Sunday, June 1, 2014

Mr. Mailman & Mr. Tomato Man

Rick and I were driving a few days ago and he said, "oh, I forgot to tell you…I met your old mailman."  What.  He said that he had this old man come in and he got talking to him and he discovered that he was the Arctic Circle mailman for years.  He said that often times he would come in and get his lunch and then find out that there was no charge.  My dad wouldn't charge him for his lunch!!  I remember him coming in for years and years.  Always so kind and nice.  I don't remember how we knew that it was his last day delivering mail, but he came to Arctic Circle for lunch on his last day of work.  Dad paid for his lunch on that day, too.  I remember it well.  He always ordered a small hamburger and small order of fries and a water.  He would always eat quickly so he could be back on his way to deliver mail, but he always hollered, "Thank you" and "Goodbye" as he would leave.
I asked Rick how he figured out the connection.  He said that he asked the man where he lived and he said Orem.  He asked what he did for a living and he said he delivered mail in South Orem.  He mentioned that he delivered mail to the businesses down there.  Rick told him that his wife's family had a business down there.  Mr. Mailman asked what business and Rick said, "Arctic Circle."  Mr. Mailman said that he delivered mail to Arctic Circle and to Kent for years.  Rick said "That's the business her family owned.  My wife worked there for 13 years.  Kent is my father-in-law"  He remembered us!!  He said that he loved going in there for all of his years of delivering mail because we were all so nice and friendly.  He continued to stop in every once in a while after he retired, too.
Mr. Mailman's brother was the Tomato man.  They looked just alike, except Mr. Tomato Man had darker hair.  He came in for years, as well.  He lived on a big piece of property on 1200 South in Orem (which is now RC Willey or across the street where the car dealership is, I believe).  After he retired, he just grew a bigger and bigger garden every year.  So, he started selling his garden tomatoes to my dad every summer for Arctic Circle.  He charged $5 per case which was a huge bargain considering that during certain times of the year we paid $30 to $40 for a case of tomatoes.  And everyone knows that garden tomatoes are 10x better than greenhouse tomatoes.  I still think of Mr. Tomato Man every time I plant my tomatoes.  I planted 20 plants this year.  I wonder how many plants Mr. Tomato Man planted.  Mr. Tomato Man brought his grandson in one time and asked us if we could help him.  He was a cute kid, but prone to getting into trouble.  My Dad gave Nate a job.  He worked hard and dad scheduled him enough hours every week that he didn't have time to get into trouble.  He was a likable kid and we all did a good job helping him stay out of trouble, at least during the time he spent working at Arctic Circle.  
*names have been changed in this story so that Rick doesn't lose his job. 

1 comment:

Amara said...

Do you mean that Tomato man wasn't his real name? My dad. Every year he cuts out more lawn in his back yard and plants more graden. So glad you got another piece of your dad from someone. What a gift. Makes me think of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn where the saloon keeper holds all of the pieces of Johnny and gives them back to Katie once he is gone.