Two Park Hills women recently learned that the Christmas spirit is still alive and well in St. Francois County.
Joann Scott, 80, and her long-time friend, Audrey Downs, 92, met back in the 1990s when the two were playing Bingo at the local Elks Lodge. Since then the two have palled around together ever since.
As they often do, Scott and Downs were preparing to enjoy an early Sunday lunch together at the Steak ‘N’ Shake Restaurant in Farmington. They had no idea of what was going to happen.
“We had just ordered our food,” Scott said. “And then in a few minutes the waitress came over and said, ‘I just want to tell you that your lunch is paid for.'”
After Scott asked the waitress who had shown them such generosity, she pointed at a nearby booth where two married couples were sitting together. Scott and Downs made their way over to the booth to offer thanks for the meal and to find out why the couples had paid for their lunch.
“They told us that exactly one year ago they had been sitting in the same booth when somebody they didn’t know paid for their lunch,” Scott said. “The couples — we don’t even know their names — decided they were going to return the kindness by coming to the Steak ‘N’ Shake exactly one year later and pay for the lunch of anyone who was sitting in the same booth they were.”
Pointing at a Christmas sweatshirt Scott was wearing, one of the people at the table said, “That’s what inspired us. Merry Christmas!”
Scott said that she and Downs were both surprised and touched by this unexpected act of kindness.
“We thought it was great,” Scott said. “It just really made me feel good that we still have good, caring people in this world.”
Asked if the pair planned to sit at the same booth on the same day next year to see if their lunch might be paid for again, Scott laughed and said, “No, we just take whatever booth is empty when we get here.”
“It just really made me feel good that we still have good, caring people in this world.” — Joann Scott
Kevin Jenkins is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3614 or firstname.lastname@example.org