95th Week Update – Miles Neighborhood Food Collection Projectby Peter Norback on Nov. 01, 2010, under Life
|Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and The Can Guy|
On the drive over to the Rincon Market Saturday morning, I thought about the relative calm that now surrounds One Can A Week. No phone calls from the press or potential volunteers. Just pleasant greetings from neighbors and lots of donations. To me this is unsettling. If I do not feel a little uncomfortable about things, I feel complacency is setting in and complacency is what marks the end of projects or companies or relationships. I actually said aloud to my steering wheel, “I need a little adventure.”
About 45 minutes into counting Rincon’s weekly cash donations—which eventually totaled a very impressive $172.36—two beautiful women entered through the automatic doors and headed for the breakfast buffet.
(As an aside, I am still able to count money or do just about anything and not miss attractive women walking by.)
One of the women looked familiar to me and then I heard several of the gentlemen having breakfast in the overstuffed leather chairs behind me say she was Congresswoman Giffords. The two women gathered their breakfast and eventually ended up at the small table directly in front of me just on the other side of the automatic doors. I finished counting twenty or so minutes later and then walked by their table and the bakery counter to the cash register where I noted the weekly total on the Styrofoam cup.
On the way back to my display table, Congresswoman Giffords stood up and extended her hand to me. I hesitated a moment and being the semi-germaphobe I am, I told her that I was counting money all morning and I did not want to infect her as she ate her breakfast. I could see she appreciated the gesture.
I had met Congresswoman Giffords years earlier when she owned Cooper Tire and I was helping a business consultant market his services. As an introduction, I sent her an electric clock with a 13-hour face which I created. My pitch was that the clock was one way to get more hours in a day but my client’s service may be more practical.
Turns out Congresswoman Giffords still has the clock but didn’t remember my name until I told her. She invited me to sit a moment and we talked about how difficult an election season it has been. It pained me to hear that this very dignified woman had to go through such awful personal encroachment just to represent me in Washington. Actually, it pains me that anyone has to suffer such incivility.
On her way out, Congresswoman Giffords stopped by my table and wanted a picture. As her Marketing Director Anne Hilby set up to take the picture with her iPhone, Congresswoman Giffords moved behind the table and put her arm around my back. I was in the process of gingerly holding her back, when a single voice came from the direction of the leather chairs. “How’s that…” the words trailed off but I got the gist of it … something to do with hope and change. Congresswoman Giffords looked beyond me at the gentleman and took a breath as if she were going to speak but said nothing. He said it again.
I heard it very clearly this time and I instantly confronted him. “Excuse me, but could you have a little more class? To say I was stern really does not capture the disdain I felt and most definitely exhibited. Quickly the guy gave an embarrassed laugh and said he has no class. That was the end of it. Not even his friends said a word.
Today we vote. I already voted for Congresswoman Giffords and stood up for her in more ways than I ever imagined. We all have to stand up and we all have to vote if we really believe that our children should grow up in a civil society. I believe they should … what do you think?
A Little Nostalgia
The first think I thought about when I saw the Quaker cereal boxes was the grant we won from the Quaker Oats Company lo those many months ago. That money we got in Week 18 bought our signage and the umbrella for the Cabriolet Time really does fly when you are having fun.
We collected a total of 251 lbs. of food, including 47 lbs. of produce. The money we donated amounted to $61.50 … $30.00 in checks, $13.50 in cash plus $18.00 and 30 lbs. of food from The Axis Food Mart.
See you Sunday,