A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Our tongue sandwiches speak for themselves” (deli/restaurant sign) (7/28)
Church of the Generals (St. John’s Episcopal Church, Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn) (7/28)
Jersey Breakfast or Triple Bypass (Taylor Pork Roll, Egg & Cheese) (7/28)
“Power is the great aphrodisiac” ("Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac") (7/27)
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Entry from May 07, 2011
“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who can’t repay you”

"You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you” was an inspirational saying by basketball coach John Wooden (1910-2010), from his book They Call Me Coach (1972). Ruth Smeltzer (1894-1950) was credited with the saying in 1956 and probably used it in her short book, Smeltzerisms (194?).

Smeltzer’s saying was a little longer than Wooden’s version:

“You have not lived a perfect day, even though you have earned your money, unless you have done something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”


OCLC WorldCat record
Smeltzerisms
Author: Ruth Smeltzer
Publisher: [S.l. : s.n., 194?]
Edition/Format:  Book : English

Google Books
Think
International Business Machines Corporation
Volumes 22-23
1956
Pg. 66:
You have not lived a perfect day, even though you have earned your money, unless you have done something for someone who will never be able to repay you. — Ruth Smeltzer

13 April 1956, Indiana (PA) Evening Gazette, pg. 15, col. 3:
You have not lived a perfect day, even though you have earned your money, unless you have done something for someone who will never be able to repay you.
Ruth Smeltzer (Think)

Google Books
A Treasury of the Art of Living
By Sidney Greenberg
No. Hollywood, CA: Wilshire Book Co.
1963
Pg. 12:
You have not lived a perfect day, even though you have earned your money, unless you have done something for someone who will never be able to repay you.
Ruth Smeltzer

13 February 1966, Trenton (NJ) Evening Times, “‘Learning By Doing’ Instead Of Talking In Latin America Is Students’ Goal,” pg. 6, col. 1:
“We have not lived a perfect day unless we have done something for someone who will never be able to repay us.”

This is the motto of SET (Scholarship Education Travel), a group of college students dedicated to “learning by doing” in Latin America.

Google Books
They Call Me Coach
By John R. Wooden with Jack Tobin
New York, NY: Bantam Books
1973, ©1972
Pg. 57:
You cannot live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.

ESPN.com
Originally Published: June 4, 2010
The Wizard’s wisdom: ‘Woodenisms’
By ESPN.com staff
(...)
“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”

The Wave of Long Island
Broad Channel Bits
2010-10-22
By Liz Guarino
(...)
A neighbor sent this “Daily Inspiration” — in our case it would be weekly inspiration—for the column. A few words from Ruth Smeltzer, who lived 1894 to 1950 and was an American author and lecturer: “You have not lived a perfect day ... unless you have done something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • (0) Comments • Saturday, May 07, 2011 • Permalink