This past week we received a second letter from Ruth Mezzetto, this one much more encouraging:
Editor, the Outlook:
Recently, when my kayak was stolen, my faith in humanity waned a bit. Then, a call came from one Mr. John Summers. He told me to go to his store in Keene and pick out a new kayak. Mr. Summers owns Backcountry Outfitters.
I was overcome with thankfulness and happiness. Never for the rest of my life will I ever forget what this wonderful man has done for me.
May God bless you Mr. Summers and thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Ruth is a medical assistant who moved to New Hampshire from Connecticut when she retired, in order to be near one of her married daughters.
"I wanted to do something outdoors, because I'm very active," she said. "I found that still water kayaking, once you purchase your equipment, is very inexpensive. I can't begin to tell you how much I've enjoyed it."
That enjoyment came to an end on October 26 when Ruth went out from her apartment at Papermill Village in Alstead to discover that the kayak was gone.
"I was shocked," she said. "First I asked why would this happen to me. Then I got angry."
When the call came from John Summers, she was overwhelmed.
"I was sobbing and overwhelmed," she said. "We live here on a limited income and I couldn't have gone out and bought another. I'd really lost a lot of faith in humanity, but he restored it."
And he was not the only one who offered to help. Norman Toussaint of Bellows Falls, an avid kayaker, also contacted her.
Shortly after she got her new, bright red kayak, Ruth took it out on the Ashuelot River, then stopped by Summer's Backcountry Outfitters. John Summers was there.
"He had no idea who I was," she said, "but I grabbed him and hugged him and then took him out and showed him the kayak."
Ruth mentioned that she'd had some tragedies in life that the serenity of kayaking did a lot to help soothe. With a little more caution in how she stores her new kayak, she said, she's looking forward to many more hours enjoying the local waters.
One would guess that everytime she enjoys her new gift, she'll be reminded of how many good people there are in the world.