Letter: Concord kindness

Sunday, July 16, 2017
Concord kindness

Concord people are well attuned to the welfare of their elderly citizens. I’ve become increasingly aware of their attention as my 90-year mark approaches – now seemingly just a wink away in senior time.

At first, I was surprised when people asked if I needed help loading groceries or lumber into my car. It felt a little insulting, actually, that anyone would think that I, a grown man, needed help. Why was I singled out as so feeble?

Gradually, I realized that I looked old. I had begun to walk slower, sometimes a little irregularly, and my posture was stooped. My suspicions were confirmed when one woman offered to trim the bushes in front of my house. I assured her I liked them that way. Another woman rushed to help when I tripped over a curbing and fell. Years ago, when my wife and I were walking, and she buckled over with pain, I couldn’t support her. But a bicyclist and a motorist immediately stopped, carried her back home and called an ambulance.

Recently, I needed some real help. I was towing my small utility trailer when the pin securing the hitch to my car slipped out and the safety chains snapped. There was no way to re-attach the trailer. I was stranded on the highway. (This was actually in Alton, but the human instinct to help was the same.) Almost instantly a car in the opposite lane stopped, and the driver offered to drive back to his home for a replacement pin that he’d loan me.

For almost a half-century, I’ve taken hourly walks around Concord. In the summer, I’ve enjoyed the flowers and shrubs that folks plant for my pleasure. In the winter, I appreciated the courtesy of motorists when icy sidewalks forced me onto the streets. Now it hurts to walk only about 15 minutes. But I’m fortunate to be able to still take care of myself. And I’m appreciative and thankful for the kindliness of the people of Concord.

Richard Frye