For 40 years, Ruth Kuhn and her husband made sure that before tossing garbage bags into the transfer station pit, their keys were safely stashed in their pockets.
For 40 years, the precaution worked.
Last week though, Ruth was distracted. The instant it happened, she watched helplessly as her key chain — holding 4 car keys, house keys, garage key and mini-garage door opener — sailed all the way down, with her trash, into the dump far below.
She heard it all land. And then there was silence.
She feared all her keys were gone, forever.
Other people came by. Unaware of her plight, they tossed their garbage onto hers.
Then a wonderful thing happened. Workers Mark Meyer and Buddy Valiante, and John Davis of Malone’s Refuse, noticed her distress.
Without hesitation, they offered to help. While easing her anxiety with good-natured reassurance and support, they used long-hooked poles — from “seemingly out of nowhere” — to locate her keys. They extracted them, then returned them to Ruth.
“For Bud’s steady assistance, and to Mark and John who made it happen, I extend my very deepest appreciations,” Ruth says.
“And not only for what each of you did, but as well for who you are. It would have been so easy to walk away. I owe you each a very considerable debt of gratitude.”
Bud, Mark and John would probably say “it’s all part of a day’s work.”
It wasn’t. It’s part of what makes our town a community.
Thanks, guys. You are Ruth’s — and our — Unsung Heroes of the week.
(To nominate an Unsung Hero, email firstname.lastname@example.org)