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Reader Doug Chambers writes in with a story and a quote. The quote is from writer John Bunyan: “You have not truly lived, until you have given someone a gift that cannot be repaid.” The story is as follows:

“Good afternoon, sir, would you like for me to watch your car while you’re in the market?” That question was posed to Doug from the man he often sees sitting in a chair outside La Morenita Market in the Springs. “He sits there almost all day and greets people as they come and go,” says Doug.

Doug was tempted to oblige, but imagined he’d need to reward the man for his car watching. “How much would be appropriate?” wondered Doug. “A dollar and some change? Five dollars? And, if I start down that path, every time I go to the market, and see him, I would probably be obliged to give him an additional little something.”

The internal deliberation gave Doug pause, he writes, “as I have just discovered (late in life) that I actually do enjoy giving.”

Doug reached into his pocket and gave him all the change that he had, “about $3.”

“Thank you,” the man responded. “You don’t know how much of a difference this makes to me today,” he said.

Doug asked him his name. “Matthew,” he said.

“You’re welcome Matt,” Doug said.

Later, “the pun hit me,” says Doug. “Then I got a mental wakeup call with the lesson behind it. The truth is, he is actually a ‘Welcoming, Matt!’ Shining in his own way, every day, just waiting to be seen.”

Doug likes to think that he and Matt both “truly lived” that day.


Sonoma Joe writes in with a caution about a new carjacking scheme allegedly making the rounds and “headed our way – warning!!” according to an email forwarded from Joe last week.

It seems a couple was driving home from a night on the town, when they noticed a sticker on the rear window of their car. When they got home they exited the car and removed it – it was a discarded receipt. But unbeknownst to them, they may have been the targets of a new carjacking scheme.

According to a scam-alert email making the rounds, sinister carjack hopefuls are leaving flyers or paper money on vehicle rear windows – in the hopes that the driver will start the car and, when readying to reverse, notice the bill on the window. When they put the still-running car in park and exit to inspect the window, the car thief springs from the shadows, jumps in the driver seat and takes off. “They practically mow you down as they speed off in your car,” reads the warning. “And guess what, ladies? I bet your purse is still in the car.”

The good news is, according to online BS detector site, the warning is bogus – the alert has been around since 2004, but there’s never been a documented case in which a carjacking has occurred based on such a ruse. The bad news is that people are still freaking each other out over it. – Jason Walsh

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