May 10th 2003 Whiskey Illinois High School in the town of Whiskey Illinois
18 year old Andy Ripley is at his High School Graduation Ceremony when it is his turn to accept his diploma.
He unlocks his wheelchair brakes goes to the front of the auditorium accepts his diploma then he returns to his seat.
When the graduation ceremony ends Andy says goodbye to his fellow graduates then he removes his cap and gown folds them up and lays them on his trucks passenger seat.
Then he takes his high school diploma and he puts it into his trucks glove box on top of his 8th grade diploma. After getting his wheelchair into the truck bed he gets into the driver's seat and he drives home. During his journey home he mutters to himself over and over
"They had better have had a good reason for missing my graduation".
When he finally reached home Andy saw a terrible sight he saw that his parents were having a wild party for all of their friends.
So after shaking his head a few times he said to himself out loud "Well it looks like my parents decided to throw a wild party instead of attending my high school graduation."
"Well then I am going to Castle Texas."
Then he headed for the nearest gas station and filled up his gas tank once it was filled up he headed for Texas. More specifically the town of Castle Texas where his grandparents were born and raised and still lived today.
The town where he spent the summers and school holidays of his youth after a very long back breaking drive. He arrived at his grandparents' house the young man parked his truck in their drive and after getting into his wheelchair he made his way through the front door.
When he reached it he knocked on it politely a few second later Grandma opened the door and when she saw her grandson Andy she looked back over her shoulder and she said
"Fred fix another plate of food and a another cup of coffee Andy is here."
So while Grandpa was busy fixing a plate of food and cup of coffee for Andy Grandma invited him inside. Once Andy was inside they sat down at the kitchen table together and began to eat.
Midway through the meal Grandma looked at Andy and she said to her beloved grandson Andy
"Do you want to talk about it Andy?"
The young man took a few bites from his sandwich then he began to speak.
"Nobody showed up to my high school graduation ceremony. When I got home I saw that they were having a wild party so I decided to leave."
Grandpa took a few sips from his coffee then he said "That ain't right".
Andy looked at his beloved grandparents and he said to them
"May I stay here for a few days? I promise I will start looking for an apartment or house to rent right away and I will start looking for work as soon as possible."
Grandma looked at her beloved grandson and she said to him. "Andy you can stay with us a long as you want to. In fact if you stayed with us permanently we would not mind at all."
"Regarding work you can start looking for work first thing in the morning after I feed you a good breakfast. In the meantime get some rest."
Andy finished eating then he took a shower and shaved then he got some badly needed and well deserved rest.
The next day he got up got dressed at a good breakfast with his grandparents then he got into his 2001 Ford F-150 went into town and started looking for work.
He stopped at every business in town that had a help wanted sign on display and filled out a job application. As he headed home to have lunch with his grandparents he saw that Walmart had a help wanted sign on display.
So he pulled into the store's parking lot parked his truck went inside and he obtained a job application.
After filling it out as neatly as possible Andy turned it in to the store's manager Mr. George Robinson.
Then the young man left the store got into his truck again and headed home to have lunch with his grandparents.
A few days later they were eating breakfast when the phone rang RING!!!!
Andy quickly answered it 10 minutes later he finished his phone conversation then he returned to the table.
After taking a few sips from his coffee he said to his grandparents
"Grandma and Grandpa that was Mr. George Robinson the manager of Walmart on the phone.
"There is a greeters position available at Walmart unfortunately it is the graveyard shift."
"I will do my best not to make a lot of noise when I leave the house to go to work."
"I know how important a good night's sleep is to the two of you."
When the young man finished speaking.
Grandpa looked at him and he began to share another piece of Grandfatherly wisdom with his beloved grandson Andy.
"Andy when I started my factory job back in 1950 the only shift available was the graveyard shift. At first I was reluctant to take it."
"I would have preferred to work during the day and spend the evening with grandma. But I needed the job."
"So I bit the bullet so to speak and took the graveyard shift and for 32 years I worked that shift."
"Don't worry about making a lot of noise when you leave for work."
When Grandpa finished sharing his wisdom Grandma said to her beloved Grandson Andy.
"And I will make you a nice sack supper and a thermos of strong black coffee."
When they finished talking the trio resumed eating their breakfast when it was time for Andy to start work at his new job.
He took a shower and shaved then he dressed as neatly as he could then he hugged his grandparents and after receiving his lunch box and thermos of strong black coffee from Grandma.
He got into his Ford F-150 and he drove to work when he got their he parked the truck and he pushed himself into the store.
Where he was met by his new boss Mr. George Robison who issued Andy his name tag introduced him to his co-workers and showed Andy around the break room Andy put his lunch box and thermos of coffee in a safe place.
Then he went to his greeters station and he got to work when it was time for his break Andy ate the sack supper that and grandma had fixed for him and drank the strong black coffee then he went back to work.
When his shift ended he was tired but it was a good tired. When he got home he got into the house and he Grandma fixed him something to eat. Midway through the meal Grandpa said "How was work".
Andy replied "It was great and I can honestly say with a clean conscience that this job will be my career."
When he was done talking he went back to eating his morning meal and then he got some sleep. Over the next several years Andy built a nice life for himself he worked hard at his job.
He enjoyed his many hobbies and on Sunday morning he went to church with his beloved Grandparents. But there was something missing from his life a girlfriend.
But that would change shortly after his 30th birthday and it would all begin with a trip to the local library. Shortly after his 30th birthday Andy was at the local library and enjoying a rare day off from his job at Walmart.
After picking out a few books that he wanted to read Andy went over to the counter and after Miss Emily Franklin the library's most beautiful employee checked the books out.
.... There is more of this story ...