Commentary: Day-in, day-out excellence
Every year about this time, the Motion Picture Academy makes a major production out of awarding Oscars to the best actors, actresses, movies, music, sound effects (24 categories) of the motion pictures for this past year. This year was the 89th year.
Every year about this time, the Motion Picture Academy makes a major production out of awarding Oscars to the best actors, actresses, movies, music, sound effects (24 categories) of the motion pictures for this past year. This year was the 89th year. The ceremony goes on and on for hours and it's pure glitz - the ultimate in expensive shoes, dresses and jewelry, the ultimate in plunging necklines, bald egos and long speeches - almost nothing that ordinary folks can relate to.
By the time you read this, the Oscars will have been awarded (I will miss the show again this year) and the fashion police will be reviewing the wardrobes one by one - with emphasis on the "disaster" outfits.
To me, celebrities aren't important, even though there are at least a half dozen magazines at every checkout counter featuring their lives, loves, divorces, split-ups, weight gains, weight losses, tummy tucks and plastic surgery.
By contrast, what we're doing in this column, for the 12th consecutive year, is to speak for our own academy, the DIDO Academy, to give recognition, not to the rich and famous, but to ordinary people, our friends and neighbors, who provide solid day-in, day-out services for the rest of us.
In past years, we have recognized a shoe repair couple, a cheerful bakery lady, a once-in-a-lifetime secretary with a world-class work ethic, a class of technical college students, nursing home workers, railroad engineers, over the road truckers, nightshift workers, police, firemen, teachers, two-job workers, and those who stand by day by day on call for emergencies.
Most of these folks, dedicated as they are, occasionally get a day off. But this year we are honoring those who serve day-in and day-out 365 days a year. We used to have a milkman, then a milk lady who did that, but daily milk delivery has gone the way of jump balls for every tie up in a basketball game.
This year we honor those who deliver the daily newspapers to our doors every day of the year - Sundays, Easter, the 4th of July, Christmas, New Year's - every day without exception. There is not a Casey Affleck, Emma Stone or Meryl Streep among them. We are acquainted with three - Billie, Dave and Bonnie, but we honor all those who do this thankless and heroic work - coast to coast.
On President's Day there was no mail, no school, and no court - it was rainy, foggy and chilly. At about 6:05 a.m., when it seemed like nothing else was moving out there in the dark, our morning paper arrived on our doorstep as it always does, courtesy of Billie or Dave, though we've never seen their faces. The paper was wrapped in a water-proof snow-proof plastic sleeve, dry and readable. Before they were ever delivered, Billie and Dave wrapped every one of them. Service? Every day - like clockwork. And every day they do auto and leg work to make it happen.
Over in Fargo, Bonnie does the same thing day-in and day-out. She's up at 4:30, goes to pick up the papers and wraps every one of them, then, walking down the wet and icy sidewalks, facing the weather and the dogs, she puts every paper between the outside and inside door and gets the job done.
But you can't make a living delivering the daily paper, so off they go to their other jobs. When do they get enough sleep? When do they get to rest?
What do these heroes look like? Most of them are never seen by their customers and never thanked. So, we are thanking them now with the 2017 DIDO Award for their outstanding, though rarely seen, day-in, day-out loyal, durable and dependable service.