On public service

Who, you ask, is the least appreciated, most important worker in the NY subway? The dutiful train driver? The tireless custodian?  Or perhaps the dedicated musician?

But no! It is the humble Welch’s fruit-snack seller. And here’s why:

I have some days — perhaps you do too — where I feel so exhausted on the train that I fear never making it back to my apartment. And always, just at that moment, I am saved: for a kid shows up with a box of Welch’s fruit snacks for $1. Praise and honor him, citizens, for he serves the public good.

Yesterday, when I played at Lorimer St., I happened to set up next to one of these anonymous heroes, who must have been about 13. I asked him how he likes the job, and it turns out that we make about the same amount per day. (Though he keeps longer hours than I could with the violin!)

I launched a tune after that. And what do you know: when the train arrived, he came over and put a dollar in my case. Every once in a while, a dollar bill does kind of move you. Subway, don’t ever change!