A Webster's Corners family is grateful to a tall stranger who came to their defence just a few days before Christmas.
Eric Eckman and his family ordered lunch from a fast-food restaurant on Dec. 21, then headed home to eat.
When they sat down to enjoy the meal, Eckman noticed the order was incorrect. He immediately called the restaurant and explained the mix up.
A short time later, while he and a friend were making soup and sandwiches to replace the missing lunch items, the phone rang.
The same woman who took their order and had confirmed the mistake earlier by phone, called to apologize and say Eckman would be refunded his money - $17 and change.
Less than two hours later, Eckman was at the front counter of the downtown Maple Ridge restaurant again.
He was told the woman employee he'd spoken to earlier had been reprimanded, and she had been wrong in claiming the restaurant would refund his money.
Saying Eckman was frustrated and angered by the entire experience would be an understatement, he told The TIMES.
Just as he was ready to leave, a stranger standing next to him - who had overheard the exchange - stepped forward, gave Eckman a $20 bill from his own wallet, expressed his disappointment to the employee who had identified himself as a manager, then disappeared.
"He whipped out $20, and said this is for you, Merry Christmas," recounted Eckman, who still in shock a few hours after the encounter.
"I never had a chance to properly thank him."
Eckman called the newspaper wanting to express his gratitude to that stranger.
"I think it is important to say thanks, because that person next to me_ well, that was just really cool what he did. That made me and my family feel happy this holiday season," he said.
@ Copyright 2013