Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor Suddenly, something good actually happened

To the editor:

My family and I just returned from a vacation that took us through Missouri, Iowa, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas. What we experienced during this brief trip was almost unexpected. If you are looking for a story complete with gunplay, hostage taking and rude people, this story is not for you.

My family and I just accomplished what others may consider impossible; that's right, we took over a 2,000 mile vacation in a four-door car with two children in the back seat. Some of you may think, "big deal," but if so, then you obviously do not have children.

The trip began with the children fighting in the back seat, me pulling my hair out working my way through traffic and my wife almost in tears trying to control the children. Fortunately, this was only the first hour of our journey. Granted, it was not a good idea to begin the journey at three o'clock in the afternoon but that was the earliest we could leave.

That night we stayed at the Motel 6 in Sioux City, IA in an effort to save money. The clientele was made up of families, bikers, truck drivers, newlyweds and Americans from all walks of life. Then suddenly, something good actually happened. Everyone we met was friendly, helpful and polite. There was no loud music, no gunplay, just nice people.

The next morning we stopped at a McDonald's in Sioux Falls for breakfast. It just so happened this was the same day a senior citizens group was getting together for breakfast. Then suddenly, something good actually happened. The senior citizens were very friendly and joked around with my kids. Well, obviously something bad should happen soon.

The next stop was at the Corn Palace in Mitchell. Surely, in this city we would find rude people and become victims of a tourist trap. However, the Palace made of Corn was free to the public and in fact they had a craft booths inside that offered unique and inexpensive gifts. Even the kids enjoyed the tour. Well, surely if we tried hard enough, something bad would happen.

Well, finally something bad did happen. Just outside of Mitchell, I noticed my car tire was going flat rather quickly. Apparently, a nail had punctured the tire and I needed to get it repaired. Asking one of the locals, they informed me of a small tire repair place in a little town up ahead which was the only one for miles around. Here I knew I would pay a high price. Then suddenly, something good actually happened.

I pulled in and the attendant dropped everything he was doing to repair our tire. On top of all of this, the price of repair was under $10 and took less than 15 minutes.

Through the Badlands of South Dakota and finally to Mount Rushmore we had to deal with a large amount of people. There were bikers returning from a bike rally in Sturgis, Yankees in U-Hauls, retirees in motorhomes and typical American families with all types of children. Then suddenly, something good happened.

No one tried to run us off the road, rob us at gunpoint or take the kids hostage. Again, all of the people we met were friendly and helpful. Furthermore, throughout South Dakota there was a definite absence of trash and graffiti. There were no spray-painted rocks in the Badlands and the Mount Rushmore Memorial was in great shape. Both the Badlands and Mount Rushmore were awesome, breath taking, wonderful and excellent.

At first, I gave full credit to the people of South Dakota (and they do deserve a lot of positive credit), but then I realized that they get over one million visitors a year. That means that the visitors and the people from South Dakota share similar values of taking care of the environment and national treasures.

The rest of the trip took us through Nebraska and Kansas. Surely, something bad would happen here. Yeah, that's right suddenly something good actually happened ? but I will save that for another time.

Anyway, I just wanted to share the tale of a wonderful vacation with America since the media seems to enjoy reporting the bad news. Perhaps I am a little crazy, but I felt safe the entire journey. I had complete faith that if something bad did actually happen someone would come to help us as we would help those in trouble.

We share a wonderful country together and we should take a hard look around us to realize that there are so many great people and places left in America.

I want encourage anyone who has had a great experience in America or has helped another to share that with someone. Commit a "random act of kindness." Who knows � suddenly something good could actually happen to you!

Karl P. Storer

Warrensburg, MO

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