What is a monkeybox?

When I was a little girl, we had a pet monkey named Amanda. My Dad worked in the produce business, so each night he brought home that days culls in a big box - spotty cucumbers, pithy apples, limp celery, moldy oranges and the like. We called it a monkeybox. It was really just trash, but my Mom would take each piece of fruit and trim it, pare it and cut it up to make a beautiful fruit platter for Amanda. Even though it was deemed trash by one, it still had life left in it and was good for the purpose we needed it. That's how I live my life - thrifting, yard saling, looking for another's trash to be my treasure.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Terrible Accident

On Sunday, June 10th, there was a terrible accident outside of Tulsa, OK. A man in a dump truck was killed and two people in a truck were critically injured. The accident actually involved four cars, but the people in the other two vehicles were not seriously injured. The two people critically injured were important people in my life and the lives of my family. They are Gerald and Vicky Harp of Springdale, Arkansas.

Gerald, along with his brother, Don, owned a chain of grocery stores called Harp's Food Stores until a few years ago. My Dad worked for them for nearly 30 years, I worked for them for ten years and DH worked for them for nearly ten years too. My Dad started working for Harp's when they only had a handful of stores. By the time I went to work for them, they had expanded to 48 stores and had a General Merchandise Distribution Center that served another 25 stores.

Many people that work for a company that size can honestly say that they've never even met the "boss" let alone the boss knew them by name. Gerald knew my name because he had known me since I was a kid, but he knew everyone's name at all the stores, the Office, the Distribution Center, etc. He has a great sense of humor and a laugh that you would never forget once you heard it once for yourself.

Once a year, Harp's would chose the Managers of the year for different divisions and departments and they would all go on a trip together. My Mom and Dad went to Aruba once and Acapulco twice. After they divorced, I went to Kauai, Hawaii and to San Juan, Puerto Rico for a cruise with the Harp's.

When we were in Hawaii, we all went to a nightclub in the hotel to dance and have some cocktails. Well, I was only 19, so no cocktails for me. And, I don't dance either. I guess I was just along for the ride! Anyway, when we got to the door, they wouldn't let my Dad in because he was wearing Reeboks. They had a dress code - no tennis shoes. Gerald was wearing some slip on boat shoes and they let him in just fine. So, when we got in the door, he gave me his shoes and had me sneak out to get my Dad in. They never did notice that one of them was in their socks the rest of the night.

When we went on the cruise the next year, I was the apple of the waiters eye. Oh, he had a thing for me. He brought me giant drinks with 88% alcohol and 12% Coke. They were "on zee house" according to him and his thick Jamican accent. After three drinks one night (I wasn't drinking them, I was just leaving them at different places in the dining room) he started talking about how he wanted to marry me and live with me in the US. And, oh, did I mind that he had a wife and five children that he needed to bring too??? Yikes! That's when Gerald and his wife Vicky came to my rescue - "Darling! There you are - we've been looking for you! Is this MAN bothering you?" Thet sat me in between them and everytime the waiter looked near us, Gerald would give him his "mean" face and I would just crack up.

After they sold the Grocery Chain, Don and Gerald never forgot the people that helped them through the years and worked for them. My Dad and I saw Gerald at a Chinese Resturant one day and we mentioned it was my Dad's birthday. He left before we did and when we left they told us our bill had been paid. Gerald went on a six month cruise about two years ago. Halfway around the workd, he saw a funny hat that reminded him of my Dad and brought it back for him.

About a year ago, a friend of ours died very quickly from cancer. Her husband had worked for Harp's for over 30 years since he was 16 years old. (In fact, this was "Creepy Guy's" Best Man). Gerald stopped by the funeral home and paid the remaining $5,000 on the funeral. What a bruden he relieved for our friend.

I could tell you a lot more stories, but I will stop now. They are on my mind and iin my heart. Gerald has head injuries, two broken arms and a crushed knee. Vicky has two broken arms, two broken legs, a broken back and a crushed pelvis. She is a mere wisp of a woman in the first place, I don't know how she has survived. I don't know what their condition is today and I think about them constantly. I hope you will include them in your thoughts too. I thank you.


  1. Anonymous11:16 PM

    So very sorry to hear of your friends accident. They sound like wonderful people. They are in my prayers.

  2. Oh Shara, my thoughts and prayers are with your friends. They sound like wonderful people! You have such a gift for telling stories. Please let us know the progress of the the Harps.

  3. Oh dear, that is terrible news. :( The Harps sound like salt of the earth, downright *GOOD* people, the best kind of people. I'm so sorry to hear about their injuries and can tell that your heart is heavy. :( Prayers for them and their loved ones.

  4. I feel heaviness in my heart and I don't even know these people personally. The way you describe them makes them feel like long lost friends. {{{hugs}}}

  5. Sharra, I heard about the accident. It was on the Tulsa news. How sad! I will add your friends to my prayers, and also you and your family.

    They sound like wonderful, loving, giving people and the world needs more like them. What a truly special couple they must be, and such a wonderful example for others.


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