Last nite at the Broken Spoke we fed a multitude of folks, and many of them had gathered for company Christmas Parties. We have become quite proficient at serving large groups of people quickly, quality food well presented. And as I observed the team of workers hurrying naturally 2 accomplish task after task, over coming hurdle after hurdle, all of them thinking on their feet, some better than others, I heard My son say, “I’ll tell u this, being this busy sure makes the time go by fast.”

A note 2 the readers; I just lost my entire blog to internet failure…900 typed words that took me 2 hours 2 get on the screen. I am considering retyping but my soul is crushed by the very technology that is allowing u 2 see inside me. I feel like crying and want 2 quit typing forever…… again. If this blog gets written u will no I have recovered. No good deed goes unpunished. Just ask my wife who started me on this bloggin, and now will b my typist, if u don’t believe me.

It is hard to continue but I will and never will I type this blog again. I will however write it on old fashion paper and maybe someone will type it for u and me. Like I was sayin before Murphy’s Law kicked in, work…to me …. is actively relaxing.

Long, long ago, I bought a restaurant in downtown Adamsville, TN…. after a week of clorox cleaning and new tile floor was installed…. we opened.  The staff left behind by the past owners wanted to retain their jobs.  All were ladies and the cooks were authentic Granny’s.  So I called Flat Top, a buddy from Corinth, MS to come paint my front windows with GRANNY’S KOUNTRY KITCHEN in one window and Kountry Kookin with a picture of an old lady in an apron on the other window, and our hours on the front door, that separated the 2 windows, and wala, we were open.

After about a week a young man opens the door and walks over to the round table where I was sitting with Chuck Medlin, Leanord Littlefield and Roy Green – all characters in their own right, and he introduces himself. “Hello, I am Steven Franklin Jones and I would like to sell my transistor radio for no less than $2 and no more than 5 dollars,” he said in a very proper way, enunciating his words as if he were a speech teacher in drama class.

Being amused by the pricing structure, I smiled under my breath and said “Does it work” and “why do u want 2 sell it?”. He responded, “yes sir, it works. I listen 2 it everyday. I don’t really want 2 sell it but I do need 2 dollars,” and he handed me the radio.

Note 2 reader – I have a splitting headache from the rewriting of this blog.

I  looked at the handsome, hand sized AM/FM leather cased radio and handed it back to him with a 5 dollar bill, saying “Steven, u ever considered working for money?”  He politely and properly responded, “Sir, I have never before been offered a job.” So I told him he could work for us at Granny’s if it was ok with his parents and I instructed him to walk back home and ask his parents if it would be alright if he washed dishes for 5 dollars an hour. I told him to consider the 5 dollars his 1st hours’ pay. He thanked me and turned military style and walked out. Steven was autistic and had many issues about being in public, and mannerisms that made some people in town uncomfortable. I was warned of this by Roy and Leanard who were witnessing this from the round table.

Soon Steven and his dad returned to Granny’s. Steven’s dad didn’t look 2 happy as we met mid restaurant with a handshake and Steven stood behind his dad with his head down. Mr. Jones, after our introductions, turned to Steven and told him 2 return the 5 dollars. Looking up at me, Steven stepped forward, with his hand holding the five, extended his arm 2 return the money as his father stated, “Steven has strict instructions not to take charity” continuing, “and he’s not 2 lie. He said u gave him this money for future work at his new job.”

At this point, I assured Mr Jones Steven wasn’t lying.  I had in fact offered Steven a job and would like for him 2 start today. After Steven’s dad and I discussed the realities of Steven’s condition and the warning signs and mannerisms associated with autism, we agreed he could work as our dishwasher.

We had been in business less than a week but our business was booming and this particular day, about a week after Steven began his job, we had a line of hungry folks running from the cash register, out the front door onto the sidewalk of Main Street Adamsville. We had only 80 plates and 2 feed the 200 plus people that day, Steven had 2 wash thru the plates twice. After the lunch crowd had all been seated and fed, I went into the kitchen and asked “Steven, are u tired?” Steven was bobbing back and forth in rhythm at the sink as he washed dishes, but stopped and looked up and turned his head my direction and said, “No Jay, I find work to be the most active form of relaxation I no; I am only tired when I get thru.” He smiled, turned his head back down toward the triple sink and resumed bobbing back and forth as he completed his task at hand.

I stood in awe as this statement hit me over the head with truism and from this simple statement my life changed. Work, from that point on, was looked upon differently and I went on to do many things because I worked a lot. Luckily I own a family business, where I am fortunate enough to be around my loved ones most everyday, all day and all nite. And my kids learned to work, and work hard as we actively relax together. And last nite I was filled up with pride as we worked together better than we ever have at The Broken Spoke Restaurant.

That round dinner table at Granny’s was the setting of many discussions over a shared meal as one person after another would take their seat at the dinner table of life in Adamsville. I learned a lot right there but Steven Franklin Jones taught me the only thing I remember learning there… “work is the most active form of relaxation I no…. I am only tired when I get thru.” …. Steven Franklin Jones

Note 2 reader: I am tired; because the painful work of this rewrite is done and in a few moments I will be off to work Saturday nite at The Broken Spoke…. so I can relax…. actively.

Thank God for Steven Franklin Jones and my time with him. Steven still lives in Adamsville. He was in his 30’s when we met some 30 years ago. I hope he is well and happy. He made my life….relaxing.

If, in fact, this is being read by u and it was worth reading , u and I can thank my wife…. because she typed it after I wrote it… on paper with ink, the old fashion fool proof way of riting…. 15 pages in 30 mins…. priceless. And from now on, I will enjoy the flow of the pen and me and the backspace key will no longer be best friends, but rather a distant memory formed at the Dinner Table of Life and Murphy’s Law has saved me once again.