My Teachers

The Less Obvious Ones

Story and Photos by Les Tanner

Not long ago, as I was crossing the parking lot at a local market, an elderly lady coming toward me dropped a small parcel.  As I picked it up and handed it to her, she said, “Thank you, sir.”  My reply was a casual, “No problem.”

“You know,” she said with a smile, “In my day”—and there is little doubt that “her day” and “my day” were about the same—”the proper response to, ‘Thank you,’ was, ‘You’re welcome.’”

I’d known that once.  Even practiced it.  But it was so easy to slip into the modern vernacular and answer with, “No prob,” or “You bet,” or “Yep,”—or just a grunt.  I’m trying to put that bit of common courtesy back into practice, and it’s not easy.  In any case, thank you, parking lot lady.

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Les Tanner

About Les Tanner

Les Tanner is shown here with his late wife, Ruby, to whom he was married for more than sixty years, and who also was on the staff of IDAHO magazine. When Les, a retired teacher, isn’t working on the magazine's calendar, proofreading, fishing, writing, playing pickleball, or pulling weeds, he’s out looking for Jimmy the cat.