7.28.2008

Lucky Seven: Thanks, Minneapolis Library guards

Willie and Seven
The other night, I got a call from a dejected Seven. My 12-year-old nephew, who's been living with us for a few months, was at the library, and his bike had been stolen. I drove down to get him and sincerely thanked the security guards who had helped him: they let him use the phone to call me, got a description of the bike, and said they'd check out their security camera tape to see if they could spot the theft. On the way home, I praised Seven -- and I meant it: Just a few months ago, fresh off the plane from Bangkok, he wouldn't have had the confidence to ride alone from North Minneapolis to the downtown library, let alone to ask, in surprisingly advanced English, for help with a stolen bike. I was proud of him.

But I had to temper his hope about the prospects of ever seeing the bike again; we arranged to head to the police bike auction to get a replacement. But then on Saturday, we got a call from the library: "We've got Seven's bike." A quick drive, all high-fives and woo-hoos, and we were at the Central Library to fetch the prodigal bike.

Only it wasn't the one that had been taken: it was a new Schwinn BMX bike, just his height -- and paid for out-of-pocket by several of the guards.

So thank you to Willie (pictured above) and John and the other guards who pitched in to make Seven's day. You're fantastic ambassadors for a library he already loves, and let it be known that word of your generosity has already made its way overseas: He's already told his family about your kindness (they, in turn, have put in a good word at the Buddhist temple) and posted about it on two Thai websites he frequents. May your kindness be returned manyfold.

25 comments:

Jack Hynes said...

Great story, generosity is an endearing quality.

Lisa @ Corporate Babysitter said...

Thanks for sharing this. Didn't think we could love the downtown library any more.

Media Mike said...

Ride on!

Diane E. Anderson said...

This is yet another reason why I abolutely love the Mpls Central Library. Thanks for sharing, Paul. Very touching.

Sarastani said...

This is a fantastic story and those guards should be praised. I'm glad your nephew has a new bike and that those guards were looking out for him.

Anonymous said...

God bless Willie, John and the other library guards who chipped in. Thanks to each of them for being a bright beam of hope. I assume that they are not at the top of the pay scale at the library, but they came through for a kid who lost his bike. How can we chip in and do something for them?

Bill S, Wausau WI

Leigha said...

What a beautiful story, Paul, and what beautiful people. Thanks for sharing that. And hello, by the way - it's been years, no?

Anonymous said...

My first thought in response to the touching kindness and geneosity of Willie and John and the other library guards was to reciprocate in some way, send them a pizza or something.
Perhaps it is more important to say thanks and for each of us who were touched by their story to "Pay it forward" to people we encounter on our daily path.

Bill S
Wausau WI

Alex said...

Yay! And I've seen that guard at the library, which gives me a little thrill. Next time I see him, I'll shake his hand.

ZoomInfinite said...

Thanks for bringing this heartwarming story to our attention. Willie, John, and the rest of those who contributed have impacted not only Seven but our community as a whole!

Anonymous said...

You and the Mpls Library security made my day a much better one.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the guards will ever know that even here in tiny Singapore all the way on the other side of the world, there are people who've heard of their kindness and have been touched by it. "May your kindness be returned manyfold."

Tom said...

What fantastic guys, I hope their kindness comes back to them times ten. This is what life is all about! :D

msquared said...

That's a great story

Karen said...

This story has reaffirmed my faith in people. I cried after reading this story. How can we do something for these caring security guards?

Loriene Roy said...

Thanks for sharing this great story.
MPLS security guards and staff rock!

Cheers,
Loriene Roy

stefanie said...

What a great story. Thanks for posting it. I volunteer at the downtown library and know many of the guards there including Willie. They are a wonderful bunch of people who care about the library and everyone who walks in the door.

Anonymous said...

Is this where the parents got the idea for his name?
http://www.seinfeldscripts.com/TheSeven.html

Paul Schmelzer said...

You'd think, but no (a lot of people have asked that question). He was born on the seventh of the month, and the number's considered auspicious in Thai Buddhism.

Amy said...

This is so special! tear!

alys.gwyn said...

That is fantastic!

Maryn McKenna said...

Oh, man. That made me sniffle...

Anonymous said...

Willie, you are the best! My family thanks GOD for making a well man like you. This has really touch my heart...I have chills all over my body...I was feeling down until I read this article. I thank you again Mr Willie. God Bless!!!

Dee said...

WCCO's feature story of Aug. 21 is now online:
http://wcco.com/local/boy.stolen.bike.2.800580.html

To see the video, "mouse over" the smaller "Related story" screen & click on it.

We need more stories like this, and more people like Willie!

PShakman said...

Good work, fellas. Pete Shakman (badge #428).