Doing the Little Things

Yesterday, I bought the new Gaither Vocal Band hymns CD at Wal-Mart. As I was checking out, the cashier, to my surprise, commented that she remembered when Larnelle Harris was with the group, and particularly enjoyed that lineup.

Then she told a story. Back in the mid-’90s, she was a security guard at a local mall. The mall didn’t like trucks parking in its lots overnight. So when she saw one, she was supposed to ask them to park somewhere else.

 

One night, she looked out into the parking lot and saw a bus. She went out to see it and saw a little sticker that said that the bus belonged to the Cathedral Quartet. She knocked on the door anyhow, and asked the bus driver if he could go to a nearby hotel instead. He said that he had already been there, and they didn’t have any vacancies.

The cashier told me, “I thought God would be mad with me if I didn’t let The Cathedrals get a good night’s sleep.” So she told the bus driver that she wouldn’t turn them in.

The point of this story isn’t whether or not the security guard made the right decision, and the point isn’t whether or not God would have been upset with a guard who asked them to park the bus somewhere else. The point is in what happened the next morning: The Cathedrals tracked down the security guard, thanked her for letting them get a good night’s sleep, and gave her complimentary tickets to their concert that night. 

Thanks to that little gesture, twenty years later, she is still telling people—even strangers—how gracious the Cathedrals were.

Why do the little things? Why go out of your way to be gracious to people who probably won’t do anything to advance your career? And why does it matter what a cashier at Wal-Mart thinks of you, fifteen years after your retirement?

That’s your legacy. 


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22 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. great story- thanks for the reminder of why we are here and how we have an impact-one way or another

  2. My son will soon be 35. When I was probably his age – 26 years ago, I purchased for him one of the green bus/piggy banks from the Cathedrals’ table during a concert. My son wanted to meet the bass singer – and he was carrying the bus/piggy bank when we went to meet George Younce. Seeing the bus, Younce reached in his pocket and came out with a $5 bill and put it in the bus without saying a word about it. I saw him do it – but no one else did. Legacy…which I think makes the name Legacy V so perfect…

    On a night that Gus Gaches was traveling with L5 but not yet a member, my sister purchased probably $100+ from the Booth Brothers. After she had made her purchase, she noticed a CD by their dad, Ron Booth. My sister told Ronnie how much she loved to hear his dad sing. He reached over, grabbed his dad’s CD, and dropped it in her bag. Steps to a legacy – and a life-long fan not only of Ron Booth, but Ronnie and Michael.

    Great story my friend. I look forward to your posts so much.

    JEB

  3. Back in around 1989 or so, the Cathedrals were in London, Ontario. They had some difficulty at the border, and weren’t able to get their recordings to the venue. Long story short, my sister and her husband were able to pick up their records, etc and bring them. Glen Payne was obviously appreciative, and gave them free copies of whatever they wanted.
    That reminds me, I was in high school then and we had a quartet, and they let us sing a song at the start of intermission. I’ll never forget that!

    • This is so AWESOME!!

  4. I love to hear these stories…they are so uplifting! 🙂 It is wonderful to hear down the road what Christians do and it is between them and the LORD. 🙂 Thank you Daniel for bringing this one to our attention.

  5. Daniel, this is such a wonderful post!! I have been away from the site for a while (well as far as posting anything) but this one caught my attention for some reason this morning and I was compelled to comment. I never did get to meet George or Glen or even get to see The Cathedrals in person. However, it is stories like these that make me look forward even more to meeting them some day “On the Other Side of Jordan!!” Thanks again, Daniel!

    • You’re welcome! I didn’t get to meet them in person, either.

  6. This brings to mind Hebrews 13:2 – “Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!” (NLT)

    A few months ago, I sent a check to a friend so she could bless someone with a concert ticket for a Crabb Family Reunion Event in Alabama. I would have gone to the concert, but couldn’t because of distance (I am in NJ), so I decided to let someone else be blessed with “my” ticket. Not even an hour later, I got an email from a promoter for a contemporary Christian group I follow saying he was able to get me a complimentary meet and greet/vip ticket for a concert that had sold out of vip tickets. The “funny” thing is… if I had been able to locate and buy a vip ticket, it would have been for the exact same amount as the check I wrote to bless someone else.

    God is great!

  7. Great piece today, Daniel! I love stories like this. In my work with the artists and those around them, I often hear stories of how people in our industry quietly go behind the scenes doing honorable things they would never broadcast themselves. But people will observe and respond in kind, like the woman in your example, and you can know Heaven notices, for sure! I’ve often said character and integrity need no introduction or commercial. A life well-lived speaks for itself.

    • These kind of stories never get old!

  8. I have heard several stories over the years like this one regarding the Cathedrals. Stories ranging from their struggling
    years to their more successful years. All of them carried this common thread…being good decent people. I’ve heard Glen always wanted the best from their people, but always made sure everyone was looked after. I wish more business owners were like that.

  9. One evening during the early 90s my wife and I went to see the Cathedral Quartet in Houston Texas. After the concert we were standing near a side entrance to the auditorium. We were wanting to let the crowd at the products table then out before we walked over to that area. George happened to walk out of that side door he saw my wife and I standing there alone in the hallway. Without hesitation he walked over to us and gave by wife a big hug and shook my hand and told us how glad he was that we came to the concert. He stood and talked with us for several minutes. We were so thrilled that he would take the time to visit with us that evening. They always seemed so sincere and I believe they really were.

  10. Saw the Booth Brothers in Staunton Va a few years ago. I waited close by for my children to get their pictures taken with Ronnie. When they got up to him he was very gracious and kind by thanking my kids for coming out. He actually took the time to talk to them like they were real people! 🙂 He then turned to me and asked my if we had a DVD player at home. I said yes and he turned to the merchandise table and picked up a few DVDs and handed them to me and said I hope these bless you. I was totally blown away! What a class act!

    Great post Daniel! Just another reason to love and support these southern gospel artists.

  11. This was a great story, Daniel, and just one of so many stories that people could relate to you; not only about the Cathedrals, but about so many that they mentored, and who “pay it forward” because of their example. Every one of the men in the CQ were class personified. And do you know WHY you haven’t heard of all of these acts of kindness? It’s because they just did them as a natural part of their makeup. There was no need, in their eyes, to sound the trumpet, because they were just living a life that included showing Jesus’ love – both on stage, and off. I was blessed to know and love George, Glen, Roger, and many other great men through the Cathedral Quartet, and all of our lives were made richer because they chose to glorify Christ.

    • I have to start by mentioning what an honor it is that you would stop by! I didn’t just love Roger’s piano playing and songwriting; I loved his voice, too. He’s my favorite vocalist Legacy Five has ever had.

      I’ve heard quite a few touching stories about the kind of men the Cathedrals were. I suppose what made this story stand out to me was the unexpected nature of hearing it from a cashier at Wal-Mart!

    • I’d like to express my deepest appreciation to you, Debbie, for sharing Roger through the Cathedrals, and Legacy Five. I can only imagine the sacrifice with all the travel etc. I’ve been/still am a huge Cathedrals/L5 fan. I’ve followed the Cathedrals since 1983, enjoying seeing them in concert, and buying all the records I could. To me, Roger was/is the standard for quartet piano.
      They were a huge part of my growing up years…..everybody else was listening to rock music! :-)))

    • I remember seeing The Cathedrals in St. Louis every time they came to town. I was a preteen and I had poster from their concerts (album cover posters…I cherish the one they signed for me…all five). I was the typical teen who had a few movie star posters, but most of my posters were of Cathedrals, Blackwood Brothers, and other Southern Gospel groups.

      I still remember going on a family vacation to Stow, Ohio and visiting the Cathedral of Tomorrow…I was in awe of the huge cross above the stage. You could sit in the audience and look up to the ceiling to see the cross looking down. I remember the museum where they had dioramas of Bible stories in miniature. The bell tower was being constructed at the time outside the entrance.

      My favorite memory was having each of the five guys sign my music book before the concert…Roger, Kirk, Glenn, George, and Mark. My favorite Cathedral singer was Kirk, but I loved hearing Roger play.

      I know I will get to see him again in heaven and I love imagining that he is teaching the angels to play the piano and serenading the saints including Glenn & George. I miss George’s clowning around during the concert when Glenn would try to be serious.

      Great memories…

  12. As a 14 year old teenage , I wrote Roger Bennett a letter with a million music related questions in it. He didn’t know me from Adam at the time. I was shocked when a few weeks later I opened the mailbox and there was a letter there on Cathedral stationary. Handwritten and answering every question.
    I’m still impressed by that and I try to do the same to every request I get in my ministry. (And I am HARDLY in demand like he was!)
    I wouldn’t take $1000 for that letter.

    • Don’t!!

  13. What an all around beautiful ,moving, inspirational, well written story !!!

  14. Quick story. One time in the late 90’s I was at a Cathedrals concert and especially back in those years I always carried a camera. Roger Bennett was walking by me and looked like he was in a hurry. I asked him could I take his picture real quick. He said, “why don’t you get it in with me.” That has stuck me with all these years. I have several more stories like that I might share later…