Some stories are too good not to share, and this is one of them. It concerns a certain Madera matron who went grocery shopping, and was in a hurry to get back home to start cooking food for a friend whose husband is ill. In her haste, she did something she normally never would have done: She forgot her handbag in the empty grocery cart after she had unloaded the groceries from the basket into her car.
On the way home, she realized what she had done, turned around and returned to the parking lot. The purse was nowhere to be seen. The folks in the grocery store were sympathetic, but they had not seen the purse, either. The handbag was gone, and so was her life, she thought. In a wallet inside the purse was the existence she now believed to be history: Driver’s license, Social Security card, medical cards, credit cards, bank cash card, cash, photos of loved ones, her cellphone — you name it.
As soon as she got home, her heart racing, she got on the phone and started cancelling credit cards.
And then she got a call. On the other end of the line was the Hernandez family from Chowchilla. They were calling from the matron’s cellphone, which they had found in her purse, which they had spotted in the grocery cart where she had left it. They had decided to take the handbag home, then try to find the owner. There was just one problem. They were speaking in Spanish, which the matron does not speak. Finally, the two made themselves well enough understood to arrange for a call back. The matron called another matron, a friend who speaks Spanish, and the return call was initiated. A meeting among the Hernandezes and the two matrons at the Home Depot parking lot in Madera was arranged.
The Hernandezes turned over the purse intact. Not one thing was missing. It turns out the Hernandezes, themselves, had been victims of a theft from their home, and they had vowed never to do that to someone else. As you might imagine, everyone wept before saying goodbye.
That’s the story. Remember it whenever you might wonder whether honest, decent, kind people live in Madera County. They certainly do.