Santa brought Jake Rothschild an indoor pool. Actually, El Nino did.
The founder of Jake’s Ice Cream at Irwin Street Market in the Old Fourth Ward surveyed his dining room and living room after unrelenting Christmas week rains when what to his wondering eyes did appear? A soggy mess. But the story has a happy, near miraculous ending.
“With my dining room and living room under water it dawned on me that perhaps I would not need to throw out my beloved rugs,” Rothschild posted along with images of his sodden home. “Maybe it was time to own a good steam cleaner.”
So, off to the Cleveland Avenue Walmart in East Point. -On Christmas Eve, one of the busiest, craziest nights of the year for retailers. He found a steam cleaner without any problem – but just try to find a shopping cart at Walmart on Christmas Eve.
Rothschild started to despair until an angel of the Lord appeared. Actually it was an associate named Rufus, who was full of good cheer despite the bustle all around him.
“I asked him politely (probably pitifully) if there might be a cart somewhere he could scare up,” Rothschild said. “His response? ‘I’ll be happy to assist you, sir.’ On Christmas Eve. This is what Rufus said to me. I got a lump in my throat.”
Like a shepherd following the North Star, Rothschild followed Rufus to the sporting-goods department where there was less activity and he was able to make his purchase quickly.
Before leaving he handed Rufus a $20 tip.
“Let this make your Christmas a little better,” he said. “Now his were the eyes welling. Where this incredible attitude came from on a day when no one wants to be working, well, it’s a mystery to me.”
Rothschild, now working to salvage his rugs and antique wood floors, has already made a New Year’s resolution: track down Rufus’ supervisor at the Cleveland Avenue Walmart in East Point and tell him this story.