Late Friday, I returned a pineapple, advertised by Hannaford as sweet and golden. My pale-yellow specimen was riddled with brown stripes. The clerk cheerfully refunded double my money. I scurried to pick up alternative snacks for guests. I returned to the speedy checkout registers where a young man was looking at his phone and standing six feet back. “Are you in line?” I asked him.

“Yes I am,” he answered quickly and returned to his text.

“Are you keeping the six foot distance?” I continued.

” I am,” he looked me in the eye and nodded. “But I’ve been vaccinated.

“Me too, “ I smiled and moved closer behind him.

“You don’t have to distance here. You can move up. We’re over 70 percent vaccinated,” I assured him.


He smiled. “Really?” With that he stepped up and put two sodas and a bottle of rum on the conveyer belt. He had to show his license for the liquor, but with his red baseball cap turned backwards on his head, he looked younger; obviously he was 21. I chuckled to myself that they all look pretty young as I approach old age. As he gathered his bottles and paid by debit card, he smiled and waved. I waved back. I gave my 3 items and shopping bag to the clerk and all of a sudden he was back.

“I’d like to pay for your groceries,” he said and took control of the machine.

“No, no you don’t need to do that!” I was smiling, shaking my head.

“I insist,” he said. “I need to do a good deed today!” He convinced the clerk as he had already put his charge card in the machine.

“Okay,” I chuckled. “If you insist. This is my lucky day!” I announced.

He said, “I feel like it’s my lucky day too,”


“Thank you, kind sir, for your good deed! “As he headed off again, I called after him and the P insignia, “Nice hat!”

I gathered my bag of free-to-me items. As I got outside the store, there he was again. “Can I carry those for you?” He smiled his wide grin on that beautiful black face. I laughed.

“I’m good,” I assured him. A shadow of a thought fluttered in my mind: perhaps I’m looking feeble as well as old today. “Where are you from?” I looked up at him.

“I’m from Philly,” he said with enthusiasm as he pointed at his cap!

“Of course,” I laughed. “I grew up on the other side of Pennsylvania, closer Pittsburgh.”

“I once lived 30 miles right outside of Pittsburgh,” he chortled. We both acted like wide-eyed, long-lost relatives discovering a common relationship.

“I hope you have a wonderful time in Maine,” I called after him as he headed to the left parking section, and I headed to the right.

Yes, a brown pineapple turned out to be a sweet omen on lucky day. This elder good-deed recipient and the delightful young Philadelphian had a golden moment together in Maine!

— Special to the Telegram

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