small town life

Iowa: A Place Where the Honor System is Still Honored


A Place Where the Honor System is Still Honored | This American House

Perhaps I’ve spent too long in the city, where things that aren’t bolted down will be quickly carried away. Even bolting things down may not guarantee they won’t be stolen. There was that time two years ago when the catalytic converter was stolen right off our car as it was parked outside of our apartment building. Yep, that’s the stuff that will make a  man very, very jaded.

So you can imagine my delight when we happened upon a roadside produce stand with an honor system for payment.

Honor System | This American House

In this little shed-like structure sitting by the road sat a tiny refrigerator containing boxes of freshly picked strawberries. There were also a couple of counters with jams and root vegetables sitting on them. And by the door hung a sign: “Put money in the box. If you don’t have exact change, put in what you got. Settle up next time you stop.”

Sitting under the sign was a metal box closed with a combination lock. A slit on top of the box allowed us to slide in the money for our berries. And if we hadn’t had cash on us, we could have also written a check and slipped it in the box.

It’s moments like this that I’m reminded that the world is full of good people with kind hearts.

Thanks for the reminder, Jerry and Ruth Ann.

Images: This American House

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