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It's not uncommon for toddlers to be intrigued by big trucks of all kinds. Fire engines, moving vans, trailers, and garbage trucks, we acknowledge that our 3-year-old son’s interest is not unusual. But what is as unusual as it is special is the interest and generosity that our garbage truck drivers have shown our son, Evin, in return.

They became familiar as one would expect. Every Tuesday, Evin would stand at the front door, waiting for the sights or sounds of the garbage truck, and sure enough, our garbage collectors, Dave and Jeff, would wave or honk as they passed. This spring, when the weather warmed up, we went to the curb to share some muffins and our thanks for their great work.

Their friendship continued the following Tuesday when Dave and Jeff delivered a package of new toys. Week by week, the three would exchange waves, smiles, and treats. On more than one occasion, in the absence of candy or toys, they would open their wallets and hand our toddler a couple dollars for his piggy bank.

Last Tuesday, Dave came to our front door with yet another gift and to wish Evin a happy Halloween. He also let us know that he was retiring, that this was his last day on our route, and that seeing Evin had become a highlight of his work week.

We always believed that the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child” was true, but before we became parents, we had no idea who would be in that village. Our village includes people like Jeff and Dave who go well above and far beyond the public works they provide. For that, we are grateful.

Dave, we wish you a happy retirement! You’ve earned it, but we’ll sure miss you!

Erin and Chad Oban, Bismarck

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