Lonnie, a waste management employee, would have never thought how his little act of kindness would have helped him find his fan in a two-year-old Charles. Charles and his family lived in Birmingham. His mother says that from f-ire trucks to recycling trucks. If it had wheels, Charles was a fan. His mom would take him out to let him watch the recycle trucks that passed through their little cul-de-sac.
Charles would be the happiest when the truck drivers would beep the horn at him as they passed by and then say ‘thank you’ to the drivers.
This one recycling truck driver who was very friendly caught Charles’s attention. After learning his name ‘Lonnie,’ Charles would go on talking about him. One fine day, Lonnie promised Charles that one day he would give Charles a ride on his truck. While Charles would have been excited but Lonnie never knew that Charles and his family were two weeks away from moving out of state. The next week on the recycle-pick-up day Charles, and his mother waited for Lonnie but, they never heard from him. When they almost forgot about it and Lonnie showed up.
Charles’s mother says – “I heard the loud rumble and clank of the truck. I put down the book we were reading and raced to the door, carrying Charles. We did not want to miss seeing Lonnie during our last week in Birmingham. As we were hurrying down the hallway, we heard the truck beep the horn, and I knew they could only be honking for Charles. On their way back down the street, Lonnie stopped the truck and got out. He told me he had some things for Charles and pulled out a bag filled with waste management goodies — a hat, a neon yellow safety vest, two toy trashcans, coloring books, crayons, a cup, and a water bottle.”
Charles couldn’t contain his happiness, and everyone was moved by Lonnie’s gesture. Lonnie said he wanted to keep in touch with Charles as he grew up and wrote down his number. After he left, Charles’s mother was sad because she couldn’t click a picture of Lonnie with his biggest fan.
Before Lonnie would come again next week, Charles and his family would have gone. When Charles’s father came home that evening, his wife told him about the incident. He said that he would find a way out to get a picture of Lonnie but did not want to disturb him while he was at work.
The next day Charles along with his mother was playing in the front yard when a man wearing a waste management uniform approached them and asked them it was their house. On saying yes, he said, ‘I’m Lonnie’s supervisor, and he has something special planned for Charles. Are you going to be here around 11 a.m.?’ Charles’s mother was excited and called for all the neighbors on their cul-de-sac to come to their yard.
At 11 a.m., five waste management trucks started driving up the street, honking their horns and waving at Charles. Lonnie jumped off one of the trucks and came into their yard. He k-nelt, and Charles gave him a big hug. Lonnie said, ‘This is all for you.’ All of the neighbors who were watching had huge smiles on their faces. After the parade was over, Charles said, ‘Lonnie nice. I love him.’ Charles’s father also thanked Lonnie for his kind gesture. Even though the family moved out of state, Charles still talks about Lonnie. Whenever he sees a recycling truck, he tells something about his friend, Lonnie. Charles prays for him each night before bed. Charles’s parents hope he grows up to be kind and courageous like Lonnie.