A Real Pick-me-up On A Dark Night
Wednesday - September 13, 2006
After a party late one Saturday night, my wife, Margo, and I were shocked to discover I’d parked illegally and our car had been towed away from its spot in upper Nuuanu. We decided to walk a mile-and-a-half home and figure out how to retrieve our car later.
After about a half-hour of walking, lugging a couple of post-party packages and the remaining half of a cake, I realized we were really in the darkest part of the area. I was somewhat concerned when a car slowly pulled alongside and the window lowered. Margo kept on walking, maybe even picked up the pace a bit.
In the dark, a woman said, “You look like you need a ride.” The driver introduced himself as Wendell, with daughter Brittni on the passenger side. After making introductions, I gave them directions to our apartment. Not wanting to make them drive all the way to our apartment, I said “this is good enough” about a block from the place. We thanked them both and gave them our leftover party cake as a thank you.
We were surprised the next day by a package delivered to our condo entrance. It was our cake plate, cleaned and sealed with ribbon and loaded with small soaps, a small lauhala basket and a note written by Wendell’s wife, Pohai. She thanked us for the cake, wrote down her phone number, and said “if you ever need a ride, just call us.”
We were flabbergasted that perfect strangers Wendell Au, Brittni and later Pohai went to even more trouble to locate us and offer a gift. It was so much more than we could ever ask. We will never forget the Au family and their aloha.
Wendell Au says anyone walking that route that time of evening surely needed a lift.
“We were coming back after picking up Brittni from her summer job. It was pretty dark that side of Punchbowl. Carrying those packages, they were obviously not out for a stroll. The next day we played investigators and figured out it was one of two condo buildings. I know someone would do the same for us in the same situation.”
My deepest gratitude to Tea Afoni, who found my wallet at the Aina Haina McDonald’s. I do not have a driver’s license, but she found my insurance card and called them to notify me. That wallet had my all my senior discount cards and bus pass. I am so grateful for her honesty.
She would not take a reward, so I hope she will accept this public acknowledgment.
Tea, who’s currently looking for a job as a day care attendant, says it was the right thing to do. “I see Mrs. Takaki all the time getting her morning coffee,” she says. “It was nice to do something for her.”
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