By Kenny Osborn
Team One Ton
At 9:30 AM John and I were dressed in our lycra finest outside the Dunkin Donuts as the church crowd filed in.
We had been riding our trainers while collecting donations for the AngelRide for about and hour and a half, and things had been going well. People were happy to drop a few dollars or even a five into the bucket we had on the small table. We talked about HOP and the Camp and noticed how moms and dads alike, without fail, took the hand of their child as they walked away. Perhaps squeezing it a little tighter and holding a bit longer than the day before.
An old pick-up truck pulled in just in front of us and a burly unshaven man climbed out. He wore a flannel work shirt and oil stained jeans. The truck needed a muffler and it billowed blue exhaust across the parking lot as it burned as much oil as gas. He looked at these two grown men on bikes that didn’t move taking up precious space on the sidewalk with a bit of, what appeared to be, well….disgust. He didn’t lift his head or look our way seemingly to avoid eye contact at all costs. Lycra. Not exactly a manly outfit to parade around in in front of the Dunkin’s.
2 minutes later he was back, coffee in hand and looking us dead in the eye.
“What’s this about?” His voice was as burly as he was.
John and I started telling him our well drilled story of the Angel Ride, the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, and HOP.
But we only Had the chance to start.
Half way through he stopped us.
Shaking his head a little he dropped his gaze to the sidewalk directly in front of him and quietly spoke, “Hole in the Wall Camp. My daughter was a camper at the Hole in the Wall Camp.”
He didn’t look up. Without another word, he took 50 dollars from his wallet and dropped it into our bucket.
John and I froze as this hulk of a man, seemed to shrink a little in front of us. He looked up and gave the slightest of nods before silently walking back to his truck.
John was somehow able to find a word. One word.
Mr. Burly turned and looked back as he climbed into his ailing pick-up.
“She’s getting married this spring!” He raised his coffee as if giving a toast.
Sometimes people ask me why the AngelRide is so important to me. I tell them about a man I met at the Dunkin Donuts one Sunday morning…