October 28. Day 28 of My Month of Hundreds.
On the way home today I passed the neighborhood high school where a football game was in progress. I had the idea to scope out the area and got closer. It was basically a muddy mess.
Family members were scattered along the bleachers. I spotted a couple of prospects sitting by themselves, but there really wasn’t any privacy. It started to rain.
I walked around the park but the foot traffic had dwindled. The high school track team was down in the mud doing pushups, then they clamored up the slippery hill and took off running. As I was standing watching them I heard a scraping crash and wondered if there had been an accident on 33rd Ave.
Heading over the rise I could see people gathering on the sidewalk. Two cars were parked at the curb; the car in the back had its rear bumper torn off and had obviously been rear-ended and pushed into the other car. A guy drove by in a sweet red Thunderbird. “Is this a hit and run?” Someone said yes. “You gotta call it in!”
Everyone seemed shook up but was otherwise ok. A woman was standing and watching, her dog and bicycle at her side. I asked if she saw what happened. “No, but I heard the crash and came to look. How can someone just drive away like that?” She shook her head and glanced at me. “It really makes you wonder about people, you know what I mean? It’s terrible; what’s the world coming to?”
I wanted to give her a shred of hope and I launched into my spiel. When I held out the $100 bill she just stared at it with her mouth open. Then she grabbed me in a big hug and said, “I read about you in the newspaper!” She said she was doing fine and didn’t need the money.
She told me that her husband had died but that she had a wonderful full life. She said she had loved the article. “I read it and thought ‘what a wonderful thing. Maybe I can do something like that someday.’ Now I will! I’ll keep it going!”
The woman told me her name was Barbara and introduced me to her dog. She said she could think of three people right away who could use the money. “I’ll keep the tradition going!”, she said. “I promise!” And then she was off.