Pail, mop and squeegee, Luke boards route three heading for the tennis courts where he leaves the bus to begin the remaining leg of his homeward journey, a ritual he performs with all his professional equipment in hand, regardless of the conditions, every evening of every workweek year round. Challenged in some ways, Luke is not short on ingenuity and customer service. There are many things he cannot aspire to but Luke knows what he can do and does it well at a price his customers appreciate.
“Got a new account today,” Luke announces as he carefully counts out his dollar and a half fare as though he wants me to know he is not shorting me. “Got two large Windows. Want me every other week.” Short in stature, but of course who am I to tell, everyone appears short to my 6’6″ frame, Luke appears to be in his early 60s. He has a plodding vigor that enables him to pound the pavement daily serving the merchants from Palisade to Fruita and in between.
I entered my chiropractor’s office over five miles from downtown only to meet Luke coming out of a door in back. “This is my bus driver,” he proudly announced to all in earshot.
“Luke, I am surprised to see you way out here,” I responded.
“Yep, they are good customers,” came the reply, “had the account several years.”
“Yeah, he has been doing our windows from the week we opened,” shared the office manager, “we know Luke.”
Luke’s contribution to our community invites me to muse over the excuses I make for not doing things, the attitudes I have that seem to limit me and what I can still contribute as I approach my 72nd birthday. It is not always easy for Luke to keep up the pace. He is sometimes dragging as he pulls himself aboard after a particularly long day. The winter months with their sub zero temperatures freeze his wet rags and stiffen his old joints. Sometimes a gifted coat, or a pair of gloves keep him going, but underneath it all is an indomitable spirit worthy of the most successful entrepreneur.