No. 1325



Here is a question I would like to invite you to ponder with me for a few minutes today. How many people does it take to make a crew? The word “crew” is usually associated with men, but not always, and regardless the number is always more than one.
This week I ran into one of the most unusual situations that I have ever seen in my whole life, and this is a crew that only had one woman. Her name is Pamela Gray, owner/operator of Creative Monument LLC of Greenbrier, Arkansas. My wife, Janis, lost her son David a little over a year ago, and she asked me to go with her to pick out a headstone. Janis also suggested we pick out one for me since I already had a reserved plot next to where she was to be buried. She already had a headstone and this seemed like the perfect time to get one for me.
Let me be quick to add, I am in very good health and my prayer is that the Lord will leave me here for many more years because I still have some very important goals that I want to accomplish. However, we have absolutely no control over this as we all live by the grace of God. Now, that is the backdrop, but we picked out the monuments and provided the copy for what we wanted on them. We waited on the company to call to say they were ready and give us a date and time to be at the cemetery to install them. Now, here is where it gets interesting.
We pulled up to Bethlehem Cemetery at 9 a.m., and there was just one truck there and one woman, yes, a woman, who was well on her way to getting David’s installed and about ready to begin mine. While this is not something in which I am experienced, I could not believe that a woman was doing this all by her lonesome. And I might add, she was very good and very proficient in her chosen career. Her truck was quite large and had a lift-hoist mounted on the back of it. She could take straps and place them around the monuments, lift them up and swing them over the site, and set them in place.
I might add she had already taken a shovel and dug out the spot, about a foot deep, placed a sack of dry concentrate in the hole with a couple of boards to level, and lowered it into place. After the monument was in place, she had a tool to move it around to make sure it lined up with the other monuments that were already there. She then took a level and checked it to make sure it was just that, level. She was on a very tight time schedule and I helped her a little by taking her shovel and smoothing out the dirt that had come out of the hole. When she got ready to leave, she said she was now 10 minutes ahead of her schedule.
When she visited about her doing this job by herself, she said she could not find anyone who was willing to work for $15 an hour: all she could afford to pay. To be sure, the pandemic has truly exposed this sad state of affairs, as millions of Americans have no money because they have gotten used to the government taking care of them. All of my life my attitude has been that we should learn something from all of our experiences. Maybe doing without may be good for some people. I am truly saddened we have lost so many good people to this tragic disease, including some of my friends.
Hopefully, my experience here has been helpful as you prepare for this time in your life. There was one bright moment, as the date was December 18, 2020, and Janis told me that this monument was my Christmas present. Ha.
(Editor’s Note: Jim Davidson is an author, public speaker, syndicated columnist and Founder of the Bookcase for Every Child project. Since its inception in 1995, Jim’s column has been self-syndicated to over 375 newspapers in 35 states making it one of the most successful in the history of American journalism.)