Ran into Herb Collins the other day down by the school. He volunteers there, from time to time, helping kids with their math homework, and trying to recruit future members of The Great World of Business.
He loved business, back in the days when he lived in the city and ran the pawn shop. For years now, ever since he hung up his jeweler’s loupe, he’s told us that there was an excitement to making the right deal.
“It has to be right for the customer and for me, or it isn’t right at all,” Herb always says. “You can do that and make several people happy and earn a living. There’s no need to take unfair advantage of someone just to earn a living.”
Our little town is a bit tame after city life, but it’s Herb’s wife’s home town and she wanted to come back here to live after he retired. So Herb turned to helping kids understand how wonderful business can be. He’s advised kids on the most effective way of delivering newspapers on their bicycles, he’s suggested advertising gimmicks for kids with summer lemonade stands, and he’s helped several boys market their skills with a lawn mower. You can take the man out of the business, I guess, but it’s hard to take the business out of the man.
So after the shaking hands and the how-are-yous, we talked about kids and business, and the new crop of youngsters coming up this year. I couldn’t help thinking ol’ Herb might jump at the chance to dive back in the world of commerce again, but he disabused me of that right away.
“All through with that,” he said, shaking his head. “I was a successful businessman and now I’m successfully retired.”
“That’s right,” he grinned. “I have a wife and a television set, and they both work.”