Sharnita ran cross country in the fall, and her practices would end in time for her to catch my late bus. Since she always claimed the front seat and was the last rider dropped off, we became pretty good friends over the two years that she rode with me.
Sharnita was also involved in track and basketball, and I saw several of her games at the middle and high school levels. Her younger sister, Jasmine, another athlete, also rode with me for a few years.
Sharnita, who graduated from Purdue, is the School to Career mentor at Beech Grove High. I talked to her Friday, and she seemed pleased that she could sleep in the following day and not be disturbed by an alarm.
She said her smartphone featured six different alarms that she could – and did – use to make sure that she got up during the workweek. I don’t think my flip phone has those capabilities.
That got me to thinking about alarm clocks. When I was in grade school my dad had a daily milk route. He picked up milk from farmers and delivered it to a milk plant. He had a big old wind-up alarm clock known as Big Ben. I can remember hearing that loud alarm going off each morning.
Many years later I had a job that required me to train independent sales people in 17 states. I also operated my own territory. On one occasion I arrived in a small town to spend a week training a new agent. I checked into a mom-and-pop hotel and asked the receptionist to provide me with a wake-up call each morning of my visit.
I was informed that no one was on duty at the desk overnight and that a wake-up call wouldn’t be possible. Then the lady reached under the counter and placed a Big Ben alarm clock in front of me. She assured me that it would provide an excellent wake-up announcement.
I met with my new salesperson, and we made some calls. We finished for the day and stopped at his house to go over some materials before he took me back to my hotel.
I walked down the street to a small diner and had a wonderful meal.
I returned to my room and finished the paperwork for the following morning. I got ready for bed, settled in, set Big Ben and anticipated a nice quiet room. NOT! All I could hear was Ben shouting, “TIC TOCK. TIC TOCK.” It then occurred to me that I had never slept in the same room as my dad’s clock.
There was no way I was going to be able to sleep with that loud ticking. I got up and placed Ben out in the hall, closed my door and locked it. I had no problem hearing the alarm the next morning, nor did any of the other folks on my floor.
While out with the sales rep the next day, I purchased a battery-powered alarm clock.
As I was telling Sharnita that story, I thought, “Woohoo!” I better get home and write this before I forget.
Shonk is a 1960 graduate of Southport High School, a ’63 grad of Indiana Central College (now the University of Indianapolis). He is married to Lyn Shonk.