In the latter part of the 19th century, a respectable looking gentleman, named Andy, boarded a city trolley-car in the city of Pittsburgh.
Andy was well dressed, with a distinguished gray beard; he looked like a department store Santa Claus at Christmas time.
The Conductor, collecting fares from the passengers, asked Andy for the 15 cents it cost to ride the trolley downtown, the car’s destination. Andy reached into his pocket, but after rummaging about, came up empty-handed. He checked the pockets of his waist coat; his jacket; even the inside of his bowler hat. Finally, looking up with a sheepish grin, he informed the conductor that he had, apparently, left home, literally, without a dime!
The conductor sized Andy up.
He was not the usual kind of passenger who tried to slip onto the trolley without paying. He was well dressed and mannered, and was obviously not trying to “pull a fast one”. Never-the-less, the conductor informed Andy that in the absence of the 15 cents fare, he would have to get off at the next stop.
Andy didn’t put up a fuss. He didn’t complain or attempt to negotiate. Instead, he smiled; and (again sheepishly) explained that this often happened to him. That it wasn’t that he was particularly forgetful, as a rule. It was just about money.
He HATED to carry the stuff.
Shaking his head, he called it, “filthy stuff”.
Watching as Andy walked away that day, the conductor wondered who was this strange fellow with his odd aversion to money?
Today, modern psychology understands this condition. There are for some reason people, like kindly old Andy that day, who have a phobic reaction to carrying or even touching money.
Perhaps Andy felt this way because money had been the root of so many of his family’s problems while he was growing up. There never seemed to be enough of it! His father, a hard-working Scottish miner, was always in financial hot water, and the family suffered for it.
Andy had come to America as a young lad. And here the irony of his life began.
Because in America, the man who had a phobic dislike for money found that everything he set his hand to turned to gold!
Yes, Andy made a lot of money in America. In fact, he died one of the wealthiest men in the world! And perhaps because of his distaste for his own wealth, he spent the latter part of his life…………. in giving his vast fortune away!
Andy is remembered today as perhaps the greatest philanthropist that ever lived. Oh, you know his name. You’ve seen it countless times: on the concert hall that bears his name; on libraries and centers for the arts; and for the foundation he set up to give back his tremendous fortune to deserving people in his adopted country.
Only you know Andy as …
And NOW you know…… the REST OF THE STORY!
(compliments of the late Paul Harvey)