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The old man and his bag …

My son and I were on a mission to Home Depot near St. Paul when we came upon this surprising scene of citizen action at work. 

This older gentleman was picking up trash a couple of blocks north of Rte. 110. The unflattering photo of his rear end isn’t up to my usual middling standards – but this was the best I could do in a few seconds as we waited at a stop light. 
As our line of traffic began to move, I yelled out ‘way to go!’ But he couldn’t hear me. We drove on while he stayed put, going about his civic duty. 

How did he reach the juncture that moved him to such action? Was he tired of seeing the mess? Was this part of his routine? No real way to know. But he was getting after it, and Minnesota was better off for his efforts. 

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I was a writer by trade so one would think letters would come easily for me. It is so now, but wasn't always that way. Indeed, the first letter was written the Monday after Ellen started her freshman year in college. For years I've wondered - with no good answers - why I swiveled my office chair toward my computer screen to fire up a word processing document for that first letter. I just don't know. I just did. Perhaps it was the angst of separation or wanting to say things that had gone unsaid at that moment when we parted ways in front of her college dormitory. What was a one-off became habitual. When her brother Reid enrolled in the same college, his name was added to the salutation line. They were kids then and are adults now. No matter. The letter writing habit remains so today. I live in Brevard, North Carolina. I'm well away from where they live and don't see them nearly as often as I'd like. That's why letters, at least to me, fill the void of distance. The pages give me something to say and the space to say it. There is no assurance they read the letters; indeed, I have never asked if they do so. With the pace of their busy lives who could blame them for letting a letter sit unopened? Over time, it has dawned on me that the letters are both communicative - and cathartic. By nature, letters are about the writer; the writer can only write about their situation. Perhaps that is as it should be. It's all about the here and now from one person's perspective.

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