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A surprise encounter

POSTED December 4, 2009 11:05 p.m.
Recently, I was shopping at Orchard Supply Hardware for electrical supplies when I had a problem. At age 85 my joints and muscles limit what I can physically do. The electrical PVC elbows that I needed were far back in the bottom bin. I tried to stretch my limbs to reach them. I knew that if I slid down to the floor, I would not be able to get up. What can I do? I was alone, but then I saw a gentleman down the aisle and I called to him asking if he would help me. He said, “certainly,” and came over to my rescue, pulling out what I couldn’t reach. We talked a bit after I thanked him for his help. I had never met this man before, but he was extremely helpful and I appreciated it so much.
Then another man pushing a cart came toward us and started a conversation about being a teacher. I asked what he taught and I think he said special education, I’m not sure, but he then told me the man who helped me was the superintendent of the Turlock School District. What a surprise to have our superintendent graciously help me retrieve the merchandise I couldn’t reach.
In our conversation, I told him I am a former trustee of the Turlock Elementary School District, which existed before the merger. He said he had seen my name on plaques and I said, yes, the board of trustees built three schools during my term. I failed to tell him we were a three-man trustee board, namely, Ed Washburn, head of the Mosquito Abatement District, P.L. Peterson, president of Security State Bank, and myself. We did expand to five trustees later on. This was not my first trustee position, as earlier in my life I was a trustee of the now abandoned Johnson Joint Elementary School, where I attended for eight years with wonderfully dedicated teachers.
I moved out of the Johnson district and naturally had to resign do to ineligibility. I also moved out of the Turlock School District and resigned again when I moved to Denair, where I have lived for 51 years.
I am thankful this holiday season that we have people with helpful attitudes like Superintendent Sonny DaMarto, who I met under a coincidence I could never expect.
— Ed Backman

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