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Herald-Banner Saturday, March 31, 2012


THE FUTURE B u s i n e ss & I n d u s t r y


Robert McCutchen

Courtesy clerk loves to make customers smile By Jim Hardin Herald-Banner Staff

We ask:

It’s likely that Robert McCutchen will be a part of your shopping experience at Brookshire’s Food Store in Greenville from the time you enter the store until the time your groceries are inside your car and you‘re ready to drive away. As you enter the store, he may greet you with, “Hey buddy.” You may get a handshake with that greeting. And he will smile. While you’re shopping or standing in the checkout line, McCutchen may give you a onethumb-up sign, which he said means, “Cool, man.” And he will smile. If you’re a frequent customer and he delivers your groceries to your car, you may not have to direct him to your car, or describe your car, or tell him where you’re parked. He already knows. As he is carting your groceries to your car, he’ll talk to you. He may even pull his latest Special Olympics medal out of his pocket and show it to you. And he will smile. As a courtesy clerk at Brookshire’s Food Store on Wesley Street, the 49-year-old McCutchen will bag your groceries and cart them to your car. But he doesn’t believe he has completed his job until he has seen each customer smile. “I like to smile,” McCutchen said recently while sitting at a deli table in the store. “People like to see my smiling face and it puts a smile on their face. I like that.” The store director and customers said he is good at what he does. He’s been doing it for 22 years. Henry Ellis, a longtime customer, said McCutchen is

What does the future of your industry hold? “I want to keep doing good work and working hard.” how to sack groceries at the old said, “he is my buddy.” Safeway store in Greenville. “He’s one of my best friends. When he went to work for We hang out together,” Kohn Brookshire’s, he said, somebody said. “And if I’ve had a bad day wanted to show him how to sack and I’m down, all I have to do is groceries. spend 20 minutes with Robert McCutchen responded: “I and I’m back up again.” know myself and I will show The people of Greenville love you. Cans on bottom, boxes on McCutchen, Kohn said, and they top.” want to show him -- even with Special Olympics also is a pas- anonymous acts. sion in McCutchen’s life. He’s Quite often they will go out to been a Special Olympics comeat, Kohn said. And many times petitor for more than 20 years somebody anonymously has and is a champion bowler. already picked up the tab for He’s one of the state’s top their meal before they get a bowlers, said longtime Special chance to pay. Olympics volunteer Rick Kohn He’s been married to Sandy of Greenville. In recent competi- for more than 14 years and has tion, he said, McCutchen won three step-children and four the bronze medal for his third grandchildren. Jim Hardin / Herald-Banner place finish in state competition. While he smiles at customers “He is everything you look for all day, he has a “smile for the This is the winning smile of Robert McCutchen, a courtesy clerk and sacker at in an athlete,” Kohn said. “He Lord every morning.” Brookshire’s Food Store in Greenville for 22 years. McCutchen said he likes to smile exhibits great sportsmanship McCutchen said he was hit by because it makes customers smile. He’s also quick with a “Hey, buddy” greeting to and he has compassion for other a car in 1987. most customers and a thumbs-up sign, which means, “Cool, man.” competitors.” “But I was not ready to die,” McCutchen refers to many he said. “The Lord gave me a “always up.” described him as a good employ- customers as “buddy,” but Kohn second chance.” “He’s always smiling,” Ellis ee, a hard worker. said. “I believe he smiles even And why does he have that when things are not going so type of work ethic? good for him.” “I want to keep my job. Yes “I like my job and I like the sir,” McCutchen responded. people,” McCutchen said of the He also has an explanation reason he’s a smiling employee. regarding how he has managed Store Director Joey Akin said to stay on the same job for so McCutchen knows the customlong. ers and the customers know “I keep my nose out of peohim. ple’s business. That’s how I keep “In the community, he talks my job,” he said. “And I try to do up Brookshire’s. He praises a good job.” Brookshire’s,” Akin said. “He He wants to keep his present believes in doing a good job and job as long as he can. Jim Hardin / Herald-Banner he treats customers like he “I want to do good work. I Robert McCutchen wheels two shopping carts of groceries out of the Brookshire’s Food would want to be treated.” want to work hard,” he said. “I McCutchen agreed with Akin don’t want to go anywhere else.” Store in Greenville. McCutchen has worked at the store for 22 years. Store Director Joey and several customers who McCutchen said he learned Akin said McCutchen knows the store’s customers and “everybody knows Robert.”


‘Bosie’ Boswell

Local man makes new career out of writing books By Carol Ferguson Herald-Banner Staff Most Hunt County readers know Evault “Bosie” Boswell through his weekly birding columns in the Herald-Banner, but writing books was a late-in-life career move. He published his first book at the age of 70, and 10 books later at the age of 83 he says he’s still “piddling around” with another project. Boswell has actually had four career stages in his life, he explained — working for the F.W. Woolworth Company for 18 years; 20 years of “knocking around” with various jobs in building, real estate and newspaper work; 17 years managing a Baptist encampment in south Texas; and last of all, writing books. Born in Farmington, Mo., he attended Flat River, Mo., Junior College studying journalism, but instead of going into that field he went to work for Woolworth’s. The company sent him and his wife, Jackie, all over the Midwest, and finally in 1959 to Greenville. In 1967 he resigned and went into home building and real estate. “I was working for Ken Davis and at a planning session for promotion on the Turtle Creek area I had a meeting with someone in the ad department at the Herald-Banner,” he said. “Matt Sheley (the publisher) called me the next day and said they had an opening in the sports department. “I became sports editor, and wrote six columns a week,” he

We ask:

What does the future of birding hold? “The downside of birding’s future is that we’re destroying the birds’ habitat with all the developments. However, as for interest, the big change in recent years is that more young people are becoming interested in birding so I think that will continue to grow.” recalled. “I did it part-time; I was still in real estate and we had Boswell’s gift shop downtown so I worked from 4 to midnight at the paper. I’d cover 12 different football games a week — junior high, freshman, YMCA, Little League, and I enjoyed it.” Boswell said he had volunteered for 20 years with Baptist Men and had worked with Royal Ambassadors, the youth program, and “because of that I was recommended for the position at Zephyr Baptist Encampment near Corpus Christi. “It was a complete life change,” he said. “We had a two-story home in Kellogg, and we sold the home and our car — burned all our bridges — and went down there. We both felt it was where I was supposed to be. Everything I did until I went to the camp prepared me for the job. Construction, property management, retail — they were all skills I could apply to the camp. This was the most satisfying thing I’ve ever done. We didn’t do the young people’s programs, but we were involved in providing the food and hous-

ing.” He resigned in 1997 and worked as a fund-raiser or advisor for several camps in northeast Texas. On the basis of his experience, he also wrote three manuals on camp management, covering safety, fund-raising and operations. Back in Greenville again, Boswell started writing books and eventually his Sunday column, “Birding With Bosie.” “My first book was ‘Texas Boys in Gray,’” he said. “I had found a 1912 book, ‘Reminiscences of the Boys in Gray,’ and I took that book and edited it into ‘Texas Boys in Gray,’ writing an introduction to each man. I picked out the more interesting stories, several hundred of them, and did chapters on what they had to eat, what prisons and hospitals were like, etc. It was more an editing job than original writing.” His second book was on birding. “The publisher that did ‘Texas Boys in Gray’ was a regional publisher who had a series on things to do with children. So next I did ‘Birding Texas with Children.’ “I tell people that book sold from coast to coast, one in New

Carol Ferguson/Herald-Banner

”Bosie” Boswell prepares to load one of the bird feeders in his back yard, where he and his wife often enjoy watching their feathered visitors. York and one in California,” he joked. Early on in his birding experience he asked a friend who was a birder the name of the bird in his back yard that kept saying “kiskadee.” “It’s a kiskadee,” his friend replied. “It’s trying to tell you its name.” A grandson also picked up on Boswell’s interest in birds. “We had green jays nesting in our back yard, and my grandson wrote a paper on it and got a bad grade. His teacher said

there was no such thing as a green jay; they were blue jays. He had to bring a book to school to prove there were green jays.” Boswell’s third book was “Quantrill’s Raiders in Texas.” His intense interest in the Civil War era followed his discovery of Bruce Catton’s “This Hallowed Ground” (an account of the war from the Union perspective). “It intrigued me, so I began to

>> See ‘bosie’, page C7