A chance encounter with kindness

Last weekend, my mom invited me to accompany her on a work retreat that was hosted by my grandfather’s real estate firm, Legend Homes.  In the course of our visit, I encountered a woman whose kindness and concern for others genuinely caught my attention.

The site of the work retreat was Bastrop, Texas, a quiet little town located approximately 33.2 miles outside of Austin, Texas.  Bastrop was established before the Civil War and ended up joining the Union.  About 6,800 people currently live in the town.

The city was well known for its production of bayonets and bullets during the Civil War.  There also is mansion in town that used to be a military college during the war.

Bastrop is very scenic, overflowing with nature including the Colorado River, which runs directly through the town.

While it is small, Bastrop is expanding with three new medical centers, a high school and a community college. Bastrop enjoyed amazing weather during our visit, and we met very kind people who are very proud of their town.

I learned most of this information from a taxi driver named Phyllis as she was driving us from Bastrop to the Austin airport to fly back to Chicago. But in addition to the many interesting facts, she told us a remarkable story.

A few weeks ago, as Phyllis was driving from Austin to Bastrop, she witnessed a crash on the side of the road. Because Phyllis is kind, she stopped to see if everyone was okay, and  found that the driver was a 95 year old man from Denmark who had just arrived in the country.  Within 15 minutes of renting a car, he had totaled it.

The man’s English was not great, and he was quite upset, almost beside himself. He had come to town to see his son who is in his seventies, and who is being treated in a medical facility in Bastrop.

Being first on the scene, Phyllis called 911 to report the accident.  Because everyone in Bastrop knows one another, the sheriff who responded to her call knew Phyllis, and asked her to stay with the man until paramedics arrived.

Phyllis did more than that. For the next two weeks, Phyllis checked in on the man repeatedly and drove the man everywhere everywhere he needed to go. She took him to see his son, to church and to museums.

If Phyllis is a example of the people of Bastrop, then the people there are some of the most kind, generous and amazing people I have ever met.

Bastrop, as far as I can tell, is a little town with a big heart. Even though I was only in Bastrop for two days, it has ingrained a lasting impression on me.  Phyllis is definitely someone you should know.