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    History Is Never Old News

    | Barrington, RI, USA | History, Technology, Top

    (I am working in the print department of an office-supply store. An older customer comes in with a folder of very old newspaper articles.)

    Customer: “Hello, young lady. I was just wondering if you could make some copies of these articles for me. They are getting old and I would like to preserve them.”

    Me: “Of course!”

    Customer: “Thank you very much. If you don’t mind, I’m going to go look around while you do this.”

    (I agree, and he hands me the articles. I can see that it is an article about a man who was killed during World War Two. In one of the articles, it shows a picture of the deceased man holding a baby. As the customer has requested, I make copies of the articles that are beginning to fray, rip, and yellow. After making the copies, I quickly laminate them in order to keep them really preserved. The customer comes back.)

    Me: “So you know, sir, I noticed that the articles you had were starting to rip, and I assumed that was why you were making the copies. When I finished the copies, I laminated them for you.”

    Customer: “I appreciate that young lady, but I can’t afford the lamination.”

    Me: “I like history, and I think historical documents are very important to keep. The lamination is free of charge!”

    (The customer begins to cry.)

    Me: “Sir, are you alright?”

    Customer: “Yes, yes. Do you see this baby in this picture? This was me when I was just a few days old. This was the only time my father ever held me before he died. This is all I have to remember him by, and you just helped me to keep them preserved so I can keep his memory alive. Miss, please… can I give you a hug?”

    Me: “Of course!”

    (He gives me the warmest hug I have ever experienced.)

    Customer: “Thank you, miss. You have no idea how happy you just made an old man.”

    (I am also crying, due to the joy I gave this customer by taking two seconds to laminate his articles. After pulling away from him, I notice that my manager is also beginning to cry.)

    Manager: “Sir, these copies are on the store. Have a nice day, and come see us if you ever need anything else.”

    (The customer leaves with a huge smile on his face, and my manager and I are both cheery for the rest of the day. When I arrive at work the next day, I find a small bouquet of flowers sitting on my desk with a note from the customer.)

    Note From The Customer: “I picked these flowers for you from my garden. They aren’t much, but I was hoping I could brighten your day as much as you brightened mine.”

    (I still have that note, along with one of the flowers that I kept and pressed in a scrap book. I will never forget that man, and the father he never knew.)