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[ From the Archives of 365 ]

“Working at Walmart, and with the holidays, I see this every year. People fighting over plastic junk, junk that is only to be returned the next morning.”

“Life is like a buffet, there is something for everyone.” 

Good words to hear as I heal from last night’s pre-holiday warm-up meal.

Today I’m adding to my bloated stomach as we find ourselves on a luncheon exploration at not the most typical of Christmas celebratory places—Goldfield Ghost Town, home to Rusty, the man who departs the above quote.

At first meeting, he is extroverted, funny, and subtle in his presence. He, my wife, and I palaver for a spell (I’m in Arizona, palaver for a spell, just feels right to say).

This buffet idea? What the heck! I love food! Is Rusty telling me to “love life?” I guess so.

Originally from Missouri, Rusty moved to Arizona for the love of his wife, who suffers from several medical conditions that required her to live in a warm climate.

Rusty is a man who apparently puts others before himself; he speaks of people with compassion and understanding.

“In Missouri, I started as a minister, then I got into comedy. My comedy was clean and for families, but my heart is still in the ministry.”

Like I said, Rusty is funny and a people person. He breaks away from our interview, “Excuse me for a second, I have to announce the mine tour.”

It’s a tad more than a standard amusement park announcement; it is a well-constructed and humorous call to action. Makes sense coming from a man who has opened in Branson, at venues like Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater, and warmed up crowds for performers such as Yakov Smirnoff.

“I’m working two jobs to make ends meet, here and at Walmart. I see a lot of people and have this to tell them, slow down, everyone is in too much of a hurry. It’s a shame, we miss out on striving for things we may never get in life.”

“We have all need to realize we are here for a reason and learn not to judge. We have the power to set a positive example. And if we become negative, we can do no good.

He continues, “If there was a little more respect, we would not have as much trouble. I see too much of it’s about me, and not enough of it’s about us.”

“Working at Walmart, and with the holidays, I see this every year. People fighting over plastic junk, junk that is only to be returned the next morning.”

Rusty councils, “Take what you need, no more, no less, there is enough to go around. Greed is the downfall of man.”

He does not deliver this council in contention, a judgmental attitude, or with any message of class distinction. What he shares he delivers with a sentiment of respect and in an encouraging tone. Even relates it to his earlier “buffet” parable.

“Life is like a buffet, there is something for everyone.” 

He adds this to the equation to humble it a bit, “Good thing there is a sneeze guard.”

That sneeze guard? He calls it a mindset, a protective device in not buying into other people’s negativity.

“We have all need to realize we are here for a reason and learn not to judge. We have the power to set a positive example. And if we become negative, we can do no good.

“God created the Earth with enough beauty around for everything. We just need to appreciate it, and each other.”

My take? It’s been interesting to see the year-end shift in the perspectives of those I am interviewing. Sure, 365 carries a positive message through the life perspectives shared by its participants, and through the words of others showing us, we are all in this thing together. But what is really interesting to me is seeing how so many are turning towards a higher power as we get closer to the New Year; for many it’s a time of self-reflection. That in itself is telling me something. What do you think?

I’ve got to go now… Walmart presents to wrap. (Just kidding!)

Every moment of every day… your individual impact truly does matter to someone else in the world.

Every moment of every day… your individual impact truly does matter to someone
else in the world.

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©2021 RICHARD RADSTONE / SIDEWALK GHOSTS
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