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Kindness in Real Life: A snowy handshake across the football aisle

By JEFF BENEDICT
Special to the Times
I spent a snowy day in December at a hospital with a family member. On the way home, my wife called to say she struck out trying to find a snowplow contractor. They were all too swamped. And we had a big driveway covered in a foot of snow.
As I hung up, I spotted a big pick-up truck with a snowplow at a gas station. I pulled up, got out and approached wearing my Patriots coat, hat, and face mask.
"Any chance I can talk you into plowing my driveway?"
He looked like he'd had a long day and just wanted to go home. But after some back and forth, this stranger followed me home.
After spending 45 minutes on my driveway, I asked him if he was a Pats fan. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a Miami Dolphins mask.
"I'm a Miami Dolphins season ticket holder," he said. "I'm the biggest Miami fan in New England. I fly down to Miami for every home game. Been doing it for years."
I handed him my book "The Dynasty," a look at the 2000-2020 New England Patriots football dynasty. Puzzled, he looked at me. I pointed to my name on the cover.
"That's me," I said.
"That's you!?" he said.
"Yeah, Merry Christmas. I really appreciate you plowing my driveway."
We launched into a big conversation about the Pats-Dolphins rivalry. Then I reached for my wallet and said, "How much do I owe you?"
"No charge," he said.
Contractors usually charge us a lot to plow us out.
"C'mon," I said. "Let me pay you."
"No," he said with a smile. "When you approached me at the gas station in all your Patriots gear, I called my wife and told her that I was going to help a Patriots fan. I just wanted to do a good deed."
It got better. Turned out the big Dolphins fan isn't even a snowplow contractor. He's just a good guy who had driven 30 minutes on a snowy day to plow his mother's driveway. I just happened to encounter him on his way home.
And in a snowstorm, a Pats fan and a Dolphins fan became friends.
Jeff Benedict, author of the bestselling book "The Dynasty," lives in Waterford. His latest film "Tiger" is currently on HBO.
Kindness in Real Life is a regular feature in the Times. To submit, email times@theday.com.Kindness in Real Life is a regular feature in the Times. To submit, email times@theday.com.

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