On the Table

Put your money on the table . . .

. . . and there it would stay.

Lunch, dinner, breakfast if the spirit moved somebody, three bucks, four, five, it didn’t matter, three, four, ten or fourteen people in, every one of them paying their share.

Nobody touched it. That money was as safe on the table as the diamonds in Al Capone’s vault. We just didn’t think twice about dropping a fin and walking away, full and satisfied.

Later, whoever gathered the ingredients for the feast would take from the pile what they spent and put the rest in “the dinky” a bunch of money stuffed in an envelope put in the corner of “the dinky closet” to be used for coffee, milk, ketchup and propane. And whatever else the dinky (junior) man thought would benefit the group.

It wasn”t perfect, every now and then a few bucks went unaccounted for, or the dinky man bought something ridiculous without a vote, but it wasn”t the end of the world, and peace was quickly restored.

There was no “Dummies Guide to Running the Dinky” or rule book to follow, just a group of people living together who at the tip of a bell dropped everything and ran out the door, never really knowing if they would all come back.

Little things like money safe on a table in the day room made it easy to focus on the jobs we sped toward, clear headed, with people we trusted with our lives by our side.

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