My ‘you know you are from Ohio if…'” moment

Today I experienced one of those “you know you are from Ohio if…” moments. I cleaned my garage (50% done) and was hauling the trash on the back of my truck. I decided to stop at Starbucks to get a cup of coffee. I went in, got my mocha and came out. Next to my truck was parked a nice Toyota driven by a young lady who was there on the driver’ s seat. When she saw me approaching, she lowered her window and said, “You dropped a bag back there on Milltown Road. I didn’t know if it was important.”

I laughed and said, “Oh no, it was all trash.” Then I immediately felt bad because I saw that she pulled out of the parking lot quickly. It dawned on me that she had followed me only to tell me that I had dropped a bag. She wasn’t there to order a coffee at all!

I thought, “How rude of me, I didn’t even say thanks.” I was feeling bad when I noticed that the same young lady was on the same intersection with me — she was turning right, I was turning left. My chance to say thanks. I tried to lower the window but by then the light was turning green and she was moving. I managed to use my horn and give her the thumbs up sign.

Where else would people take a detour in their destination to tell a perfect stranger that he dropped a bag? It was raining hard, the bed of my truck was not covered, there were bags of mostly paper matter, cardboard boxes. One would be justified to think it was just junk. But no, this nice woman from Ohio had to make sure.

And stories like that abound. One day I got a call on my cell phone from the front desk person at the church where I work. She asked me if I had been to the outlet mall lately. I said, “No.” She said they had found a wallet with some money in it and a copy of a passport that belonged to someone with my last name. It took me one second for me to figure out: my nephew!

He was visiting us from Brazil and went to this outlet mall about 30 minutes from Wooster. I called him and he was on his way back home from the outlet. He had not yet noticed he was missing his wallet. He went back, got his wallet with all the contents intact. He couldn’t believe it. Neither could I. But that’s what you get when you live in Ohio.

Just today I went to the Post Office with my niece and people opened the doors for us; two ladies I had never seen before smiled at us as if we were best friends and one lady asked me if I was waiting to use the self-serve check out lane at the supermarket because I was standing close to the area trying to get my wife on her cell phone — and why certain people have cell phones anyway? The lady said, “I just didn’t want to cut in front of you.”

I have a theory that it is the severe variations in weather patterns that make people somewhat docile. They all pretty much share the same misery from December to March. They figure if they are mean to each other, they will make life even more miserable… That’s certainly not the only reason but it has to be a factor.

I lived in California. They have the mountains, the beaches, the beautiful landscape and the famous people. But when it comes to kind people, Ohio is light years ahead of California. I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t want to live here, except, of course, for the freezing weather in the winter.

Ivanildo C. Trindade