Just When You Think You’ve Heard Every Parking Story Imaginable…

Alert “06880” reader Cindy Mindell-Wong writes:

Last week, I went back to my car in the notorious Compo Shopping Center parking lot. I found a note on my windshield:

I backed up leaving Little Kitchen, and may have grazed your car’s rear fender. I took a picture of your rear fender for my records. If you would like to discuss, please call me at [number]. Thank you.

This is the 1st new car I’ve owned since I started driving 36 years ago. My previous car, an old beater, was a magnet for parking lot hit-and-runs, not one of them accompanied by a note on the windshield. So I didn’t hold out much hope that I was dealing with an honest broker.

But boy, was I ever! This afternoon, I learned from the note-writer’s insurance company that a check for repairs was on its way.

The week-long process has been a welcome lesson in gratitude, trust, and the magic one person creates in the world with a simple act of integrity and honesty.

Ashley Gayanilo (Photo/Inklings)

Ashley Gayanilo (Photo/Inklings)

There’s a sweet footnote to the story: The woman who grazed Cindy’s car is Ashley Gayanilo, a social studies teacher at Staples High School — and she had Cindy’s daughter  in class last year. When Cindy sent a small gift of thanks — and asked if she could share this great story publicly on “06880” — Ashley replied:

I am humbled that you thought to acknowledge me. Character building is something we emphasize here at school, with Westport 2025. I’m happy to share this as an example. I’ve never been in print before!

10 responses to “Just When You Think You’ve Heard Every Parking Story Imaginable…

  1. just when you thought all the world had gone to hell in a hand basket…
    A shining Ray of hope!

  2. Thanks for this story. We truly need more in this vein from our media to counterbalance so many of the other kind! From a former Westport teacher –now retired!

  3. Several weeks ago a truck backed into my car in the Old Mill parking lot. The truck was owned by Smith Party Rental. I immediately called the owner and his guys were out the next day to take pictures of the damage. In the meantime I called Junior at Southport Automotive and he recommended
    taking the car to Circle Body Shop near the traffic circle in Fairfield. AAA
    took my car there and I got an estimate. I called Smith and he said the company would pay Circle directly which they did. And they also paid for a car rental. Every thing was easy as pie. So I recommend;
    Smith Party Rental
    Junior at Southport Automotive (He is great for auto repair)
    And the guys and the owner at Circle Body Shop.
    All were super and easy to do business with

  4. What a lovely story (and the comments also) to wake up to on a Sunday morning. Thank you, Ashley, for letting your name be used. It’s not praising you as much as inspiring others to “pay it forward” and “do the next right thing” also. Makes me feel good inside.

  5. Jill Turner Odice

    How nice to read such nice positive stories this lovely morning 🙂

  6. Obviously, she is a class act, humble and respectful of others. More people in general could take lessons from her action and words!

  7. Certainly we have our problems, but America is still well populated with solid, instinctively decent people like Ashley. That being said, for reasons that need no mention, it’s really, really nice get some assurance from time to time. Especially around here. Thanks for sharing your story,Cindy.

  8. Nancy Hunter Wilson

    Yes, indeed. Imagine people who don’t even smile and say “Good Morning” or who don’t bother to hold a door open for the person behind… simple, instinctive things. They must have unsettling dreams at night.

  9. A wonderful reminder of how many good people are in our community. Thank you all for participating in this story and sharing your thoughts and deeds.