Like many little boys, trucks, especially garbage trucks, fascinated Stanley Fender. His parents attributed this to when Stanley was a baby. Every morning, he would wake up to the sound of the garbage truck pulling up outside their house. This, in turn, would make him cry, and bring his parents to his side. Ivan Pavlov, a famous physiologist, refers to this as “conditioning.”
Anyway…As the years past, Stanley continued to wake up at the sound of the truck, but the assistance of his parents was no longer necessary. Just seeing the truck through his window was enough to calm his nerves and ready him for the day.
“If I could work with garbage truck someday,” he told his parents, “I would be the happiest man alive,” but his parents weren’t very supportive.
“Don’t you want to be a doctor, or a lawyer,” his mother suggested.
“Or go into finance,” said his father, but Stanley was determined. The next day he enrolled at the Blinker School of Automotive Tech.
For the next two years, Stanley toiled happily day after day. In between classes, Stanley read every book he could find on physics and mechanics. By the end of his schooling, Stanley felt confident about stepping into “The real world.” There was just one more test left to pass:
“You have one month,” his professor said, “to go out into the world and fix-up the worst piece of junk you can find.” While this prompt sent most of his classmates to used car lots, Stanley headed directly for the dump, where he was confronted by trash heaps two miles high.
“I can fix this,” Stanley said, and for the next month he cut, and sanded, and welded, and hammered, and torque wrenched. By the day of the final presentation, Stanley drove his brand new truck into the school’s parking lot. It was unlike anything his professor and peers had ever seen before—it was made by garbage, for garbage. Its compactor was shaped out of kitchen appliances and its cab had fur-covered toilet seats, but it’s engine purred like a lion cub.
Stanley’s professor gave him an “A” for the class, and then put his money where his mouth was. Together, Stanley and his professor created thousands of recycled garbage trucks for cities and towns worldwide. Stanley’s parents couldn’t have been more proud. For Stanley had proved that small dreams can transform into golden opportunities, and that hope can be disguised as trash.
Written by Alex Schattner (9/28/12)