Opinion

One good deed deserves no parking ticket

Monday morning I had to run out of downtown Bremerton to run an errand, which meant I had to give up my coveted, beloved parking space. I hate giving up my coveted, beloved parking space because it is highly likely I’ll not find another one. But I had no choice.

When I got back, my parking space was gone. In fact, the parking lot was so full the cars had doubled up: two cars per one space. I parked on the street and locked up my car, resigned to getting yet another parking ticket for parking on the street. No big deal; I figured in a few months I could wallpaper my basement with them. And maybe my son’s room, too.

I went on about my day. And, being a blonde, I forgot about my car parked on the street.

Early that afternoon, an elderly gentleman came into the office asking for directions to an apartment complex. After a few minutes, the staff realized the apartment complex was in Poulsbo. The man was rather disoriented and, as it turned out, he had come into town for a doctor’s appointment, lost his bearing and couldn’t find his way home.

We realized he needed assistance and went about trying to get him escorted home.

After several strategic phone calls to several agencies, Resident Bremerton Expert H. Emily Moshay and I decided it would easier for us to drive him home. So we did.

I drove his car and H. followed behind so I would have a way to get home. As we drove, he talked about his 11 brothers and sisters and how he worried about his brother when he fought in the Pacific during World War II. He talked about his distaste for particular politicians and what he used to do before he retired in the mid-60s. He told me he used to like fishing a lot more when he was a child than after he retired.

As he spoke I couldn’t help but wonder how many folks there were just like him in the world. He was a bachelor who had no intention whatsoever of moving to a retirement home. Those, he said, were for old folks. He was an independent man.

He had a sister who lived in Kitsap County, but they didn’t get along too well. He had no wife, no children, no grandchildren.

He had nobody.

It was heartbreaking.

I thought about the thousands of people I’d met in the course of my life. I wondered if any of them would help me if I was in a similar predicament.

I hoped they would be.

After we dropped him off and made it back to Bremerton, I went back to work for a bit then called it quits for the day.

As is my normal habit, I went to the parking lot where I park my car. It wasn’t there. Then I remembered the parking lot was too full that morning and went to the street where I parked. I spotted my car on Fourth Street, in two-hour parking, where it had been for seven hours.

I headed for the windshield, ready to pluck my new parking ticket out from under my windshield wiper, where they frequently greet me after I park in two-hour parking for five hours too long.

There was no parking ticket. I guess that was my reward — one I didn’t seek — for helping someone out of a jam. One good deed deserves no parking ticket.

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