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a letter to mrs. gray

Dear Mrs. Gray,

You don't know me, but I wanted to write you a letter.

My family and I are from Southern California, but we were visiting Utah last week for Thanksgiving. Last Sunday night we were trying to drive from Salt Lake to Park City, where we were staying with friends. A snow storm had blown in and the highway had several inches of snow by the time we made our way up the hill to Park City. The snow plows had not yet made their way to our stretch of highway and quickly we realized we were in trouble. Our California tires were no match for the snow and of course we didn't have chains. We were following in the tire tracks of a big semi for a while, and so we were making progress up Parley's Summit, but then our semi got stuck and we quickly came to a stop. Once stopped we couldn't get the car moving again. There were cars all around us who were also getting stuck. If you didn't have four wheel drive or some really good snow tires, you were out of luck. We thought we would have to wait a few hours until the snow plows came through and then have someone tow us into the plowed path. It was getting late, and our kids were tired and ready for bed.

You might wonder why I am telling you this story, but at this point your son Ben came to our rescue. He was driving behind us in a red pick up truck and when my husband got out to see how badly we were stuck, he asked if we needed help. Your son tried to give our bumper a push but we just got stuck again, the tires spinning and spinning. He could have just driven around us and been on his way like the hundreds of other cars, but your son pulled his truck in front of ours and grabbed a strap out of the back and tied our front bumber to the back of his truck. And then he pulled us ever so slowly up to the summit. Once we got to the top, he untied the strap (we were worried about braking on our way downhill and didn't want to slide into his truck). But then he offered to follow us all the way down the hill to our exit in Park City, to make sure we didn't get stuck again.

And so I wanted to write and tell you about your son, and the kindness he showed my family. I'm guessing, in typical teenage fashion, that he didn't tell you what had happened that night. I'm betting he just came home and mentioned the storm in passing on his way to the fridge to grab a snack. 

But I wanted to make sure you knew, and to thank you for raising the type of boy who would stop to help a stranger, even when it delayed his drive home by an hour or so on a dark and snowy night. My family and I are so grateful.

Brooke Reynolds and family

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Reader Comments (45)

We have such a negative view of teenagers, however there are so many good people out there, it is easy to believe the headlines. I hope to raise my children to be good citizens who offer help to those in need. I'm glad you got home safely.

11.30.2009 | Unregistered CommenterBake and Sew

Aaaw. What a lovely post.

11.30.2009 | Unregistered Commenterflowerpress

There is hope for the younger generation! I also heard a wonderful story from my friend. Last Christmas they were at her Mother-in-laws house with her two little ones, husband and her father who has survived lung cancer in the previous few years.
There was a lot of snow as they live up the "mountains". It was their first Christmas in the new home and the street is VERY steep. It had dumped a ton more snow. As they rounded the corner to their street (about 3 steep blocks from their house) their car got stuck...really stuck..along with a few others already there.
They got the kids and her dad out and bundled up and tried walking carrying the kids, assist her dad and just walking herself carrying the smaller child while her husband carried the older one (about 4 at the time). She said she was so scared for her father...he could hardly breath...and suddenly out of the blue..came a red pickup truck with chains on. It was a young man who had taken it upon himself to drive around his neighbourhood and assist those stuck in the snow...my friend literally cried with relief.
So there are parents out their raising wonderful young people. The young man drove them home and assisted her husband with getting their car out also.
**warm and fuzzies** thanks for sharing your story..it is heart warming

11.30.2009 | Unregistered CommenterSue

I am 21 years old, so barely out of my teens myself, and it is lovely to hear a story about a youngster helping out like that. Unfortunately much due to bad press young people get such a bad name for themselves, which is a shame because people like this really do exist!

11.30.2009 | Unregistered CommenterSammi

what a great story. it's always nice to have a reminder that there still are really selfless people out there.

Parley's Summit is a beast in the winter. sorry you had to experience that but glad you were able to make it safely to p.c.!

11.30.2009 | Unregistered Commenterheather j

This is such a sweet letter. The kindness of strangers prevails!

11.30.2009 | Unregistered CommenterAsia

Thank you for sharing this wonderful post. It gives me hope.

11.30.2009 | Unregistered Commenterjoan v.

This letter made me cry. It's really a good reminder for me. I've been a bit discouraged lately because there has been such horrible news stories involving teenagers as of late and I often worry about where we are heading. Thank you for the reminder that it's not all doom and gloom! Now if only Mrs. Gray could share her secrets to raising such a kind and generous person!

11.30.2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

that is so sweet - it made me tear up a little bit. i'm also happy to hear that you made it safely to park city :)


11.30.2009 | Unregistered Commenterjen

There are so many good, selfless kids out there, what a great job his parents did of raising him.

11.30.2009 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Wow, that is a pretty awesome story. I hope his parents see your letter.

11.30.2009 | Unregistered CommenterTonya

What a wonderful story and experience. This gives me warm fuzzies and inspires me even more to think of others before myself, especially in the holiday season.

11.30.2009 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

Thank you for sharing your story. I'm sure Mrs. Gray will be delighted to read your letter.

11.30.2009 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Patton

What a lovely post! Thank you for the reminder that there is plenty of good out there :). Happy holidays!

11.30.2009 | Unregistered Commentertpm

I love this!!! My brother is growing up to be just like Ben and I couldn't be happier. Long live nice boys!

11.30.2009 | Unregistered CommenterKara

As a native Californian living in Utah I can understand your misfortune. We used to live in a corner house that was halfway up a slight incline and during bad snowstorms people would get stuck turning the corner right in front of our house. As a young mom I wasn't able to run out and help everyone, but would watch with my little kids as the teenage boys across the street would help dig people out.
So many kind deeds go unnoticed, way to shine a light on one.

11.30.2009 | Unregistered CommenterWendy Smedley

oh, this is so sweet. xo

11.30.2009 | Unregistered Commenterjoanna goddard

Thank you for a lovely post--I teared up reading this, hoping I will someday raise a good son of my own.

11.30.2009 | Unregistered CommenterAutumn


I wish I knew what she did as a mom to help this boy turn out so well!

11.30.2009 | Unregistered Commenterbecca l.

this story reminds me of my husband. he's is a good ol' iowa boy with good manners and even better judgment. glad you're ok!

11.30.2009 | Unregistered Commentermichelle

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