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Front Page » July 22, 2008 » Opinion » Ranting and Ravings
Published 2,341 days ago

Ranting and Ravings


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By TERRY WILLIS
Sun Advocate reporter

I was sitting on my couch writing the exploits of my latest river trip when I spotted him. He was sitting in front of one of my neighbors houses, in the shade, something out of place in my quiet little piece of the world.

We've had a few new faces on our block so I just filed him away in my mind and glanced out once in a while to see what he was up to. In about a half hour I was in the kitchen getting a glass of water when I saw him walk up my driveway to knock on my door.

In the minute it took me to walk across my living room he had knocked and rung my door bell twice. I cautiously answered the door wishing I had taken the time to let my big, black dog inside.

I never got his name. I moved outside to talk to him, knowing my neighbor across the street was probably watching. He said he was in a contest to win a trip to Washington DC. Basically he was selling magazines and wanted to know if he could get my name and phone number so his supervisor could check on his selling skills.

He could also win a $1,000 scholarship and he was planning to go to a college in Colorado. I listened, but told him I didn't need any more magazines.

Oh, but I could buy a subscription and donate it to the hospital of my choice. So then he told me I could just write a check like my other neighbor had.

As he showed me the form I needed to fill out I began to get a bit more skeptical. How would I ever know that the check I wrote to this independent youth promotions group would even make sure the magazines would get to the hospital patients of my choice.

He showed me a receipt I would get but it didn't satisfy me. I asked him if he had anything from our city allowing him to solicit here. He pulled out a laminated card. I read this vague, but official looking laminated card only to feel less assured than ever.

He tried to tell me that a police officer from Price had looked at the card and felt satisfied. I wasn't convinced. The only city I saw listed was Philadelphia. There was a heading of something about solicitation, but I couldn't see how they had obtained permission to go door to door here in Price.

I told him to come back in an hour after I called Price City. I also asked if I could have the blank receipt he had handed me to reassure me he was legit. He got a look of panic and said he had to account for each and every receipt or be fined a big amount by his employer.

He left, promising to come back. I never saw him again.

Price City officials were all out for the day when I attempted to track down this company. I called the Chamber of Commerce and they said they didn't issue blue cards for soliciting any more.

I don't know what the current status is in our community for door to door solicitors, but I urge you all to be wary and careful. This kid may have been truly working at a legitimate business, but I will never know.

There are a lot of people trying to take your money. Make sure you are sure when you write a check for your self or charity that it is legitimate.

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July 22, 2008
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