Tuesday, September 25, 2001
Some weeks ago I was a visitor in your beautiful area. One afternoon after walking I managed to misplace my car keys -- in my car, of all places! As I frantically searched through my packed car, the hour became late and the state park area's hours were ending. I was attempting to reach my hotel or cellphone to ask for aid, when a wonderful family who had been there biking helped me search -- to no avail.
They insisted on taking me to the Columbia Gorge Hotel -- quite out of their way. The husband and wife and the two darling girls spoiled me with kindness -- going out of their way to act as if this was nothing at all. They said that they had been residents of Hood River for 11 years and what a nice place it was, that people were good neighbors and cared about one another. When I literally begged for their names and address so that I could at least send a thank-you note they wouldn't tell me. They had mentioned a friend on the hotel cooking staff so I tried to track them -- no luck. When I remarked on their kindness to the hotel manager, she said, "That's the way people are in Hood River." It is very special to visit a place where the natural beauty reflects the inner richness of its citizenry. I certainly know four exceptional citizens whom I would love to meet again and a place that will remain not only in my heart but in my future "must return here" destinations.
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida