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I recently returned from a trip to the big city…the REAL Big CITY…New York, NY. As I stepped into thecrowded lobby of our hotel, a broad smile broke out on my face. My wife asked me what I was smiling about. I turned around, leaned back on the bar with my elbows and said, “Boy, you sure wouldn’t have to look hard around here to find some good felonies.” (Andy and Barney in the Big City). We both laughed out loud. And it was hard to believe what they were asking for rooms, more than $7.00...a lot more.

Truthfully…it was a nice place in a nice location. It was a little different than my hometown, Pawleys Island, SC…and quite a bit different from Mayberry. However, I took a few small town behaviors to the big city and left if nothing else…a lasting impression on a few folks.

One of the things I like to do is interact with people. Strangers in the big city don’t do that a lot…and in the world we live in today…you really can’t blame them. However, I coined a phrase some years back about those folks that won’t look at you as they approach you in the hall or on the street until they are right beside you. I call this phenomenon “Passive Avoidance.” I wait for the right moment…then I engage folks.

One example: Often you find yourself among a group of complete strangers that ride the elevators together. You look up, down, at your watch and more often than not, at your Smartphone to avoid having to talk to the others. On my NY trip, as the elevator begin to populate and people started looking everywhere else, I said out loud, “Hello new riders. Welcome to the area!” It broke the ice. We started laughing and asking one another where they were from, how long they’ve been here, have you been to any good tourist attractions, and what restaurants they had visited so far. As I saw them the remainder of the trip, there was no “Passive Avoidance.” Instead, I got several “Hellos”, many nods of the head, and even one “Howdy!”

One of the folks even told us about a restaurant they liked, adding that it was a bit pricey, and sort of fancy. We did not go there…I was worried that I might accidently order “Snails and Brains.”

I took some of my quiet time in the evenings as I rested from site-seeing to read the news, a book and even check mail on my iPad. The place I go to get a little perspective on life, enjoy a few laughs, and have loads of fun is a place that you can all enjoy. It’s located at www.iMayberryCommunity.com. Look me up when you get there. Send me a Friend Request (ColHarV), read the posts, get into the Discussion Forums…in other words, “Jump in there and hang on!”

Most importantly, look for Mayberry Moments, and make the effort to spread a little Mayberry every day.

Keith

a.k.a. - Col. Harvey

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