To listen to Tom Richardson, it wasn’t that big of a deal: A wallet was found, and it was returned to its owner.
When you talk with the father of the teenage boy who lost the billfold, however, you get another story — this was quite a big deal.
“It had a fair amount of cash in it … around $60, gift cards and a learner’s permit, all of which are major things to a teenager,” said the father.
So, sorry Mr. Richardson, but we’re siding with dad on this one.
It is people like you and your wife of 50-plus years, Marian, who remind us the good folks really do outnumber the bums.
In your case, the acts of kindness go beyond returning lost items. You’ve been volunteering at the Veteran’s Memorial Civic Center since it opened in the mid-1980s. Sure, that comes with advantages — as you said, “seeing magician David Copperfield three times isn’t a bad deal” — but we know it is more than the shows that have you walking up and down the aisles. The guess here is it’s about being around people.
That’s probably why you also helped out with two funerals the other morning at Bayliff and Sons in Cridersville.
All of this is exactly the reason the father of that teenage boy thought your effort in returning the wallet was such a big deal.
He’s trying to instill in his son all those good values that turn a boy into a man.
“I don’t know why my son would carry so much money with him to a Sunday afternoon Christmas show at the Civic Center … other than he’s a teenager and they don’t always think like the rest of us,” the father said.
“He was hurting, though, when that wallet was lost. I felt for him. He works hard to earn his spending money. Fortunately, he ended up learning two things: to be more careful with his wallet, and to believe in the goodness of people.”
I imagine, Mr. Richardson, you’re a little embarrassed right now. As you explained, someone else really found the wallet, turned it over to you, and you just got it to the right people at the Civic Center.
Don’t be embarrassed.
Yes, that unknown person may be the real hero. But you were there. You helped. And some day, I have a hunch the teenage boy will return the favor.
ROSES AND THORNS: A group of high school singers enter the garden after attracting some special guests:
Rose: Sheriff cruisers and American Township police were quick to respond to several calls they received Wednesday night about someone mysteriously ringing doorbells in the Sharon Park addition. As it turned out, all the worried callers needed to do was open their doors and listen. They would have heard the wonderful Christmas caroling coming from a Teens for Christ youth group.
Rose: To Emily McKissick, 5, who visits Lima Manor at least twice a month to give residents candy. She began distributing the candy at age 2 while visiting her grandmother and aunt at the Brower Road facility. She’s kept it up even though her family no longer has anyone at Lima Manor.
Rose: To Justin Kirk, who was named Firefighter of the Year by Bath Township.
Rose: To Paul Nardini, who will be retiring July 31 as superintendent of Shawnee schools after 45 years in education. Few in the profession have his passion for working with students, parents and board members. If not for a two-year battle with cancer, the 67-year-old University of Dayton graduate would likely keep going.
Rose: To Kory Lichtensteiger, a graduate of Crestview High School. He’s started every game this year as an offensive lineman for the Washington Redskins.
Rose: To Ed Dunn, of Cairo; Don Ellerbrock, of Columbus Grove; Sondra Dreitzler, of Cridersville; and Tom Verhoff, of Kalida. Each of them had their ideas featured this month in the nationally syndicated comic strip “Pluggers.”
Rose: Rhodes State College will open a Mitsubishi training center, the first outside the company’s headquarters. It will train Mitsubishi and Honda workers as well as those from its suppliers.
Thorn: Neither Allen County Prosecutor Juergin Waldick nor the president of the Allen Metropolitan Housing Authority board, the Rev. Lamont Monford, made himself available for comments after the Allen County Grand Jury handed down 10 criminal indictments in a highly charged case involving AMHA.
Thorn: It wasn’t a good day for a Kenton man who was taken to the hospital after being shot in the leg and later arrested on felony charges.
PARTING SHOT: “The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.” — Burton Hillis, of Better Homes and Gardens magazine.