17 September 2009
This is a story I have been wanting to share for a few weeks now, but have been unable to sit down and actually type it up. As some of you know, we recently went on a cross-country (NY to Seattle area and back) vacation, by minivan. Before leaving, our local grocery store had a really good sale on cherries and I love cherries. I suggested buying some for the road trip, but my husband insisted on waiting until we got to Washington, because there is "nothing better than Eastern Washington cherries". I obliged since we were heading there anyway. When we finally made it to Sunnyside, WA (a small, but very cute city), my husband found a fruit stand and went in to buy some long-awaited cherries. The look on his face when he returned empty-handed told the whole story. Cherry season had ended the week before. Disappointed, we headed on our way. As we reached the edge of town, we pulled over to set the GPS and to take a picture of this huge, red wagon. While my husband was fiddling with the electronics, a police officer pulled up behind us with his lights on. We were not overly concerned since we knew we had done nothing wrong, but we were curious as to why he was pulling up behind us. The officer approached the window and asked if we needed any assistance. My husband told the story of the cherries and stated we were just getting ready to head back to the highway. He asked us to give him a moment and he began to make a few phone calls. During his phone calls, we learned that this was not just an officer, this was the Chief of Police in Sunnyside. Incidentally, we also realized the red wagon was sitting in front of the jail. Chief Ed Radder, continued to chat with us while he was on hold during his phone calls. He explained that Johnson Foods was located there and that they provided asparagus and cherries to the Schwan's Company. After he finished his final phone call, he told us to follow him and he gave us a police escort over to Johnson Foods. Upon arriving, my husband and Chief Radder approached a tall gentleman who they chatted with for a few moments. The gentleman then walked away and returned with a HUGE box of freshly picked cherries and handed them to my husband. My husband asked how much they were and the gentleman said, "No charge. Welcome to Eastern Washington." There had to easily be 10 pounds of cherries in that box. Even after bringing many of them to a family function a few days later, we still had cherries that made it back to NY. We were told it is was a great cherry season this year, all I know is that these were the sweetest, juiciest cherries I have ever had, made all the better by the kindness and generosity of Chief Radder and the folks at Johnson Foods. I love cherries, but I love kind people even more.