Sunday, November 13, 2016

D. J. Ernst Books

From time to time, I stop at D. J. Ernst Books in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. I browse the shelves, looking for good source material to use when I write children’s educational workbooks. Mr. Ernst has a really good selection on Pennsylvania history. During my last visit, I found two books that I wanted and read more 
handed him my credit card.

Mr. Ernst smiled and said, “I don’t take credit cards, only cash and promises to pay.”

I looked at him in puzzlement, and he explained, “I tell people to send me their payment if they don’t have the cash. I got a letter today with two tens in it. Wait, I’ll show you.”

He disappeared for a minute and came right back holding two letters. He gave me a shy smile and handed them to me.

I perused the letters which thanked Mr. Ernst for trusting them to send payment. One of the customers wrote that Mr. Ernst had restored his faith in humankind. 

I handed the letters back to Mr. Ernst. "Those are really nice letters."

He laid them down on the counter and smiled again. “In the forty-one years I've operated this shop, I haven’t lost much money doing business this way. A couple of Susquehanna University students didn’t pay, but I think they just forgot. Another man didn’t want to pay, but eventually his wife paid his bill.”

"That's great!" I looked in my wallet. I found enough cash for my purchase, paid my bill, and left.

Mr. Ernst’s method for payment rumbled around in my mind when I came home. I remembered how my dad sold cider at the end of our lane back in the fifties. He put the gallon jugs on a stand and a box for the money, all out of sight from our house. People took what cider they wanted and left the money. I asked my mother, and she didn’t remember that we ever got cheated.

What a pleasure to know that someone still has confidence in people’s honesty, and that individuals have responded well to that trust!

If you want to visit D. J. Ernst Books, the address is 27 North Market Street, Selinsgrove, PA 17870.

No comments:

Post a Comment