awThey said, “No, your glove is fine.” I knew my parents were wrong. I needed a new baseball glove if I was going to be a world famous second baseman and play in the World Series – I had to have the right equipment. Everyone knows that!

I fumed over it for a few days and then on March 24, 1952 I walked eight blocks down West Markum Street in Little Rock to the A&W Root Beer stand owned by my baseball coach to ask for a job.

“I have gone to Weber’s, will be back soon. I am going to get a job,” the note on the kitchen table said.

If they wouldn’t pay for it, I would.

Mr. Weber paid me 20 cents an hour and I saved up for weeks for that glove. I worked at the root beer stand after school and weekends. I washed dishes, filled orders, and everything else.

Setting a goal helped me get my baseball glove in 1952. I'm still waiting for the St. Louis Cardinals to call.
Setting a goal helped me get my baseball glove in 1952. I’m still waiting for the St. Louis Cardinals to call.

I don’t remember the cost of the glove – maybe my parents chipped in some after seeing my determination. The one thing for sure … that glove made me a better second baseman. I think (hope).

You want something bad enough, get a job and pay for it. Period.

The note made a big impression on my mother because she dated it and saved it in a trunk with my other “only child” keepsakes. “10 years and 9 months,” she proudly wrote.

Years later, my wife framed the note. It is on a shelf in our study. The grandchildren often look at the note today and wonder how I did that and how my mother allowed it. Times were different in 1952.

It is not all that easy today. Kids can’t just walk eight blocks and ask for a job. Also, costs are different and wages are different. Life is not simple anymore.

Choices Do Matter.

I made the right choice back then and it shaped who I am today.

My parents favored self-reliance – no helicopter moms in the 1950’s.

Did you make choices at an early age that shaped your character? Were they for the good or some not so good?

As always, the conversation starts here.