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In Praise of Garbage Collectors October 25, 2009

Posted by Wapello Warbler in People, Small Town Life, Wapello.
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Last week I had one of those only-in-a-small-town experiences.

You’ve heard the theme song from Cheers extol the joys of having somewhere to go “where everyone knows your name.”

Wapello is different. We occasionally long for the chance to go somewhere where no one knows our name.

I can’t walk into Johnnie B’s without seeing someone I know.  Some days, we’ll chat briefly. Often, I’ll pull up a chair or invite someone else to do so.

It was during lunch that it happened: someone mentioned what a nice guy the fellow who collects our trash is.  (Actually there are two of them, and they’re both pretty nice guys, so it took us little while to get his name and face connected.) Soon we were exchanging stories about times he had gone above and beyond the call of duty while picking up our garbage and recycling.

Such a discussion could only happen in a small town.

It could never happen where a constantly changing parade of people gathers the trash from rows of nearly identical houses or huge trucks tip apartment dumpsters. Nor could it happen where neighbors, co-workers, and other acquaintances are different groups separated by drives across town.

So here is a toast to the men who collect our garbage and to the small towns where they are known by name.

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