This site contains only the content of the book. Photographs by A. Rhae Adams and drawings are only available in hardcopy.

Mr. Thomas and Mr. O'Hare

Once on a modern time, Mr. Thomas and Mr. O' Hare were in competition. They had started grocery stores at the same time, across the street from each other. Well, to be exact, Mr. O'Hare started a butcher shop and Mr. Thomas started a vegetable stand. However, O'Hare quickly expanded his shop so that, before long, it offered a full line of merchandise. Thomas more slowly added to his offerings.

Soon, everyone agreed that it made more sense to shop at O'Hare's because it provided more one-stop shopping. However, they also agreed that they liked shopping with Thomas much more. Thomas was friendlier. He took time to visit with his customers, and, when times were difficult for one of them, he would grant additional time to pay the bill.

Generally, then, people did their regular shopping with O'Hare and visited with Thomas. O'Hare continued to expand, increasing his advantage in convenience. Thomas' business continued to dwindle.

Among Thomas' loyal customers was Faith Moon. When she was in his store, one day, they were marveling at how quickly O'Hare had developed his store into a supermarket. Thomas expressed some concern about his decline in business to Mother Moon. She told him:

Do not overly concern yourself.

Life is not a sprint but a marathon.

Continue doing the things you do best.

Do them the best you can.

Yet highlight for others your qualities.

Lombardy poplar trees grow fast and tall,

But easily fall in the wind.

The dogwood tree grows slowly, small but stout.

Generations see its beauty last.

You are a dogwood tree.

Your future with great promise is full.

But wait no longer your flowers to display.

Promote the assets that are yours

And you will prosper with slow growth even.

You need to pace yourself and be content

Your fresh produce brings pleasure to others and you bring them joy.

Blessed be you for making these things premiums in your life!

Thomas did began running specials on his best produce and introduced double values on coupons. His business increased sufficiently that he had no worries of bankruptcy.

O'Hare continued to expand. He felt content that he had won the race with Thomas. O'Hare hired a manager and bought a condo in Florida. Unfortunately, the manager had no head for business and the store had become too large for its market, especially when the new supermarket opened across town.