The Kindness of Strangers

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Never let it be said that Coloradans aren’t every bit as friendly as my next of Texas kin. While I can say that folks in the Lone Star state are definitely some of the most open, warmest individuals in the world, anywhere you go good folks will abound. You don’t even have to dig too deeply into the woodwork, just put on a smile and say hi to anyone who walks by.

When we first arrived at Riverview RV Park in Godly gorgeous Loveland, Colorado, our neighbors — seeing that we’d arrived after office hours and couldn’t buy nor had any of our own wood — gave us a whole bundle. The favor was duplicated later by an older couple who came by to check out the bus, reminiscing on their younger days, and the next day we had a thick bundle of local tree laying next to our still cooling fire pit. Everyone here is afraid for our warmth, though I assure them that our little Coleman propane heater kicks it up to 90 easily, one of the local longterms hooked us up with a tiny electric heater, and our toes (and propane budget) have never been happier.

Today tops it all though. Our friend Robert, who without fail stops by for a cigarette break or better smoke on a daily basis, offered to help us install our stereo today. The speaker holes in the doors were jacked by a previous owner, and the mounting kit for the stereo itself had been completely extracted. He spent an entire day fabricating new speaker harnesses as well as rigging up a makeshift kit to hold the stereo in. I learned more today about wiring than I’d ever known and quite a deal about Robert as well.

Even before this, though, people have treated us so well on the road. You’ll get the occasional person who thinks that a family has no business with an 8 year old boy on the road like we do, but for the vast slice of people’s pie, it’s all friendliness and helping hands. I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that said 8 year old is as cute as goulashes on a kitten, either.