Just Good Enough Ain’t No Good A’tal

On the way to Wimpy’s I would pass old man Hosmer’s photography studio. At night he was often in his darkroom developing his pictures, cursing at his only companion, “that dammed dog.” Not infrequently this old German was a bit in his cups, yet he always stayed sober enough to do good work. His favorite expression was “Just good enough ain’t no good a’tal.” He invited me to be his apprentice, probably so he would have someone to talk to other than that “damned dog.” The first thing he taught me was that when the lights go off you have to know where things are. “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” That saying, and “Just good enough ain’t no good a’tal” were his hallmark.

Several times I have repeated those two expressions to my employees. I’m sure they didn’t mean as much to them as they did to me, coming as they did from old man Hosmer, the meticulous German. I can still picture him shuffling about in his old house shoes, cursing his dog.

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