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  December 17, 2010
It’s a Wonderful Life...


Last week I found myself in the Bay Area visiting customers and distributors.  While I was there, I also had the opportunity to visit with some old and dear friends.

One of my good friends is Bob, whom I’ve known now since we were 11 years old.  Both Bob and I grew up in the small town of San Bruno, CA, attended the same schools, participated in the same sports programs and regularly double dated while in high school (he eventually married his half of the double date).

After high school, I decided to leave San Bruno and come to San Diego to attend school while Bob decided to stay put and dig his roots a bit deeper into local soil. 

After a stint at a local college, Bob joined up with the family real estate business.  He married his high school sweetheart, bought a small house, and helped to raise two fantastic children.  He is an active member of the San Bruno community coaching little league, high school wrestling and volunteers on the city’s planning commission.  He helps to lead local service organizations like the Lion’s and the Board of Realtors.  Bob is also a board member of his church’s men’s club.

During my visit, Bob and I decided to go on a short road trip to visit one of our old friends who lives near Sacramento.  While in the car, Bob told me about how he recently sold an old car to a local college kid who was working construction jobs to pay for his education.  The car was advertised for $1,500 (well below its low-blue-book value) and the young man came to see the car and meet Bob using public transportation to get there.

After the boy asked Bob several questions about the car, they decided it would be best to go and visit Bob’s mechanic so the student could inquire about the cars true condition.  After the nod from Bob, the mechanic gave the young man all of the car’s pertinent history and what he might expect to find wrong with the car in the future.

The young man seemed to be satisfied and so he offered Bob $1,300 to which Bob refused since it was already priced far below its value. 

The young man explained, "I’m not sure if I have enough money to pay you and register the car".

At that, Bob suggested that they take a ride to the DMV and that he’ll renew the registration himself.  Along the way, Bob noticed that the car was low on fuel so he stopped by the gas station and filled the car up and had it washed.  Once they arrived at the DMV, Bob paid for the additional year of registration fees and the title transfer fees.

Finally the young man counted out the $1,500 and gave it to Bob.  Bob then told the young man that he decided to accept his initial offer of $1,300 allowing him to keep extra $200 for the holidays ahead.

I’m quite sure that this was truly a car-buying experience that the young man would never forget.  A car, registration, transfer fee, a full tank of gas and a car wash with a $200 rebate to boot...

While continuing on the drive, I couldn’t help but think that this was a small gesture of kindness by someone who had nothing further to gain from the transaction but so meaningful to someone else. 

With the Christmas holidays soon upon us, it makes me feel a bit more joyful knowing that there are still a few George Baileys out there who are intent in making their community and the world as a whole a somewhat better place to live.

May the Christmas spirit fill each of you this holiday season and throughout your years...

Thank you very much for your support of OptiFuse as we wish you and yours a wonderful life...

Jim Kalb

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