On my daily commute each morning, I am guaranteed to be smiling by the time I get to the crosswalk in front of Mountain View Elementary. For almost 20 years, crossing guard Kevin Bunting has been risking his life to get our children safely across busy California Avenue (even being hit by a car once). In the process, he blesses our neighborhood daily with his kind words, infectious wave and cheerful smile.
You can’t pass him without getting a wave and it's not just a “hey, how’s it going” wave, it’s a “hey, how’s the family, how’s work been lately, can you believe this weather, how is school going and I hope you have a wonderful day!” kind of wave. It’s really something you have to experience yourself; you can’t help but smile and wave back.
This past winter on the foggiest morning I have ever seen in Salt Lake City, I was headed back home after driving carpool for my son. I was really looking forward to my wave from Kevin. Unfortunately the weather had slowed me down and he was already walking back to turn off the school zone lights. The sidewalk was covered in ice. I saw him walking one second and the next he was down, flat on his back.
I turned the car around as quickly as I could, but before I could even stop, two men in a work van had jumped out and were helping him up.
I scooted across the slick sidewalk as the men gently and patiently helped him to his feet. We walked together back to his car. I could tell the men were in a hurry to get to work but they didn’t rush him. They spoke in Spanish to one another about what they should do, but never let on that they needed to go. My heart was so full as one man on each side of our beloved crossing guard helped him on his way.
From the short conversation, it didn’t sound like these men have children who attend the school, but that didn’t make any difference to them. They saw someone in need and didn’t hesitate to help. This is what Glendale is: people who live in integrity and compassion for one another.
That day, Kevin’s bright light, two kind men on their way to work, and an icy sidewalk reminded me of the goodness and connectedness of our wonderful community.