Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Lesson in Honesty

My grandfather, Neal Jacobsen Hillyard, was born in Aalborg, Denmark in 1894. His mother, who was a single mother trying to raise a family alone, sent Neal to America when he was 11, hoping, I am sure, to give him a better life than the one he had in Denmark. The photo to the right was taken when he arrived on Ellis Island.

Before his death in 1967 he wrote down his personal history, which is something I treasure. We have kept it with his own spelling and grammar to keep the tone of his voice. The following is from his writings, which he called "A Lesson in Honesty." It is a sweet story. I can just picture that little boy and the man who taught him a lesson that he never forgot. I never have either .......

My next job was working for an elderly Gentleman who operated A candy manufacturing store, who would sell his candy to little stores in the City. My job was to clean up pot and pans and make Deliveries. (Do you know how a stick of candy look to a young boy?) One while getting ready to make deliveries while He was busy with the orders, and he was not looking I sneaked a piece of stick in my pocket.

I nearly out of the door when He yelled out, that could have been heard all oer the city. “Come here.” “Take that candy out of your pocket.” The look he gave me, as I handed over the candy, “now get on your way with the deliveries.” My Conscience had me worried or call it the still small voice, all the way, Why did you, You’l loose your job and your mother need what help you an give her; And son be honest, you will get a whipping when you get back to the store. And realy I don’t know all that whent through my mind. Well the deliveries was made and go back I must no matter what the out come may be.

As I enter he said come back here in the back of the building sit down is voice was gentle and calm. He said “Son do you know that honest is one of the greatest factor in a mans life, there is nothing matter as much as being honest you character is based on it. Did you ever think to have ask me for a piece of candy.” After a few more minute he talk to me. He said now let get buisy and clean up. As the time for me to go home He handed me a sack to take home. And in it there was a stick candy for each of us. Many of the time I see the picture as I take that candy out of my pocket I can see him. One of the many Hero’s in my life that taught me a lesson I have never forgot.

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