Friday, March 24, 2017

Finding An Honest Man

Greek philosopher Diogenes is said to have strolled about in broad daylight carrying a lamp as he looked for an honest man. Legend has it he found only rascals and scoundrels in the human race.

I found an honest man this week without searching.

Following our last winter snowstorm about two weeks ago, roads were icy in places. One especially treacherous stretch was a curved section near our driveway on the entry road to our community. Our home is set back far enough from the road so we seldom hear any traffic noises when we are inside.

In mid-afternoon, I answered the door and met Jim Beebe. To my surprise he said, "My 16-year-old son came home and told me he slid off the road onto your property. He grazed your mailbox and ran across part of the lawn. I do home improvement and repair work for a living, and want you to know we will take care of all damages."

Mr. Beebe handed me a  business card and said I should call him to get the work done when the snow was gone and I had a change to assess the situation. He thought the mailbox was OK, but knew there would be some work needed on the lawn.

The first day of spring brought good weather, and beautiful wife Sandy and I checked things out. Big chunks of sod were gouged out of the lawn in three places. At first I thought the mailbox was a little wobbly, but probably would be all right. Sandy thought otherwise. As usual, she was right. The plastic parts that
Diogenes failed, but I found an honest man.
supported the box were broken in two places, not just cracked as I thought, and we decided the box was inadequate. I could see no good way to make repairs. I thought, however, that we might get an argument about the need for a new unit. Similar replacements cost about $65.

I phoned Mr. Beebe. He said he and his son would be over that afternoon to take care of things. Kenny Beebe rang our doorbell at about 3 p.m. He said we should buy a mailbox, we would be reimbursed, and he and his father then would be over to install it and repair the lawn.

About an hour later we spotted Mr. Beebe and son working on the lawn damage. I told Mr. Beebe we thought the work would be done after we got a mailbox. He said, "I told Kenny that's not good enough. When we've done with this, we're going shopping for a box. When we have one, we'll ask you to approve it before I install it."

Two hours later, the Beebes reappeared with a mailbox that proved to be an updated version of the one that was damaged. They said they visited three stores to find just the right one. We agreed they had succeeded. Mr. Beebe did a beautiful installation job, and the result was a unit superior to the one it replaced.

Had Kenny Beebe simply driven away and not told his father about the accident we would have had no way to know who caused the damage. I told Mr. Beebe that his son seemed like a fine young man. "Not quite," he replied. "He should have told you right away, not gone home to tell me. I've straightened him out about that."

I think there will be more than one honest man in the Beebe family if Jim has his way.


5 comments:

Rummuser said...

What an amazing story!

And call it serendipity or whatever, I had just finished a telephone call with the customer service of Amazon India about three DVDs that I had recently purchased from them that did not work and they simply refunded the total cost and requested me to destroy the three DVDs!

There is hope for mankind yet!

Tom Sightings said...

Great story ... I think there are more honest people in the world than we sometimes allow.

PiedType said...

Remarkable story. I'm pretty sure that around here, someone who slid into a mailbox and lawn would just keep going and never look back. In fact, there have been reports of lawns being deliberately trenched by unknown drivers. I still believe people like that are in the minority, but it's getting harder to be optimistic.

joared said...

Such acts renew our faith in humanity and we surely need that now. The father certainly set the example for his son. I believe there are many people like that and you were fortunate to have encountered one of them as they may not be the ones we're so apt to have cause to engage.

Big John said...

One evening a young man knocked on my door to say that his elderly father had driven into the rear of my car which was parked in the street. There was some minor damage and a broken tail light. He said that he would pay for the repairs, which he did. Similar story to yours only this time it was an honest 'young man'.