It was a typically busy day, running about with two of the guys working for the church from one task to another.
In our busy-ness, we often miss a lot… but sometimes something pleasantly forces itself into view. In this case, it was a car. Or, at least, the kind gentleman driving it.
We’d stopped at Kennedy’s Super Mart, which doubles as a U-Haul rental place, in search of a truck to get some donated furniture into the hands of a family in need, but they were fresh out. So was the U-Haul place a block from our church, so, we were out of luck for the day.
We crossed the lot and were climbing into the church van when the driver of a sedan turning into the lot blew his horn and pulled to a stop behind us.
He rolled down his window and said “I recognize you from the newspaper.”
I walked back and stuck out my hand to shake, and he introduced himself. I didn’t tell him I’d mention this here, so I won’t use his name, but the conversation was great, in a very Norman Rockwell sort of way.
“I just had to stop,” he said. “I subscribe to the paper and read it every time it comes out.”
I thanked him.
“No, seriously, thank you guys. That paper is great. Local news coverage is important, but there’s not a lot of it left… and you guys actually report real news. I love it.”
“That’s the owner’s idea, to try to have an honest paper and push some people’s buttons when they need it.”
“Well I wanted to make sure you know it’s appreciated,” he said, then, nodding to the Faithbridge logo on the van, “not to mention the other work you do down there.”
I thanked him, and we parted ways, but it made my day and I thought I have to let the boss know… so now she knows.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the passing of Will Sewell, the wonderful McKees Rocks crossing guard who manned the corner of 3rd Street and Broadway for several years.
Will was a constant source of salutation and encouragement for many passers by, and took his role keeping the kids safe quite seriously.
When Mrs. Ali, who owns the corner store there, was dealing with her husband’s passing last year, Sewell would sit and chat with her day after day in the early moments before the kids started to gather.
He also made himself enough of a source of joy for the kids down there that they feel his loss deeply.
Thanks for your service, Will… you are missed.
Rev. James Hogan is a native of Stowe Township and serves as pastor of Faithbridge Community Church in Stowe.