of the sunshine. The last few times I walked I noticed a little closer the concrete sidewalks beneath my feet. On many of the sections a short sentence had been stamped into the concrete stating that Ben Van Pelt had been the person responsible for laying the concrete. That got me to thinking. Thinking about longevity, pride and 1959. Now I wasn’t quite here yet in 1959 but I can imagine the culture and the world that was the last year of that decade. A simpler time, I’m sure. We gained two new states, Alaska and Hawaii and Daddy Knows Best was on TV.  I have a romantic view of that time, but I know it just had different challenges than we do today. Almost 50 years ago Ben was proud enough of his craft that he took the extra time to show everyone that he was responsible for this piece of sidewalk. I’m sure this wasn’t the only sidewalk Ben laid, probably not even a significant one in his eyes. Just another piece in a block-long path. But he was confident enough that he had done a job worthy of putting his name on it, literally. I wonder, can I say that? Am I confident enough in my day to day work that I would put my name on it? Are you?

Thanks Mr. Van Pelt, wherever you are, for giving me a reminder to always do my best.

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