Harvest Moon October 2017 M2M The Marathon to Marathon (M2M) is October 21st. It is one of the best events in our little town. It is a Boston qualifier. Last year we had 502 runners. The shirt this year is the best ever. Marci outdid herself. Go to marathon2marathon.net for details and registration. I hope to see you there. Shoe Shine Boy In New Jersey there are neighborhood bars. They were called “taprooms.” My Grandpa’s favorite was “Chaney’s.” It was literally around the corner and at the end of the block, about a minute and ten second walk. You could usually find him there after work and on the weekends. To get close to his grandson he devised a plan with Mr. Chaney to make me the official shoe shine boy. Grandpa built me a shine box way too heavy for my small frame, but it was sturdy and I wish I still had it. So every Saturday I would shine shoes. The bars are a man’s world. A low lit smoky den, with jukebox music, a coin operated pool table and dart board. When someone walked in the door it made you squint. I roamed freely among potential patrons waiting for them to get tipsy enough to be approachable. I learned the timing of when to ask a man if he wanted a shoe shine. “Shoe shine sir, no charge for the socks.” I usually made a few bucks, never much, but one time a man asked me if I would come to his house while he was at work, and shine all of his shoes. My first commission. "Sure" I said. He gave me the address and I went over. He lived in the back of a store. The store owner let me into his room. As I recall it was a small place, no kitchen. A bath room and a bedroom, a dresser, and a closet full of suits and shoes. A real bachelor pad. I was fascinated. I pulled out all of the shoes, 20-25 pair and began to work. Not methodically, like all the brown ones, now all the black ones, etc. While I was waiting for the polish to set up, I could not resist, going through his drawers and looking at everything. Touching stuff. It was innocent, my mother taught me well, but I was so curious about what does a man have and hold on to. More than likely I didn’t put everything back like it was. I finished the shoes all shiny and put them back in the closet. It took me the better part of the day, and the man came home as I was finishing. He only gave me $4.00. I felt like it was not enough, but was too timid to negotiate. I never forgot the experience. Later in life, I wondered if he looked around the room and could tell I'd had gone through his things. Did he think I’d done a bad job. Maybe, that was all he could afford. $4.00 and a glimpse of what it was like to be a man. Happy Full Moon.