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.
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!