Chapter One: An Unlikely Friendship

A couple of weeks ago I was driving down Fifth Street West in Sonoma and all of a sudden a thought came to me and I pictured someone damaging concrete at my construction site. I drove over and sure enough, three kids were carving their names in the sidewalk. I stopped in the middle of the street. They ran. I detained the last kid and held on to him. He said, “I don’t want to go to jail. I don’t want to get in trouble.” I told him to relax.

I asked for the names of the two other guys and he gave them to me. I called the police and had those two arrested.

The kid, Lyle, and I talked for a while. He said he hasn’t seen his father in eight years. He and his mom live with his grandmother because they can’t afford to live on their own. He had tears in his eyes.

I gave him my card and said, “Maybe that’s the reason I drove down here and the reason your friends damaged my concrete. I’d like to try and make a difference in your life. Call me and I’ll try to help you.”

Sure enough, Lyle took me up on the offer and now we get together for coffee, send text messages and talk almost every day.

During one of our many conversations, I told him something my father told me. “Before you do anything in life, say to yourself, ‘What’s the worst that could happen from this?’ And if you don’t like that, don’t do it.”

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3 thoughts on “Chapter One: An Unlikely Friendship

  1. Steven, That is certainly a nice & rewarding experience you gave to Lyle. I am wondering why you had the two other boys arrested? Would they too benefit from your generosity & compassion ?

    • When the three boys saw me approaching, they took off and when I yelled at them to stop, only Lyle stopped. He also did not write in the sidewalk concrete and he was really apologetic. When I sent the officer to their homes, they lied and said they didn’t hear me. Had they been honest, I would not have had them arrested. I told the officer all I wanted was for them to have to pay for what they did, and I understand they did pay four hundred dollars. I hope they learned a lesson. We were all kids at one time and all made mistakes. But one thing my father taught me was to never lie. It was probably hands-down the most important thing I every learned. He said, “You cannot help a liar as you never know where to start, because you don’t know if what they are telling you is the truth.”

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