I recently dined at a favorite breakfast stop of mine: From Scratch Restaurant in Carmel. I have been dining there since the early ’90s. More times than not, I have noticed a group of older gentlemen (I am 61 so let’s keep it in perspective) who have been meeting for coffee five days a week since 1961. Every weekday, these gentlemen converge at the same table. Though they have lost a few members of the group over the years, they remain committed to meeting each morning to shoot the shit for a couple hours.
This past week, I noticed the group celebrating with a balloon and cake. I grabbed the adjacent table and began to listen in. One of the guys was celebrating 100 that day. I would have never guessed that by the way he looked, moved or his dialogue. A spry 100 indeed. Another in the group and, in fact, the nephew of the 100-year-old birthday boy, was turning 84 that same day. I struck up a conversation and identified myself and asked if they would be up for us doing a story on them and they were happy to oblige.
I was told that the elder of the group was soon off to play a round of golf and that he plays twice a week. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge. I was also told he enjoys a glass of wine every day. When I saw him walk to his car with his balloon and hop in, I felt inspired as his youthfulness was something to behold. These men are local treasures and you should look for their story in our May edition.
Today I woke up to the usual 6am alarm. Just like any other school day, except it was very windy and raining. My morning consists of the following: rouse the kids and animals, put on a fresh pot of coffee, make kids’ lunches, take a shower, and run out the door at 7:10am to get my youngest daughter to school on time. While I was making my coffee, I saw a truck pull up in front of my house and turn on his emergency flashers. I saw him bend over and pick something up and take it to the side of the road. I figured it was an animal and I went outside to see.
The driver of the truck said a cat had been hit and left in the road. He had the tags off the collar and was calling the number on the tag. It was a cat named Newman who had met his demise. On first attempt, the man had not reached the owner but said there was an address and he wanted to take the cat to his owner’s house. He wished he had a box as he was trying to wrap it in plastic and the wind would not have any of that.
I ran inside and found him a box and when I returned, he loaded the cat in the box and then his phone rang. I am certain it was Newman’s owners. Despite the severe weather, this man went out of his way to help. He once again restored my faith in people.
Doing the right thing is always the right thing to do. What began as a sad morning also revealed a moment of kindness from a stranger, and I still got my daughter to school on time.