LAST Wednesday evening, Baltimore County Police Chief...

salmagundi

June 07, 1994

LAST Wednesday evening, Baltimore County Police Chief Michael D. Gambrill gave the commencement address at his alma mater, Catonsville Community College. One of the main themes of his speech was personal accountability, a topic he introduced with an amusing story, reprinted here for our readers' edification:

"A prominent oil company executive unexpectedly passed away and went to heaven. Upon meeting St. Peter at the gate, he promptly supplied him with a list of his corporate credentials and activities with hopes of being admitted.

"But St. Peter was not so quick to let him in. He asked: 'What did you give personally while on earth?' The businessman confidently explained that his corporations had taken care of all that through various charity groups. Still not satisfied, St. Peter repeated the question again, stressing the word 'personally.'

"Scratching his head, the businessman recalled how one snowy day, there was a little old lady selling papers. He had given her a quarter and told her to keep the change. And then there was the Christmas Eve when he had seen a little boy begging in the streets. He had handed him a nickel.

"With that, St. Peter went off to consult with the Lord. Much to the businessman's anxiety, St. Peter returned a few minutes later and delivered this message: 'I told the boss what you did on earth, and he said, 'Give him back his 30 cents and tell him to get lost!' "

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