When my friend heard that Efrem Zimbalist Jr died a few years ago he immediately thought of his dad and his shining his kids’ shoes.
How did he draw that connection? Efrem Zimbalist Jr was the star of show called “The F.B.I.” a crime drama in 1960s and 70s. The announcer’s booming voice would come on and announce Efrem as the star over the opening credits. The show aired on Sunday nights in an era when families would gather around the TV to watch a show together –it was the only time the show would be on – you would need to check your TV Guide to see what the show was about that night. No “on demand” or watch whenever you want options like today.
It was a weekly routine –. as the family enjoyed that week’s episode, his dad would shine the shoes getting them ready for the next week.
Think about that – shining shoes for the next week. Simple. Touching. Caring. It was done by a man who was a Korean War vet, part of the “greatest generation.” That generation really set the standard for how to live your life. How to be a great person. Showing that family, friends, neighborhood and doing what is right for others – not just for yourself – is paramount. To do it without fanfare, without the need to draw attention. To be a stand-up person and accept life’s challenges and take responsibility for your actions.
Shining shoes – a simple action that triggers a wonderful family memory. And a respect for those that lived life for others and not for themselves.