By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO Richard “Dick” Smith prefers doing his laundry at Monticello’s It’s a Wash II Laundromat for one simple reason.
“They really take good care of your clothes there,” he says.
They also take pretty good care of the customers.
Dick knows firsthand, thanks to the $176 that laundromat employee Ebony Isaac ensured he didn’t lose.
A few days ago, he found he was missing a wad of cash. He scoured his Monticello home for it, with no luck.
“I was sick over it,” he recalls.
The next day, he returned to It’s a Wash II, where he’d taken his laundry for Ebony to wash, dry and fold.
She handed him his missing $176 every last bill accounted for (if a bit moist).
“I was so impressed with her and her honesty,” Dick says.
Ebony had discovered the cash in a pocket of Dick’s shorts.
“I thought it was a handkerchief,” she laughs, acknowledging she’s come across everything from jewelry to retainers to love notes in people’s laundry.
Cash is not uncommon, either, and while the laundromat’s official policy is for items to be returned to owners, Ebony also has a personal policy about doing the right thing.
“Hey, I’m broke,” she admits, “and if someone came across my money and returned it, I’d so appreciate it!”
In fact, something similar happened to her when she left her phone on a bus.
“Someone went out of their way to give it back to me,” she recalls.
Ebony, a lifelong Monticello resident, works three jobs, all in the cleaning industry. Her work at the Monticello laundry puts her in constant contact with people of all ages and backgrounds, and her four years there have made her a familiar, welcome face.
She’s headed to Kentucky in two months, however, where her father, better opportunities, and a return to college await.
A talented actor, singer, dancer and member of the Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop (catch her in “The Producers” August 10-19), Ebony may pursue her love of drama, or maybe interior design, down in Louisville.
“I’m 28, with no kids, so I might as well do it now,” she explains.
So you’d think she might welcome the money Dick offered her after she returned his cash.
“Why should I take his money when I was doing what I should have done?” she reasoned.
Dick, however, got the last word a couple of days later. He gave Ebony a thank-you card stuffed with $50 and zipped out the door before she could protest.
“I couldn’t have appreciated her more,” Dick affirms.
And hey, if his luck holds, Ebony may get a lot more.
“He said if he ever wins the lotto, he’s going to buy me a Mustang!” she laughed.