Altoona kindness brings out sunshine

I’ve been a licensed driver in New York from 1947 until 1985 when I moved to Bedford and have had a Pennsylvania driver’s license since.

This past Friday, I was shopping in Altoona with my wife when we ran into a rain storm of up to 2¢ inches within one hour.

In my 70 years of driving everything from auto to truck to emergency vehicle to school bus to “CART,” I’ve never encountered a storm of this magnitude while driving.

We were in Boscov’s when it started and were unable to get to our auto 100 feet away in the parking lot, without a complete soaking.

About five minutes under an overhang outside of the store, a cheerful grandmother-type with her young granddaughter, both under an umbrella approached from parking and insisted I take her attractive umbrella.

I, unaware of this type of kindness, declined. However, she insisted and directed me upon reaching our auto, to simply make a U-turn for my waiting wife and pitch her umbrella out toward the store’s trash basket.

Don’t worry, she would retrieve it on her way out.

From there it was south to Sam’s Club under the deluge of rain.

One hour later, coming out to our auto, we found the same downpour. Within five minutes, a gentleman — senior citizen — approached us from the parking lot with a beach-sized umbrella.

He simply insisted that he walk me to my car, escorted by him with me joining him in the protection of his roof-like protector.

I thanked him, but he insisted, and while I was opening my car door it was “umbrella up” guiding me to my steering wheel.

He then returned to my wife, kept the umbrella over her while waiting for me to return.

We then proceeded south to Bedford as dry as a bone.

I strongly doubt you’ll ever see this anywhere except here in Altoona, USA.

I know I’ll never forget it.

John K. Coyle